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Published November 8, 2019 | Published
Journal Article Open

Guiding tail-anchored membrane proteins to the endoplasmic reticulum in a chaperone cascade


Newly synthesized integral membrane proteins must traverse the aqueous cytosolic environment before arrival at their membrane destination and are prone to aggregation, misfolding, and mislocalization during this process. The biogenesis of integral membrane proteins therefore poses acute challenges to protein homeostasis within a cell and requires the action of effective molecular chaperones. Chaperones that mediate membrane protein targeting not only need to protect the nascent transmembrane domains from improper exposure in the cytosol, but also need to accurately select client proteins and actively guide their clients to the appropriate target membrane. The mechanisms by which cellular chaperones work together to coordinate this complex process are only beginning to be delineated. Here, we summarize recent advances in studies of the tail-anchored membrane protein targeting pathway, which revealed a network of chaperones, cochaperones, and targeting factors that together drive and regulate this essential process. This pathway is emerging as an excellent model system to decipher the mechanism by which molecular chaperones overcome the multiple challenges during post-translational membrane protein biogenesis and to gain insights into the functional organization of multicomponent chaperone networks.

Additional Information

© 2019 Shan. Published under exclusive license by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. First Published on October 1, 2019. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant GM107368, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Grant GBMF2939, and a fellowship from the Weston Havens Foundation (to S.-o. S.). The author declares that he has no conflicts of interest with the contents of this article. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. I thank H. Cho and Y.lM. Liu for critical discussions and comments on the manuscript.

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Published - J._Biol._Chem.-2019-Shan-16577-86.pdf


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