Signal recognition particle: An essential protein-targeting machine

David Akopian, Kuang Shen, Xin Zhang, Shu Ou Shan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

325 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693-721
Number of pages29
JournalAnnual review of biochemistry
StatePublished - Jun 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry


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