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Annu Rev Microbiol. 2005;59:91-111.

Diversity and evolution of protein translocation.

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Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


Cells need to translocate proteins into and across hydrophobic membranes in order to interact with the extracellular environment. Although a subset of proteins are thought to spontaneously insert into lipid bilayers, translocation of most transported proteins requires additional cellular components. Such components catalyze efficient lateral transport into or across cellular membranes in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. These include, among others, the conserved YidC/Oxa1/Alb3 proteins as well as components of the Sec and the Tat pathways. Our current knowledge of the function and distribution of these components and their corresponding pathways in organisms of the three domains of life is reviewed. On the basis of this information, the evolution of protein translocation is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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