Cell Biology

Know Your Place

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Science  01 Jul 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6038, pp. 14
DOI: 10.1126/science.333.6038.14-c
CREDIT: HURTADO ET AL., J. CELL BIOL. 193, 917 (2011)

The Golgi apparatus occupies a central position close to the nucleus in mammalian cells. This localization is determined by the position of the centrosome, the microtubule-organizing center that defines the layout of the cell and is critical for orchestrating mitosis. The importance of Golgi positioning and integrity for a variety of cell polarity–related phenomena has been difficult to distinguish. Hurtado et al. dissected the role of a centrosomal protein involved in Golgi positioning, AKAP450. Expression of a fragment of the protein that contains the Golgi targeting domain dissociated endogenous AKAP450 from the Golgi. Under these circumstances, the Golgi fragmented but, instead of scattering throughout the cytoplasm, the fragments collapsed around the centrosome, possibly because of the failure of the Golgi fragments to nucleate microtubules. Another fragment of AKAP450 had a different effect on Golgi positioning: The Golgi became localized in the cell periphery but reassembled into a ribbon-like morphology reminiscent of its normal unperturbed structure. Although neither fragment significantly perturbed membrane traffic through the Golgi, both fragments inhibited the formation of the primary cilium. Major effects on directional cell migration were observed only when Golgi positioning was disrupted.

J. Cell Biol. 193, 917 (2011).

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