- Mast cells (MCs) participate in allergy, inflammation, and defense against pathogens. They release multiple immune mediators via exocytosis, a process that requires SNARE proteins, including syntaxins (Stxs). The identity of the Stxs involved in MC exocytosis remains controversial. Here, we studied the roles of Stx3 and -4 in fully developed MCs from conditional knockout mice by electrophysiology and EM, and found that Stx3, and not Stx4, is crucial for MC exocytosis. The main defect seen in Stx3-deficient MCs was their inability to engage multigranular compound exocytosis, while leaving most single-vesicle fusion events intact.
- Platelet degranulation, a form of regulated exocytosis, is crucial for hemostasis and thrombosis. Exocytosis in platelets is mediated by SNARE proteins, and in most mammalian cells this process is controlled by Munc18 (mammalian homolog of Caenorhabditis elegans uncoordinated gene 18) proteins. Platelets express all Munc18 paralogs (Munc18-1, -2, and -3), but their roles in platelet secretion and function have not been fully characterized. Using Munc18-1, -2, and -3 conditional knockout mice, here we deleted expression of these proteins in platelets and assessed granule exocytosis.
- Mast cells (MCs) play pivotal roles in many inflammatory conditions including infections, anaphylaxis, and asthma. MCs store immunoregulatory compounds in their large cytoplasmic granules and, upon stimulation, secrete them via regulated exocytosis. Exocytosis in many cells requires the participation of Munc18 proteins (also known as syntaxin-binding proteins), and we found that mature MCs express all three mammalian isoforms: Munc18-1, -2, and -3. To study their functions in MC effector responses and test the role of MC degranulation in anaphylaxis, we used conditional knockout (cKO) mice in which each Munc18 protein was deleted exclusively in MCs.