Protein transport in Archaea: Sec and twin arginine translocation pathways

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2005 Dec;8(6):713-9. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2005.10.006. Epub 2005 Oct 27.


The transport of proteins into and across hydrophobic membranes is an essential cellular process. The majority of proteins that are translocated in an unfolded conformation traverse the membrane by way of the universally conserved Sec pathway, whereas the twin arginine translocation pathway is responsible for the transport of folded proteins across the membrane. Structural, biochemical and genetic analyses of these processes in Archaea have revealed unique archaeal features, and have also provided a better understanding of these pathways in organisms of all domains. Further study of these pathways in Archaea might elucidate fundamental principles involved in each type of transport and could help determine their relative costs and benefits as well as evolutionary adaptations in protein secretion strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Archaea / metabolism*
  • Archaeal Proteins / chemistry
  • Archaeal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Sorting Signals
  • Protein Transport


  • Archaeal Proteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Protein Sorting Signals