Rab3A Negatively Regulates Activity-Dependent Modulation of Exocytosis in Bovine Adrenal Chromaffin Cells

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Members of the Rab family of monomeric GTPases have been implicated in vesicle trafficking, and Rab3A, located on synaptic vesicles in neurones and secretory vesicles in neuroendocrine cells, is likely to be involved in vesicle fusion leading to neurotransmitter release. A hydrolysis-deficient mutant of Rab3A, Rab3AQ81L, has been shown to potently inhibit hormone release. Here we show that the inhibition of hormone release by Rab3AQ81L is activity-dependent. Bovine adrenal chromaffin cells were induced to express Rab3AQ81L and green fluorescent protein by adenoviral gene transfer of a bicistronic construct. Fluorescent cells were stimulated with single depolarizations and trains of depolarizing pulses in whole cell perforated patch clamp recordings, and exocytosis was detected with cell capacitance measurements and carbon fibre amperometry. When single depolarizations were used to evoke exocytosis, cells expressing Rab3AQ81L showed a 50% reduction in response amplitude. When trains of brief depolarizations (10 or 40 ms) were used to evoke exocytosis, responses rapidly declined to zero in cells expressing Rab3AQ81L. Wild-type Rab3Ahad effects similar to Rab3AQ81L, causing significant inhibition of exocytosis only during repetitive stimulation. Expression of Rab5A did not alter exocytosis evoked by single depolarizations or repetitive stimulation. Applying a long duration depolarization in the middle of a stimulus train revealed that exocytotic efficacy (capacitance increase per amount of calcium influx) was not decreased in Rab3AQ81L-expressing cells. Instead, the activity-dependent increase in exocytotic efficacy observed in control cells did not occur in Rab3AQ81L-expressing cells. Our results suggest that Rab3A in the GTP bound conformation prevents activity-dependent facilitation.



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