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Trends Cell Biol. 1996 Dec;6(12):480-6.

Growing up in a dangerous environment: a network of multiple targeting and folding pathways for nascent polypeptides in the cytosol.

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Zentrum für Molekulare Biologie, Universität Heidelberg, Germany.


The first events in the lives of proteins are the most hazardous. Starting at the ribosome, nascent polypeptides undergo complex folding processes endangered by aggregation reactions. Proteins with organellar destinations require correct targeting to the translocation machineries and prevention from premature folding. The high precision and speed of these processes is ensured by a cystosolic system consisting of molecular chaperones, folding catalysts and targeting factors. This review focuses on the interactions of this system with nascent polypeptides and discusses new concepts for protein folding in the cytosol. It is proposed that folding and targeting are promoted by a flexible network of multiple unassisted and assisted pathways.


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