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Published June 2013 | Accepted Version
Journal Article Open

Signal Recognition Particle: An Essential Protein-Targeting Machine


The signal recognition particle (SRP) and its receptor compose a universally conserved and essential cellular machinery that couples the synthesis of nascent proteins to their proper membrane localization. The past decade has witnessed an explosion in in-depth mechanistic investigations of this targeting machine at increasingly higher resolutions. In this review, we summarize recent work that elucidates how the SRP and SRP receptor interact with the cargo protein and the target membrane, respectively, and how these interactions are coupled to a novel GTPase cycle in the SRP·SRP receptor complex to provide the driving force and enhance the fidelity of this fundamental cellular pathway. We also discuss emerging frontiers in which important questions remain to be addressed.

Additional Information

© 2013 Annual Reviews. First published online as a Review in Advance on February 13, 2013. We are indebted to Sandra Schmid, Jennifer Doudna, Peter Walter, Douglas Rees, Raymond Deshaies, and William M. Clemons Jr. for support and insightful discussions over the years. S.S. was supported by NIH grant GM078024 and career awards from the Henry and Camille Dreyfus Foundation, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. D.A. was supported by NIH/NRSA training grant 5T32GM07616. X.Z. was supported by a fellowship from the Ulric B. and Evelyn L. Bray Endowment Fund. X.Z.'s current address is Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California 92037.

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Accepted Version - nihms505529.pdf


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