Golgi in copper homeostasis: A view from the membrane trafficking field

Roman Polishchuk, Svetlana Lutsenko

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Copper is essential for a variety of important biological processes as a cofactor and regulator of many enzymes. Incorporation of copper into the secreted and plasma membrane-targeted cuproenzymes takes place in Golgi, a compartment central for normal copper homeostasis. The Golgi complex harbors copper-transporting ATPases, ATP7A and ATP7B that transfer copper from the cytosol into Golgi lumen for incorporation into copper-dependent enzymes. The Golgi complex also sends these ATPases to appropriate post-Golgi destinations to ensure correct Cu fluxes in the body and to avoid potentially toxic copper accumulation. Mutations in ATP7A or ATP7B or in the proteins that regulate their trafficking affect their exit from Golgi or subsequent retrieval to this organelle. This, in turn, disrupts the homeostatic Cu balance, resulting in copper deficiency (Menkes disease) or copper overload (Wilson disease). Research over the last decade has yielded significant insights into the enzymatic properties and cell biology of the copper ATPases. However, the mechanisms through which the Golgi regulates trafficking of ATP7A/7B and, therefore, maintains Cu homeostasis remain unclear. This review summarizes current data on the role of the Golgi in Cu metabolism and outlines questions and challenges that should be addressed to understand ATP7A and ATP7B trafficking mechanisms in health and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-295
Number of pages11
JournalHistochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Copper ATPases
  • Copper homeostasis
  • Golgi complex
  • Membrane trafficking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Histology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Medical Laboratory Technology
  • Cell Biology


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