Preprotein mature domains contain translocase targeting signals that are essential for secretion

Katerina E. Chatzi, Marios Frantzeskos Sardis, Alexandra Tsirigotaki, Marina Koukaki, Nikolina Šoštarić, Albert Konijnenberg, Frank Sobott, Charalampos G. Kalodimos, Spyridoula Karamanou, Anastassios Economou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Secretory proteins are only temporary cytoplasmic residents. They are typically synthesized as preproteins, carrying signal peptides N-terminally fused to their mature domains. In bacteria secretion largely occurs posttranslationally through the membrane-embedded SecA-SecYEG translocase. Upon crossing the plasma membrane, signal peptides are cleaved off and mature domains reach their destinations and fold. Targeting to the translocase is mediated by signal peptides. The role of mature domains in targeting and secretion is unclear. We now reveal that mature domains harbor their own independent targeting signals (mature domain targeting signals [MTSs]). These are multiple, degenerate, interchangeable, linear or 3D hydrophobic stretches that become available because of the unstructured states of targeting- competent preproteins. Their receptor site on the cytoplasmic face of the SecYEG-bound SecA is also of hydrophobic nature and is located adjacent to the signal peptide cleft. Both the preprotein MTSs and their receptor site on SecA are essential for protein secretion. Evidently, mature domains have their own previously unsuspected distinct roles in preprotein targeting and secretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1357-1369
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Chatzi et al.


Dive into the research topics of 'Preprotein mature domains contain translocase targeting signals that are essential for secretion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this