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COPI-coated vesicles mediate transport between Golgi stacks and retrograde transport from the Golgi to the endoplasmic reticulum. The COPI coat exists as a stable heptameric complex in the cytosol termed coatomer and is recruited en bloc to the membrane for vesicle formation. Recruitment of COPI onto membranes is mediated by the Arf family of small GTPases, which, in their GTP-bound state, bind both membrane and coatomer. Arf GTPases also influence cargo selection, vesicle scission and vesicle uncoating. Guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) and GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs) regulate nucleotide binding by Arf GTPases. To understand the mechanism of COPI-coated vesicle trafficking, it is necessary to characterize the interplay between coatomer and Arf GTPases and their effectors. It is also necessary to understand interactions between coatomer and cargo, cargo adaptors/receptors and tethers facilitating binding to the target membrane. Here, we summarize current knowledge of COPI coat protein structure; we describe how structural and biochemical studies contributed to this knowledge; we review mechanistic insights into COPI vesicle biogenesis and disassembly; and we discuss the potential to answer open questions in the field. © 2022 The Authors. FEBS Letters published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Federation of European Biochemical Societies.


Rebecca J Taylor, Grigory Tagiltsev, John A G Briggs. The structure of COPI vesicles and regulation of vesicle turnover. FEBS letters. 2023 Mar;597(6):819-835

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PMID: 36513395

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