A bioinformatics approach to identifying tail-anchored proteins in the human genome

Ted Kalbfleisch, Alex Cambon, Binks W. Wattenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Intracellular proteins with a carboxy-terminal transmembrane domain and the amino-terminus oriented toward the cytosol are known as 'tail-anchored' proteins. Tail-anchored proteins have been of considerable interest because several important classes of proteins, including the vesicle-targeting/fusion proteins known as SNAREs and the apoptosis-related proteins of the Bcl-2 family, among others, utilize this unique membrane-anchoring motif. Here, we use a bioinformatic technique to develop a comprehensive list of potentially tail-anchored proteins in the human genome. Our final list contains 411 entries derived from 325 unique genes. We also analyzed both known and predicted tail-anchored proteins with respect to the amino acid composition of the transmembrane segments. This analysis revealed a distinctive composition of the membrane anchor in SNARE proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1687-1694
Number of pages8
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Endoplasmic reticulum
  • Membrane protein
  • Mitochondrial outer membrane
  • Protein targeting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'A bioinformatics approach to identifying tail-anchored proteins in the human genome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this