Models for Golgi traffic: a critical assessment

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2011 Nov 1;3(11):a005215. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a005215.


A variety of secretory cargoes move through the Golgi, but the pathways and mechanisms of this traffic are still being debated. Here, we evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of five current models for Golgi traffic: (1) anterograde vesicular transport between stable compartments, (2) cisternal progression/maturation, (3) cisternal progression/maturation with heterotypic tubular transport, (4) rapid partitioning in a mixed Golgi, and (5) stable compartments as cisternal progenitors. Each model is assessed for its ability to explain a set of key observations encompassing multiple cell types. No single model can easily explain all of the observations from diverse organisms. However, we propose that cisternal progression/maturation is the best candidate for a conserved core mechanism of Golgi traffic, and that some cells elaborate this core mechanism by means of heterotypic tubular transport between cisternae.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • COP-Coated Vesicles / metabolism
  • COP-Coated Vesicles / physiology
  • Golgi Apparatus / metabolism
  • Golgi Apparatus / physiology*
  • Golgi Apparatus / ultrastructure
  • Models, Biological*