Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Live imaging of yeast Golgi cisternal maturation


There is a debate over how protein trafficking is performed through the Golgi apparatus1,2,3,4. In the secretory pathway, secretory proteins that are synthesized in the endoplasmic reticulum enter the early compartment of the Golgi apparatus called cis cisternae, undergo various modifications and processing, and then leave for the plasma membrane from the late (trans) cisternae. The cargo proteins must traverse the Golgi apparatus in the cis-to-trans direction. Two typical models propose either vesicular transport or cisternal progression and maturation for this process. The vesicular transport model predicts that Golgi cisternae are distinct stable compartments connected by vesicular traffic, whereas the cisternal maturation model predicts that cisternae are transient structures that form de novo, mature from cis to trans, and then dissipate. Technical progress in live-cell imaging has long been awaited to address this problem. Here we show, by the use of high-speed three-dimensional confocal microscopy, that yeast Golgi cisternae do change the distribution of resident membrane proteins from the cis nature to the trans over time, as proposed by the maturation model, in a very dynamic way.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Dual-fluorescence observation of yeast Golgi cisternae.
Figure 2: Dual fluorescence observation with the αCOP mutant ret1-1.
Figure 3: Three-dimensional observation of yeast Golgi cisternae.
Figure 4: Three-dimensional deconvolution observation of yeast Golgi cisternae.


  1. Glick, B. S. & Malhotra, V. The curious status of the Golgi apparatus. Cell 95, 883–889 (1998)

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Pelham, H. R. B. & Rothman, J. E. The debate about transport in the Golgi—two sides of the same coin? Cell 102, 713–719 (2000)

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Pelham, H. Getting stuck in the Golgi. Traffic 1, 191–192 (2000)

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Pelham, H. R. B. Traffic through the Golgi apparatus. J. Cell Biol. 155, 1099–1101 (2001)

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  5. Nakano, A. Spinning-disk confocal microscopy—a cutting-edge tool for imaging of membrane traffic. Cell Struct. Funct. 27, 349–355 (2002)

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Preuss, D. et al. Characterization of the Saccharomyces Golgi complex through the cell cycle by immunoelectron microscopy. Mol. Biol. Cell 3, 789–803 (1992)

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  7. Rambourg, A., Clermont, Y. & Képès, F. Modulation of the Golgi apparatus in Saccharomyces cerevisiae sec7 mutants as seen by three-dimensional electron microscopy. Anat. Rec. 237, 441–452 (1993)

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Rossanese, O. W. et al. Golgi structure correlates with transitional endoplasmic reticulum organization in Pichia pastoris and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. J. Cell Biol. 145, 69–81 (1999)

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  9. Nakano, A. Yeast Golgi apparatus—dynamics and sorting. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 61, 186–192 (2004)

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Sato, K., Sato, M. & Nakano, A. Rer1p as common machinery for the endoplasmic reticulum localization of membrane proteins. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 94, 9693–9698 (1997)

    Article  ADS  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  11. Sato, K., Sato, M. & Nakano, A. Rer1p, a retrieval receptor for endoplasmic reticulum membrane proteins, is dynamically localized to the Golgi apparatus by coatomer. J. Cell Biol. 152, 935–944 (2001)

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  12. McNew, J. A. et al. Gos1p, a Saccharomyces cerevisiae SNARE protein involved in Golgi transport. FEBS Lett. 435, 89–95 (1998)

    Article  ADS  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Bevis, B. J., Hammond, A. T., Reinke, C. A. & Glick, B. S. De novo formation of transitional ER sites and Golgi structures in Pichia pastoris. Nature Cell Biol. 4, 750–756 (2002)

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Campbell, R. E. et al. A monomeric red fluorescent protein. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 99, 7877–7882 (2002)

    Article  ADS  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  15. Hardwick, K. G. & Pelham, H. R. SED5 encodes a 39-kD integral membrane protein required for vesicular transport between the ER and the Golgi complex. J. Cell Biol. 119, 513–521 (1992)

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. Wooding, S. & Pelham, H. R. B. The dynamics of Golgi protein traffic visualized in living yeast cells. Mol. Biol. Cell 9, 2667–2680 (1998)

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  17. Achstetter, T., Franzusoff, A., Field, C. & Schekman, R. SEC7 encodes an unusual, high molecular weight protein required for membrane traffic from the yeast Golgi apparatus. J. Biol. Chem. 263, 11711–11717 (1988)

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. Sata, M., Donaldson, J. G., Moss, J. & Vaughan, M. Brefeldin A-inhibited guanine nucleotide-exchange activity of Sec7 domain from yeast Sec7 with yeast and mammalian ADP ribosylation factors. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 95, 4204–4208 (1998)

    Article  ADS  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  19. Letourneur, F. et al. Coatomer is essential for retrieval of dilysine-tagged proteins to the endoplasmic reticulum. Cell 79, 1199–1207 (1994)

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. Rambourg, A., Clermont, Y., Ovtracht, L. & Kepes, F. Three-dimensional structure of tubular networks, presumably Golgi in nature, in various yeast strains: a comparative study. Anat. Rec. 243, 283–293 (1995)

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. Rambourg, A., Jackson, C. L. & Clermont, Y. Three dimensional configuration of the secretory pathway and segregation of secretion granules in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. J. Cell Sci. 114, 2231–2239 (2001)

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. Marsh, B. J., Volkmann, N., McIntosh, J. R. & Howell, K. E. Direct continuities between cisternae at different levels of the Golgi complex in glucose-stimulated mouse islet beta cells. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 101, 5565–5570 (2004)

    Article  ADS  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  23. Trucco, A. et al. Secretory traffic triggers the formation of tubular continuities across Golgi sub-compartments. Nature Cell Biol. 6, 1071–1081 (2004)

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. Losev, E. et al. Golgi maturation visualized in living yeast. Nature advance online publication, doi:10.1038/nature04717 (14 May 2006)

Download references


We thank all the members of the Nakano group of the Dynamic-Bio Project for the accomplishment of this microscopy project; Yokogawa Electric Corporation, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), NHK Engineering Service, Hitachi Kokusai Electric, and the Research Association for Biotechnology for their contributions; R. Tsien for the distribution of mRFP; Olympus Corporation for technical help; and B. Glick for exchange of information before publication. This work was supported by national funds from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, partly by Grants-in-Aid from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, and partly by the funds from the Bioarchitect, the Real-Time Bionanomachine and the Extreme Photonics Projects of RIKEN.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Akihiko Nakano.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

Reprints and permissions information is available at The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Figure 1

This figure shows a model of Golgi maturation. (PDF 440 kb)

Supplementary Figure 2

This figure shows the effects of traffic mutations on the localization of Golgi markers. (PDF 320 kb)

Supplementary Figure 3

This figure shows frequent change of color in cells expressing GFP–Gos1p (medial, green) and Sec7p–mRFP (trans, red). (PDF 909 kb)

Supplementary Video 1

Wild-type yeast cells expressing GFP–Rer1p (cis, green) and mRFP-Gos1p (medial, red). 20x real time. (MOV 2709 kb)

Supplementary Video 2

ret1-1 cells expressing GFP–Gos1p (medial,green) and Sec7p–mRFP (trans, red). 10x real time. (MOV 869 kb)

Supplementary Video 3

Another example of ret1-1 cells expressing GFP–Gos1p (medial,green) and Sec7p–mRFP (trans, red). 10x real time. (MOV 769 kb)

Supplementary Video 4

3D observation of wild-type yeast cells expressing mRFP–Sed5p (cis, red) and Sec7p–GFP (trans, green). 5x real time. (MOV 984 kb)

Supplementary Video 5

Another example of 3D movie showing wild-type yeast cells expressing mRFP-Sed5p and Sec7p–GFP. 14x real time. (MOV 621 kb)

Supplementary Video 6

3D deconvolution observation of yeast expressing mRFP–Gos1p and Sec7p–GFP. 25x real time. (MOV 926 kb)

Supplementary Video 7

Another example of 3D deconvolution movie. 25x real time. (MOV 1098 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Matsuura-Tokita, K., Takeuchi, M., Ichihara, A. et al. Live imaging of yeast Golgi cisternal maturation. Nature 441, 1007–1010 (2006).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing