Membrane proteins

Membrane proteins

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Bacterial stop transfer sequences: The positive-inside-Rule

(engl. positive inside rule)

The transmembrane hydrophobic segments of the signal anchor and stop transfer sequences are often flanked on the cytoplasmic side by positively charged residues. This correlation is also called positive-insideRule (von Heijne et al., 1988).

The occurrence of positively charged residues in membrane proteins that cross the membrane several times and have short (<50-60 amino acids) periplasmic or cytoplasmic loop areas is particularly noticeable. The amino acids arginine and lysine occur three to four times more frequently in the cytoplasmic loop areas than in the periplasmic domains. From this it can be concluded that positively charged amino acids serve to orient the transmembrane helices in the membrane. This applies not only to bacteria, but also to eukaryotic, chloroplast and mitochondrial membrane proteins.


von Heijne, G .; Gavel, Y. (1988):Topogenic signals in integral membrane proteins.. In: Eur. J. Biochem.. 174, 671-678