The use of aequorins to record and visualize Ca(2+) dynamics: from subcellular microdomains to whole organisms.
The role of dense core secretory vesicles in the control of cytosolic-free Ca(2+) concentrations ([Ca(2+)](c)) in neuronal and neuroendocrine cells is enigmatic. By constructing a vesicle-associated membrane protein 2-synaptobrevin.aequorin chimera, we show that in clonal pancreatic islet beta-cells: (a) increases in [Ca(2+)](c) cause a prompt increase in intravesicular-free Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)]SV), which is mediated by a P-type Ca(2+)-ATPase distinct from the sarco(endo) plasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase, but which may be related to the PMR1/ATP2C1 family of Ca(2+) pumps; (b) steady state Ca(2+) concentrations are 3-5-fold lower in secretory vesicles than in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) or Golgi apparatus, suggesting the existence of tightly bound and more rapidly exchanging pools of Ca(2+); (c) inositol (1,4,5) trisphosphate has no impact on [Ca(2+)](SV) in intact or permeabilized cells; and (d) ryanodine receptor (RyR) activation with caffeine or 4-chloro-3-ethylphenol in intact cells, or cyclic ADPribose in permeabilized cells, causes a dramatic fall in [Ca(2+)](SV). Thus, secretory vesicles represent a dynamic Ca(2+) store in neuroendocrine cells, whose characteristics are in part distinct from the ER/Golgi apparatus. The presence of RyRs on secretory vesicles suggests that local Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release from vesicles docked at the plasma membrane could participate in triggering exocytosis.