In eukaryotes, most proteins which are transported to the extracellular space, into mitochondria or into chloroplasts are synthesized as precursor polypeptides containing cleavable N-terminal signal or targeting sequences. We have searched the literature for proteins that are exported from the cytosol without being proteolytically processed. Some of these proteins contain uncleaved signal or targeting sequences. However, among secretory proteins there is a class that does not possess hydrophobic signal sequences and appears to leave the cell by a secretory pathway clearly distinct from the classical route through the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus.
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