Purification and Functional Analysis of a Rab27 Effector Munc13‐4 Using a Semiintact Platelet Dense‐Granule Secretion Assay

Methods in Enzymology (Impact Factor: 2.09). 02/2005; 403:778-88. DOI: 10.1016/S0076-6879(05)03067-3
Source: PubMed


We have demonstrated that small GTPase Rab27 regulates dense-granule secretion in platelets. Using Rab27a affinity chromatography, we purified Munc 13-4 as a novel Rab27a interacting protein from platelet cytosol. This chapter describes the purification of Munc 13-4 and an in vitro assay system analyzing the mechanism of dense-granule secretion in platelets. The activity of Munc 13-4 is tested in this assay.

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    ABSTRACT: An in vivo disturbance of lymphocyte homeostasis occurs during the course of the hemophagocytic syndrome (HS). HS is a severe and often fatal syndrome resulting from potent and uncontrolled activation and proliferation of T-lymphocytes, mainly polyclonal CD8 lymphocytes, leading to excessive macrophage activation, high level of proinflammatory cytokine production and multiple deleterious effects. The onset of HS characterizes several inherited disorders in humans. In most of these conditions, the molecular defect impairs the granule-dependent cytotoxic activity of lymphocytes, thus highlighting the determinant role of this function in driving back the immune system to a state of equilibrium following infection. Several lines of evidence suggest that an increase in the expansion phase rather than a decrease in the contraction phase of the CD8+ T cells population characterizes the HS. Failure to kill antigen presenting cells through a transaction mechanism of cytotoxic cells should favor a sustained response, although the mechanism may be more complex than simple decrease of antigen load. Defect in the granule dependent cytotoxic function of lymphocytes result from perforin mutation in familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis type 2, from Munc13-4 (UNC13D) mutation in familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis type 3, from Rab27a mutation in Griscelli syndrome type 2, and from CHS/LYST mutation in Chediak-Higashi syndrome. The characterization of the molecular causes leading to these conditions identified Rab27a and Munc13-4 as two critical effectors of the exocytic machinery, required for the terminal transport/docking or priming of the cytotoxic granules, respectively. Different members of the Rab and Munc13 family of proteins are also used in neurotransmitter release at the neurological synapse, highlighting the similarity of the mechanisms regulating both secretory pathways. Future investigations regarding HS will continue to elucidate this exocytic pathway machinery and improve our understanding of how it finely regulates the immune response, an area that is likely to be useful for therapeutic intervention.
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously demonstrated that Rab27 regulates dense granule secretion in platelets. Here, we analyzed the activation status of Rab27 using the thin layer chromatography method analyzing nucleotides bound to immunoprecipitated Rab27 and the pull-down method quantifying Rab27 bound to the GTP-Rab27-binding domain (synaptotagmin-like protein (Slp)-homology domain) of its specific effector, Slac2-b. We found that Rab27 was predominantly present in the GTP-bound form in unstimulated platelets due to constitutive GDP/GTP exchange activity. The GTP-bound Rab27 level drastically decreased due to enhanced GTP hydrolysis activity upon granule secretion. In permeabilized platelets, increase of Ca(2+) concentration induced dense granule secretion with concomitant decrease of GTP-Rab27, whereas in non-hydrolyzable GTP analogue GppNHp (beta-gamma-imidoguanosine 5'-triphosphate)-loaded permeabilized platelets, the GTP (GppNHp)-Rab27 level did not decrease upon the Ca(2+)-induced secretion. These data suggested that GTP hydrolysis of Rab27 was not necessary for inducing the secretion. Taken together, Rab27 is maintained in the active status in unstimulated platelets, which could function to keep dense granules in a preparative status for secretion.
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