How Peptide Hormone Vesicles Are Transported to the Secretion Site for Exocytosis

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Post-Golgi transport of peptide hormone-containing vesicles from the site of genesis at the trans-Golgi network to the release site at the plasma membrane is essential for activity-dependent hormone secretion to mediate various endocrinological functions. It is known that these vesicles are transported on microtubules to the proximity of the release site, and they are then loaded onto an actin/myosin system for distal transport through the actin cortex to just below the plasma membrane. The vesicles are then tethered to the plasma membrane, and a subpopulation of them are docked and primed to become the readily releasable pool. Cytoplasmic tails of vesicular transmembrane proteins, as well as many cytosolic proteins including adaptor proteins, motor proteins, and guanosine triphosphatases, are involved in vesicle budding, the anchoring of the vesicles, and the facilitation of movement along the transport systems. In addition, a set of cytosolic proteins is also necessary for tethering/docking of the vesicles to the plasma membrane. Many of these proteins have been identified from different types of (neuro)endocrine cells. Here, we summarize the proteins known to be involved in the mechanisms of sorting various cargo proteins into regulated secretory pathway hormone-containing vesicles, movement of these vesicles along microtubules and actin filaments, and their eventual tethering/docking to the plasma membrane for hormone secretion.

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