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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1998 Aug 14;1404(1-2):259-70.

The plant Golgi apparatus.

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University of Cambridge, Department of Biochemistry, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QW, UK.


The plant Golgi apparatus has an important role in protein glycosylation and sorting, but is also a major biosynthetic organelle that synthesises large quantities of cell wall polysaccharides. This is reflected in the organisation of the Golgi apparatus as numerous individual stacks of cisternae that are dispersed through the cell. Each stack is polarised: the shape of the cisternae and the staining of the membranes change in a cis to trans direction, and the cisternae on the trans side contain more polysaccharides. Numerous glycosyltransferases are required for the synthesis of the complex cell wall polysaccharides. Microscopy and biochemical fractionation studies suggest that these enzymes are compartmentalised within the stack. Although there is no obvious cis Golgi network, the trans-most cisterna or trans Golgi network often buds clathrin-coated and sometimes smooth dense vesicles as well. Here, vacuolar proteins are sorted from the secreted proteins and polysaccharides. This review highlights unique aspects of the organisation and function of the plant Golgi apparatus. Fundamentally similar processes probably underlie Golgi organisation in all organisms, and consideration of the plant Golgi specialisations can therefore be generally informative, as well as being of central importance to plant cell biology.

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