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Cell. 2013 Feb 28;152(5):1134-45. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.02.003.

A network of cytosolic factors targets SRP-independent proteins to the endoplasmic reticulum.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


Translocation into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an initial and crucial biogenesis step for all secreted and endomembrane proteins in eukaryotes. ER insertion can take place through the well-characterized signal recognition particle (SRP)-dependent pathway or the less-studied route of SRP-independent translocation. To better understand the prevalence of the SRP-independent pathway, we systematically defined the translocational dependence of the yeast secretome. By combining hydropathy-based analysis and microscopy, we uncovered that a previously unappreciated fraction of the yeast secretome translocates without the aid of the SRP. Furthermore, we validated a family of SRP-independent substrates-the glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins. Studying this family, we identified a determinant for ER targeting and uncovered a network of cytosolic proteins that facilitate SRP-independent targeting and translocation. These findings highlight the underappreciated complexity of SRP-independent translocation, which enables this pathway to efficiently cope with its extensive substrate flux.

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