Rapid repair of epithelial wounds is essential for intestinal homeostasis, and involves cell proliferation and migration, which in turn are mediated by multiple cellular signaling events including PKC activation. PKC isoforms have been implicated in regulating cell proliferation and migration, however, the role of PKCs in intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) wound healing is still not completely understood. In the current work we used phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), a well recognized agonist of classical and non-conventional PKC subfamilies to investigate the effect of PKC activation on IEC wound healing. We found that PMA treatment of wounded IEC monolayers resulted in 5.8±0.7-fold increase in wound closure after 24 hours. The PMA effect was specifically mediated by PKCβII, as its inhibition significantly diminished the PMA-induced increase in wound closure. Furthermore, we show that the PKCβII-mediated increase in IEC wound closure after PMA stimulation was mediated by increased cell spreading/cell migration but not proliferation. Cell migration was mediated by PKCβII dependent actin cytoskeleton reorganization, enhanced formation of lamellipodial extrusions at the leading edge and increased activation of the focal adhesion protein, paxillin. These findings support a role for PKCβII in IEC wound repair and further demonstrate the ability of epithelial cells to migrate as a sheet thereby efficiently covering denuded surfaces to recover the intestinal epithelial barrier.
BACKGROUND & AIMS
Dkk1 is a secreted antagonist of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. It is induced by inflammatory cytokines during colitis and exacerbates tissue damage by promoting apoptosis of epithelial cells. However, little is known about the physiologic role of Dkk1 in normal intestinal homeostasis and during wound repair following mucosal injury. We investigated whether inhibition of Dkk1 affects the morphology and function of the adult intestine.
We used doubleridge mice (Dkk1d/d), which have reduced expression of Dkk1, and an inhibitory Dkk1 antibody to modulate Wnt/β-catenin signaling in the intestine. Intestinal inflammation was induced with dextran sulfate sodium (DSS), followed by a recovery period in which mice were given regular drinking water. Animals were killed before, during, or after DSS administration; epithelial homeostasis and the activity of major signaling pathways were investigated by morphometric analysis, bromo-2′-deoxyuridine incorporation, and immunostaining.
Reduced expression of Dkk1 increased proliferation of epithelial cells and lengthened crypts in the large intestine, which was associated with increased transcriptional activity of β-catenin. Crypt extension was particularly striking when Dkk1 was inhibited during acute colitis. Dkk1d/d mice recovered significantly faster from intestinal inflammation but exhibited crypt architectural irregularities and epithelial hyperproliferation compared with wild-type mice. Survival signaling pathways were concurrently up-regulated in Dkk1d/d mice, including the AKT/β-catenin, ERK/Elk-1, and c-Jun pathways.
Dkk1, an antagonist of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, regulates intestinal epithelial homeostasis under physiologic conditions and during inflammation. Depletion of Dkk1 induces a strong proliferative response that promotes wound repair after colitis.
IBD; Crohn’s Disease; Mucosa; Intestinal Cell Signaling
N-formyl peptide receptors (FPRs) are critical regulators of host defense in phagocytes and are also expressed in epithelia. FPR signaling and function have been extensively studied in phagocytes, yet their functional biology in epithelia is poorly understood. We describe a novel intestinal epithelial FPR signaling pathway that is activated by an endogenous FPR ligand, annexin A1 (ANXA1), and its cleavage product Ac2-26, which mediate activation of ROS by an epithelial NADPH oxidase, NOX1. We show that epithelial cell migration was regulated by this signaling cascade through oxidative inactivation of the regulatory phosphatases PTEN and PTP-PEST, with consequent activation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and paxillin. In vivo studies using intestinal epithelial specific Nox1–/–IEC and AnxA1–/– mice demonstrated defects in intestinal mucosal wound repair, while systemic administration of ANXA1 promoted wound recovery in a NOX1-dependent fashion. Additionally, increased ANXA1 expression was observed in the intestinal epithelium and infiltrating leukocytes in the mucosa of ulcerative colitis patients compared with normal intestinal mucosa. Our findings delineate a novel epithelial FPR1/NOX1-dependent redox signaling pathway that promotes mucosal wound repair.
This study identifies a motif within the first transmembrane domain of Cx26, from amino acids Val-37 through Ala-40, that is critical for oligomerization and function. The impacts of deafness-associated mutations within this motif upon gap junction channel and hemichannel functions correlate with the severity of disease that they cause.
To identify motifs involved in oligomerization of the gap junction protein Cx26, we studied individual transmembrane (TM) domains and the full-length protein. Using the TOXCAT assay for interactions of isolated TM α-helices, we found that TM1, a Cx26 pore domain, had a strong propensity to homodimerize. We identified amino acids Val-37–Ala-40 (VVAA) as the TM1 motif required for homodimerization. Two deafness-associated Cx26 mutations localized in this region, Cx26V37I and Cx26A40G, differentially affected dimerization. TM1-V37I dimerized only weakly, whereas TM1-A40G did not dimerize. When the full-length mutants were expressed in HeLa cells, both Cx26V37I and Cx26A40G formed oligomers less efficiently than wild-type Cx26. A Cx26 cysteine substitution mutant, Cx26V37C formed dithiothreitol-sensitive dimers. Substitution mutants of Val-37 formed intercellular channels with reduced function, while mutants of Ala-40 did not form functional gap junction channels. Unlike wild-type Cx26, neither Cx26V37I nor Cx26A40G formed functional hemichannels in low extracellular calcium. Thus the VVAA motif of Cx26 is critical for TM1 dimerization, hexamer formation, and channel function. The differential effects of VVAA mutants on hemichannels and gap junction channels imply that inter-TM interactions can differ in unapposed and docked hemichannels. Moreover, Cx26 oligomerization appears dependent on transient TM1 dimerization as an intermediate step.
Grainyhead-like 2 (Grhl2) is a transcription factor that regulates the size of the luminal space surrounded by polarized epithelial cells. Grhl2 promotes epithelial barrier function and the formation of large lumen by up-regulating Cldn3, Cldn4, and Rab25. The results reveal a molecular network regulating epithelial lumen formation.
During development, epithelial progenitors establish intercellular junctions, including tight junctions (TJs), and form three-dimensional (3D) tissue structures, which are often associated with luminal structures. Here we identify grainyhead-like 2 (Grhl2) as a transcription factor that regulates the size of luminal space surrounded by polarized epithelial cells. We show that HPPL, a liver progenitor cell line, transfected with Grhl2 cDNA forms remarkably larger cysts than the control cells in 3D cultures. We find that Grhl2 up-regulates claudin (Cldn) 3 and Cldn4, and their functions are necessary for the formation of large cysts. Overexpression of Cldn3 alone induces the cyst expansion. In contrast, expression of Cldn4 alone does not induce expansion, as it is not localized at TJs. Of interest, Rab25, another Grhl2 target, not only increases the Cldn4 protein, but also enhances its localization at TJs. Taken together, the results indicate that Grhl2 regulates epithelial morphogenesis through transcriptional up-regulation of Cldn3 and Cldn4, as well as of Rab25, which increases the Cldn4 protein and its localization at TJs. The results reveal a molecular network regulating epithelial lumen formation organized by Grhl2.
Background & Aims
Krüppel-like factor 5 (KLF5) is transcription factor that is expressed by dividing epithelial cells of the intestinal epithelium. KLF5 promotes proliferation in vitro and in vivo and is induced by mitogens and various stress stimuli. To study the role of KLF5 in intestinal epithelial homeostasis, we examined the phenotype of mice with conditional deletion of Klf5 in the gut.
Mice were generated with intestinal-specific deletion of Klf5 (Vil-Cre;Klf5fl/fl).
Morphological changes in the small intestine and colon were examined by immunohistochemistry, immunoblotting, and real-time PCR.
Klf5 mutant mice were born at a normal Mendelian ratio but had high mortality compared to controls. Complete deletion of Klf5 from the intestinal mucosa resulted in neonatal lethality that corresponded with an absence of epithelial proliferation. Variegated intestinal-specific deletion of Klf5 in adult mice resulted in morphological changes that included a regenerative phenotype, impaired barrier function, and inflammation. Adult mutant mice exhibited defects in epithelial differentiation and migration. These changes were associated with reduced expression of Cdx 1, Cdx2, and Eph and ephrin signaling proteins. Concomitantly, Wnt signaling to β-catenin was reduced. Proliferation in regenerative crypts was associated with increased expression of the progenitor cell marker Sox9.
Deletion of Klf5 in the gut epithelium of mice demonstrated that KLF5 maintains epithelial proliferation, differentiation, and cell positioning along the crypt radial axis. Morphological changes that occur with deletion of Klf5 are associated with disruption of canonical Wnt signaling and increased expression of Sox9.
intestinal homeostasis; gastrointestinal development; genetics; GI tract
The activity state of E-cadherin is controlled by conformational epitopes at interfaces between different EC domains, which are coupled to p120-catenin phosphorylation. Dephosphorylation activates adhesion, whereas phosphorylation inhibits activation. p120-dependent changes in the physical state of E-cadherin regulate epithelial cell morphogenesis.
We investigated changes in cadherin structure at the cell surface that regulate its adhesive activity. Colo 205 cells are nonadhesive cells with a full but inactive complement of E-cadherin–catenin complexes at the cell surface, but they can be triggered to adhere and form monolayers. We were able to distinguish the inactive and active states of E-cadherin at the cell surface by using a special set of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). Another set of mAbs binds E-cadherin and strongly activates adhesion. In other epithelial cell types these activating mAbs inhibit growth factor–induced down-regulation of adhesion and epithelial morphogenesis, indicating that these phenomena are also controlled by E-cadherin activity at the cell surface. Both types of mAbs recognize conformational epitopes at different interfaces between extracellular cadherin repeat domains (ECs), especially near calcium-binding sites. Activation also induces p120-catenin dephosphorylation, as well as changes in the cadherin cytoplasmic domain. Moreover, phospho-site mutations indicate that dephosphorylation of specific Ser/Thr residues in the N-terminal domain of p120-catenin mediate adhesion activation. Thus physiological regulation of the adhesive state of E-cadherin involves physical and/or conformational changes in the EC interface regions of the ectodomain at the cell surface that are mediated by catenin-associated changes across the membrane.
In epithelial cells, the reggie/flotillin proteins regulate—in association with PrP—the formation of E-cadherin adherens junctions (AJs) via the EGFR. Reggies control the EGF-mediated phosphorylation and internalization of EGFR. EGF signaling at the plasma membrane induces the macropinocytosis of E-cadherin and thus the formation of AJs.
The reggie/flotillin proteins are implicated in membrane trafficking and, together with the cellular prion protein (PrP), in the recruitment of E-cadherin to cell contact sites. Here, we demonstrate that reggies, as well as PrP down-regulation, in epithelial A431 cells cause overlapping processes and abnormal formation of adherens junctions (AJs). This defect in cell adhesion results from reggie effects on Src tyrosine kinases and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR): loss of reggies reduces Src activation and EGFR phosphorylation at residues targeted by Src and c-cbl and leads to increased surface exposure of EGFR by blocking its internalization. The prolonged EGFR signaling at the plasma membrane enhances cell motility and macropinocytosis, by which junction-associated E-cadherin is internalized and recycled back to AJs. Accordingly, blockage of EGFR signaling or macropinocytosis in reggie-deficient cells restores normal AJ formation. Thus, by promoting EGFR internalization, reggies restrict the EGFR signaling involved in E-cadherin macropinocytosis and recycling and regulate AJ formation and dynamics and thereby cell adhesion.
IGPR-1 is a novel adhesion molecule that regulates cell–cell interaction. IGPR-1 associates with several SH3-containing proteins, including SPIN90/WISH, and regulates capillary tube formation of primary endothelial cells.
Angiogenesis—the growth of new blood vessels from preexisting vessels—is an important physiological process and is considered to play a key role in tumor growth and metastasis. We identified the immunoglobulin-containing and proline-rich receptor-1 (IGPR-1, also called TMIGD2) gene as a novel cell adhesion receptor that is expressed in various human organs and tissues, mainly in cells with epithelium and endothelium origins. IGPR-1 regulates cellular morphology, homophilic cell aggregation, and cell–cell interaction. IGPR-1 activity also modulates actin stress fiber formation and focal adhesion and reduces cell migration. Silencing of expression of IGPR-1 by small interfering RNA (siRNA) and by ectopic overexpression in endothelial cells showed that IGPR-1 regulates capillary tube formation in vitro, and B16F melanoma cells engineered to express IGPR-1 displayed extensive angiogenesis in the mouse Matrigel angiogenesis model. Moreover, IGPR-1, through its proline-rich cytoplasmic domain, associates with multiple Src homology 3 (SH3)–containing signaling proteins, including SH3 protein interacting with Nck (SPIN90/WISH), bullous pemphigoid antigen-1, and calcium channel β2. Silencing of expression of SPIN90/WISH by siRNA in endothelial cells showed that SPIN90/WISH is required for capillary tube formation. These features of IGPR-1 suggest that IGPR-1 is a novel receptor that plays an important role in cell–cell interaction, cell migration, and angiogenesis.
The desmosomal cadherin desmoglein-2 (Dsg2) is a transmembrane cell adhesion protein that is widely expressed in epithelial and non-epithelial tissues, such as the intestine, epidermis, testis and heart. Dsg2 has been shown to regulate numerous cellular processes, including proliferation and apoptosis, and we have previously reported that intracellular fragments of Dsg2 promote apoptosis in colonic epithelial cells. While several studies have shown that both the extracellular and intracellular domains of Dsg2 can be targeted by proteases, identification of these putative Dsg2 fragments in colonic epithelial cells has not been performed. Here, we report that the mouse monoclonal antibody (mAb) AH12.2 binds to the first extracellular domain of Dsg2. Using this antibody along with previously described mAb against the extracellular (6D8) and intracellular (DG3.10) domains of Dsg2, we characterize the expression and identify the cleavage fragments of Dsg2 in colonic epithelial cells. This study provides a detailed description of the extracellular and intracellular Dsg2 cleavage fragments that are generated in the simple epithelium of the colon and will guide future studies examining the relationship of these fragments to cellular fate and disease states.
desmoglein-2; protease; cleavage fragment; intestinal epithelium; ectodomain shedding; antibody
Directional migration of MDCK cells is regulated by the ratio of the deposited basement membrane proteins laminin-511 and laminin-332. Knockdown of laminin-511 or its receptor integrin α3 inhibits directional migration and destabilizes cell–cell contacts, disturbing the polarization machinery.
Sustained directional migration of epithelial cells is essential for regeneration of injured epithelia. Front–rear polarity of migrating cells is determined by local activation of a signaling network involving Cdc42 and other factors in response to spatial cues from the environment, the nature of which are obscure. We examined the roles of laminin (LM)-511 and LM-332, two structurally different laminin isoforms, in the migration of Madin–Darby canine kidney cells by suppressing expression of their α subunits using RNA interference. We determined that knockdown of LM-511 inhibits directional migration and destabilizes cell–cell contacts, in part by disturbing the localization and activity of the polarization machinery. Suppression of integrin α3, a laminin receptor subunit, in cells synthesizing normal amounts of both laminins has a similar effect as knockdown of LM-511. Surprisingly, simultaneous suppression of both laminin α5 and laminin α3 restores directional migration and cell–cell contact stability, suggesting that cells recognize a haptotactic gradient formed by a combination of laminins.
LifeAct-GFP, a fluorescent reporter for actin filaments, is used to uncover the dynamics of actin cytoskeleton remodeling in real time during TGF-β–induced EMT. Efficient actin filament remodeling and complete transition to a mesenchymal phenotype depend on an increase in expression of the ERM protein moesin.
Remodeling of actin filaments is necessary for epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT); however, understanding of how this is regulated in real time is limited. We used an actin filament reporter and high-resolution live-cell imaging to analyze the regulated dynamics of actin filaments during transforming growth factor-β–induced EMT of mammary epithelial cells. Progressive changes in cell morphology were accompanied by reorganization of actin filaments from thin cortical bundles in epithelial cells to thick, parallel, contractile bundles that disassembled more slowly but remained dynamic in transdifferentiated cells. We show that efficient actin filament remodeling during EMT depends on increased expression of the ezrin/radixin/moesin (ERM) protein moesin. Cells suppressed for moesin expression by short hairpin RNA had fewer, thinner, and less stable actin bundles, incomplete morphological transition, and decreased invasive capacity. These cells also had less α-smooth muscle actin and phosphorylated myosin light chain in cortical patches, decreased abundance of the adhesion receptor CD44 at membrane protrusions, and attenuated autophosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase. Our findings suggest that increased moesin expression promotes EMT by regulating adhesion and contractile elements for changes in actin filament organization. We propose that the transciptional program driving EMT controls progressive remodeling of actin filament architectures.
Dominant Cx26 mutations that cause keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness syndrome (KIDS) show increased hemichannel activity. Transgenic expression of these mutations recapitulates human skin disease in mice. Excess hemichannel activity persists in diseased epidermis from the transgenic mice. Thus hemichannel activity may be a novel therapeutic target in the treatment of KIDS.
Mutations in the GJB2 gene (Cx26) cause deafness in humans. Most are loss-of-function mutations and cause nonsyndromic deafness. Some mutations produce a gain of function and cause syndromic deafness associated with skin disorders, such as keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness syndrome (KIDS). Cx26-G45E is a lethal mutation linked to KIDS that forms constitutively active connexin hemichannels. The pathomechanism(s) by which mutant Cx26 hemichannels perturb normal epidermal cornification are poorly understood. We created an animal model for KIDS by generating an inducible transgenic mouse expressing Cx26-G45E in keratinocytes. Cx26-G45E mice displayed reduced viability, hyperkeratosis, scaling, skin folds, and hair loss. Histopathology included hyperplasia, acanthosis, papillomatosis, increased cell size, and osteal plugging. These abnormalities correlated with human KIDS pathology and were associated with increased hemichannel currents in transgenic keratinocytes. These results confirm the pathogenic nature of the G45E mutation and provide a new model for studying the role of aberrant connexin hemichannels in epidermal differentiation and inherited connexin disorders.
The closely related GTPases RalA and RalB are required for assembly of tight junction gate, but not fence, function. These activities depend on direct binding to the exocyst complex. Whereas RalA–exocyst complexes are required for exocytosis of junction proteins, RalB–exocyst complexes are required for endocytosis of these components.
Tight junctions (TJs) are structures indispensable to epithelial cells and are responsible for regulation of paracellular diffusion and maintenance of cellular polarity. Although many interactions between TJ constituents have been identified, questions remain concerning how specific functions of TJs are established and regulated. Here we investigated the roles of Ral GTPases and their common effector exocyst complex in the formation of nascent TJs. Unexpectedly, RNA interference–mediated suppression of RalA or RalB caused opposing changes in TJ development. RalA reduction increased paracellular permeability and decreased incorporation of components into TJs, whereas RalB reduction decreased paracellular permeability and increased incorporation of components into TJs. Activities of both Ral GTPases were mediated through the exocyst. Finally, we show that TJ-mediated separation of apical–basal membrane domains is established prior to equilibration of barrier function and that it is unaffected by Ral knockdown or specific composition of TJs.
Two novel mechanisms are shown by which injury of intercellular junctions via β-catenin promotes epithelial–myofibroblast transition. β-Catenin interacts with Smad3, thereby preventing the inhibitory effect of the latter on myocardin-related transcription factor (MRTF), and maintains MRTF stability by inhibiting Smad3-mediated, GSK-3β–dependent degradation of MRTF.
Injury to the adherens junctions (AJs) synergizes with transforming growth factor-β1 (TGFβ) to activate a myogenic program (α-smooth muscle actin [SMA] expression) in the epithelium during epithelial–myofibroblast transition (EMyT). Although this synergy plays a key role in organ fibrosis, the underlying mechanisms have not been fully defined. Because we recently showed that Smad3 inhibits myocardin-related transcription factor (MRTF), the driver of the SMA promoter and many other CC(A/T)-rich GG element (CArG) box–dependent cytoskeletal genes, we asked whether AJ components might affect SMA expression through interfering with Smad3. We demonstrate that E-cadherin down-regulation potentiates, whereas β-catenin knockdown inhibits, SMA expression. Contact injury and TGFβ enhance the binding of β-catenin to Smad3, and this interaction facilitates MRTF signaling by two novel mechanisms. First, it inhibits the Smad3/MRTF association and thereby allows the binding of MRTF to its myogenic partner, serum response factor (SRF). Accordingly, β-catenin down-regulation disrupts the SRF/MRTF complex. Second, β-catenin maintains the stability of MRTF by suppressing the Smad3-mediated recruitment of glycogen synthase kinase-3β to MRTF, an event that otherwise leads to MRTF ubiquitination and degradation and the consequent loss of SRF/MRTF–dependent proteins. Thus β-catenin controls MRTF-dependent transcription and emerges as a critical regulator of an array of cytoskeletal genes, the “CArGome.”
Cadherin–catenin interactions play an important role in cadherin adhesion. In the cadherin complex, α-catenin contributes to the binding strength of another catenin, p120, to the same complex. The data suggest that α-catenin–p120 contact within the cadherin–catenin complex can regulate cadherin trafficking.
Cadherin–catenin interactions play an important role in cadherin-mediated adhesion. Here we present strong evidence that in the cadherin–catenin complex α-catenin contributes to the binding strength of another catenin, p120, to the same complex. Specifically, we found that a β-catenin–uncoupled cadherin mutant interacts much more weakly with p120 than its full-size counterpart and that it is rapidly endocytosed from the surface of A-431 cells. We also showed that p120 overexpression stabilizes this mutant on the cell surface. Examination of the α-catenin–deficient MDA-MB-468 cells and their derivates in which α-catenin was reintroduced showed that α-catenin reinforces E-cadherin–p120 association. Finally, a cross-linking analysis of the cadherin–catenin complex indicated that a large loop located in the middle of the p120 arm-repeat domain is in close spatial vicinity to the amino-terminal VH1 domain of α-catenin. The six amino acid–long extension of this loop, caused by an alternative splicing, weakens p120 binding to cadherin. The data suggest that α-catenin–p120 contact within the cadherin–catenin complex can regulate cadherin trafficking.
The apical junctional complex (AJC) encompassing the tight junction (TJ) and adherens junction (AJ) plays a pivotal role in regulating epithelial barrier function and epithelial cell proliferative processes through signaling events that remain poorly characterized. A potential regulator of AJC protein expression is Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3 (GSK-3). GSK-3 is a constitutively active kinase that is repressed during epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). In the present study, we report that GSK-3 activity regulates the structure and function of the AJC in polarized model intestinal (SK-CO15) and kidney (Madin-Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK)) epithelial cells. Reduction of GSK-3 activity, either by small molecule inhibitors or siRNA targeting GSK-3 alpha and beta mRNA, resulted in increased permeability to both ions and bulk solutes. Immunofluorescence labeling and immunoblot analyses revealed that the barrier defects correlated with decreased protein expression of AJC transmembrane proteins Occludin, Claudin-1 and E-cadherin without influencing other TJ proteins, Zonula Occludens-1 (ZO-1) and Junctional Adhesion Molecule A (JAM-A). The decrease in Occludin and E-cadherin protein expression correlated with downregulation of the corresponding mRNA levels for these respective proteins following GSK-3 inhibition. These observations implicate an important role of GSK-3 in the regulation of the structure and function of the AJC that is mediated by differential modulation of mRNA transcription of key AJC proteins, Occludin, Claudin-1 and E-cadherin.
Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 (GSK-3); Occludin; Claudin-1; Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT); Apical Junctional Complex (AJC); Paracellular Permeability
The migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) across the intestinal epithelium is a histopathological hallmark of many mucosal inflammatory diseases including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The terminal transmigration step is the detachment of PMN from the apical surface of the epithelium and their subsequent release into the intestinal lumen. The current study sought to identify epithelial proteins involved in the regulation of PMN migration across intestinal epithelium at the stage where PMN reach the apical epithelial surface. A panel of antibodies reactive with IFNγ-stimulated T84 intestinal epithelial cells was generated. Screening efforts identified one mAb, GM35, which prevented PMN detachment from the apical epithelial surface. Microsequencing studies identified the GM35 antigen as human CD44. Transfection studies confirmed this result by demonstrating the loss of the functional activity of the GM35 mAb following attenuation of epithelial CD44 protein expression. Immunoblotting and immunofluoresence revealed the GM35 antigen to be an apically expressed v6 variant-exon containing form of CD44 (CD44v6). ELISA analysis demonstrated the release of soluble CD44v6 by T84 cells during PMN transepithelial migration (TEM). In addition, the observed release of CD44v6 was blocked by GM35 treatment supporting a connection between CD44v6 release and PMN detachment. Increased expression of CD44v6 and the GM35 antigen was detected in inflamed ulcerative colitis tissue. This study demonstrates for the first time that epithelial expressed CD44v6 plays a role in PMN clearance during inflammatory episodes through regulation of the terminal detachment of PMNs from the apical epithelial surface into the lumen of the intestine.
neutrophil; CD44v6; inflammation; clearance; glycoprotein
SOX4 is a developmental transcription factor that is required for differentiation and proliferation in multiple tissues. SOX4 is overexpressed in many human malignancies, but the precise role of SOX4 in cancer progression is still not well understood. Thus, the identification of additional SOX4 binding partners is essential for elucidating the mechanism of SOX4-mediated effects in cancer progression.
Here, we have adapted a one-step affinity purification method that enables rapid purification of SOX4 complexes via intracellular biotinylation of the amino-terminus of SOX4 to perform large-scale proteomics analysis. We have discovered that junction plakoglobin (JUP) interacts with SOX4 in both the cytosol and the nucleus and the interaction between SOX4 and plakoglobin is significantly increased when prostate and breast cancer cells are stimulated with WNT3A. Interactions between SOX4 and plakoglobin were further enhanced by the nuclear export inhibitor leptomycin B (LMB), suggesting that plakoglobin promotes nuclear export of SOX4. The SOX4-plakoglobin complex affected the expression of Wnt pathway target genes and SOX4 downstream targets, such as AXIN2, DICER1, and DHX9. In addition, SOX4 DNA binding activity to the promoters of DICER1, AXIN2, DHX9 and SOX4 itself was reduced by conditions that promote SOX4-plakoglobin complex formation. Conditions that enhanced SOX4-plakoglobin interactions resulted in reduced transcriptional activity of β-catenin luciferase reporters.
These data suggest that this newly identified interaction between SOX4 and plakoglobin is inhibitory and provides new insights into the role of SOX4 in key pathways in cell proliferation, development, and cancer progression.
In contrast to nonpolarized cells, coxsackievirus B (CVB)–infected polarized intestinal Caco-2 cells undergo necrotic cell death triggered by inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor–dependent calcium release. This CVB-induced necrosis depends on Ca2+-activated calpain-2, which is required for disruption of the apical tight junction complex.
Coxsackievirus B (CVB), a member of the enterovirus family, targets the polarized epithelial cells lining the intestinal tract early in infection. Although the polarized epithelium functions as a protective barrier, this barrier is likely exploited by CVB to promote viral entry and subsequent egress. Here we show that, in contrast to nonpolarized cells, CVB-infected polarized intestinal Caco-2 cells undergo nonapoptotic necrotic cell death triggered by inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor–dependent calcium release. We further show that CVB-induced cellular necrosis depends on the Ca2+-activated protease calpain-2 and that this protease is involved in CVB-induced disruption of the junctional complex and rearrangements of the actin cytoskeleton. Our study illustrates the cell signaling pathways hijacked by CVB, and perhaps other viral pathogens, to promote their replication and spread in polarized cell types.
Drosophila ESCRT mutants lose epithelial polarity and show increased proliferation, suggesting that ESCRT proteins act as tumor suppressors. In this study, we show for the first time to our knowledge that ESCRT proteins are required to maintain polarity in mammalian epithelial cells, supporting the idea that ESCRT proteins are tumor suppressors.
Genetic screens in Drosophila have identified regulators of endocytic trafficking as neoplastic tumor suppressor genes. For example, Drosophila endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) mutants lose epithelial polarity and show increased cell proliferation, suggesting that ESCRT proteins could function as tumor suppressors. In this study, we show for the for the first time to our knowledge that ESCRT proteins are required to maintain polarity in mammalian epithelial cells. Inhibition of ESCRT function caused the tight junction protein claudin-1 to accumulate in intracellular vesicles. In contrast E-cadherin and occludin localization was unaffected. We investigated the cause of this accumulation and show that claudin-1 is constitutively recycled in kidney, colon, and lung epithelial cells, identifying claudin-1 recycling as a newly described feature of diverse epithelial cell types. This recycling requires ESCRT function, explaining the accumulation of intracellular claudin-1 when ESCRT function is inhibited. We further demonstrate that small interfering RNA knockdown of the ESCRT protein Tsg101 causes epithelial monolayers to lose their polarized organization and interferes with the establishment of a normal epithelial permeability barrier. ESCRT knockdown also reduces the formation of correctly polarized three-dimensional cysts. Thus, in mammalian epithelial cells, ESCRT function is required for claudin-1 trafficking and for epithelial cell polarity, supporting the hypothesis that ESCRT proteins function as tumor suppressors.
The two most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, affect approximately 1 million people in the United States. Uncontrolled APC reactivity toward commensal bacteria is implicated in the pathogenesis of the disease. A number of functionally distinct APC populations exist in the mucosal lamina propria (LP) below the intestinal epithelium, but their relative contributions to inflammation remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate in mice important roles for the chemokine receptor CX3CR1 in maintaining LP macrophage populations, preventing translocation of commensal bacteria to mesenteric lymph nodes (mLNs), and limiting colitogenic Th17 responses. CX3CR1 was found to be expressed in resident LP macrophages (defined as CD11b+F4/80+) but not DCs (defined as CD11c+CD103+). LP macrophage frequency and number were decreased in two strains of CX3CR1-knockout mice and in mice deficient in the CX3CR1 ligand CX3CL1. All these knockout strains displayed markedly increased translocation of commensal bacteria to mLNs. Additionally, the severity of DSS-induced colitis was dramatically enhanced in the knockout mice as compared with controls. Disease severity could be limited by either administration of neutralizing IL-17A antibodies or transfer of CX3CR1-sufficient macrophages. Our data thus suggest key roles for the CX3CR1/CX3CL1 axis in the intestinal mucosa; further clarification of CX3CR1 function will likely direct efforts toward therapeutic intervention for mucosal inflammatory disorders such as IBD.
The surface expression and channel activation of transient receptor potential canonical 6 (TRPC6) were regulated by tyrosine phosphorylation and resultant binding with stimulatory PLC-γ1 and inhibitory nephrin. Disease-causing mutations made the TRPC6s insensitive to nephrin suppression, suggesting that the cell-type–specific regulation of TRPC6 might be involved in the pathogenesis.
Transient receptor potential canonicals (TRPCs) play important roles in the regulation of intracellular calcium concentration. Mutations in the TRPC6 gene are found in patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a proteinuric disease characterized by dysregulated function of renal glomerular epithelial cells (podocytes). There is as yet no clear picture for the activation mechanism of TRPC6 at the molecular basis, however, and the association between its channel activity and pathogenesis remains unclear. We demonstrate here that tyrosine phosphorylation of TRPC6 induces a complex formation with phospholipase C (PLC)-γ1, which is prerequisite for TRPC6 surface expression. Furthermore, nephrin, an adhesion protein between the foot processes of podocytes, binds to phosphorylated TRPC6 via its cytoplasmic domain, competitively inhibiting TRPC6–PLC-γ1 complex formation, TRPC6 surface localization, and TRPC6 activation. Importantly, FSGS-associated mutations render the mutated TRPC6s insensitive to nephrin suppression, thereby promoting their surface expression and channel activation. These results delineate the mechanism of TRPC6 activation regulated by tyrosine phosphorylation, and imply the cell type–specific regulation, which correlates the FSGS mutations with deregulated TRPC6 channel activity.
We show here that zonula occludens (ZO)-3 acts to sequester cyclin D1 at intercellular tight junctions. This study highlights an important new role for ZO family proteins in regulating epithelial cell proliferation through stabilization of cyclin D1 during mitosis.
Coordinated regulation of cell proliferation is vital for epithelial tissue homeostasis, and uncontrolled proliferation is a hallmark of carcinogenesis. A growing body of evidence indicates that epithelial tight junctions (TJs) play a role in these processes, although the mechanisms involved are poorly understood. In this study, we identify and characterize a novel plasma membrane pool of cyclin D1 with cell-cycle regulatory functions. We have determined that the zonula occludens (ZO) family of TJ plaque proteins sequesters cyclin D1 at TJs during mitosis, through an evolutionarily conserved class II PSD-95, Dlg, and ZO-1 (PDZ)-binding motif within cyclin D1. Disruption of the cyclin D1/ZO complex through mutagenesis or siRNA-mediated suppression of ZO-3 resulted in increased cyclin D1 proteolysis and G0/G1 cell-cycle retention. This study highlights an important new role for ZO family TJ proteins in regulating epithelial cell proliferation through stabilization of cyclin D1 during mitosis.
Cx43 gap junctions (GJs) are integral to the function of the mammalian heart. It is shown that ZO-1 dynamically regulates the transition between Cx43 connexons and GJ intercellular channels, determining the balance of connexon-mediated cell permeability to GJ communication. Importantly, a novel domain proximal to GJs is identified—the perinexus.
Connexin 43 (Cx43) is a gap junction (GJ) protein widely expressed in mammalian tissues that mediates cell-to-cell coupling. Intercellular channels comprising GJ aggregates form from docking of paired connexons, with one each contributed by apposing cells. Zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) binds the carboxy terminus of Cx43, and we have previously shown that inhibition of the Cx43/ZO-1 interaction increases GJ size by 48 h. Here we demonstrated that increases in GJ aggregation occur within 2 h (∼Cx43 half-life) following disruption of Cx43/ZO-1. Immunoprecipitation and Duolink protein–protein interaction assays indicated that inhibition targets ZO-1 binding with Cx43 in GJs as well as connexons in an adjacent domain that we term the “perinexus.” Consistent with GJ size increases being matched by decreases in connexons, inhibition of Cx43/ZO-1 reduced the extent of perinexal interaction, increased the proportion of connexons docked in GJs relative to undocked connexons in the plasma membrane, and increased GJ intercellular communication while concomitantly decreasing hemichannel-mediated membrane permeance in contacting, but not noncontacting, cells. ZO-1 small interfering RNA and overexpression experiments verified that loss and gain of ZO-1 function govern the transition of connexons into GJs. It is concluded that ZO-1 regulates the rate of undocked connexon aggregation into GJs, enabling dynamic partitioning of Cx43 channel function between junctional and proximal nonjunctional domains of plasma membrane.