Extreme Secretion: Protein Translocation Across the Archaleal Plasma Membrane

Gabriela Ring, Jerry Eichler

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

18 Scopus citations


In all three domains of life, extracytoplasmic proteins must overcome the hurdle presented by hydrophobic, lipid-based membranes. While numerous aspects of the protein translocation process have been well studied in bacteria and eukarya, little is known about how proteins cross the membranes of archaea. Analysis to date suggests that archaeal protein translocation is a mosaic of bacterial, eukaryal, and archaeal features, as indeed is much of archaeal biology. Archaea encode homologues of selected elements of the bacterial and eukaryal translocation machines, yet lack other important components of these two systems. Other aspects of the archaeal translocation process appear specific to this domain, possibly related to the extreme environmental conditions in which archaea thrive. In the following, current understanding of archaeal protein translocation is reviewed, as is recent progess in reconstitution of the archaeal translocation process in vitro.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-45
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2004


  • Archaea
  • Inverted membrane vesicles
  • Protein secretion
  • Protein translation
  • Protein translocation
  • Signal peptidase
  • Translocon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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