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Open Access Highly Accessed Question and Answer

Q&A: What is the Golgi apparatus, and why are we asking?

Sean Munro

BMC Biology 2011, 9:63  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-9-63

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Reply to Gary Patterson

Sean Munro   (2011-11-08 17:15)  MRC-LMB email

It is interesting to speculate on the origin of the machinery for forming membrane stacks, but there is no evidence at present that thylakoids and the Golgi use related components for their structure. However, the radiolabeling of proteins to follow their route through the secretory pathway was precisely the method used by George Palade to first demonstrate that secreted proteins move through the Golgi after being made in the ER. This work is described in (Caro and Palade (1964) J Cell Biol 20,473-95) and was mentioned in Palade's Nobel Prize citation along with his discovery of the endoplasmic reticulum and ribosomes.

Competing interests

None

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Chloroplast-Golgi link?

Gary Patterson   (2011-10-31 16:56)  College of the Marshall Islands email

Two thoughts occurred to me as I read this very interesting article. First, as I looked at Figure 3, the stacks of Golgi cisternae as depicted reminded me of the stack of thylakoids in chloroplasts. Knowing that there is redundacy in nature as well as the use of slightly tweaked versions of molecules from one system or process in another system or process, i.e. NADH and NADPH in respiration and photosynthesis, respectively; is it be possible that communication and/or transport between cisternae in Golgi is similar to that found in the grana stacks of chloroplasts? Second thought: Has the technology been developed to enable researchers to radioactively label, say a cell membrane protein, made in the ER and then follow it along its journey from the ER, through the Golgi to where its transported to the cell membrane?

Competing interests

None, just curiousity!

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