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International Journal of Cell BiologyVolume 2010 2010, Article ID 758230, 9 pages

Review Article

Department of Translational and Cellular Pharmacology, Consorzio Mario Negri Sud, Santa Maria Imbaro, 66030 Chieti, Italy

Department of Biology, Tor Vergata University of Rome, 00133 Rome, Italy

Received 6 June 2010; Revised 30 July 2010; Accepted 19 August 2010

Academic Editor: Jerome Rattner

Copyright © 2010 Cathal Wilson and Antonella Ragnini-Wilson. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Golgi complex performs a central function in the secretory pathway in the sorting and sequential processing of a large number of proteins destined for other endomembrane organelles, the plasma membrane, or secretion from the cell, in addition to lipid metabolism and signaling. The Golgi apparatus can be regarded as a self-organizing system that maintains a relatively stable morphofunctional organization in the face of an enormous flux of lipids and proteins. A large number of the molecular players that operate in these processes have been identified, their functions and interactions defined, but there is still debate about many aspects that regulate protein trafficking and, in particular, the maintenance of these highly dynamic structures and processes. Here, we consider how an evolutionarily conserved underlying mechanism based on retrograde trafficking that uses lipids, COPI, SNAREs, and tethers could maintain such a homeodynamic system.

Autor: Cathal Wilson and Antonella Ragnini-Wilson



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