Translocation of proteins across the endoplasmic reticulum membrane is a GTP-dependent process. The signal recognition particle (SRP) and the SRP receptor both contain subunits with GTP binding domains. One GTP-dependent reaction during protein translocation is the SRP receptor-mediated dissociation of SRP from the signal sequence of a nascent polypeptide. Here, we have assayed the SRP and the SRP receptor for GTP binding and hydrolysis activities. GTP hydrolysis by SRP was not detected, so the maximal GTP hydrolysis rate for SRP was estimated to be < 0.002 mol GTP hydrolyzed x mol of SRP-1 x min-1. The intrinsic GTP hydrolysis activity of the SRP receptor ranged between 0.02 and 0.04 mol GTP hydrolyzed x mol of SRP receptor-1 x min-1. A 40-fold enhancement of GTP hydrolysis activity relative to that observed for the SRP receptor alone was obtained when complexes were formed between SRP and the SRP receptor. GTP hydrolysis activity was inhibited by GDP, but not by ATP. Extended incubation of the SRP or the SRP receptor with GTP resulted in substoichiometric quantities of protein-bound ribonucleotide. SRP-SRP receptor complexes engaged in GTP hydrolysis were found to contain a minimum of one bound guanine ribonucleotide per SRP-SRP receptor complex. We conclude that the GTP hydrolysis activity described here is indicative of one of the GTPase cycles that occur during protein translocation across the endoplasmic reticulum.

This content is only available as a PDF.