The way is the goal: how SecA transports proteins across the cytoplasmic membrane in bacteria

Tamar Cranford-Smith, Damon Huber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
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In bacteria, translocation of most soluble secreted proteins (and outer membrane proteins in Gram-negative bacteria) across the cytoplasmic membrane by the Sec machinery is mediated by the essential ATPase SecA. At its core, this machinery consists of SecA and the integral membrane proteins SecYEG, which form a protein conducting channel in the membrane. Proteins are recognised by the Sec machinery by virtue of an internally-encoded targeting signal, which usually takes the form of an N-terminal signal sequence. In addition, substrate proteins must be maintained in an unfolded conformation in the cytoplasm, prior to translocation, in order to be competent for translocation through SecYEG. Recognition of substrate proteins occurs via SecA—either through direct recognition by SecA or through secondary recognition by a molecular chaperone that delivers proteins to SecA. Substrate proteins are then screened for the presence of a functional signal sequence by SecYEG. Proteins with functional signal sequences are translocated across the membrane in an ATP-dependent fashion. The current research investigating each of these steps is reviewed here.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number11
Early online date12 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


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