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Traffic. 2007 Apr;8(4):369-78.

Fragmentation of the Golgi apparatus: an early apoptotic event independent of the cytoskeleton.

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1
Department of Developmental and Molecular Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.

Abstract

The Golgi apparatus undergoes irreversible fragmentation during apoptosis, in part as a result of caspase-mediated cleavage of several Golgi-associated proteins. However, Golgi structure and orientation is also regulated by the cytoskeleton and cytoskeletal changes have been implicated in inducing apoptosis. Consequently, we have analyzed the role of actin filaments and microtubules in apoptotic Golgi fragmentation. We demonstrate that in Fas receptor-activated cells, fragmentation of the Golgi apparatus was an early event that coincided with release of cytochrome c from mitochondria. Significantly, Golgi fragmentation preceded major changes in the organization of both the actin cytoskeleton and microtubules. In staurosporine-treated cells, actin filament organization was rapidly disrupted; however, the Golgi apparatus maintained its juxtanuclear localization and underwent complete fragmentation only at later times. Attempts to stabilize actin filaments with jasplakinolide prior to treatment with staurosporine did not prevent Golgi fragmentation. Finally, in response to Fas receptor activation or staurosporine treatment the levels of beta-actin or alpha-tubulin remained unaltered, whereas several Golgi proteins, p115 and golgin-160, underwent caspase-mediated cleavage. Our data demonstrate that breakdown of the Golgi apparatus is an early event during apoptosis that occurs independently of major changes to the actin and tubulin cytoskeleton.

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