Derrick has taught biology and chemistry at both the high school and college level. He has a master's degree in science education.
Definition of Golgi Apparatus
Think about all of the processes that happen at a post office. Mail is received from various senders, then processed and routed to the proper recipient. In a lot of ways, the Golgi apparatus is like the post office or shipping and receiving department of a cell.
The Golgi apparatus is a cellular organelle that packages and sorts proteins and other molecules before they are sent to their final destination. It was identified by an Italian physician named Camillo Golgi, hence the name.
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Structure of Golgi Apparatus
The Golgi apparatus can be found in the cytoplasm of both plant and animal cells. Cytoplasm is the intracellular fluid that fills cells. The Golgi is composed of cisternae that are membrane-bound structures stacked together. These stacks can range in size from two cisternae to 60. In mammal cells, it is common for there to be 40-100 of these stacks. Stacking of the cisternae provides a large amount of surface area on the membranes for reactions and processes to take place.
Function of Golgi Apparatus
Cells manufacture a wide variety of different large molecules including proteins. When many of these molecules are constructed, they are packaged in a vesicle. You can think of a vesicle like a shipping envelope for a cell. Once packaged, the vesicles are moving to the Golgi apparatus. The Golgi opens these packages and modifies the contents to their final form.
Enzymes found within the cisternae complete the modification process. Once the molecules have been processed and modified, they are repackaged into a vesicle and exit the Golgi using the process of exocytosis and are delivered to the appropriate part of the cell where they will function. Kind of like origami, the entire function of a protein is determined by its structure, so it is crucial for the Golgi apparatus to fold them correctly.
All living things are composed of cells. These cells require proteins and other molecules to function. The Golgi apparatus is a critical organelle within the cell that receives molecules that have been produced, then modifies them into their correct form, and ships them out to the proper location within the cell.
Glossary of Related Terms
|Golgi Apparatus||a cellular organelle that packages and sorts proteins and other molecules before they are sent to their final destinations|
|Cytoplasm||the intracellular fluid that fills cells|
|Cisternae||are membrane-bound structures stacked together|
|Function of the Golgi Apparatus||Golgi opens these vesicles packages and modifies the contents to their final form.|
Ensure your ability to achieve these goals once the lesson on the Golgi apparatus ends:
- Discuss the function of the Golgi apparatus
- Remember the definitions of cytoplasm and cisternae
- Illustrate the structure of the Golgi apparatus in cells
- Indicate the function of the Golgi apparatus
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Golgi Apparatus: Definition & Function
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