BAIAP3, a C2 domain-containing Munc13 protein, controls the fate of dense-core vesicles in neuroendocrine cells

J Cell Biol. 2017 Jul 3;216(7):2151-2166. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201702099. Epub 2017 Jun 16.


Dense-core vesicle (DCV) exocytosis is a SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion attachment protein receptor)-dependent anterograde trafficking pathway that requires multiple proteins for regulation. Several C2 domain-containing proteins are known to regulate Ca2+-dependent DCV exocytosis in neuroendocrine cells. In this study, we identified others by screening all (∼139) human C2 domain-containing proteins by RNA interference in neuroendocrine cells. 40 genes were identified, including several encoding proteins with known roles (CAPS [calcium-dependent activator protein for secretion 1], Munc13-2, RIM1, and SYT10) and many with unknown roles. One of the latter, BAIAP3, is a secretory cell-specific Munc13-4 paralog of unknown function. BAIAP3 knockdown caused accumulation of fusion-incompetent DCVs in BON neuroendocrine cells and lysosomal degradation (crinophagy) of insulin-containing DCVs in INS-1 β cells. BAIAP3 localized to endosomes was required for Golgi trans-Golgi network 46 (TGN46) recycling, exhibited Ca2+-stimulated interactions with TGN SNAREs, and underwent Ca2+-stimulated TGN recruitment. Thus, unlike other Munc13 proteins, BAIAP3 functions indirectly in DCV exocytosis by affecting DCV maturation through its role in DCV protein recycling. Ca2+ rises that stimulate DCV exocytosis may stimulate BAIAP3-dependent retrograde trafficking to maintain DCV protein homeostasis and DCV function.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Signaling
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Exocytosis*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neuroendocrine Cells / metabolism*
  • Protein Domains
  • Protein Transport
  • RNA Interference
  • Rats
  • Secretory Vesicles / metabolism*
  • Transfection
  • trans-Golgi Network / metabolism


  • BAIAP3 protein, human
  • BAIAP3 protein, rat
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Insulin
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins