CaM kinase II, a multifunctional Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase, is expressed in the pancreatic beta-cell and is activated by glucose and other secretagogues in a manner correlating with insulin secretion. It is proposed that the activation of CaM kinase II mediates some of the actions of Ca2+ on the exocytosis of insulin secretory granules. This suggestion is supported by the localization of CaM kinase II to the insulin secretory granule and by the identification of two secretory-relevant proteins, MAP-2 and synapsin I, as endogenous substrates in the beta-cell. Mechanistically, CaM kinase II appears to be involved in secretory steps proximal to granule fusion at the plasmalemma, and may facilitate protracted secretion through control of the interaction of granules with the cell cytoskeleton and their mobilization from intracellular synthesis sites. Through its unique regulatory properties, however, CaM kinase II is predicted to serve in more specialized aspects of the secretory process. In particular, the ability of CaM kinase II to remain active after cell stimulation is suggested to represent a mechanism by which releasable pools of granules are replenished between stimuli.

This content is only available via PDF.