ALG-2 and peflin regulate COPII targeting and secretion in response to calcium signaling

John Sargeant, Danette Kowal Seiler, Tucker Costain, Corina T. Madreiter-Sokolowski, David E. Gordon, Andrew A. Peden, Roland Malli, Wolfgang F. Graier, Jesse C. Hay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


ER-to-Golgi transport is the first step in the constitutive secretory pathway, which, unlike regulated secretion, is believed to proceed nonstop independent of Ca2+ flux. However, here we demonstrate that penta-EF hand (PEF) proteins ALG-2 and peflin constitute a hetero-bifunctional COPII regulator that responds to Ca2+ signaling by adopting one of several distinct activity states. Functionally, these states can adjust the rate of ER export of COPII-sorted cargos up or down by ~50%. We found that at steady-state Ca2+, ALG-2/peflin hetero-complexes bind to ER exit sites (ERES) through the ALG-2 subunit to confer a low, buffered secretion rate, while peflin-lacking ALG-2 complexes markedly stimulate secretion. Upon Ca2+ signaling, ALG-2 complexes lacking peflin can either increase or decrease the secretion rate depending on signaling intensity and duration—phenomena that could contribute to cellular growth and inter-cellular communication following secretory increases or protection from excitotoxicity and infection following decreases. In epithelial normal rat kidney (NRK) cells, the Ca2+-mobilizing agonist ATP causes ALG-2 to depress ER export, while in neuroendocrine PC12 cells, Ca2+ mobilization by ATP results in ALG-2-dependent enhancement of secretion. Furthermore, distinct Ca2+ signaling patterns in NRK cells produce opposing ALG-2-dependent effects on secretion. Mechanistically, ALG-2dependent depression of secretion involves decreased levels of the COPII outer shell and increased peflin targeting to ERES, while ALG-2-dependent enhancement of secretion involves increased COPII outer shell and decreased peflin at ERES. These data provide insights into how PEF protein dynamics affect secretion of important physiological cargoes such as collagen I and significantly impact ER stress.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101393
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


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