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Annu Rev Biophys. 2012;41:21-40. doi: 10.1146/annurev-biophys-050511-102312. Epub 2011 Dec 16.

Mechanisms of Sec61/SecY-mediated protein translocation across membranes.

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1
Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

Abstract

The Sec61 or SecY channel, a universally conserved protein-conducting channel, translocates proteins across and integrates proteins into the eukaryotic endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane and the prokaryotic plasma membrane. Depending on channel-binding partners, polypeptides are moved by different mechanisms. In cotranslational translocation, the ribosome feeds the polypeptide chain directly into the channel. In posttranslational translocation, a ratcheting mechanism is used by the ER-lumenal chaperone BiP in eukaryotes, and a pushing mechanism is utilized by the SecA ATPase in bacteria. In prokaryotes, posttranslational translocation is facilitated through the function of the SecD/F protein. Recent structural and biochemical data show how the channel opens during translocation, translocates soluble proteins, releases hydrophobic segments of membrane proteins into the lipid phase, and maintains the barrier for small molecules.

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