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Amino-acid tag employed to post-translationally guide polypeptide targeting throughout the cell.
For example, a signal sequence can be employed to initiate polypeptide insertion into or movement through a lipid bilayer. The resulting proteins are then found either as membrane proteins, secreted proteins, or in various specific locations found within the endomembrane lumen.
The concept of a signal sequence can be more broadly defined to include not just proteins but also DNA and not just orientation with regard to membranes but also placement throughout especially the eukaryotic cell, particular in terms of the different members of the endomembrane system.
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