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Cell. 2003 Feb 21;112(4):491-505.

Protein translocons: multifunctional mediators of protein translocation across membranes.

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Program in Plant Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA.


Protein translocation systems consist of complex molecular machines whose activities are not limited to unidirectional protein targeting. Protein translocons and their associated receptor systems can be viewed as dynamic modular units whose interactions, and therefore functions, are regulated in response to specific signals. This flexibility allows translocons to interact with multiple signal receptor systems to manage the targeting of topologically distinct classes of proteins, to mediate targeting to different suborganellar compartments, and to respond to stress and developmental cues. Furthermore, the activities of translocons are tightly coordinated with downstream events, thereby providing a direct link between targeting and protein maturation.

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