Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 35–45 | Cite as

Extreme Secretion: Protein Translocation Across the Archaeal Plasma Membrane

  • Gabriela Ring
  • Jerry Eichler


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.

Archaea inverted membrane vesicles protein secretion protein translation protein translocation signal peptidase translocon 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriela Ring
    • 1
  • Jerry Eichler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Life SciencesBen Gurion UniversityBeershevaIsrael

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