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Mol Biol Cell. 1994 Nov;5(11):1199-213.

Effect of disruption of actin filaments by Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin on insulin secretion in HIT-T15 cells and pancreatic islets.

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Department of Medicine, University of Geneva, Switzerland.


To examine their role in insulin secretion, actin filaments (AFs) were disrupted by Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin that ADP-ribosylates G-actin. Ribosylation also prevents polymerization of G-actin to F-actin and inhibits AF assembly by capping the fast-growing end of F-actin. Pretreatment of HIT-T15 cells with the toxin inhibited stimulated insulin secretion in a time- and dose-dependent manner. The toxin did not affect cellular insulin content or nonstimulated secretion. In static incubation, toxin treatment caused 45-50% inhibition of secretion induced by nutrients alone (10 mM glucose + 5 mM glutamine + 5 mM leucine) or combined with bombesin (phospholipase C-activator) and 20% reduction of that potentiated by forskolin (stimulator of adenylyl cyclase). In perifusion, the stimulated secretion during the first phase was marginally diminished, whereas the second phase was inhibited by approximately 80%. Pretreatment of HIT cells with wartmannin, a myosin light chain kinase inhibitor, caused a similar pattern of inhibition of the biphasic insulin release as C2 toxin. Nutrient metabolism and bombesin-evoked rise in cytosolic free Ca2+ were not affected by C2 toxin, indicating that nutrient recognition and the coupling between receptor activation and second messenger generation was not changed. In the toxin-treated cells, the AF web beneath the plasma membrane and the diffuse cytoplasmic F-actin fibers disappeared, as shown both by staining with an antibody against G- and F-actin and by staining F-actin with fluorescent phallacidin. C2 toxin dose-dependently reduced cellular F-actin content. Stimulation of insulin secretion was not associated with changes in F-actin content and organization. Treatment of cells with cytochalasin E and B, which shorten AFs, inhibited the stimulated insulin release by 30-50% although differing in their effects on F-actin content. In contrast to HIT-T15 cells, insulin secretion was potentiated in isolated rat islets after disruption of microfilaments with C2 toxin, most notably during the first phase. This effect was, however, diminished, and the second phase became slightly inhibited when the islets were degranulated. These results indicate an important role for AFs in insulin secretion. In the poorly granulated HIT-T15 cells actin-myosin interactions may participate in the recruitment of secretory granules to the releasable pool. In native islet beta-cells the predominant function of AFs appears to be the limitation of the access of granules to the plasma membrane.

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