Golgi glycosylation

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2011 Apr 1;3(4):a005199. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a005199.


Glycosylation is a very common modification of protein and lipid, and most glycosylation reactions occur in the Golgi. Although the transfer of initial sugar(s) to glycoproteins or glycolipids occurs in the ER or on the ER membrane, the subsequent addition of the many different sugars that make up a mature glycan is accomplished in the Golgi. Golgi membranes are studded with glycosyltransferases, glycosidases, and nucleotide sugar transporters arrayed in a generally ordered manner from the cis-Golgi to the trans-Golgi network (TGN), such that each activity is able to act on specific substrate(s) generated earlier in the pathway. The spectrum of glycosyltransferases and other activities that effect glycosylation may vary with cell type, and thus the final complement of glycans on glycoconjugates is variable. In addition, glycan synthesis is affected by Golgi pH, the integrity of Golgi peripheral membrane proteins, growth factor signaling, Golgi membrane dynamics, and cellular stress. Knowledge of Golgi glycosylation has fostered the development of assays to identify mechanisms of intracellular vesicular trafficking and facilitated glycosylation engineering of recombinant glycoproteins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / physiology*
  • Glycosylation
  • Golgi Apparatus / enzymology*
  • Golgi Apparatus / metabolism*
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Proteins