Author(s): Sharyn L Rusch, Debra A Kendall
Many proteins that are synthesized in the cytoplasm of cells are ultimately found in non-cytoplasmic locations. The correct targeting and transport of proteins must occur across bacterial cell membranes, the endoplasmic reticulum membrane, and those of mitochondria and chloroplasts. One unifying feature among transported proteins in these systems is the requirement for an amino-terminal targeting signal. Although the primary sequence of targeting signals varies substantially, many patterns involving overall properties are shared. A recent surge in the identification of components of the transport apparatus from many different systems has revealed that these are also closely related. In this review we describe some of the key components of different transport systems and highlight these common features.