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Keywords:

  • biogenesis;
  • insertion;
  • membrane protein;
  • translocon;
  • transmembrane segment

Most integral membrane proteins are targeted, inserted and assembled in the endoplasmic reticulum membrane. The sequential and potentially overlapping events necessary for membrane protein integration take place at sites termed translocons, which comprise a specific set of membrane proteins acting in concert with ribosomes and, probably, molecular chaperones to ensure the success of the whole process. In this minireview, we summarize our current understanding of helical membrane protein integration at the endoplasmic reticulum, and highlight specific characteristics that affect the biogenesis of multispanning membrane proteins.