VAMP8 is a vesicle SNARE that regulates mucin secretion in airway goblet cells.

Cystic Fibrosis/Pulmonary Research and Treatment Centre, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 4029A Thurston Bowles Building, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7248, USA.
The Journal of Physiology (Impact Factor: 4.54). 12/2011; 590(Pt 3):545-62. DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.2011.222091
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Mucin secretion is an innate defence mechanism, which is noxiously upregulated in obstructive lung diseases (e.g. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis and asthma). Mucin granule exocytosis is regulated by specific protein complexes, but the SNARE exocytotic core has not been defined in airway goblet cells. In this study, we identify VAMP8 as one of the SNAREs regulating mucin granule exocytosis. VAMP8 mRNA was present in human airway and lung epithelial cells, and deep-sequencing and expression analyses of airway epithelial cells revealed that VAMP8 transcripts were expressed at 10 times higher levels than other VAMP mRNAs. In human airway epithelial cell cultures and freshly excised tissues, VAMP8 immunolocalised mainly to goblet cell mucin granules. The function of VAMP8 in airway mucin secretion was tested by RNA interference techniques. Both VAMP8 short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) reduced mucin secretion induced by PAR agonists, neutrophil elastase and ATP in two airway epithelial cell culture models. Notably, basal (non-agonist elicited) mucin secretion was also reduced in these experiments. VAMP8 knockdown was also effective in decreasing mucin secretion in airway epithelial cell cultures with induced mucous metaplasia/mucin hypersecretion. Unlike VAMP8 silencing, knockdown of VAMP2 or VAMP3 did not affect mucin secretion. Importantly, in VAMP8 knock-out (KO) mice with IL-13-induced mucous metaplasia, mucin content in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and ATP-stimulated mucin secretion in the trachea were reduced compared to WT-matched littermates. Our data indicate that VAMP8 is an essential SNARE in airway mucin granule exocytosis. Reduction of VAMP8 activity/expression may provide a novel therapeutic target to ameliorate airway mucus obstruction in lung diseases.


Available from: Yunxiang Zhu, Jul 11, 2014
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