The efficiency of protein compartmentalization into the secretory pathway

Corinna G. Levine, Devarati Mitra, Ajay Sharma, Carolyn L. Smith, Ramanujan S. Hegde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Numerous proteins targeted for the secretory pathway are increasingly implicated in functional or pathological roles at alternative cellular destinations. The parameters that allow secretory or membrane proteins to reside in intracellular locales outside the secretory pathway remain largely unexplored. In this study, we have used an extremely sensitive and quantitative assay to measure the in vivo efficiency of signal sequence-mediated protein segregation into the secretory pathway. Our findings reveal that segregation efficiency varies tremendously among signals, ranging from >95 to <60%. The nonsegregated fraction is generated by a combination of mechanisms that includes inefficient signal-mediated translocation into the endoplasmic reticulum and leaky ribosomal scanning. The segregation efficiency of some, but not other signal sequences, could be influenced in cis by residues in the mature domain or in trans by yet unidentified cellular factors. These findings imply that protein compartmentalization can be modulated in a substrate-specific manner to generate biologically significant quantities of cytosolically available secretory and membrane proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-291
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'The efficiency of protein compartmentalization into the secretory pathway'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this