Traffic COPs of the early secretory pathway

Traffic. 2000 May;1(5):371-7. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0854.2000.010501.x.


Intracellular transport between the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi compartments is mediated by coat protein complexes (COPI and COPII) that form transport vesicles and collect the desired set of cargo. Although the COPI and COPII coats are molecularly distinct, a number of mechanistic parallels appear to be emerging, most notably a general role for small guanine triphosphatases in co-ordinating coat assembly with cargo selection. A combination of morphological, biochemical, and genetic methods is revealing a very dynamic relationship between these compartments, and highlights a central role for COPs in directing traffic through the early secretory pathway. This review focuses on recent advances in molecular mechanisms underlying coated-vesicle assembly and connections with cellular structures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport, Active
  • COP-Coated Vesicles / metabolism*
  • Cell Compartmentation
  • Coat Protein Complex I / metabolism*
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases / metabolism
  • Golgi Apparatus / metabolism
  • Models, Biological


  • Coat Protein Complex I
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases