Short Papers

Bioscience Reports

, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp 737-745

First online:

Export of proteins across membranes: The helix reversion hypothesis

  • U. P. ShindeAffiliated withDivision of Chemical Engineering, National Chemical Laboratory
  • , T. N. Guru RowAffiliated withDivision of Physical Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science
  • , Y. R. MawalAffiliated withDivision of Biochemical Sciences, Division of Chemical Engineering, National Chemical Laboratory

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A model is presented which explains the biological role of the leader peptide in protein export. Along the lines of this model, the conformational changes of a protein with environment serves as a general mechanism for translocation. The leader peptide in the cytoplasm takes a hairpin like conformation which reverts to an extended helix upon integration into the membrane. The essential features of this model are in accord with recent results of protein export.

Key Words

protein export conformational changes leader peptides hairpin helix