The Golgi complex is a central organelle of the secretory pathway where sorting and processing of cargo occurs. While Golgi structure is important for the efficient processing of secretory cargo, the unusual organization suggests additional potential functions. The Golgi is disassembled after various cellular stresses, and we hypothesize that Golgi disassembly activates a stress signaling pathway. This pathway would function to correct the stress if possible, with irreparable stress resulting in apoptosis. Neurons appear to be particularly sensitive to Golgi stress; early disassembly of the organelle correlates with many neurodegenerative diseases. Here, Golgi stress and potential signaling pathways to the nucleus are reviewed.
Keywords: Golgi complex; apoptosis; disassembly; signaling; stress.