Tail-anchored and Signal-anchored Proteins Utilize Overlapping Pathways during Membrane Insertion
Journal of Biological Chemistry
Tail-anchored proteins are a distinct class of membrane proteins that are characterized by a C-terminal membrane insertion sequence and a capacity for posttranslational integration. Although it is now clear that tail-anchored proteins are inserted into the membrane at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the molecular basis for their integration is poorly understood. We have used a cross-linking approach to identify ER components that may be involved in the membrane insertion of tailanchored
... ailanchored proteins. We find that several newly synthesized tail-anchored proteins are transiently associated with a defined subset of cellular components. Among these, we identify several ER proteins, including subunits of the Sec61 translocon, Sec62p, Sec63p, and the 25-kDa subunit of the signal peptidase complex. When we analyze the cotranslational membrane insertion of a comparable signal-anchored protein we find the nascent polypeptide associated with a similar set of ER components. We conclude that the pathways for the integration of tail-anchored and signal-anchored membrane proteins at the ER exhibit a substantial degree of overlap, and we propose that this reflects similarities between co-and post-translational membrane insertion.