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J Cell Biol. 1987 Aug;105(2):633-45.

A yeast mutant defective at an early stage in import of secretory protein precursors into the endoplasmic reticulum.


We have devised a genetic selection for mutant yeast cells that fail to translocate secretory protein precursors into the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Mutant cells are selected by a procedure that requires a signal peptide-containing cytoplasmic enzyme chimera to remain in contact with the cytosol. This approach has uncovered a new secretory mutant, sec61, that is thermosensitive for growth and that accumulates multiple secretory and vacuolar precursor proteins that have not acquired any detectable posttranslational modifications associated with translocation into the ER. Preproteins that accumulate at the sec61 block sediment with the particulate fraction, but are exposed to the cytosol as judged by sensitivity to proteinase K. Thus, the sec61 mutation defines a gene that is required for an early cytoplasmic or ER membrane-associated step in protein translocation.

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