The irregular network of unit membranes, visible only by electron microscopy, that occurs in the cytoplasm of many eukaryotic cells. The membranes form a complex meshwork of tubular channels, which are often expanded into slitlike cavities called cisternae. The ER takes two forms, rough (or granular), with ribosomes adhering to the outer surface, and smooth (with no ribosomes attached).
A compound membranous cytoplasmic organelle of eukaryotic cells, consisting of flattened, ribosome-free vesicles arranged in a more or less regular stack. The Golgi apparatus differs from the endoplasmic reticulum in often having slightly thicker membranes, appearing in sections as a characteristic shallow semicircle so that the convex side (cis or entry face) abuts the endoplasmic reticulum, secretory vesicles emerging from the concave side (trans or exit face). In vertebrate cells there is usually one such organelle, while in invertebrates and plants, where they are known usually as dictyosomes, there may be several scattered in the cytoplasm. The Golgi apparatus processes proteins produced on the ribosomes of the rough endoplasmic reticulum; such processing includes modification of the core oligosaccharides of glycoproteins, and the sorting and packaging of proteins for transport to a variety of cellular locations. Three different regions of the Golgi are now recognized both in terms of structure and function: cis, in the vicinity of the cis face, trans, in the vicinity of the trans face, and medial, lying between the cis and trans regions.