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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2012 Apr;22(2):217-24. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2012 Mar 21.

The complex process of GETting tail-anchored membrane proteins to the ER.

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Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, United States.


Biosynthesis of membrane proteins requires that hydrophobic transmembrane (TM) regions be shielded from the cytoplasm while being directed to the correct membrane. Tail-anchored (TA) membrane proteins, characterized by a single C-terminal TM, pose an additional level of complexity because they must be post-translationally targeted. In eukaryotes, the GET pathway shuttles TA-proteins to the endoplasmic reticulum. The key proteins required in yeast (Sgt2 and Get1-5) have been under extensive structural and biochemical investigation during recent years. The central protein Get3 utilizes nucleotide linked conformational changes to facilitate substrate loading and targeting. Here we analyze this complex process from a structural perspective, as understood in yeast, and further postulate on similar pathways in other domains of life.

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