Golgi Complex

The Golgi35 (GOAL-jee) complex is a small system of cis-ternae that synthesize carbohydrates and put the finishing touches on protein and glycoprotein synthesis. The complex resembles a stack of pita bread. Typically, it consists of about six cisternae, slightly separated from each other; each cisterna is a flattened, slightly curved sac with swollen edges (fig. 3.27). The Golgi complex receives the newly synthesized proteins from the rough ER. It sorts them, cuts and splices some of them, adds carbohydrate moieties to some, and finally packages the proteins in membrane-bounded Golgi vesicles. These vesicles bud off

35Camillo Golgi (1843-1926), Italian histologist

Golgi ComplexGolgi Complex
Figure 3.27 The Golgi Complex.

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the swollen rim of a cisterna and are seen in abundance in the neighborhood of the Golgi complex. Some vesicles become lysosomes, the organelle discussed next; some migrate to the plasma membrane and fuse with it, contributing fresh protein and phospholipid to the membrane; and some become secretory vesicles that store a cell product, such as breast milk or digestive enzymes, for later release. The role of the Golgi complex in protein synthesis and secretion is detailed in chapter 4.

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