Tubulovesicular processes emerge from trans-Golgi cisternae, extend along microtubules, and interlink adjacent trans-golgi elements into a reticulum

Cell. 1990 Apr 6;61(1):135-45. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(90)90221-y.


Morphological dynamics and membrane transport within the living Golgi apparatus of astrocytes labeled with NBD-ceramide were imaged using both electronically enhanced fluorescence video and laser confocal microscopy. In time-lapse recordings, continuous tubulovesicular processes are observed to emerge from trans-Golgi elements and extend along microtubules at average rates of 0.4 microns/s. In addition, discrete fluorescent particles are observed to emerge from the trans-Golgi and subsequently migrate along microtubules at comparable velocities. Frequently, tubulovesicular processes form stable connections that interlink adjacent trans-Golgi elements into an extensive reticulum. Laser photobleaching-recovery experiments reveal that tubulovesicular processes can provide direct pathways for the diffusion of membrane lipids between joined trans-Golgi elements. These results suggest that microtubule-based transport and membrane fusion can operate to interconnect certain cisternal membranes of adjacent Golgi elements within the cell.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Astrocytes / cytology
  • Astrocytes / ultrastructure*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Golgi Apparatus / ultrastructure*
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Lasers
  • Microscopy / methods
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Microtubules / ultrastructure*
  • Organelles / ultrastructure*
  • Pyramidal Tracts / cytology
  • Rats
  • Time Factors
  • Tubulin / analysis
  • Video Recording


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Tubulin