A rare form of an organized structure called ‘golgi apparatus’ has been found where it was believed to be absent - the microbial amoeba Naegleria gruberi. The discovery will enable scientists to study the breadth and depth of cell biology. This research finding has implications for research into autoimmune diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
‘A structure inside cells called ‘golgi apparatus’ has been discovered in an amoeba called ‘Naegleria gruberi’ where it previously was thought to be absent. This finding is important for research on genetic diseases.’The discovery is made by a research team at the University of Kent.
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In most cells, including healthy human cells, the Golgi appears as flattened membranes resembling a stack of pancakes.
In a paper published in the Journal of Cell Science, the team explains how Golgi works as part of the membrane-trafficking system. The Golgi apparatus is central to the modification and transport of proteins to their cellular destination. It functions like the postal service of the cell, composed of a production center for cellular material, a distribution center where material is packaged and addressed, and then postal routes that relay packages to their eventual locations within the cell.
By applying cell biological techniques to Naegleria, their research shows that the Golgi is an untracked, tubular membranous structure. This work provides the first direct evidence for the existence of a Golgi apparatus as tubular compartments in Naegleria.
This work is important for human health as when Golgi bodies malfunction it causes diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other autoimmune diseases. Studying a naturally unstacked form of this organelle would allow better understanding of the relationship between Golgi dysfunction and genetic diseases.