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Pancreas. 1994 Mar;9(2):139-49.

Role of the GP2/THP family of GPI-anchored proteins in membrane trafficking during regulated exocrine secretion.

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Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology, Charles A. Dana Research Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.


Identification and characterization of the GP2/THP family of GPI-anchored membrane proteins associated with apical secretory membranes suggest that this new class of GPI-linked proteins plays a critical role in regulated protein secretion and ion transport in polarized epithelial cells in pancreas, liver, lung, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract. Based on recent information obtained from the world literature and from our own investigations we present the following two hypotheses capable of unifying previously diverse observations. Hypothesis 1 is that formation of GP2 tetramers in the acidic milieu of the trans-Golgi network (TGN) organizes a GP2/proteoglycan (PG) matrix tightly associated with the luminal surface of zymogen granule (ZG) membranes, and proposes that this matrix functions in (a) membrane sorting during granule assembly in the TGN, (b) inactivation of ZG membranes during the storage phase of secretion, and (c) regulated trafficking of ZG membranes from the apical plasma membrane (APM) after exocytosis. Hypothesis 2 is that the acinar lumen constitutes a distinct physiologic compartment for coupled biochemical reactions between acinar and duct cells. Because the acidic pH of the TGN plays a critical role in condensation of secretory proteins, alkalinization of the acinar lumen is required for (a) neutralization of the acidic pH of exocytic contents and (b) solubilization of aggregated (pro)enzymes. Further alkalinization appears to be required for pH-dependent release of the GP2/PG matrix from the APM, a process that may regulate internalization of ZG membranes for reuse during secretion. Taken together, the two hypotheses suggest that luminal factors including acid-base interactions and matrix assembly and disassembly processes perform critical functions during regulated storage and release of pancreatic (pro)enzymes. The requirement that coupling reactions be coordinated through the actions of separate hormones [cholecystokinin (CCK) and secretin] on divergent epithelial cells (acinar and duct cells, respectively) provides a new appreciation for the importance of combined CCK and secretin stimulation during pancreatic secretion in response to food intake.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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