Review

Nature Reviews Microbiology 5, 839-851 (November 2007) | doi:10.1038/nrmicro1771

Bacterial protein secretion through the translocase nanomachine

Effrosyni Papanikou1, Spyridoula Karamanou1 & Anastassios Economou1,2  About the authors

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All cells must traffic proteins across their membranes. This essential process is responsible for the biogenesis of membranes and cell walls, motility and nutrient scavenging and uptake, and is also involved in pathogenesis and symbiosis. The translocase is an impressively dynamic nanomachine that is the central component which catalyses transmembrane crossing. This complex, multi-stage reaction involves a cascade of inter- and intramolecular interactions that select, sort and target polypeptides to the membrane, and use energy to promote the movement of these polypeptides across — or their lateral escape and integration into — the phospholipid bilayer, with high fidelity and efficiency. Here, we review the most recent data on the structure and function of the translocase nanomachine.

Author affiliations

  1. Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Foundation of Research and Technology-Hellas, PO Box 1385, Heraklion GR-71110, Crete, Greece.
  2. Department of Biology, University of Crete, Iraklio GR71110, Crete, Greece.
    Email: aeconomo@imbb.forth.gr

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