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Trends Cell Biol. 1993 Mar;3(3):72-5.

A class of membrane proteins with a C-terminal anchor.

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Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine, Robert-Rössle-Strasse 10, O-1115 Berlin-Buch, FRG.


Integral membrane proteins are generally targeted to translocation-competent membranes by virtue of signal sequences located close to the N-terminus of the polypeptide chain. Membrane anchoring is caused by the signal sequence or other hydrophobic segments located after it in the amino acid sequence. However, some integral membrane proteins do not follow these rules. The members of one class of nonconformist membrane proteins have no signal sequence, but instead possess a hydrophobic segment near the C-terminus that orients them with their N-termini in the cytoplasm. Members of this class are found in many organelles and are probably inserted into membranes by an unusual mechanism.

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