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Nature. 1994 Feb 17;367(6464):654-7.

Evolutionary conservation of components of the protein translocation complex.

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  • 1Max-Delbrück Centre for Molecular Medicine, Berlin-Buch, Germany.


Protein translocation into the mammalian endoplasmic reticulum requires the Sec61p complex, which consists of three membrane proteins. The alpha-subunit, the homologue of Sec61p of yeast, shows some similarity to SecYp, a key component of the protein export apparatus of bacteria. In Escherichia coli, SecYp is also associated with two other proteins (SecEp and band-1 protein). We have now determined the sequences of the beta- and gamma-subunits of the mammalian Sec61p complex. Sec61-gamma is homologous to SSS1p, a suppressor of sec61 mutants in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and can functionally replace it in yeast cells. Moreover, Sec61-gamma and SSS1p are structurally related to SecEp of E. coli and to putative homologues in various other bacteria. At least two subunits of the Sec61/SecYp complex therefore seem to be key components of the protein translocation apparatus in all classes of organisms.

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