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Biochem J. 1993 Apr 1;291 ( Pt 1):289-96.

Reconstitution in vitro of the pH-dependent aggregation of pancreatic zymogens en route to the secretory granule: implication of GP-2.

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Département de Biologie, Faculté des Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada.


Regulated secretory proteins are thought to be sorted in the trans-Golgi network (TGN) via selective aggregation. To elucidate the biogenesis of the secretory granule in the exocrine pancreas, we reconstituted in vitro the conditions of pH and ions believed to exist in the TGN using the end product of this sorting process, the zymogen granule contents. Protein aggregation was dependent on pH (acidic) and on the presence of cations (10 mM Ca2+, 150 mM K+) to reproduce the pattern of proteins found in the granule. The constitutive secretory protein IgG was excluded from these aggregates. Zymogen aggregation correlated with the relative proportion of the major granule membrane protein GP-2 in the assay. These results show that the glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored protein GP-2 co-aggregates with zymogens in the acidic environment believed to exist in the pancreatic TGN, and thus suggest that GP-2 would function as a membrane anchor for zymogen aggregates, facilitating their entrapment in budding vesicles directed towards the regulated secretory pathway.

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