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FEBS Lett. 2001 Aug 31;504(3):87-93.

Topogenesis of membrane proteins: determinants and dynamics.

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Biozentrum, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 70, CH-4056, Basel, Switzerland.


For targeting and integration of proteins into the mammalian endoplasmic reticulum, two types of signals can be distinguished: those that translocate their C-terminal sequence (cleavable signals and signal-anchors) and those that translocate their N-terminus (reverse signal-anchors). In addition to the well established effect of flanking charges, also the length and hydrophobicity of the apolar core of the signal as well as protein folding and glycosylation contribute to orienting the signal in the translocon. In multi-spanning membrane proteins, topogenic determinants are distributed throughout the sequence and may even compete with each other. During topogenesis, segments of up to 60 residues may move back and forth through the translocon, emphasizing unexpected dynamic aspects of topogenesis.

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