Cell Biology and Toxicology

, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp 311–323 | Cite as

Clofibrate inhibits membrane trafficking to the Golgi complex and induces its retrograde movement to the endoplasmic reticulum

  • P. de Figueiredo
  • W.J. Brown


Insights into the function of the Golgi complex have been provided by experiments performed with various inhibitors of membrane trafficking, such as the macrocyclic lactone brefeldin A (BFA), a compound that inhibits constitutive secretion, prevents the formation of coatomer-coated transport vesicles, and stimulates the retrograde movement of Golgi resident enzymes back to the ER. We show here that the structurally unrelated compound clofibrate, a peroxisome proliferator (PP) and hypolipidemic agent, also reversibly disrupts the morphological and functional integrity of the Golgi complex in a manner similar to BFA. In the presence of clofibrate, the forward transport of newly synthesized secretory proteins from the ER to the Golgi is dramatically inhibited. Moreover, clofibrate causes Golgi membranes to travel rapidly in a microtubule-dependent manner back to the ER, forming a hybrid ER–Golgi tubulovesicular membrane network. These affects appear to be independent of clofibrate's ability to stimulate the PP-activated receptor (PPAR) alpha pathway because other PPAR stimulators (DEHP, WY-14643) did not alter the Golgi complex or induce retrograde trafficking. These data suggest that PPAR alpha-independent, clofibrate-sensitive proteins participate in regulating Golgi-to-ER retrograde membrane transport, and, equally importantly, that clofibrate may be used as a pharmacological tool for investigating Golgi membrane dynamics.

clofibrate Golgi complex retrograde trafficking 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. de Figueiredo
    • 1
  • W.J. Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Biology and GeneticsCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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