MUNC18-1 (also known as STXBP1) is an essential protein for docking and fusion of secretory vesicles. Mouse chromaffin cells (MCCs) lacking MUNC18-1 show impaired secretory vesicle docking, but also mistargeting of SNARE protein syntaxin1 and an abnormally dense submembrane F-actin network. Here, we tested the contribution of both these phenomena to docking and secretion defects in MUNC18-1-deficient MCCs. We show that an abnormal F-actin network and syntaxin1 targeting defects are not observed in Snap25- or Syt1-knockout (KO) MCCs, which are also secretion deficient. We identified a MUNC18-1 mutant (V263T in β-sheet 10) that fully restores syntaxin1 targeting but not F-actin abnormalities in Munc18-1-KO cells. MUNC18-2 and -3 (also known as STXBP2 and STXBP3, respectively), which lack the hydrophobic residue at position 263, also did not restore a normal F-actin network in Munc18-1-KO cells. However, these proteins did restore the normal F-actin network when a hydrophobic residue was introduced at the corresponding position. Munc18-1-KO MCCs expressing MUNC18-1(V263T) showed normal vesicle docking and exocytosis. These results demonstrate that MUNC18-1 regulates the F-actin network independently of syntaxin1 targeting via hydrophobicity in β-sheet 10. The abnormally dense F-actin network in Munc18-1-deficient cells is not a rate-limiting barrier in secretory vesicle docking or fusion.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.
Pons-Vizcarra, M., Kurps, J., Tawfik, B., Sørensen, J. B., van Weering, J. R. T., & Verhage, M. (2019). MUNC18-1 regulates the submembrane F-actin network, independently of syntaxin1 targeting, via hydrophobicity in β-sheet 10. Journal of Cell Science, 132(23). https://doi.org/10.1242/jcs.234674