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Mol Cell. 1999 Dec;4(6):925-34.

The engagement of Sec61p in the ER dislocation process.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, Berkeley 94720, USA.


Sec61p comprises the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) channel through which nascent polypeptides are imported and from which malfolded proteins have been suggested to be exported, or dislocated, back to the cytoplasm. We have devised a genetic screen for dislocation-specific mutant alleles of SEC61 from S. cerevisiae by employing the unfolded protein response to report on the accumulation of misfolded proteins in the ER. Three of the isolated sec61 alleles are fully proficient in protein translocation into the ER, but defective in the elimination of a misfolded ER luminal substrate and a short-lived ER membrane-spanning model protein, which are otherwise rapidly degraded by cytoplasmic proteolysis in wild-type cells. Our results point to the fourth luminal loop and third transmembrane domain of Sec61p that markedly influence dislocation. We suggest that distinct features of the Sec61-translocon direct the two-way translocation processes.

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