Distinct molecular events during secretory granule biogenesis revealed by sensitivities to brefeldin A

Carlos J. Fernandez, Michael Haugwitz, Benjamin Eaton, Hsiao Ping H. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

The biogenesis of peptide hormone secretory granules involves a series of sorting, modification, and trafficking steps that initiate in the trans- Golgi and trans-Golgi network (TGN). To investigate their temporal order and interrelationships, we have developed a pulse-chase protocol that follows the synthesis and packaging of a sulfated hormone, pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC). In AtT-20 cells, sulfate is incorporated into POMC pre-dominantly on N- linked endoglycosidase H-resistant oligosaccharides. Subcellular fractionation and pharmacological studies confirm that this sulfation occurs at the trans-Golgi/TGN. Subsequent to sulfation, POMC undergoes a number of molecular events before final storage in dense-core granules. The first step involves the transfer of POMC from the sulfation compartment to a processing compartment (immature secretory granules, ISGs): Inhibiting export of pulse- labeled POMC by brefeldin A (BFA) or a 20°C block prevents its proteolytic conversion to mature adrenocorticotropic hormone. Proteolytic cleavage products were found in vesicular fractions corresponding to ISGs, suggesting that the processing machinery is not appreciably activated until POMC exits the sulfation compartment. A large portion of the labeled hormone is secreted from ISGs as incompletely processed intermediates. This unregulated secretory process occurs only during a limited time window: Granules that have matured for 2 to 3 h exhibit very little unregulated release, as evidenced by the efficient storage of the 15-kDa N-terminal fragment that is generated by a relatively late cleavage event within the maturing granule. The second step of granule biogenesis thus involves two maturation events: proteolytic activation of POMC in ISGs and a transition of the organelle from a state of high unregulated release to one that favors intracellular storage. By using BFA, we show that the two processes occurring in ISGs may be uncoupled: although the unregulated secretion from ISGs is impaired by BFA, proteolytic processing of POMC within this organelle proceeds unaffected. The finding that BFA impairs constitutive secretion from both the TGN and ISGs also suggests that these secretory processes may be related in mechanism. Finally, our data indicate that the unusually high levels of unregulated secretion often associated with endocrine tumors may result, at least in part, from inefficient storage of secretory products at the level of ISGs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2171-2185
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Volume8
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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