Golgi Apparatus

The Golgi (GOL-JEE) apparatus is often called the “cell’s post office.” It is an organelle with the main job of modifying, sorting and packaging the proteins that the endoplasmic reticulum sends to it.

If you think about it, this is the same type of job that happens in the local post office. Also called just “Golgi”, it will either send proteins off to be sent somewhere else or it will store them.

If you look at the Golgi under an intense microscope, you will see that they appear like a stack of pancakes. These are actually stacked membranes with ribosomes often found in between the membranes.

Both animal and plant cells have Golgi’s and when they get molecules such as proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum, the Golgi expands to make it larger.

When the ER sends simple proteins to the Golgi it will modify or change the proteins to match the needs of the organism. Once that job is done, it will package these new proteins in a vesicle that is new or in a lysosome.

Now it sends instructions to the vesicle as to where the new proteins need to be delivered. The cell makes use of some of the proteins by releasing them to various organism parts, and stores others for use at a later time.

The ER and Golgi work as a Team

The endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi work closely together to achieve their jobs.

It’s not surprising that they are located next to each other. Since the Golgi also has to work with vesicles, they are found surrounding it.

There are three types of vesicles that work with the ER and the Golgi: Bringing proteins from the ER are the transport vesicles. Secretory vesicles then move proteins out (occasionally as lysosomes).

Exocytotic vesicles focus on moving proteins that are needed in spaces that are called “extracellular”. They do this by blending with the membrane and then releasing their contents.

It’s important to note that in mammals, the Golgi is often very close to the nucleus. However, this is not found in plant cells, where they don’t have any particular location.

Some scientists believe that there are Golgi stacks that differentiate and have a variety of enzyme collections. This may explain the processing of the cargo to protein from the ER and then movement out.

Why the name?

As with many things in science, Golgi apparatus is named after the biologist that discovered it in 1897. In this case it is Camillo Golgi, an Italian biologist.

It has to be remembered that during that time, microscopes were very limited and there was little detail of a cell that could be seen.

Because of this, many scientists of the era rejected Golgi’s discovery. Over 50 years later the invention of the more powerful electron microscope proved that Golgi was correct.

 Fun Golgi apparatus Facts

  • Golgi apparatus is also known by other names including: Golgi Body and Golgi Complex. Most just prefer to simply call it “Golgi.” Due to the unusual nature of the Golgi in plant cells, when referring to that specific type it is called “Dictyosomes.”
  • Science often uses transportation words when talking about the ER and the Golgi. This includes “docking station” as well as supervisory or management words such as “chaperone.”
  • The enzymatic reactions that happen inside the Golgi are actually near the membrane surface where there are anchored enzymes.
  • The Golgi also controls the lysosome production that are the cell’s digestive system.
  • During mitosis, in animal cells only, the Golgi will disintegrate and then form again during the telophase.
  • When Camillo Golgi discovered the Golgi apparatus, his scientific friends thought he was having an optical illusion.

Interesting Facts about Biology

  • Waste management companies use bacteria to help break down complex and sometimes toxic chemicals. In oil spills, bacteria benefits the environment by breaking them down to nontoxic materials.
  • It may be funny to think of the fact that your tongue is simply made up of a whole bunch of muscles.
  • Our ears have the smallest muscles and bones in our bodies. The smallest bone is the stapes and it’s attached by the smallest muscle called the stapedius.
  • There are some chromosomes in your body that are longer than the other chromosomes. The reason for this is that they contain a lot more DNA than others.
  • Human beings have around 30,000 genes in their 46 chromosomes.
  • The word “chromosome” is made up of two Greek words: “chroma”, which means color, and “soma”, which means body.

Golgi Apparatus Quiz

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