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Mol Neurodegener. 2009 Mar 25;4:15. doi: 10.1186/1750-1326-4-15.

Calnuc plays a role in dynamic distribution of Galphai but not Gbeta subunits and modulates ACTH secretion in AtT-20 neuroendocrine secretory cells.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0651, USA.


In AtT-20 cells ACTH secretion is regulated by both Ca2+ and G proteins. We previously demonstrated that calnuc, an EF-hand Ca2+ binding protein which regulates Alzheimer's beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP) biogenesis, binds both Ca2+ as well as Galpha subunits. Here we investigate calnuc's role in G protein-mediated regulation of ACTH secretion in AtT-20 neuroendocrine secretory cells stably overexpressing calnuc-GFP. Similar to endogenous calnuc, calnuc-GFP is mainly found in the Golgi, on the plasma membrane (PM), and associated with regulated secretion granules (RSG). By deconvolution immunofluorescence, calnuc-GFP partially colocalizes with Galphai1/2 and Galphai3 at the PM and on RSG. Cytosolic calnuc(DeltaSS)-CFP with the signal sequence deleted also partially colocalizes with RSG and partially cosediments with Galphai1/2 in fractions enriched in RSG. Overexpression of calnuc-GFP specifically increases the distribution of Galphai1/2 on the PM whereas the distribution of Gbeta subunits and synaptobrevin 2 (Vamp 2) is unchanged. Overexpression of calnuc-GFP or cytosolic calnuc(DeltaSS)-CFP enhances ACTH secretion two-fold triggered by mastoparan or GTPgammaS but does not significantly affect glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chain secretion along the constitutive pathway or basal secretion of ACTH. Calnuc's facilitating effects on ACTH secretion are decreased after introducing anti-Galphai1/2, Galphai3, Gbeta or calnuc IgG into permeabilized cells but not when Galpha12 or preimmune IgG is introduced. The results suggest that calnuc binds to Galpha subunits on the Golgi and on RSG and that overexpression of calnuc causes redistribution of Galphai subunits to the PM and RSG, indicating that calnuc plays a role in dynamic distribution of only Galpha but not Gbeta subunits. Thus calnuc may connect G protein signaling and calcium signaling during regulated secretion.

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