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1.  Epithelial cell surface polarity: the early steps 
Establishment and maintenance of epithelial cell surface polarity is of vital importance for the correct function of transporting epithelia. To maintain normal cell function, the distribution of apical and basal-lateral proteins is highly regulated and defects in expression levels or plasma membrane targeting can have severe consequences. It has been shown recently that initiation of cell-surface polarity occurs immediately upon cell-cell contact, and requires components of the lateral targeting patch, the Exocyst and the lateral SNARE complex to specify delivery of basolateral proteins to the site of cell-cell adhesion. The Exocyst and SNARE complex are present in the cytoplasm in single epithelial cells before adhesion. Upon initial cell-cell adhesion, E-cadherin accumulates at the forming contact between cells. Shortly hereafter, components of the lateral targeting patch, the Exocyst and the lateral SNARE complex, co-localize with E-cadherin at the forming contact, where they function in specifying the delivery of basal-lateral proteins to the forming contact.
PMCID: PMC3372902  PMID: 19273117
Polarity; SNARE; Exocyst; Epithelia; Review
2.  A molecular mechanism directly linking E-cadherin adhesion to initiation of epithelial cell surface polarity 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2007;178(2):323-335.
Mechanisms involved in maintaining plasma membrane domains in fully polarized epithelial cells are known, but when and how directed protein sorting and trafficking occur to initiate cell surface polarity are not. We tested whether establishment of the basolateral membrane domain and E-cadherin–mediated epithelial cell–cell adhesion are mechanistically linked. We show that the basolateral membrane aquaporin (AQP)-3, but not the equivalent apical membrane AQP5, is delivered in post-Golgi structures directly to forming cell–cell contacts where it co-accumulates precisely with E-cadherin. Functional disruption of individual components of a putative lateral targeting patch (e.g., microtubules, the exocyst, and soluble N-ethylmaleimide–sensitive factor attachment protein receptors) did not inhibit cell–cell adhesion or colocalization of the other components with E-cadherin, but each blocked AQP3 delivery to forming cell–cell contacts. Thus, components of the lateral targeting patch localize independently of each other to cell–cell contacts but collectively function as a holocomplex to specify basolateral vesicle delivery to nascent cell–cell contacts and immediately initiate cell surface polarity.
PMCID: PMC2064450  PMID: 17635938
3.  Opposing Effects of cAMP and T259 Phosphorylation on Plasma Membrane Diffusion of the Water Channel Aquaporin-5 in Madin-Darby Canine Kidney Cells 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0133324.
Aquaporin-5 (AQP5) facilitates passive water transport in glandular epithelia in response to secretory stimuli via intracellular pathways involving calcium release, cAMP and protein kinase A (PKA). In epithelial plasma membranes, AQP5 may be acutely regulated to facilitate water transport in response to physiological stimuli by changes in protein modifications, interactions with proteins and lipids, nanoscale membrane domain organization, and turnover rates. Such regulatory mechanisms could potentially be associated with alteration of diffusion behavior, possibly resulting in a change in the plasma membrane diffusion coefficient of AQP5. We aimed to test the short-term regulatory effects of the above pathways, by measuring lateral diffusion of AQP5 and an AQP5 phospho-mutant, T259A, using k-space Image Correlation Spectroscopy of quantum dot- and EGFP-labeled AQP5. Elevated cAMP and PKA inhibition significantly decreased lateral diffusion of AQP5, whereas T259A mutation showed opposing effects; slowing diffusion without stimulation and increasing diffusion to basal levels after cAMP elevation. Thus, lateral diffusion of AQP5 is significantly regulated by cAMP, PKA, and T259 phosphorylation, which could be important for regulating water flow in glandular secretions.
PMCID: PMC4517861  PMID: 26218429
4.  Aquaporin-3 and Aquaporin-4 Are Sorted Differently and Separately in the Trans-Golgi Network 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e73977.
Aquaporin-3 (AQP3) and aquaporin-4 (AQP4) are homologous proteins expressed in the basolateral plasma membrane of kidney collecting duct principal cells, where they mediate the exit pathway for apically reabsorbed water. Although both proteins are localized to the same plasma membrane domain, it is unknown if they are sorted together in the Golgi, or arrive in the same or different vesicles at the plasma membrane. We addressed these questions using high resolution deconvolution imaging, spinning disk and laser scanning confocal microscopy of cells expressing AQP3 and AQP4. AQP3 and AQP4 were observed mostly in separate post-Golgi carriers, and spinning disk microscopy showed that most of AQP3 and AQP4 were delivered to the plasma membrane in separate vesicles. In contrast, VSV-G and LDL-R, two well-charcterized basolateral proteins, co-localized to a high degree in the same post-Golgi carriers, indicating that the differential sorting of AQP3 and AQP4 is specific and regulated. Significantly, a chimeric AQP3 containing the AQP4 cytoplasmic tails co-localized with AQP4 in post-Golgi vesicles. These results indicate that AQP3 and AQP4 are separated into different post-Golgi carriers based on different cytoplasmic domain sorting signals, and are then delivered separately to the plasma membrane.
PMCID: PMC3776795  PMID: 24058510
5.  Novel mutation in the AVPR2 gene in a Danish male with nephrogenic diabetes insipidus caused by ER retention and subsequent lysosomal degradation of the mutant receptor 
NDT Plus  2011;4(3):158-163.
Mutations in the arginine vasopressin receptor 2 (AVPR2) gene can cause X-linked nephrogenic diabetes insipidus (NDI) characterized by the production of large amounts of urine and an inability to concentrate urine in response to the antidiuretic hormone vasopressin. We have identified a novel mutation in the AVPR2 gene (L170P) located in the fourth transmembrane domain in a Danish NDI male. Analysis of the mutant receptor in Madin-Darby Canine Kidney cell culture revealed that AVPR2-L170P was retained in the endoplasmic reticulum, and the expression was dramatically downregulated compared to wild-type AVPR2. Inhibition of the lysosome resulted in increased intracellular accumulation of AVPR2-L170P, indicating that AVPR2-L170P is downregulated via the lysosome. Inhibition of the proteasome resulted in plasma membrane localization of AVPR2-L170P, although the overall levels of AVPR2-L170P were unchanged.
PMCID: PMC3103721  PMID: 21629670
AVPR2; ER retention; nephrogenic diabetes insipidus
6.  Antenatal Corticosteroids and Postnatal Fluid Restriction Produce Differential Effects on AQP3 Expression, Water Handling, and Barrier Function in Perinatal Rat Epidermis 
Loss of water through the immature skin can lead to hypothermia and dehydration in preterm infants. The water and glycerol channel aquaglyceroporin-3 (AQP3) is abundant in fetal epidermis and might influence epidermal water handling and transepidermal water flux around birth. To investigate the role of AQP3 in immature skin, we measured in vivo transepidermal water transport and AQP3 expression in rat pups exposed to clinically relevant fluid homeostasis perturbations. Preterm (E18) rat pups were studied after antenatal corticosteroid exposure (ANS), and neonatal (P1) rat pups after an 18 h fast. Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and skin hydration were determined, AQP3 mRNA was quantified by RT-PCR, and in-situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry were applied to map AQP3 expression. ANS resulted in an improved skin barrier (lower TEWL and skin hydration), while AQP3 mRNA and protein increased. Fasting led to loss of barrier integrity along with an increase in skin hydration. These alterations were not paralleled by any changes in AQP3. To conclude, antenatal corticosteroids and early postnatal fluid restriction produce differential effects on skin barrier function and epidermal AQP3 expression in the rat. In perinatal rats, AQP3 does not directly determine net water transport through the skin.
PMCID: PMC3018650  PMID: 21234324

Results 1-6 (6)