We have isolated mutants that inhibit membrane protein insertion into the ER membrane of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The mutants were contained in three complementation groups, which we have named SEC70, SEC71, and SEC72. The mutants also inhibited the translocation of soluble proteins into the lumen of the ER, indicating that they pleiotropically affect protein transport across and insertion into the ER membrane. Surprisingly, the mutants inhibited the translocation and insertion of different proteins to drastically different degrees. We have also shown that mutations in SEC61 and SEC63, which were previously isolated as mutants inhibiting the translocation of soluble proteins, also affect the insertion of membrane proteins into the ER. Taken together our data indicate that the process of protein translocation across the ER membrane involves a much larger number of gene products than previously appreciated. Moreover, different translocation substrates appear to have different requirements for components of the cellular targeting and translocation apparatus.

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