When increased production of secretory proteins overwhelms the capacity of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the Golgi apparatus, eukaryotic cells expand their capacity to sustain secretory function. The capacity of the ER is enhanced by the mechanism called the ER stress response, but the mechanism regulating Golgi capacity (the Golgi stress response) has remained unclear. Here, we found that transcription of Golgi-related genes, including glycosylation enzymes as well as factors involved in post-Golgi vesicular transport and maintenance of Golgi structure, was upregulated upon treatment with monensin, an ionophore that disrupts the function of acidic organelles, including the Golgi apparatus and lysosomes by neutralizing their lumen. This transcriptional induction was found to be commonly regulated by a novel cis-acting element called the Golgi apparatus stress response element (GASE), whose consensus sequence is ACGTGgc. When the function of the Golgi apparatus was specifically disturbed by overexpression of GCP60, a Golgi-localized protein that binds to giantin, transcription from GASE was significantly induced. These results suggest that mammalian cells have the Golgi stress response, and that GASE regulates transcriptional induction involved in the Golgi stress response.
2011 by Japan Society for Cell Biology