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Open Access

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

BMC Biology20119:63

Received: 9 September 2011

Accepted: 27 September 2011

Published: 30 September 2011

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Archived Comments

  1. Chloroplast-Golgi link?

    31 October 2011

    Gary Patterson, College of the Marshall Islands

    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!

  2. Reply to Gary Patterson

    8 November 2011

    Sean Munro, MRC-LMB

    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


Authors’ Affiliations

MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK