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J Biol Chem. 1993 Jul 15;268(20):14715-23.

Exocytosis in chromaffin cells. Possible involvement of the heterotrimeric GTP-binding protein G(o).

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Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U-338 Biologie de la Communication Cellulaire, Strasbourg, France.


The use of non-hydrolyzable analogues of GTP in permeabilized secretory cells suggests that guanine nucleotide-binding regulatory proteins (G proteins) may be involved in regulated exocytosis. Because GTP analogues are known to modulate both monomeric low molecular mass G proteins and heterotrimeric G proteins, we have examined the effect of mastoparan, an activator of heterotrimeric G proteins, on secretion from intact and permeabilized chromaffin cells. In intact cells, mastoparan inhibited catecholamine secretion evoked by nicotine but had no effect on release induced by other secretagogues. In permeabilized cells, mastoparan inhibited calcium-dependent secretion providing that the pores created in the plasma membrane allow the penetration of the peptide into the cytoplasm. These results indicate that mastoparan blocks the exocytotic machinery through an intracellular target protein that may not be located just beneath the plasma membrane. Accordingly, mastoparan was able to stimulate G proteins associated with purified chromaffin granule membranes, in a range of concentration and Mg2+ requirement that was similar to its inhibitory effect on secretion. Mas 17, a mastoparan analogue inactive on purified G proteins, neither modified catecholamine secretion nor stimulated chromaffin granule G proteins. The substance P-related peptide, GPAnt-2, known to antagonize the effects of mastoparan on G(o), blocked both the inhibitory effect of mastoparan on secretion and the mastoparan-stimulated GTPase activity in chromaffin granule membranes. Moreover, specific antibodies raised against the carboxyl terminus of G(o) alpha reversed in a dose-dependent manner the inhibition by mastoparan on catecholamine release and the stimulation by mastoparan of chromaffin granule-associated G proteins. These results suggest that the secretory machinery in chromaffin cells can be blocked by activating a G(o) protein. Consistent with this finding, two other known activators of heterotrimeric G proteins, aluminum fluoride and benzalkonium chloride, inhibited calcium-evoked catecholamine secretion in streptolysin O-permeabilized chromaffin cells. We conclude that an inhibitory G(o) protein, possibly located on the membrane of secretory granules, is involved in the final stages of exocytosis in chromaffin cells.

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