The mammalian Golgi comprises tightly adjacent and flattened membrane sacs called cisternae. We still do not understand the molecular organization of the Golgi and intra-Golgi transport of cargos. One of the most significant challenges to studying the Golgi is resolving Golgi proteins at the cisternal level under light microscopy. We have developed a side-averaging approach to visualize the cisternal organization and intra-Golgi transport in nocodazole-induced Golgi ministacks. Side-view images of ministacks acquired from Airyscan microscopy are transformed and aligned before intensity normalization and averaging. From side-average images of >30 Golgi proteins, we uncovered the organization of the pre-Golgi, cis, medial, trans, and trans-Golgi network membrane with an unprecedented spatial resolution. We observed the progressive transition of a synchronized cargo wave from the cis to the trans-side of the Golgi. Our data support our previous finding, in which constitutive cargos exit at the trans-Golgi while the secretory targeting to the trans-Golgi network is signal dependent.

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