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The Tat system is a recently discovered bacterial protein transport pathway that functions primarily in the biosynthesis of proteins containing redox active cofactors. Analogous transport systems are found in plant organelles. Remarkably and uniquely the Tat system functions to transported a diverse range of folded proteins across a biological membrane, a feat that must be achieved without rendering the membrane freely permeable to protons and other ions. Here we review the operation of the bacterial Tat system and propose a model for the structural organisation of the Tat preprotein translocase.


Journal article


Biochim Biophys Acta

Publication Date





325 - 330


Adenosine Triphosphatases, Bacteria, Bacterial Proteins, Carrier Proteins, Electron Transport, Energy Metabolism, Escherichia coli, Escherichia coli Proteins, Genes, Regulator, Intracellular Membranes, Membrane Transport Proteins, Protein Transport, SEC Translocation Channels