This network's main goal is the elucidation of the structural and functional organization of secretory organelles in living cells. Our present understanding of the morpho-functional organization of the secretory pathway is limited and, in spite of much debate and speculation, even the general organisational principles of secretory transport are still unknown. Indeed, the classic exclusively vesicular traffic scheme is no longer tenable, and there is evidence that tubular intermediates contribute to transport. At the centre of the secretory pathway lies the Golgi complex. Transport to and from the Golgi occurs by virtue of membrane-bound structures or transport intermediates (TIs), in which cargo proteins are included during transit between successive membrane compartments. To understand how the Golgi complex works, it is indispensable to determine the nature of the Golgi-related TIs, in terms of fine structure, dynamics in vivo, and molecular organization. This network will systematically analyse how membrane traffic moves into, through and out of the Golgi complex using a new repertoire of technologies and concepts. The proposal is structured on the following two aims:
A) To study the physiology of the secretory pathway: membrane trafficking dynamics in vivo and ultra structure of Golgi-derived transport intermediates (TIs).
B) To unravel the molecular mechanisms underlying the function of TIs as defined in (A): the role of proteins and lipids in TI formation: fission, fusion and sorting membrane events.
Such tasks require an interdisciplinary strategy, including advanced morphological, molecular and cell biological approaches, and the knowledge of each of the transport stages in Golgi-related traffic. The teams recruited in the network are well equipped to provide the required expertise.
Funding SchemeNET - Research network contracts
66030 Santa Maria Imbaro
3584 CH Utrecht