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Vesicular Ca2+ mediates granule motion and exocytosis

Cell Calcium
DOI: 10.1016/j.ceca.2011.12.009
  • Amperometry
  • Bafilomycin
  • Calcium
  • Exocytosis
  • Secretion
  • Tirfm
  • Biology


Abstract Secretory vesicles of chromaffin cells are acidic organelles that maintain an increasing pH gradient towards the cytosol (5.5 vs. 7.3) that is mediated by V-ATPase activity. This gradient is primarily responsible for the accumulation of large concentrations of amines and Ca2+, although the mechanisms mediating Ca2+ uptake and release from granules, and the physiological relevance of these processes, remain unclear. The presence of a vesicular matrix appears to create a bi-compartmentalised medium in which the major fractions of solutes, including catecholamines, nucleotides and Ca2+, are strongly associated with vesicle proteins, particularly chromogranins. This association appears to be favoured at acidic pH values. It has been demonstrated that disrupting the pH gradient of secretory vesicles reduces their rate of exocytosis and promotes the leakage of vesicular amines and Ca2+, dramatically increasing the movement of secretory vesicles and triggering exocytosis. In this short review, we will discuss the data available that highlights the importance of pH in regulating the association between chromogranins, vesicular amines and Ca2+. We will also address the potential role of vesicular Ca2+ in two major processes in secretory cells, vesicle movement and exocytosis.

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