Along for the ride when cells divide

When a daughter leaves home, she packs her bags with provisions she’ll need to strike out on her own. A daughter cell—the new cell formed when a cell reproduces by dividing—does the same, gathering up copies of its parent cell’s organelles before it separates.

One organelle, the Golgi apparatus, sorts and modifies proteins and packages them to be shuttled to proper sites in the cell. In most animal cells the Golgi comprises several hundred stacks stitched together into a ribbon, but in Trypanosome brucei, the parasite that causes sleeping sickness, there is just one Golgi stack.

Professor of Cell Biology Graham B. Warren, Ph.D., capitalized on this simplicity in a study published in the November 18 issue of Science that illuminates how new Golgi are formed in daughter cells. When Warren and his colleagues tagged T. brucei organelles with fluorescent labels and watched through microscopes as the parasite divided, they discovered a new, as yet unnamed structure (lower green form in photo) that orchestrates the duplication of Golgi (red) in daughter cells.


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