The role of the Golgi apparatus in neuronal polarity
Ash, Tyler Dale
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ABSTRACT The Golgi apparatus has always been an interesting organelle of study because of its unique morphology as well as the critical roles it plays in cell biology. It is situated next to the endoplasmic reticulum and secreted proteins must pass through the Golgi vesicular pathway for modifications and targeting. In addition, the Golgi apparatus plays an essential role in establishing cellular polarity. Cell polarity refers to difference in orientation of cell structures spatially, and is involved in establishing functionality. The Golgi apparatus establishes cell polarity in various ways including orienting itself spatially, biasing vesicular trafficking within the cell, and most importantly through its role as a microtubule organizing center. The cytoskeleton provides the structural framework for cells. Microtubules nucleated from the Golgi-dependent microtubule organizing center result in an asymmetric cytoskeleton. An asymmetric cytoskeleton is essential to establishing cell polarity. Neurons require cell polarity to establish the essential structures such as the axon and dendrites. The Golgi apparatus establishes neuronal polarity through its extensive network of associated proteins. In this review, we will discuss the growing evidence supporting the role of the Golgi apparatus in establishing neuronal polarity.