The general secretory pathway is the primary mechanism used to secrete proteins. It recognizes appropriate proteins by their characteristic sequence of amino acids that make up one end. This signal sequence consists of 20 or so hydrophobic amino acids and functions as a tag, which is specifically removed by an enzyme during the process of secretion.
The general secretory pathway requires at least 11 different proteins and uses ATP to drive the process. However, the precise mechanism by which the proteins move across the membrane is still poorly understood.
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