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Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2005 Jan;288(1):C46-56. Epub 2004 Sep 1.

Barrier role of actin filaments in regulated mucin secretion from airway goblet cells.

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Cystic Fibrosis/Pulmonary Research and Treatment Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7248, USA.


Airway goblet cells secrete mucin onto mucosal surfaces under the regulation of an apical, phospholipase C/G(q)-coupled P2Y(2) receptor. We tested whether cortical actin filaments negatively regulate exocytosis in goblet cells by forming a barrier between secretory granules and plasma membrane docking sites as postulated for other secretory cells. Immunostaining of human lung tissues and SPOC1 cells (an epithelial, mucin-secreting cell line) revealed an apical distribution of beta- and gamma-actin in ciliated and goblet cells. In goblet cells, actin appeared as a prominent subplasmalemmal sheet lying between granules and the apical membrane, and it disappeared from SPOC1 cells activated by purinergic agonist. Disruption of actin filaments with latrunculin A stimulated SPOC1 cell mucin secretion under basal and agonist-activated conditions, whereas stabilization with jasplakinolide or overexpression of beta- or gamma-actin conjugated to yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) inhibited secretion. Myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate, a PKC-activated actin-plasma membrane tethering protein, was phosphorylated after agonist stimulation, suggesting a translocation to the cytosol. Scinderin (or adseverin), a Ca(2+)-activated actin filament severing and capping protein was cloned from human airway and SPOC1 cells, and synthetic peptides corresponding to its actin-binding domains inhibited mucin secretion. We conclude that actin filaments negatively regulate mucin secretion basally in airway goblet cells and are dynamically remodeled in agonist-stimulated cells to promote exocytosis.

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