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Newly synthesized proteins and lipids are transported across the Golgi complex via different mechanisms whose respective roles are not completely clear. We previously identified a non-vesicular intra-Golgi transport pathway for glucosylceramide (GlcCer)--the common precursor of the different series of glycosphingolipids-that is operated by the cytosolic GlcCer-transfer protein FAPP2 (also known as PLEKHA8) (ref. 1). However, the molecular determinants of the FAPP2-mediated transfer of GlcCer from the cis-Golgi to the trans-Golgi network, as well as the physiological relevance of maintaining two parallel transport pathways of GlcCer--vesicular and non-vesicular--through the Golgi, remain poorly defined. Here, using mouse and cell models, we clarify the molecular mechanisms underlying the intra-Golgi vectorial transfer of GlcCer by FAPP2 and show that GlcCer is channelled by vesicular and non-vesicular transport to two topologically distinct glycosylation tracks in the Golgi cisternae and the trans-Golgi network, respectively. Our results indicate that the transport modality across the Golgi complex is a key determinant for the glycosylation pattern of a cargo and establish a new paradigm for the branching of the glycosphingolipid synthetic pathway.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/nature12423

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nature

Publication Date

05/09/2013

Volume

501

Pages

116 - 120

Keywords

Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing, Animals, Biological Transport, Cell Line, Globosides, Glucosylceramides, Glycosphingolipids, Glycosylation, Golgi Apparatus, Humans, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Phosphatidylinositol Phosphates, trans-Golgi Network