A role for Rho and Rac in secretagogue-induced amylase release by pancreatic acini

Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2005 Jul;289(1):C22-32. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00395.2004. Epub 2005 Mar 2.


The actin cytoskeleton has long been implicated in protein secretion. We investigated whether Rho and Rac, known regulators of the cytoskeleton, are involved in amylase secretion by mouse pancreatic acini. Secretagogues, including cholecystokinin (CCK) and the acetylcholine analog carbachol, increased the amount of GTP-bound RhoA and Rac1 and induced translocation from cytosol to a membrane fraction. Immunocytochemistry revealed the translocation of Rho and Rac within the apical region of the cell. Expression by means of adenoviral vectors of dominant-negative Rho (RhoN19), dominant-negative Rac (RacN17), and Clostridium Botulinum C3 exotoxin, which ADP ribosylates and inactivates Rho, significantly inhibited amylase secretion by CCK and carbachol; inhibiting both Rho and Rac resulted in a greater reduction. This inhibitory effect of RhoN19 on CCK-induced amylase secretion was apparent in both the early and late phases of secretion, whereas RacN17 was more potent on the late phase of secretion. None of these three affected the basal Ca2+ or the peak intracellular Ca2+ concentration stimulated by CCK. Latrunculin, a marine toxin that sequesters actin monomers, time-dependently decreased the total amount of filamentous actin (F-actin) and dose-dependently decreased secretion by secretagogues without affecting Ca2+ signaling. These data suggest that Rho and Rac are both involved in CCK-induced amylase release in pancreatic acinar cell possibly through an effect on the actin cytoskeleton.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • ADP Ribose Transferases / pharmacology
  • Acute-Phase Proteins / metabolism
  • Acute-Phase Proteins / pharmacology
  • Acute-Phase Proteins / physiology*
  • Adenoviridae / genetics
  • Amylases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Amylases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / drug effects
  • Botulinum Toxins / pharmacology
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cholecystokinin / administration & dosage
  • Cholecystokinin / pharmacology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Intracellular Membranes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Marine Toxins / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Pancreas / drug effects
  • Pancreas / enzymology*
  • Porifera
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / pharmacology
  • Subcellular Fractions / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Transfection
  • rac GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • rac GTP-Binding Proteins / pharmacology
  • rac GTP-Binding Proteins / physiology*


  • Acute-Phase Proteins
  • Marine Toxins
  • Protein Isoforms
  • acute-phase protein rho
  • Cholecystokinin
  • ADP Ribose Transferases
  • exoenzyme C3, Clostridium botulinum
  • Amylases
  • Botulinum Toxins
  • rac GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Calcium