Which of these is the mechanism by which proteins are transported to their appropriate destinations?
Protein targeting or protein sorting is the biological mechanism by which proteins are transported to their appropriate destinations in the cell or outside it. Proteins can be targeted to the inner space of an organelle, different intracellular membranes, plasma membrane, or to the exterior of the cell via secretion. This delivery process is carried out based on information contained in the protein itself. Correct sorting is crucial for the cell; errors can lead to diseases.
Targeting signals are the pieces of information that enable the cellular transport machinery to correctly position a protein inside or outside the cell. This information is contained in the polypeptide chain or in the folded protein. The continuous stretch of amino acid residues in the chain that enables targeting is called signal peptides or targeting peptides.