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Title: The small molecule dispergo tubulates the endoplasmic reticulum and inhibits export
Authors: Lu, L.
Hannoush, R. N.
Goess, B. C.
Varadarajan, Shankar
Shair, M. D.
Kirchhausen, T.
First Published: 6-Feb-2013
Publisher: American Society for Cell Biology
Citation: Molecular Biology of the Cell April 1, 2013 vol. 24 no. 7 1020-1029
Abstract: The mammalian endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an organelle that maintains a complex, compartmentalized organization of interconnected cisternae and tubules while supporting a continuous flow of newly synthesized proteins and lipids to the Golgi apparatus. Using a phenotypic screen, we identify a small molecule, dispergo, that induces reversible loss of the ER cisternae and extensive ER tubulation, including formation of ER patches comprising densely packed tubules. Dispergo also prevents export from the ER to the Golgi apparatus, and this traffic block results in breakdown of the Golgi apparatus, primarily due to maintenance of the constitutive retrograde transport of its components to the ER. The effects of dispergo are reversible, since its removal allows recovery of the ER cisternae at the expense of the densely packed tubular ER patches. This recovery occurs together with reactivation of ER-to-Golgi traffic and regeneration of a functional Golgi with correct morphology. Because dispergo is the first small molecule that reversibly tubulates the ER and inhibits its export function, it will be useful in studying these complex processes.
DOI Link: 10.1091/mbc.E12-08-0575
ISSN: 1059-1524
eISSN: 1939-4586
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: © 2013 Lu et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (
Description: Supplemental Material can be found at:
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, MRC Toxicology Unit

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