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Cell biology

Border crossing

The ‘translocon’ complex, which determines whether a protein segment will be inserted into or pushed through the cell membrane, seems to make the decision by performing a thermodynamic measurement.

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Figure 1: Membrane regions and preferred amino-acid locations.
Figure 2: A possible scheme for the membrane-insertion decision, as proposed by Hessa et al.1


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Bowie, J. Border crossing. Nature 433, 367–369 (2005).

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