Protein translocation in the three domains of life: Variations on a theme

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In all cells, extracytoplasmic proteins must be translocated across lipid bilayers to reach their final destination. Most protein translocation across hydrophobic membranes occurs through an evolutionarily conserved proteinaceous complex. In addition to this complex, the protein translocation machinery in bacteria and eukaryotes employs a number of other proteins that do not appear to be shared between these two domains of living organisms (7, 10 and 11). The functions of many of these proteins and the mechanism of protein translocation remain largely unknown.<br />Genome sequencing projects are providing the basis for a novel approach to learning more about protein translocation in all cells. Protein translocation has been studied only in bacteria and eukaryotes, two of the three domains of life. The completion of the genome sequences of organisms in the third domain, the archaea, has revealed that the archaeal protein translocation apparatus contains a mix of components similar to those of bacteria and eukaryotes (Figure 1; Table 1). Therefore, biochemical and genetic analyses of protein translocation in archaea may provide important clues about this process in all organisms.<br />




Pohlschröder, M., Prinz, W. A., Hartmann, E., & Beckwith, J. (1997, November 28). Protein translocation in the three domains of life: Variations on a theme. Cell. Cell Press.

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