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EMBO J. 1996 Dec 16;15(24):6951-9.

Mutational analysis of VAMP domains implicated in Ca2+-induced insulin exocytosis.

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Département de Medicine Interne, Université de Genève, Switzerland.


Vesicle-associated membrane protein-2 (VAMP-2) and cellubrevin are associated with the membrane of insulin-containing secretory granules and of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-containing synaptic-like vesicles of pancreatic beta-cells. We found that a point mutation in VAMP-2 preventing targeting to synaptic vesicles also impairs the localization on insulin-containing secretory granules, suggesting a similar requirement for vesicular targeting. Tetanus toxin (TeTx) treatment of permeabilized HIT-T15 cells leads to the proteolytic cleavage of VAMP-2 and cellubrevin and causes the inhibition of Ca2+-triggered insulin exocytosis. Transient transfection of HIT-T15 cells with VAMP-1, VAMP-2 or cellubrevin made resistant to the proteolytic action of TeTx by amino acid replacements in the cleavage site restored Ca2+-stimulated secretion. Wild-type VAMP-2, wild-type cellubrevin or a mutant of VAMP-2 resistant to TeTx but not targeted to secretory granules were unable to rescue Ca2+-evoked insulin release. The transmembrane domain and the N-terminal region of VAMP-2 were not essential for the recovery of stimulated exocytosis, but deletions preventing the binding to SNAP-25 and/or to syntaxin I rendered the protein inactive in the reconstitution assay. Mutations of putative phosphorylation sites or of negatively charged amino acids in the SNARE motif recognized by clostridial toxins had no effect on the ability of VAMP-2 to mediate Ca2+-triggered secretion. We conclude that: (i) both VAMP-2 and cellubrevin can participate in the exocytosis of insulin; (ii) the interaction of VAMP-2 with syntaxin and SNAP-25 is required for docking and/or fusion of secretory granules with the plasma membrane; and (iii) the phosphorylation of VAMP-2 is not essential for Ca2+-stimulated insulin exocytosis.

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