We examined the effects of disassembly of microtubules (MT) on the structure and the functions of the Golgi apparatus (GA) in cultured atrial myocytes. MT disassembly with nocodazole led to fragmentation of the GA into small units. The fragmented Golgi units retained their cis-trans polarity and post-cisternal elements, including the trans-Golgi network (TGN). Neither endocytosis of lectin-labeled membrane nor its delivery to the fragmented Golgi units was interrupted by fragmentation of the GA after MT disassembly with nocodazole treatment. A fraction of the secretory granules associated with the fragmented Golgi units was also labeled with the internalized tracer. These results suggest that in nocodazole-treated cultured atrial myocytes, the fragmented Golgi units appear to be structurally and functionally intact despite the altered geometric arrangement of the GA in the cells.
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