The translocation of secretory polypeptides into and across the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) occurs at the translocon, a pore-forming structure that orchestrates the transport and maturation of polypeptides at the ER membrane. Recent data also suggest that misfolded or unassembled polypeptides exit the ER via the translocon for degradation by the cytosolic ubiquitin/proteasome pathway. Sec61p is a highly conserved multispanning membrane protein that constitutes a core component of the translocon. We have found that the essential function of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Sec61p is retained upon deletion of either of two internal regions that include transmembrane domains 2 and 3, respectively. However, a deletion mutation encompassing both of these domains was found to be nonfunctional. Characterization of yeast mutants expressing the viable deletion alleles of Sec61p has revealed defects in post-translational translocation. In addition, the transmembrane domain 3 deletion mutant is induced for the unfolded protein response and is defective in the dislocation of a misfolded ER protein. These data demonstrate that the various activities of Sec61p can be functionally dissected. In particular, the transmembrane domain 2 region plays a role in post-translational translocation that is required neither for cotranslational translocation nor for protein dislocation.
Wilkinson, B. M., Tyson, J. R., Reid, P. J., & Stirling, C. J. (2000). Distinct domains within yeast Sec61p involved in post-translational translocation and protein dislocation. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 275(1), 521-529. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.275.1.521