ELAPOR1 is a secretory granule maturation-promoting factor that is lost during paligenosis

Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2022 Jan 1;322(1):G49-G65. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00246.2021. Epub 2021 Nov 24.


A single transcription factor, MIST1 (BHLHA15), maximizes secretory function in diverse secretory cells (like pancreatic acinar cells) by transcriptionally upregulating genes that elaborate secretory architecture. Here, we show that the scantly studied MIST1 target, ELAPOR1 (endosome/lysosome-associated apoptosis and autophagy regulator 1), is an evolutionarily conserved, novel mannose-6-phosphate receptor (M6PR) domain-containing protein. ELAPOR1 expression was specific to zymogenic cells (ZCs, the MIST1-expressing population in the stomach). ELAPOR1 expression was lost as tissue injury caused ZCs to undergo paligenosis (i.e., to become metaplastic and reenter the cell cycle). In cultured cells, ELAPOR1 trafficked with cis-Golgi resident proteins and with the trans-Golgi and late endosome protein: cation-independent M6PR. Secretory vesicle trafficking was disrupted by expression of ELAPOR1 truncation mutants. Mass spectrometric analysis of co-immunoprecipitated proteins showed ELAPOR1 and CI-M6PR shared many binding partners. However, CI-M6PR and ELAPOR1 must function differently, as CI-M6PR co-immunoprecipitated more lysosomal proteins and was not decreased during paligenosis in vivo. We generated Elapor1-/- mice to determine ELAPOR1 function in vivo. Consistent with in vitro findings, secretory granule maturation was defective in Elapor1-/- ZCs. Our results identify a role for ELAPOR1 in secretory granule maturation and help clarify how a single transcription factor maintains mature exocrine cell architecture in homeostasis and helps dismantle it during paligenosis.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Here, we find the MIST1 (BHLHA15) transcriptional target ELAPOR1 is an evolutionarily conserved, trans-Golgi/late endosome M6PR domain-containing protein that is specific to gastric zymogenic cells and required for normal secretory granule maturation in human cell lines and in mouse stomach.

Keywords: MIST1; trafficking; vesicle; zymogenic cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chief Cells, Gastric / metabolism
  • Endosomes / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lysosomes / metabolism
  • Maturation-Promoting Factor / genetics
  • Maturation-Promoting Factor / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism*
  • Pancreas, Exocrine / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • ELAPOR1 protein, human
  • Elapor1 protein, mouse
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Maturation-Promoting Factor