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Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2005;21:529-50.

Protein translocation by the Sec61/SecY channel.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


The conserved protein-conducting channel, referred to as the Sec61 channel in eukaryotes or the SecY channel in eubacteria and archaea, translocates proteins across cellular membranes and integrates proteins containing hydrophobic transmembrane segments into lipid bilayers. Structural studies illustrate how the protein-conducting channel accomplishes these tasks. Three different mechanisms, each requiring a different set of channel binding partners, are employed to move polypeptide substrates: The ribosome feeds the polypeptide chain directly into the channel, a ratcheting mechanism is used by the eukaryotic endoplasmic reticulum chaperone BiP, and a pushing mechanism is utilized by the bacterial ATPase SecA. We review these translocation mechanisms, relating biochemical and genetic observations to the structures of the protein-conducting channel and its binding partners.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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