Table of Contents
ISRN Cell Biology
Volume 2013, Article ID 126731, 15 pages
Review Article

Intra-Golgi Transport: Roles for Vesicles, Tubules, and Cisternae

Department of Cell Biology and Histology, Medical School, University of Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain

Received 17 December 2012; Accepted 7 January 2013

Academic Editors: J. C. Hay, R. Puertollano, T. Yazawa, and Y. Zhang

Copyright © 2013 José A. Martínez-Menárguez. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Golgi complex is considered the central station of the secretory pathway where cargo proteins and lipids are properly modified, classified, packed into specific carriers and delivered to their final destinations. Early electron microscope studies showed the extraordinary structural complexity of this organelle. However, despite the large volume of incoming and outgoing traffic, it is able to maintain its architecture, although it is also flexible enough to adapt to the functional status of the cell. Many components of the molecular machinery involved in membrane traffic and other Golgi functions have been identified. However, some basic aspects of Golgi functioning remain unsolved. For instance, how cargo moves through the stack remains controversial and two classical models have been proposed: vesicular transport and cisternal maturation. Since neither of these models explains all the experimental data, a combination of these models as well as new models have been proposed. In this context, the specific role of the cisternae, vesicles and tubules needs to be clarified. In this review, we summarize our current knowledge of the Golgi organization and function, focusing on the mechanisms of intra-Golgi transport.