PerspectiveCell Biology

Finding nascent proteins the right home

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Science  10 Apr 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6231, pp. 182-183
DOI: 10.1126/science.aab1335

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Cells must deliver the thousands of polypeptides they synthesize every minute to various specific subcellular locations. Precisely how this happens has been a topic of intense research, and some controversy, for the past 20 years, as critical components of the translation and translocation machineries—the ribosomes and the signal recognition particle (SRP)—do not confer full target discrimination. On page 201 of this issue, Gamerdinger et al. (1) elegantly demonstrate how the nascent chain associated complex (NAC) enhances the specificity of the metazoan protein-sorting machinery to provide more discriminatory targeting for newly synthesized proteins in vivo.