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Histochem Cell Biol. 1998 May-Jun;109(5-6):477-86.

Biosynthetic protein transport through the early secretory pathway.

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Biochemie-Zentrum Heidelberg, Ruprecht-Karls-Universit├Ąt Heidelberg, Germany.


Newly synthesized proteins destined for delivery to the cell surface are inserted cotranslationally into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and, after their correct folding, are transported out of the ER. During their transport to the cell surface, cargo proteins pass through the various cisternae of the Golgi apparatus and, in the trans-most cisternae of the stack, are sorted into constitutive secretory vesicles that fuse with the plasma membrane. Simultaneously with anterograde protein transport, retrograde protein transport occurs within the Golgi complex as well as from the Golgi back to the ER. Vesicular transport within the early secretory pathway is mediated by two types of non-clathrin coated vesicles: COPI- and COPII-coated vesicles. The formation of these carrier vesicles depends on the recruitment of cytosolic coat proteins that are thought to act as a mechanical device to shape a flattened donor membrane into a spherical vesicle. A general molecular machinery that mediates targeting and fusion of carrier vesicles has been identified as well. Beside a general overview of the various coat structures known today, we will discuss issues specifically related to the biogenesis of COPI-coated vesicles: (1) a possible role of phospholipase D in the formation of COPI-coated vesicles; (2) a functional role of a novel family of transmembrane proteins, the p24 family, in the initiation of COPI assembly; and (3) the direction COPI-coated vesicles may take within the early secretory pathway. Moreover, we will consider two alternative mechanisms of protein transport through the Golgi stack: vesicular transport versus cisternal maturation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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