Cell Biology

Megavesicles on the Move

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Science  18 Aug 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5482, pp. 1109
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5482.1109a

Debate about the mechanisms of cargo transfer across the Golgi complex has been intense. Do cargo molecules travel through vesicular carriers, which bud from the cisternal rims of one Golgi cisterna and fuse with the next, or do whole cohorts of Golgi membrane cisternae mature and progress en bloc from the cis to trans face of the organelle?

One of the key results in favor of cisternal progression has been the observation of the transport of cargoes that simply are too large to fit inside a standard 70- to 90-nanometer transport vesicle. But Volchuk et al. have generated huge cargoes—up to 400 nm protein aggregates—and were able to observe their transport in megavesicles that appeared to pinch off from Golgi cisternal rims as they rapidly traversed the Golgi complex. Therefore, at least in this instance, vesicular transport is sufficient to allow transport of large cargoes across the Golgi complex; nevertheless, cisternal progression may be important for some cargoes in certain cell types. — SMH

Cell102, 335 (2000).

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