Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion is controlled by both exocytosis and endocytosis in pancreatic β-cells. Although endocytosis is a fundamental step to maintain cellular responses to the secretagogue, the molecular mechanism of endocytosis remains poorly defined. We have previously shown that in response to high concentrations of glucose, guanosine 5′-diphosphate (GDP)-bound Rab27a is recruited to the plasma membrane where IQ motif-containing guanosine 5′-triphosphatase (GTPase)-activating protein 1 (IQGAP1) is expressed, and that complex formation promotes endocytosis of secretory membranes after insulin secretion. In the present study, the regulatory mechanisms of dissociation of the complex were investigated. Phosphorylation of IQGAP1 on serine (Ser)-1443, a site recognized by protein kinase Cε (PKCε), inhibited the interaction of GDP-bound Rab27a with IQGAP1 in a Cdc42-independent manner. Glucose stimulation caused a translocation of PKCε from the cytosol to the plasma membrane. In addition, glucose-induced endocytosis was inhibited by the knockdown of IQGAP1 with small interfering RNA (siRNA). However, the expression of the non-phosphorylatable or phosphomimetic form of IQGAP1 could not rescue the inhibition, suggesting that a phosphorylation-dephosphorylation cycle of IQGAP1 is required for endocytosis. These results suggest that IQGAP1 phosphorylated by PKCε promotes the dissociation of the IQGAP1-GDP-bound Rab27a complex in pancreatic β-cells, thereby regulating endocytosis of secretory membranes following insulin secretion.
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