Small G-proteins (SMGs) require isoprenylation for their association with membranes. We have examined protein isoprenylation, subcellular distribution of SMGs, cytosolic Ca2+ changes and insulin secretion in HIT-T15 cells after treatment with lovastatin, which inhibits the production of isoprenoids by blocking mevalonate production by 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase. Numerous proteins in the 20-70 kDa range were found to be isoprenylated. Most of these proteins co-migrated with SMGs (21-27 kDa). Lovastatin treatment (25 microM, 24 h) decreased protein isoprenylation and affected the distribution of several SMGs, causing a large accumulation in the cytosol and a detectable decrease in membranes. Lovastatin selectively attenuated the potentiating action of bombesin and vasopressin, which activate phospholipase C in these cells, on insulin secretion stimulated by nutrients (glucose + leucine + glutamine). This lovastatin effect was overcome by mevalonate. Insulin secretion stimulated by nutrients alone or insulin release in the presence of the potentiating agents forskolin or phorbol myristate acetate remained unaffected. As the modulation of insulin secretion by isoprenaline and somatostatin were not altered by lovastatin, the drug does not non-selectively affect the binding of ligands to their receptors. Lovastatin did not interfere with the activation of phospholipase C by bombesin and vasopressin, since the rise in cytosolic Ca2+ induced by these agents was not changed. Limonene, proposed to block specifically prenyl-protein transferases of SMGs, did not alter protein isoprenylation patterns, but inhibited the stimulated insulin secretion. In conclusion, lovastatin selectively attenuated the potentiation of nutrient-induced insulin secretion by bombesin and vasopressin without affecting their activation of phospholipase C. The concomitant changes in SMG isoprenylation and their subcellular distribution after lovastatin treatment suggest that SMGs could play an important role in the bombesin and vasopressin action on insulin secretion.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.