25. Self-Sustaining Chemical        Systems: Living Cells   Previous PageNext Page
       Golgi Complex

The Golgi complex is another set of folded and nested membranes. At times these membranes are continuous with the ER and ultimately with the cell surface.

The exact role of the Golgi complex is not clear, but one of its known functions is to collect proteins, fats, polysaccharides, and other molecules that have been synthesized on the ER, and package them into spherical vesicles for storage within the cell or secretion to the outside.

The pancreatic secretory cell, illustrated at the beginning of the chapter, synthesizes the precursors of trypsin and chymotrypsin at its ER, and with the aid of its Golgi complex, secretes these pre-enzymes into the pancreatic duct for transfer into the digestive tract and activation into enzymes (see right). The Golgi complex is a "loading dock" for synthesized molecules, and may have other functions also.

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