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Mol Membr Biol. 2005 Jan-Apr;22(1-2):17-28.

Sec-dependent protein translocation across biological membranes: evolutionary conservation of an essential protein transport pathway (review).

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School of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Leeds University, Leeds, UK.


All living organisms, no matter how simple or complex, possess the ability to translocate proteins across biological membranes and into different cellular compartments. Although a range of membrane transport processes exist, the major pathway used to translocate proteins across the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane or the eukaryotic endoplasmic reticulum membrane is conserved and is known as the Sec or Sec61 pathway, respectively. Over the past two decades the Sec and Sec61 pathways have been studied extensively and are well characterised at the genetic and biochemical levels. However, it is only now with the recent structural determination of a number of the key elements of the pathways that the translocation complex is beginning to give up its secrets in exquisite molecular detail. This article will focus on the routes of Sec- and Sec61-dependent membrane targeting and the nature of the translocation channel in bacteria and eukaryotes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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