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Onco-Golgi: Is Fragmentation a Gate to Cancer Progression?

The Golgi apparatus-complex is a highly dynamic organelle which is considered the “heart” of intracellular transportation. Since its discovery by Camillo Golgi in 1873, who described it as the ‘‘black reaction,’’ and despite the enormous volume of publications about Golgi, this apparatus remains one of the most enigmatic of the cytoplasmic organelles. A typical mammalian Golgi consists of a parallel series of flattened, disk-shaped cisternae which align into stacks. The tremendous volume of Golgi-related incoming and outgoing traffic is mediated by different motor proteins, including members of the dynein, kinesin, and myosin families. Yet in spite of the strenuous work it performs, Golgi contrives to maintain its monolithic morphology and orchestration of matrix and residential proteins. However, in response to stress, alcohol, and treatment with many pharmacological drugs over time, Golgi undergoes a kind of disorganization which ranges from mild enlargement to critical scattering. While fragmentation of the Golgi was confirmed in cancer by electron microscopy almost fifty years ago, it is only in recent years that we have begun to understand the significance of Golgi fragmentation in the biology of tumors. Below author would like to focus on how Golgi fragmentation opens the doors for cascades of fatal pathways which may facilitate cancer progression and metastasis. Among the issues addressed will be the most important cancer-specific hallmarks of Golgi fragmentation, including aberrant glycosylation, abnormal expression of the Ras GTPases, dysregulation of kinases, and hyperactivity of myosin motor proteins.


Armen Petrosyan

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