RalA-exocyst interaction mediates GTP-dependent exocytosis.

Research paper by Li L Wang, Gang G Li, Shuzo S Sugita

Indexed on: 24 Feb '04Published on: 24 Feb '04Published in: Journal of Biological Chemistry


Many secretory cells utilize a GTP-dependent pathway, in addition to the well characterized Ca2+-dependent pathway, to trigger exocytotic secretion. However, little is currently known about the mechanism by which this may occur. Here we show the key signaling pathway that mediates GTP-dependent exocytosis. Incubation of permeabilized PC12 cells with soluble RalA GTPase, but not RhoA or Rab3A GTPases, strongly inhibited GTP-dependent exocytosis. A Ral-binding fragment from Sec5, a component of the exocyst complex, showed a similar inhibition. Point mutations in both RalA (RalA(E38R)) and the Sec5 (Sec5(T11A)) fragment, which abolish RalA-Sec5 interaction also abolished the inhibition of GTP-dependent exocytosis. Moreover, transfection with wild-type RalA, but not RalA(E38R), enhanced GTP-dependent exocytosis. In contrast the RalA and the Sec5 fragment showed no inhibition of Ca2+-dependent exocytosis, but cleavage of a SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor) protein by Botulinum neurotoxin blocked both GTP- and Ca2+-dependent exocytosis. Our results indicate that the interaction between RalA and the exocyst complex (containing Sec5) is essential for GTP-dependent exocytosis. Furthermore, GTP- and Ca2+-dependent exocytosis use different sensors and effectors for triggering exocytosis whereas their final fusion steps are both SNARE-dependent.