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Traffic. 2006 Feb;7(2):155-67.

Insulin-regulated aminopeptidase marks an antigen-stimulated recycling compartment in mast cells.

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Department of Cell Biology, University of Virginia Health System, School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


Insulin-regulated aminopeptidase (IRAP) is a marker for insulin-sensitive recycling compartments of fat and muscle cells that contain the glucose transporter isoform GLUT4. Unlike GLUT4, IRAP is expressed in many other cell types. Thus, it is a potential marker for regulated recycling compartments that are analogous to GLUT4 vesicles. In bone marrow-derived mast cells, IRAP is highly expressed and localizes to an intracellular compartment different from secretory granules. Using cell-surface biotinylation, we determined that IRAP underwent rapid redistribution to the plasma membrane on antigen/immunoglobulin E (IgE) stimulation and was re-internalized within 30 min. When granule exocytosis was inhibited, by removing extracellular calcium, adding the protein kinase C inhibitor bisindolylmaleimide or the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor wortmannin, IRAP redistribution was still detected in stimulated cells. However, the redistribution of IRAP required intracellular calcium. By immunofluorescence, IRAP significantly co-localized with the transferrin receptor (TfR), a marker for constitutively recycling endosomes. However, antigen/IgE stimulation did not increase TfR on the cell surface, indicating that IRAP and TfR may follow different pathways to the plasma membrane. In rat peritoneal mast cells, the distributions of IRAP and TfR overlapped to only a limited extent, indicating that overlap may decrease with cell differentiation. We propose that IRAP vesicles represent a second IgE-sensitive exocytotic compartment in mast cells, which is regulated differently from secretory granules, and that these vesicles may be similar to GLUT4 vesicles.

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