History of the Universe

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Golgi Complex

The Golgi complex is an organelle found in eukaryotic cells. It changes and packages proteins ready for export from the cell. It consists of a stack of about six flat disks. The disks are about 1 micrometer in diameter. The way it works is not well understood. In plant cells the material which makes the cell wall also passes through the Golgi.

It receives proteins made in the endoplasmic reticulum.

As proteins move through the Golgi, several chemical changes occur including the modification of carbohydrate groups. Also within the Golgi or secretory vesicles are enzymes that cut proteins at particular amino acid positions. This often activates the secretory protein, an example being the conversion of inactive proinsulin to active insulin by removing a series of amino acids.

The vesicles which the Golgi produces merge with the cell membrane. Their contents may become part of the membrane or they may be exported from the cell.

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