The Journal of cell biology

A trans-membrane segment inside the ribosome exit tunnel triggers RAMP4 recruitment to the Sec61p translocase.

PMID 19468070


Membrane protein integration occurs predominantly at the endoplasmic reticulum and is mediated by the translocon, which is formed by the Sec61p complex. The translocon binds to the ribosome at the polypeptide exit site such that integration occurs in a cotranslational manner. Ribosomal protein Rpl17 is positioned such that it contacts both the ribosome exit tunnel and the surface of the ribosome near the exit site, where it is intimately associated with the translocon. The presence of a trans-membrane (TM) segment inside the ribosomal exit tunnel leads to the recruitment of RAMP4 to the translocon at a site adjacent to Rpl17. This suggests a signaling function for Rpl17 such that it can recognize a TM segment inside the ribosome and triggers rearrangements of the translocon, priming it for subsequent TM segment integration.