What does the Golgi Body Do?

Our body is composed of millions of cells that operate various functions to meet the needs of the body. Knowing about the biological makeup of our body as well as the system of plants and animals can be complicated but as we go through the simple means of learning such facts, we get to appreciate our cells, tissues and body systems more even though we are not scientifically inclined.

Because our body is made up of millions of cells that perform specific tasks, it is also vital to know about organelles as these are part of the living cells. From the myriad organelles in our cells, one of the most important is the Golgi apparatus. This is also known as the Golgi body or the Golgi complex and is named after the Italian physician, Camillo Golgi, who discovered such organelle.

The Golgi body is found in almost all eukaryotic organisms. Eukaryotes are those organisms that have cells with complex structures and whose cells are enclosed in a membrane. Distinct parts of these organisms that cannot be appreciated among prokaryotes are the nucleus, nuclear envelope, and membrane-bound organelles such as the mitochondria (also known as the powerhouse of the cell), the chloroplasts and the Golgi apparatus/ Golgi body.

The structure of Golgi body is defined as having stacks of cisternae, or what is known as membrane-bound structures. Among mammals, there are known 40 to 100 stacks and each stack is composed of four to eight cisternae. The cisternae also have flat membranes that contain Golgi enzymes and structural proteins that serve as important components for maintenance purposes.

What does the Golgi body do? This is another important area we should know about. The Golgi body does important functions in the cellular system. After receiving proteins from the Endoplasmic Reticulum, the Golgi body acts as a factory that processes and sorts the proteins in preparation for their transfer to various locations such as in the lysosomes, plasma membrane and secretions.

It is also the Golgi body that does the addition or deletion of certain proteins. When there is a need to form carbohydrates, polysaccharides are added with the proteins. When the proteins are large enough, some of the molecules are deleted to form smaller and active fragments. Aside from these, phosphates are also added with proteins as well as sulfate groups.

When the proteins have been modified according to what is needed, the Golgi body then transports these proteins to other cellular vesicles through Cisternal maturation model or through the Vesicular transport model.

Another important function of the Golgi body is the production of essential organelle, the lysosomes. The lysosomes perform important task of engulfing dead cell components from the body as well as taking away debris and sugars that are no longer needed for bodily functions.

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