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J Biol Chem. 1989 Apr 5;264(10):5412-9.

MgATP-independent and MgATP-dependent exocytosis. Evidence that MgATP primes adrenal chromaffin cells to undergo exocytosis.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor 48109-0626.


The MgATP dependency of secretion was investigated in digitonin-permeabilized adrenal chromaffin cells. Shortly after permeabilization there is a component of Ca2+-dependent secretion that occurs in the absence of MgATP in the medium. This secretion occurs from cells which are permeable to Ca2+/[ethylene-bis(oxyethylenenitrilo)]tetraacetic acid buffers, to nucleotides, and to proteins. It is prevented by treatment of cells with metabolic inhibitors to reduce cellular ATP prior to permeabilization. The rate of MgATP-independent secretion is rapid and terminates by approximately 2 min after introduction of Ca2+. MgATP-independent secretion is labile and is lost unless Ca2+ is introduced within 8 min of permeabilization. MgATP-dependent secretion occurs at a slower rate than MgATP-independent secretion and continues at a constant rate for 12 min. Preincubation of permeabilized cells with MgATP enhances Ca2+-dependent secretion during a subsequent incubation in the absence of MgATP. Similar MgATP sensitivities are observed when MgATP is present only prior to or only during stimulation with Ca2+ with half-maximal stimulation occurring at 0.4-0.5 and 0.6 mM MgATP, respectively. The data indicate that intact cells are primed by intracellular ATP so that immediately upon permeabilization, there is a component of secretion which is independent of medium MgATP. MgATP partially maintains the primed state after permeabilization by acting before Ca2+ in the secretory pathway.

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