Mechanical model of Golgi apparatus

U. Jelerčič

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The Golgi apparatus has intrigued researchers since its discovery and despite the advances, there are still many open questions in regards to its shape and function. We propose a mechanical model of Golgi apparatus stack and explain its most elementary geometrical properties: the equilibrium number of cisternae, the stack size, and its general equilibrium shape. Combining both analytical and numerical methods we successfully reconstruct the stack morphology within the theory of bending elasticity. We demonstrate that energy-wise the stack prefers an overall bent shape and show strong evidence that the adhesion strength determines the equilibrium number of cisternae per stack. We explore the morphological role of fenestrations and discuss their impact on the overall stack structure. We also comment on the effects of the asymmetry in the composition of membrane leaflets on the shape of the cisternae and thus offer a broad steady-state study of the stack morphology and present a method that can be used also for other membrane-bound organelles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number066003
JournalPhysical Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • Golgi apparatus
  • cell organelles
  • equilibrium shape
  • fenestrations, numerical modelling
  • vesicle stacks, membrane shape

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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