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Trends Cell Biol. 2004 Feb;14(2):57-61.

Biogenesis of ER-to-Golgi transport carriers: complex roles of COPII in ER export.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Bristol, School of Medical Sciences, University Walk, Bristol, UK BS8 1TD.


It is widely believed that membrane traffic occurs by vesicular transport between successive compartments of the secretory pathway. Coat complexes function to collect cargo from donor membranes and deform them to generate transport vesicles with a diameter of 60-80 nm. Recent data argue in favour of a new model for export of secretory cargo from the endoplasmic reticulum, in which tubular extensions are protruded and subsequently matured into independent ER-to-Golgi transport carriers. Here, we examine the evidence for this controversial hypothesis.

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