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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jun 15, 1993; 90(12): 5732–5736.

A soluble secretory protein is first concentrated in the endoplasmic reticulum before transfer to the Golgi apparatus.


A soluble secretory protein is usually present at a much higher concentration in the Golgi apparatus than in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) inside eukaryotic secretory cells in the steady state. We show by immunoelectron microscopic experiments with the soluble secretory protein serum albumin, inside Hep-G2 human hepatoma cells in culture, that the secretory protein is first concentrated at isolated sites within the ER before it is transferred to the cis face of the Golgi apparatus. This is contrary to expectations of the bulk-flow hypothesis of ER-to-Golgi transfer, and it suggests the involvement of concentration and transfer mechanisms within the ER that have not previously been recognized.

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