Several proteins play a role in the mechanism of insulin exocytosis. However, these 'exocytotic proteins' have yet to account for the regulated aspect of insulin exocytosis, and other factors are involved. In pancreatic exocrine cells, the intralumenal zymogen granule protein, syncollin, is required for efficient regulated exocytosis, but it is not known whether intragranular peptides similarly influence regulated insulin exocytosis. Here, this issue has been addressed using expression of syncollin and a syncollin-green fluorescent protein (syncollinGFP) chimera in rat islet β-cells as experimental tools. Syncollin is not normally expressed in β-cells but adenoviral-mediated expression of both syncollin and syncollinGFP indicated that these were specifically targeted to the lumen of β-granules. Syncollin expression in isolated rat islets had no effect on basal insulin secretion but significantly inhibited regulated insulin secretion stimulated by glucose (16.7 mM), glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) (10 nM) and glyburide (5μM). Consistent with specific localization of syncollin to β-granules, constitutive secretion was unchanged by syncollin expression in rat islets. Syncollin-mediated inhibition of insulin secretion was not due to inadequate insulin production. Moreover, secretagogue-induced increases in cytosolic intracellular Ca2+, which is a prerequisite for triggering insulin exocytosis, were unaffected in syncollin-expressing islets. Therefore, syncollin was most likely acting downstream of secondary signals at the level of insulin exocytosis. Thus, syncollin expression in β-cells has highlighted the importance of intralumenal β-granule peptide factors playing a role in the control of insulin exocytosis. In contrast to syncollin, syncollinGFP had no effect on insulin secretion, underlining its usefulness as a 'fluorescent tag' to track β-granule transport and exocytosis in real time.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism