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MCAT Question A Day - 7/29/13 - Answer!

In which organelle would proteins be modified by adding a carbohydrate component to the amino acid chains in order to form a glycoprotein?

A.  Rough ER
B.  Smooth ER
C.  Golgi complex
D.  Mitochondria

The correct answer is (C). The rough ER is where proteins are made, whereas the smooth ER is where carbohydrates and/or lipids can be made. However, it is in the Golgi complex that two such components would be modified, combined, and packaged into a functional glycoprotein. The mitochondria could provide the ATP to carry out some of this work, but the work itself would take place in the Golgi complex.