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: 5.04). 12/2011; 590(Pt 3):545-62. DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.2011.222091
Source: PubMed


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.

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Available from: Yunxiang Zhu, Jul 11, 2014
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    • "The identification of downstream effectors of these secretagogues is essential to advancing a mucin regulatory approach. Inhibition of key components of the mucin exocytotic pathway, such as Munc13- 2, VAMP8, ROCK, MARCKS, can inhibit the release of mucin granules and are currently being tested as potential drug targets (Jones et al., 2012; Kreda et al., 2010, 2012; Singer et al., 2004; Zhu et al., 2008). Perhaps the simplest approach to removing mucus from the lungs is the use of osmotically active agents that rehydrate mucus. "
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    ABSTRACT: Our current understanding of cystic fibrosis (CF) has revealed that the biophysical properties of mucus play a considerable role in the pathogenesis of the disease in view of the fact that most mucus-producing organs are affected in CF patients. In this review, we discuss the potential causal relationship between altered cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) function and the production of mucus with abnormal biophysical properties in the intestine and lungs, highlighting what has been learned from cell cultures and animal models that mimic CF pathogenesis. A similar cascade of events, including mucus obstruction, infection and inflammation, is common to all epithelia affected by impaired surface hydration. Hence, the main structural components of mucus, namely the polymeric, gel-forming mucins, are critical to the onset of the disease. Defective CFTR leads to epithelial surface dehydration, altered pH/electrolyte composition and mucin concentration. Further, it can influence mucin transition from the intracellular to extracellular environment, potentially resulting in aberrant mucus gel formation. While defective HCO3(-) production has long been identified as a feature of CF, it has only recently been considered as a key player in the transition phase of mucins. We conclude by examining the influence of mucins on the biophysical properties of CF sputum and discuss existing and novel therapies aimed at removing mucus from the lungs.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology
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    • "In other instances, the role for a given VAMP in a particular trafficking step became evident only when the need for transport was exacerbated. For example, constitutive mucin secretion is normal in the lung of the VAMP8 knockout mouse, whereas a defect in mucous secretion could be observed after stimulation with IL-13 [64]. It may be necessary to deplete multiple VAMPs or to somehow stress the secretory pathway upon VAMP7 knockdown in order to observe a defect in apical trafficking in MDCK cells. "
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    ABSTRACT: Epithelial cells elaborate specialized domains that have distinct protein and lipid compositions, including the apical and basolateral surfaces and primary cilia. Maintaining the identity of these domains is required for proper cell function, and requires the efficient and selective SNARE-mediated fusion of vesicles containing newly synthesized and recycling proteins with the proper target membrane. Multiple pathways exist to deliver newly synthesized proteins to the apical surface of kidney cells, and the post-Golgi SNAREs, or VAMPs, involved in these distinct pathways have not been identified. VAMP7 has been implicated in apical protein delivery in other cell types, and we hypothesized that this SNARE would have differential effects on the trafficking of apical proteins known to take distinct routes to the apical surface in kidney cells. VAMP7 expressed in polarized Madin Darby canine kidney cells colocalized primarily with LAMP2-positive compartments, and siRNA-mediated knockdown modulated lysosome size, consistent with the known function of VAMP7 in lysosomal delivery. Surprisingly, VAMP7 knockdown had no effect on apical delivery of numerous cargoes tested, but did decrease the length and frequency of primary cilia. Additionally, VAMP7 knockdown disrupted cystogenesis in cells grown in a three-dimensional basement membrane matrix. The effects of VAMP7 depletion on ciliogenesis and cystogenesis are not directly linked to the disruption of lysosomal function, as cilia lengths and cyst morphology were unaffected in an MDCK lysosomal storage disorder model. Together, our data suggest that VAMP7 plays an essential role in ciliogenesis and lumen formation. To our knowledge, this is the first study implicating an R-SNARE in ciliogenesis and cystogenesis.
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    • "As at least some ATP-release pathways are cell type-specific, it would be reasonable to assume that, in general, renal epithelia use several pathways to release this paracrine factor. Other epithelia have been shown to possess cell type-specific ATP release mechanisms, such as the respiratory epithelium where a pore-mediated (pannexin 1) release mechanism predominates in ciliated epithelial cells (Seminario-Vidal et al., 2011) and exocytosis/vesicular release is responsible for the ATP release from the goblet cells (Jones et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Renal epithelial cells have the ability to release nucleotides as paracrine factors. In the intercalated cells of the collecting duct, ATP is released by connexin30 (cx30), which is selectively expressed in this cell type. However, ATP is released by virtually all renal epithelia and the aim of the present study was to identify possible alternative nucleotide release pathways in a renal epithelial cell model. We used MDCK (type1) cells to screen for various potential ATP release pathways. In these cells, inhibition of the vesicular H(+)-ATPases (bafilomycin) reduced both the spontaneous and hypotonically (80%)-induced nucleotide release. Interference with vesicular fusion using N-ethylamide markedly reduced the spontaneous nucleotide release, as did interference with trafficking from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi apparatus (brefeldin A1) and vesicular transport (nocodazole). These findings were substantiated using a siRNA directed against SNAP-23, which significantly reduced spontaneous ATP release. Inhibition of pannexin and connexins did not affect the spontaneous ATP release in this cell type, which consists of ~90% principal cells. TIRF-microscopy of either fluorescently-labeled ATP (MANT-ATP) or quinacrine-loaded vesicles, revealed that spontaneous release of single vesicles could be promoted by either hypoosmolality (50%) or ionomycin. This vesicular release decreased the overall cellular fluorescence by 5.8 and 7.6% respectively. In summary, this study supports the notion that spontaneous and induced ATP release can occur via exocytosis in renal epithelial cells.
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