Editors' ChoiceCell Biology

Seeing the real thing

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Science  12 Jan 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6372, pp. 173
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6372.173-a

Colorized view of the Golgi complex surrounded by COPI-coated vesicles and other organelles

CREDIT: Y. S. BYKOV ET AL., ELIFE 10.7554/ELIFE.32493 (2017)

Membrane trafficking within the Golgi complex is mediated by COPI (coat protein complex I)-coated vesicles. Much is known about these vesicles and coats from in vitro studies, but their makeup in situ is less well understood. Bykov et al. used cryo-electron tomography of vitrified Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cells to analyze COPI-coated vesicles directly. The native algal structure resembled a previously described structure of in vitro reconstituted mammalian COPI-coated vesicle, but it also revealed bound cargo. The observations suggest that coat components disassemble simultaneously shortly after vesicle budding. The distribution of vesicles around the morphologically polarized Golgi complex allowed the authors to parse out the stage of vesicles in the transport pathway. The COPI-coated vesicles increased in size as they progressed from cis to trans Golgi compartments, and the density of their cargoes varied. Nevertheless, the structure of the coat machinery itself remained the same.

eLife 10.7554/eLife.32493 (2017).

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