Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nature. 2002 Aug 8;418(6898):662-5.

Three-dimensional structure of the bacterial protein-translocation complex SecYEG.

Author information

  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysik, Abteilung Strukturbiologie, Heinrich-Hoffmann-Strasse 7, 60528 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


Transport and membrane integration of polypeptides is carried out by specific protein complexes in the membranes of all living cells. The Sec transport path provides an essential and ubiquitous route for protein translocation. In the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane, the channel is formed by oligomers of a heterotrimeric membrane protein complex consisting of subunits SecY, SecE and SecG. In the endoplasmic reticulum membrane, the channel is formed from the related Sec61 complex. Here we report the structure of the Escherichia coli SecYEG assembly at an in-plane resolution of 8 A. The three-dimensional map, calculated from two-dimensional SecYEG crystals, reveals a sandwich of two membranes interacting through the extensive cytoplasmic domains. Each membrane is composed of dimers of SecYEG. The monomeric complex contains 15 transmembrane helices. In the centre of the dimer we observe a 16 x 25 A cavity closed on the periplasmic side by two highly tilted transmembrane helices. This may represent the closed state of the protein-conducting channel.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Support Center