Besides having a role in signal transduction some trimeric G-proteins may be involved in a late stage of exocytosis. Using immunocytochemistry and confocal microscopy we found that Gi(3)-protein resides mainly in the plasma membrane, whereas Gi(1/2-)protein is preferentially associated with secretory granules. To study the function of trimeric Gi(3)- and Gi(1/2)-proteins, secretory responses in single rat melanotrophs were monitored by patch-clamp membrane capacitance measurements. We report here that mastoparan, an activator of trimeric G-proteins, enhances calcium-induced secretory activity in rat melanotrophs. The introduction of synthetic peptides corresponding to the C-terminal domain of the (α)-subunit of Gi(3)- and Gi(1/2)-proteins indicated that Gi(3)peptide specifically blocked the mastoparan-stimulated secretory activity, which indicates an involvement of a trimeric Gi(3)-protein in mastoparan-stimulated secretory activity. Flash photolysis of caged Ca(2+)-elicited biphasic capacitance increases consisting of a fast and a slower component. Injection of anti-Gi(3) antibodies selectively inhibited the slow but not the fast component of secretory activity in rat melanotrophs. We propose that the plasma membrane-bound Gi(3)-protein may be involved in regulated secretion by specifically controlling the slower kinetic component of exocytosis.
- © 1999 by Company of Biologists