We have determined that prepro-carboxypeptidase Y and a truncated form of pre-invertase can be translocated across the yeast microsomal membrane post-translationally in a homologous in vitro system. The yeast secretory protein prepro-alpha-factor which was previously shown to be an efficient posttranslational translocation substrate is therefore not unique in this regard, but rather the yeast ER protein translocation machinery is generally capable of accepting substrates from a ribosome-free, soluble pool. However, within our detection limits, full-length pre-invertase could not be translocated posttranslationally, but was translocated co-translationally. This indicates that not every fully synthesized pre-protein can use this pathway, presumably because normal or aberrant folding characteristics can interfere with translocation competence.

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