Golgi enzymes are enriched in perforated zones of golgi cisternae but are depleted in COPI vesicles.
We have examined the fate of Golgi membranes during mitotic inheritance in animal cells using four-dimensional fluorescence microscopy, serial section reconstruction of electron micrographs, and peroxidase cytochemistry to track the fate of a Golgi enzyme fused to horseradish peroxidase. All three approaches show that partitioning of Golgi membranes is mediated by Golgi clusters that persist throughout mitosis, together with shed vesicles that are often found associated with spindle microtubules. We have been unable to find evidence that Golgi membranes fuse during the later phases of mitosis with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) as a strategy for Golgi partitioning (Zaal, K.J., C.L. Smith, R.S. Polishchuk, N. Altan, N.B. Cole, J. Ellenberg, K. Hirschberg, J.F. Presley, T.H. Roberts, E. Siggia, et al. 1999. Cell. 99:589-601) and suggest that these results, in part, are the consequence of slow or abortive folding of GFP-Golgi chimeras in the ER. Furthermore, we show that accurate partitioning is accomplished early in mitosis, by a process of cytoplasmic redistribution of Golgi fragments and vesicles yielding a balance of Golgi membranes on either side of the metaphase plate before cell division.