SGTA associates with nascent membrane protein precursors

Pawel Leznicki, Stephen High

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a major site for membrane protein synthesis in eukaryotes. The majority of integral membrane proteins are delivered to the ER membrane via the co‐translational, signal recognition particle (SRP)‐dependent route. However, tail‐anchored proteins employ an alternative, post‐translational route(s) that relies on distinct factors such as a cytosolic protein quality control component, SGTA. We now show that SGTA is selectively recruited to ribosomes synthesising a diverse range of membrane proteins, suggesting that its biosynthetic client base also includes precursors on the co‐translational ER delivery pathway. Strikingly, SGTA is recruited to nascent membrane proteins before their transmembrane domain emerges from the ribosome. Hence, SGTA is ideally placed to capture these aggregation prone regions shortly after their synthesis. For nascent membrane proteins on the co‐translational pathway, SGTA complements the role of SRP by reducing the co‐translational ubiquitination of clients with multiple hydrophobic signal sequences. On this basis, we propose that SGTA acts to mask specific transmembrane domains located in complex membrane proteins until they can engage the ER translocon and become membrane inserted.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEMBO reports
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2020


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