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Weibel-Palade Body Localized Syntaxin-3 Modulates Von Willebrand Factor Secretion From Endothelial CellsHighlights [Basic Sciences]

Objective—Endothelial cells store VWF (von Willebrand factor) in rod-shaped secretory organelles, called Weibel-Palade bodies (WPBs). WPB exocytosis is coordinated by a complex network of Rab GTPases, Rab effectors, and SNARE (soluble NSF attachment protein receptor) proteins. We have previously identified STXBP1 as the link between the Rab27A-Slp4-a complex on WPBs and the SNARE proteins syntaxin-2 and -3. In this study, we investigate the function of syntaxin-3 in VWF secretion.Approach and Results—In human umbilical vein endothelial cells and in blood outgrowth endothelial cells (BOECs) from healthy controls, endogenous syntaxin-3 immunolocalized to WPBs. A detailed analysis of BOECs isolated from a patient with variant microvillus inclusion disease, carrying a homozygous mutation in STX3(STX3−/−), showed a loss of syntaxin-3 protein and absence of WPB-associated syntaxin-3 immunoreactivity. Ultrastructural analysis revealed no detectable differences in morphology or prevalence of immature or mature WPBs in control versus STX3−/− BOECs. VWF multimer analysis showed normal patterns in plasma of the microvillus inclusion disease patient, and media from STX3−/− BOECs, together indicating WPB formation and maturation are unaffected by absence of syntaxin-3. However, a defect in basal as well as Ca2+- and cAMP-mediated VWF secretion was found in the STX3−/− BOECs. We also show that syntaxin-3 interacts with the WPB-associated SNARE protein VAMP8 (vesicle-associated membrane protein-8).Conclusions—Our data reveal syntaxin-3 as a novel WPB-associated SNARE protein that controls WPB exocytosis.

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