Secretagogue-induced exocytosis recruits G protein-gated K+ channels to plasma membrane in endocrine cells

Ken Ichirou Morishige, Atsushi Inanobe, Yukiko Yoshimoto, Hirohisa Kurachi, Yuji Murata, Yoshimitu Tokunaga, Toshihiro Maeda, Yoshio Maruyama, Yoshihisa Kurachi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Stimulation-regulated fusion of vesicles to the plasma membrane is an essential step for hormone secretion but may also serve for the recruitment of functional proteins to the plasma membrane. While studying the distribution of G protein-gated K+ (K(G)) channels in the anterior pituitary lobe, we found K(G) channel subunits Kir3.1 and Kir3.4 localized on the membranes of intracellular dense core vesicles that contained thyrotropin. Stimulation of these thyrotroph cells with thyrotropin-releasing hormone provoked fusion of vesicles to the plasma membrane, increased expression of Kir3.1 and Kir3.4 subunits in the plasma membrane, and markedly enhanced K(G) currents stimulated by dopamine and somatostatin. These data indicate a novel mechanism for the rapid insertion of functional ion channels into the plasma membrane, which could form a new type of negative feedback control loop for hormone secretion in the endocrine system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7969-7974
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Mar 19
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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