Herbert Y Gaisano, BSc, MD, FRCPC

Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Exocytosis
My research is focused on the examining the molecular mechanisms that regulate exocytosis and have used the neuroendocrine islet beta cell as the major model, and to a lesser extent, also the epithelial pancreatic acinar cell.

My laboratory has made some pioneering observation demonstrating SNARE proteins, originally shown to be involved in the primitive yeast constitutive secretory machinery and the highly regulated neurotransmitter release, to be conserved in non-neuronal cells to regulate secretion.

The current emphasis and working hypothesis of this lab is directed towards the identification of the putative functional domains within these SNARE proteins which physically and functionally interact with islet beta cell membrane ion channels which regulate the intricate sequence of ion fluxes (K+, Ca2+), membrane potential and exocytotic fusion events leading to secretion.

Insights gained from such studies will eventually lead to the elucidation of how these distal components of the insulin exocytotic machinery could be dysregulated to explain the distorted insulin secretion in diabetes; and more importantly, to identify therapeutic targets revealed by these SNARE-ion channel interactions.

This lab has in place the full spectrum of functional assays for the islet beta cell, including islet perifusion assays, state-of-the-art patch clamp electrophysiology methods (including capacitance measurements, photorelease of caged compounds, and single channel recording), real-time high-resolution digital fluorescence imaging of single granule exocytosis by evanescent microscopy, protein interactions by FRET imaging analysis, and cytoplasmic ion fluxes. As well, this lab has in place complementary assays in biochemistry (immunoprecipitation), molecular biology (site-specific mutagenesis) and gene transfer of cell lines and islets (adenovirus and lentivirus).

This research program is supported by Canadian (Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canadian Diabetes Association, Canadian Association of Gastroenterology) and international (NIH, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) funding agencies.
Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2019 Aug 06;1865(11):165530
Piplani H, Marek-Iannucci S, Sin J, Hou J, Takahashi T, Sharma A, de Freitas Germano J, Waldron RT, Saadaeijahromi H, Song Y, Gulla A, Wu B, Lugea A, Andres AM, Gaisano HY, Gottlieb RA, Pandol SJ
JCI Insight. 2019 May 14;5:
Fu J, Githaka JM, Dai X, Plummer G, Suzuki K, Spigelman AF, Bautista A, Kim R, Greitzer-Antes D, Fox JEM, Gaisano HY, MacDonald PE
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Mar 21;:
Jiang J, Cui J, Wang A, Mu Y, Yan Y, Liu F, Pan Y, Li D, Li W, Liu G, Gaisano HY, Dou J, He Y
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Nov 09;:
Zheng D, Dou J, Liu G, Pan Y, Yan Y, Liu F, Gaisano HY, Lu J, He Y
J Immunol. 2018 Jun 08;:
Bin NR, Ma K, Tien CW, Wang S, Zhu D, Park S, Turlova E, Sugita K, Shirakawa R, van der Sluijs P, Horiuchi H, Sun HS, Monnier PP, Gaisano HY, Sugita S
Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 1997 Dec 01;273(6):G1226-G1232
Lutz MP, Piiper A, Gaisano HY, Stryjek-Kaminska D, Zeuzem S, Adler G
J Biol Chem. 2018 Mar 16;:
Greitzer-Antes D, Xie L, Qin T, Xie H, Zhu D, Dolai S, Liang T, Kang F, Hardy AB, He Y, Kang Y, Gaisano HY
Gastroenterology. 2018 Jan 19;:
Dolai S, Liang T, Orabi AI, Holmyard D, Xie L, Greitzer-Antes D, Kang Y, Xie H, Javed TA, Lam PP, Rubin DC, Thorn P, Gaisano HY
J Biol Chem. 2017 Dec 28;:
Dolai S, Liang T, Orabi AI, Xie L, Holmyard D, Javed TA, Fernandez NA, Xie H, Cattral MS, Thurmond DC, Thorn P, Gaisano HY
Microb Cell. 2017 Nov 27;4(12):426-427
Cornick S, Moreau F, Gaisano HY, Chadee K



Professor, Department of Medicine and Department of Physiology, University of Toronto