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J Biol Chem. 1996 Feb 16;271(7):3523-33.

Regulation of constitutive exocytic transport by membrane receptors. A biochemical and morphometric study.

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  • 1Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Consorzio Mario Negri Sud, Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology and the Physiopathology of Secretion Unit, 66030 S. Maria Imbaro (Chieti), Italy.


Biochemical and morphometric approaches were combined to examine whether constitutive secretory transport might be controlled by plasma membrane receptors, as this possibility would have significant physiological implications. Indeed, IgE receptor stimulation in rat basophilic leukemia cells potently increased the rate of transport of soluble pulse-labeled 35S-sulfated glycosaminoglycans from distal Golgi compartments to the cell surface. This effect was largely protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent. Direct activation of PKC also stimulated constitutive transport of glycosaminoglycans, as indicated by the use of agonistic and antagonistic PKC ligands. PKC ligands also had potent, but different, effects on the exocytic transport from distal Golgi compartments to the plasma membrane of a membrane-bound protein (vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein), which was slightly stimulated by activators and profoundly suppressed by inhibitors of PKC. Morphological analysis showed impressive changes of the organelles of the secretory pathway in response to IgE receptor stimulation and to direct PKC activation (enhanced number of buds and vesicles originating from the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi and increase in surface and volume of Golgi compartments), suggestive of an overall activation of exocytic movements. These results show that rapid and large changes in constitutive transport fluxes and in the morphology of the exocytic apparatus can be induced by membrane receptors (as well as by direct PKC stimulation).

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