The exchange of proteins and lipids between the trans-Golgi network (TGN) and the endosomal system requires multiple cellular machines, whose activities are coordinated in space and time to generate pleomorphic, tubulo-vesicular carriers that deliver their content to their target compartments. These machines and their associated protein networks are recruited and/or activated on specific membrane domains where they select proteins and lipids into carriers, contribute to deform/elongate and partition membrane domains using the mechanical forces generated by actin polymerization or movement along microtubules. The coordinated action of these protein networks contributes to regulate the dynamic state of multiple receptors recycling between the cell surface, endosomes and the TGN, to maintain cell homeostasis as exemplified by the biogenesis of lysosomes and related organelles, and to establish/maintain cell polarity. The dynamic assembly and disassembly of these protein networks mediating the exchange of membrane domains between the TGN and endosomes regulates cell-cell signalling and thus the development of multi-cellular organisms. Somatic mutations in single network components lead to changes in transport dynamics that may contribute to pathological modifications underlying several human diseases such as mental retardation.
- protein transport
- trans-Golgi network