Brefeldin A, a drug that blocks secretion, prevents the assembly of non-clathrin-coated buds on Golgi cisternae

Cell. 1991 Mar 22;64(6):1183-95. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(91)90273-2.


We report that brefeldin A prevents the assembly of non-clathrin-coated vesicles from Golgi cisternae in a cell-free system. This finding provides a simple molecular explanation for the primary effect of this remarkable compound in blocking constitutive secretion. We further report that when coated vesicle assembly is blocked, extensive tubule networks form that connect previously separate cisternae and stacks into a single topological unit, allowing the intermixing of contents of Golgi cisternae, presumably by lateral diffusion. Formation of the tubule networks requires ATP, cytosol, and the general fusion protein NSF. Tubule networks may be related to the membrane tubules mediating retrograde transport in vivo.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / drug effects
  • Brefeldin A
  • Cell-Free System
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cyclopentanes / pharmacology*
  • Cytosol
  • Golgi Apparatus / drug effects*
  • Golgi Apparatus / metabolism
  • Golgi Apparatus / ultrastructure


  • Cyclopentanes
  • Brefeldin A