Rho and Rac promote acinar morphological changes, actin reorganization, and amylase secretion

Yan Bi, Sophie Le Page, John A. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Supramaximal stimulation of isolated pancreatic acini with specific agonists such as CCK induces the formation of large basolateral blebs, redistributes filamentous actin, and inhibits secretion. Rho family small G proteins are well documented for their function in actin reorganization that determines cell shape and have been suggested to play a role in secretion. Here, we determined whether Rho and Rac are involved in the morphological changes, actin redistribution, and inhibition of amylase secretion induced by high concentrations of CCK. Introduction of constitutively active RhoV14 and RacV12 but not Cdc42V12 in mouse pancreatic acini by adenoviral vectors stimulated acinar morphological changes including basolateral protrusions, increased the total amount of F-actin, and reorganized the actin cytoskeleton. Dominant-negative RhoN19, Clostridium botulinum C3 exotoxin, which inhibits Rho, and dominant-negative RacN17 all partially blocked CCK-induced acinar morphological changes and actin redistribution. To study the correlation between actin polymerization and acinar shape changes, two marine toxins were employed. Jasplakinolide, a reagent that facilitates actin polymerization and stabilizes F-actin, stimulated acinar basolateral protrusions, whereas latrunculin, which sequesters actin monomers, blocked CCK-induced acinar blebbing. Unexpectedly, RhoV14, RacV12, and jasplakinolide all increased amylase secretion by CCK from 30 pM to 10 nM. The data suggest that Rho and Rac are involved in CCK-evoked changes in acinar morphology, actin redistribution, and secretion and that inhibition of secretion by high concentrations of CCK is not directly coupled to the changes in acinar morphology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G561-G570
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number3 52-3
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Jasplakinolide
  • Latrunculin
  • Pancreas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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