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Mol Biol Cell. 2011 Dec;22(24):4908-17. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E11-07-0614. Epub 2011 Oct 19.

Sequestration of phosphoinositides by mutated MARCKS effector domain inhibits stimulated Ca(2+) mobilization and degranulation in mast cells.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Protein kinase C β (PKCβ) participates in antigen-stimulated mast cell degranulation mediated by the high-affinity receptor for immunoglobulin E, FcεRI, but the molecular basis is unclear. We investigated the hypothesis that the polybasic effector domain (ED) of the abundant intracellular substrate for protein kinase C known as myristoylated alanine-rich protein kinase C substrate (MARCKS) sequesters phosphoinositides at the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane until MARCKS dissociates after phosphorylation by activated PKC. Real-time fluorescence imaging confirms synchronization between stimulated oscillations of intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations and oscillatory association of PKCβ-enhanced green fluorescent protein with the plasma membrane. Similarly, MARCKS-ED tagged with monomeric red fluorescent protein undergoes antigen-stimulated oscillatory dissociation and rebinding to the plasma membrane with a time course that is synchronized with reversible plasma membrane association of PKCβ. We find that MARCKS-ED dissociation is prevented by mutation of four serine residues that are potential sites of phosphorylation by PKC. Cells expressing this mutated MARCKS-ED SA4 show delayed onset of antigen-stimulated Ca(2+) mobilization and substantial inhibition of granule exocytosis. Stimulation of degranulation by thapsigargin, which bypasses inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate production, is also substantially reduced in the presence of MARCKS-ED SA4, but store-operated Ca(2+) entry is not inhibited. These results show the capacity of MARCKS-ED to regulate granule exocytosis in a PKC-dependent manner, consistent with regulated sequestration of phosphoinositides that mediate granule fusion at the plasma membrane.

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