Protein translocation is an important process in all living cells. The diversity of translocation machines and modes of regulation in eukaryotes coincides with their evolutionary development, such as the endosymbiotic enslavement of bacteria and their transition to organelles. Recent discoveries underline the existence of common principles of translocation, which is also reflected by common use of structural and functional modules in the different machines. One of these folds is the tetratricopeptide repeat motif, which can be found in several receptor units. Here we discuss the evolutionary occurrence and the functional distinction of the receptor components containing this motif.