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Keywords:

  • COG;
  • glycosylation;
  • Golgi;
  • retrograde traffic;
  • tethering

Defects in conserved oligomeric Golgi (COG) complex result in multiple deficiencies in protein glycosylation. On the other hand, acute knock-down (KD) of Cog3p (COG3 KD) causes accumulation of intra-Golgi COG complex-dependent (CCD) vesicles. Here, we analyzed cellular phenotypes at different stages of COG3 KD to uncover the molecular link between COG function and glycosylation disorders. For the first time, we demonstrated that medial-Golgi enzymes are transiently relocated into CCD vesicles in COG3 KD cells. As a result, Golgi modifications of both plasma membrane (CD44) and lysosomal (Lamp2) glycoproteins are distorted. Localization of these proteins is not altered, indicating that the COG complex is not required for anterograde trafficking and accurate sorting. COG7 KD and double COG3/COG7 KD caused similar defects with respect to both Golgi traffic and glycosylation, suggesting that the entire COG complex orchestrates recycling of medial-Golgi-resident proteins. COG complex-dependent docking of isolated CCD vesicles was reconstituted in vitro, supporting their role as functional trafficking intermediates. Altogether, the data suggest that constantly cycling medial-Golgi enzymes are transported from distal compartments in CCD vesicles. Dysfunction of COG complex leads to separation of glycosyltransferases from anterograde cargo molecules passing along secretory pathway, thus affecting normal protein glycosylation.