A number of protein toxins from plants and bacteria take advantage of transport through the Golgi apparatus to gain entry into the cytosol where they exert their action. These toxins include the plant toxin ricin, the bacterial Shiga toxins, and cholera toxin. Such toxins bind to lipids or proteins at the cell surface, and they are endocytosed both by clathrin-dependent and clathrin-independent mechanisms. Sorting to the Golgi and retrograde transport to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are common to these toxins, but the exact mechanisms turn out to be toxin and cell-type dependent. In the ER, the enzymatically active part is released and then transported into the cytosol, exploiting components of the ER-associated degradation system. In this review, we will discuss transport of different protein toxins, but we will focus on factors involved in entry and sorting of ricin and Shiga toxin into and through the Golgi apparatus.
Histochemistry and Cell Biology, 2013, Vol 140, Issue 3, p. 317-327