Like other cellular modules, the secretory pathway and the Golgi complex are likely to be supervised by control systems that support homeostasis and optimal functionality under all conditions, including external and internal perturbations. Moreover, the secretory apparatus must be functionally connected with other cellular modules, such as energy metabolism and protein degradation, via specific rules of interaction, or "coordination protocols". These regulatory devices are of fundamental importance for optimal function; however, they are generally "hidden" at steady state. The molecular components and the architecture of the control systems and coordination protocols of the secretory pathway are beginning to emerge through studies based on the use of controlled transport-specific perturbations aimed specifically at the detection and analysis of these internal regulatory devices.
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