Protein Transport Across and Into Cell Membranes in Bacteria and Archaea

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2010 Jan;67(2):179-99. doi: 10.1007/s00018-009-0160-x. Epub 2009 Oct 10.


In the three domains of life, the Sec, YidC/Oxa1, and Tat translocases play important roles in protein translocation across membranes and membrane protein insertion. While extensive studies have been performed on the endoplasmic reticular and Escherichia coli systems, far fewer studies have been done on archaea, other Gram-negative bacteria, and Gram-positive bacteria. Interestingly, work carried out to date has shown that there are differences in the protein transport systems in terms of the number of translocase components and, in some cases, the translocation mechanisms and energy sources that drive translocation. In this review, we will describe the different systems employed to translocate and insert proteins across or into the cytoplasmic membrane of archaea and bacteria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / chemistry
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / metabolism*
  • Archaea / enzymology*
  • Archaeal Proteins / chemistry
  • Archaeal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Bacteria / enzymology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Transport
  • SEC Translocation Channels
  • SecA Proteins


  • Archaeal Proteins
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • SEC Translocation Channels
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • SecA Proteins