Retrograde trafficking of both Golgi complex and TGN markers to the ER induced by nordihydroguaiaretic acid and cyclofenil diphenol

Daniel Drecktrah, Paul De Figueiredo, Roger M. Mason, William J. Brown

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39 Scopus citations


Previous studies have shown that the Golgi stack and the trans-Golgi network (TGN) may play a role in capturing escaped resident endoplasmic reticulum (ER) proteins, and directing their retrograde transport back to that organelle. Whether this retrograde movement represents a highly specific or more generalized membrane trafficking pathway is unclear. To better understand both the retrograde and anterograde trafficking pathways of the secretory apparatus, we examined more closely the in vivo effects of two structurally unrelated compounds, the potent lipoxygenase inhibitor nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA), and the non-steroidal estrogen cyclofenil diphenol (CFD), both of which are known to inhibit secretion. In the presence of these compounds, transport of vesicular stomatitis virus G membrane glycoprotein from the ER to the Golgi complex, and from the TGN to the cell surface, was inhibited potently and rapidly. Surprisingly, we found that NDGA and CFD stimulated the rapid, but not concomitant, retrograde movement of both Golgi stack and TGN membrane proteins back to the ER until both organelles were morphologically absent from cells. Both NDGA- and CFD-stimulated TGN and Golgi retrograde membrane trafficking were inhibited by microtubule depolymerizing agents and energy poisons. Removal of NDGA and CFD resulted in the complete, but not concomitant, reformation of both Golgi stacks and their closely associated TGN compartments. These studies suggest that NDGA and CFD unmask a generalized bulk recycling pathway to the ER for both Golgi and TGN membranes and, further, that NDGA and CFD are useful for investigating the molecular mechanisms that control the formation and maintenance of both the Golgi stack proper and the TGN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)951-965
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1998


  • Golgi complex
  • Retrograde trafficking


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