Inhibition of secretion by Gi/o-coupled GPCRs is an important control mechanism used by many hormones and
neuromodulators. It is well documented that activation of Gi/o-coupled GPCRs in secretory cells releases G¿¿
subunits that inhibit Ca2+ entry through voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels (VDCCs), leading to reduced
hormone release. However, a direct interaction between G¿¿ and soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor
attachment protein receptor (SNARE) proteins also inhibits transmitter hormone release in many systems. This
mechanism is not only more acute and direct in controlling evoked release but also has the ability to modify
spontaneous release. However, the mechanistic details of this SNARE-mediated modulation remain
understudied, with many open questions. For example, which GPCRs work through this mechanism? We
have also found that G¿¿ inhibition of Ca2+ entry synergizes with G¿¿ inhibition of SNARE-mediated exocytosis.
We will address the mechanism of this synergism as well as it’s implications in physiology. Adding another
layer of complexity is the diversity of G¿ and G¿ isoforms and the control of specificity of G¿¿s. Using
proteomic assays, we have found that specific G¿¿ subunits (i.e. G¿1¿2) bind to SNARE even without GPCR
agonists whereas adding agonists enhances G¿1¿2 binding but also brings new G¿¿s (e.g. G¿2¿3) to SNAREs.
These data suggest that unique G¿¿ subunits can differentially act on SNARE to achieve different degrees of
modulation via GPCRs or even without GPCR activation. Therefore, we propose that SNARE-mediated G¿¿
modulation of hormone release exerts its functional diversity by different combination of G¿¿ subunits and
different degree of SNARE binding. This leads us to focus on three specific aims that test (1) which GPCRs
work through modulation of Ca2+ entry and which work through binding SNARE (2) what is the mechanism of
synergism between the two G¿¿-mediated mechanisms and (3) what is the role of particular G¿ and ¿ subunits
in GPCR regulation of hormone release.
Given the huge diversity of GPCRs in CNS, given G¿¿’s close ties to modulation of exocytosis, and given their
relevance to many hormonal and neurological disorders, this project will illuminate a more versatile modulation
of secretion by different G¿¿s, bridge the knowledge gap between tonic and phasic modulation of release via
GPCRs in secretion, and unravel molecular mechanisms underpinning various hormonal and neurological