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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Jul;293(1):E347-54. Epub 2007 Apr 10.

New functional aspects of the neuroendocrine marker secretagogin based on the characterization of its rat homolog.

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  • 1Medical University Vienna, Department of Medicine III, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.


Secretagogin is a recently cloned human beta-cell-expressed EF-hand Ca(2+)-binding protein. Converging evidence indicates that it exerts Ca(2+) sensor activity and is involved in regulation of insulin synthesis and secretion. To obtain a potent tool for the extension of its functional analysis in rat in vitro systems, we cloned the rat homolog of human secretagogin. Using comparative sequence analysis, immunostaining, and immunoblotting, we demonstrated a high degree of sequence homology and similar tissue expression patterns of human and rat secretagogin. Highest rat secretagogin expression levels were found in pancreatic beta-cells. On the basis of newly generated anti-rat secretagogin antibodies, we established a rat secretagogin-specific sandwich capture ELISA and demonstrated release of secretagogin from viable Rin-5F cells. Dexamethasone treatment of Rin-5F cells resulted in an increased secretagogin release rate, which was inversely correlated with insulin secretion. In contrast, the secretagogin transcription rate was markedly reduced. This resulted in a decreased intracellular secretagogin content under the influence of dexamethasone. Sucrose gradient cell fractionation analysis of Rin-5F cells confirmed the predominant cytosolic localization of secretagogin, with only limited association of secretagogin with insulin granules. The loss of intracellular secretagogin after dexamethasone treatment affected predominantly the insulin granule-associated secretagogin fractions. The sequence homology and the comparable tissue expression patterns of human and rat secretagogin indicate conserved intracellular functions. The effects of dexamethasone on the total secretagogin content in Rin-5F cells and on its intracellular distribution might result in an impaired Ca(2+) sensitivity of dexamethasone-treated insulin-secreting cells.

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