Tricellulin Effect on Paracellular Water Transport.
ABSTRACT: In epithelia, large amounts of water pass by transcellular and paracellular pathways, driven by the osmotic gradient built up by the movement of solutes. The transcellular pathway has been molecularly characterized by the discovery of aquaporin membrane channels. Unlike this, the existence of a paracellular pathway for water through the tight junctions (TJ) was discussed controversially for many years until two molecular components of paracellular water transport, claudin-2 and claudin-15, were identified. A main protein of the tricellular TJ (tTJ), tricellulin, was shown to be downregulated in ulcerative colitis leading to increased permeability to macromolecules. Whether or not tricellulin also regulates water transport is unknown yet. To this end, an epithelial cell line featuring properties of a tight epithelium, Madin-Darby canine kidney cells clone 7 (MDCK C7), was stably transfected with small hairpin RNA (shRNA) targeting tricellulin, a protein of the tTJ essential for the barrier against passage of solutes up to 10 kDa. Water flux was induced by osmotic gradients using mannitol or 4 and 40 kDa-dextran. Water flux in tricellulin knockdown (KD) cells was higher compared to that of vector controls, indicating a direct role of tricellulin in regulating water permeability in a tight epithelial cell line. We conclude that tricellulin increases water permeability at reduced expression.
Project description:Tricellulin is a tight junction protein localized in tricellular tight junctions (tTJs), the meeting points of three cells, but also in bicellular tight junctions (bTJs). To investigate its specific barrier functions in bTJs and tTJs, TRIC-a was expressed in low-level tricellulin-expressing cells, and MDCK II, either in all TJs or only in tTJs. When expressed in all TJs, tricellulin increased paracellular electrical resistance and decreased permeability to ions and larger solutes, which are associated with enhanced ultrastructural integrity of bTJs toward enhanced strand linearity. In tTJs in contrast, ultrastructure was unchanged and tricellulin minimized permeability to macromolecules but not to ions. This paradox is explained by properties of the tTJ central tube which is wide enough for passage of macromolecules, but too rare to contribute significantly to ion permeability. In conclusion, at low tricellulin expression the tTJ central tube forms a pathway for macromolecules. At higher expression, tricellulin forms a barrier in tTJs effective only for macromolecules and in bTJs for solutes of all sizes.
Project description:Water transport in epithelia occurs transcellularly (aquaporins) and paracellularly (claudin-2, claudin-15). Recently, we showed that downregulated tricellulin, a protein of the tricellular tight junction (tTJ, the site where three epithelial cells meet), increased transepithelial water flux. We now check the hypothesis that another tTJ-associated protein, angulin-1 (<i>alias</i> lipolysis-stimulated lipoprotein receptor, LSR) is a direct negative actuator of tTJ water permeability depending on the tightness of the epithelium. For this, a tight and an intermediate-tight epithelial cell line, MDCK C7 and HT-29/B6, were stably transfected with CRISPR/Cas9 and single-guide RNA targeting angulin-1 and morphologically and functionally characterized. Water flux induced by an osmotic gradient using 4-kDa dextran caused water flux to increase in angulin-1 KO clones in MDCK C7 cells, but not in HT-29/B6 cells. In addition, we found that water permeability in HT-29/B6 cells was not modified after either angulin-1 knockout or tricellulin knockdown, which may be related to the presence of other pathways, which reduce the impact of the tTJ pathway. In conclusion, modulation of the tTJ by knockout or knockdown of tTJ proteins affects ion and macromolecule permeability in tight and intermediate-tight epithelial cell lines, while the transepithelial water permeability was affected only in tight cell lines.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Water and solute transport across epithelia can occur <i>via</i> the transcellular or paracellular pathways. Tight junctions play a key role in mediating paracellular ion reabsorption in the kidney. In the renal collecting duct, which is a typical absorptive tight epithelium, coordination between transcellular sodium reabsorption and paracellular permeability may prevent the backflow of reabsorbed sodium to the tubular lumen along a steep electrochemical gradient.<h4>Methods</h4>To investigate whether transcellular sodium transport controls tight-junction composition and paracellular permeability <i>via</i> modulating expression of the transmembrane protein claudin-8, we used cultured mouse cortical collecting duct cells to see how overexpression or silencing of epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) subunits and claudin-8 affect paracellular permeability. We also used conditional kidney tubule-specific knockout mice lacking ENaC subunits to assess the ENaC's effect on claudin-8 expression.<h4>Results</h4>Overexpression or silencing of the ENaC <i>γ</i>-subunit was associated with parallel and specific changes in claudin-8 abundance. Increased claudin-8 abundance was associated with a reduction in paracellular permeability to sodium, whereas decreased claudin-8 abundance was associated with the opposite effect. Claudin-8 overexpression and silencing reproduced these functional effects on paracellular ion permeability. Conditional kidney tubule-specific ENaC <i>γ</i>-subunit knockout mice displayed decreased claudin-8 expression, confirming the cell culture experiments' findings. Importantly, ENaC <i>β</i>-subunit or <i>α</i>-subunit silencing or kidney tubule-specific <i>β</i>-ENaC or <i>α</i>-ENaC knockout mice did not alter claudin-8 abundance.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our data reveal the specific coupling between ENaC <i>γ</i>-subunit and claudin-8 expression. This coupling may play an important role in preventing the backflow of reabsorbed solutes and water to the tubular lumen, as well as in coupling paracellular and transcellular sodium permeability.
Project description:Tight junctions (TJs) are composed of a claudin-based anastomosing network of TJ strands at which plasma membranes of adjacent epithelial cells are closely attached to regulate the paracellular permeability. Although the TJ proteins occludin and tricellulin have been known to be incorporated in the TJ strand network, their molecular functions remain unknown. Here, we established tricellulin/occludin-double knockout (dKO) MDCK II cells using a genome editing technique and evaluated the structure and barrier function of these cells. In freeze-fracture replica electron microscopy, the TJ strands of tricellulin/occludin-dKO cells had fewer branches and were less anastomosed compared with the controls. The paracellular permeability of ions and small tracers was increased in the dKO cells. A single KO of tricellulin or occludin had limited effects on the morphology and permeability of TJs. Mathematical simulation using a simplified TJ strand network model predicted that reduced cross-links in TJ strands lead to increased permeability of ions and small macromolecules. Furthermore, overexpression of occludin increased the complexity of TJ strand network and strengthened barrier function. Taken together, our data suggest that tricellulin and occludin mediate the formation and/or stabilization of TJ-strand branching points and contribute to the maintenance of epithelial barrier integrity.
Project description:The tricellular tight junction (tTJ) forms at the convergence of bicellular tight junctions (bTJs) where three epithelial cells meet in polarized epithelia, and it is required for the maintenance of the transepithelial barrier. Tricellulin is a four transmembrane domain protein recently identified as the first marker of tTJ, but little is known about how tricellulin is localized at tTJs. As for the molecular mechanism of association of tricellulin with tight junctions (TJs), we found that tricellulin was incorporated into claudin-based TJs independently of binding to zona occludens-1. Unexpectedly, exogenous expression of tricellulin increased cross-links of TJ strands in the plasma membrane. As for the molecular mechanisms for localization of tricellulin at tricellular junctions, we found that knockdown of occludin caused mislocalization of tricellulin to bTJs, implying that occludin supports tricellular localization of tricellulin by excluding tricellulin from bTJs.
Project description:The apical-most region of cell-to-cell contact in a vertebrate epithelium is the tight junction (TJ) complex. It is composed of bicellular TJs (bTJs) that bridge two adjacent epithelial cells and tricellular TJs (tTJs) that are points of contact between three adjoining epithelial cells. Tricellulin (TRIC) is a transmembrane TJ protein of vertebrates that is found in the tTJ complex. Full-length cDNA encoding rainbow trout TRIC was cloned and sequenced. In silico analysis of rainbow trout TRIC revealed a tetraspannin protein with several putative posttranslational modification sites. TRIC mRNA was broadly expressed in rainbow trout tissues and exhibited moderately greater abundance in the gill. In a primary cultured gill epithelium, TRIC localized to tTJs and TRIC protein abundance increased in association with corticosteroid-induced reductions in paracellular permeability. Sodium caprate was used to compromise cultured gill epithelium integrity by disrupting the tTJ complex. Sodium caprate treatment caused a reversible reduction in transepithelial resistance, caused an increase in paracellular permeability (as measured by [³H]PEG-4000 flux), and displaced TRIC from tTJs while leaving bTJs intact. Data from this study support the view that tTJs and the TJ protein TRIC 1) play a role in maintaining gill epithelium integrity and 2) contribute to the regulation of gill epithelium permeability.
Project description:Kidney cysts in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) undergo progressive enlargement together with luminal fluid secretion. This involves active, uphill transcellular Cl(-) transport which drives passive Na(+) and water secretion. Implicit in this mechanism is the assumption that the paracellular permeability of the cyst epithelium to Cl(-) must be very low. Claudins are tight junction (TJ) transmembrane proteins that determine the ion selectivity of paracellular barriers. The aim of this study was to determine the expression and localization of claudins within renal cysts in a mouse hypomorphic model of ADPKD and in human patients. We found that the majority of cysts were of collecting duct origin. Claudins normally expressed in collecting duct (3, 4, 7, 8, and 10) were found in small cysts. However, only claudin-7 persisted at substantive levels in the dedifferentiated epithelium of large, presumably late-stage cysts, where it was localized both at the TJ and basolaterally. The constitutively expressed TJ proteins, ZO-1 and occludin, were also abundantly expressed and correctly localized, suggesting that the basic infrastructure of the TJ is preserved. A previous study suggested that claudin-7 may function as a paracellular Cl(-) barrier. We postulate that the role of claudin-7 in ADPKD is to seal the paracellular route in Cl(-)-secreting cyst epithelium, preventing backleak of Cl(-), and that it thereby plays a permissive role in fluid secretion and cyst growth.
Project description:The tight junction (TJ) is an intercellular sealing component found in epithelial and endothelial tissues that regulates the passage of solutes across the paracellular space. Research examining the biology of TJs has revealed that they are complex biochemical structures constructed from a range of proteins including claudins, occludin, tricellulin, angulins and junctional adhesion molecules. The transient disruption of the barrier function of TJs to open the paracellular space is one means of enhancing mucosal and transdermal drug absorption and to deliver drugs across the blood-brain barrier. However, the disruption of TJs can also open the paracellular space to harmful xenobiotics and pathogens. To address this issue, the strategies targeting TJ proteins have been developed to loosen TJs in a size- or tissue-dependent manner rather than to disrupt them. As several TJ proteins are overexpressed in malignant tumors and in the inflamed intestinal tract, and are present in cells and epithelia conjoined with the mucosa-associated lymphoid immune tissue, these TJ-protein-targeted strategies may also provide platforms for the development of novel therapies and vaccines. Here, this paper reviews two TJ-protein-targeted technologies, claudin binders and an angulin binder, and their applications in drug development.
Project description:The juxtacanalicular connective tissue of the trabecular meshwork together with inner wall endothelium of Schlemm's canal (SC) provide the bulk of resistance to aqueous outflow from the anterior chamber. Endothelial cells lining SC elaborate tight junctions (TJs), down-regulation of which may widen paracellular spaces between cells, allowing greater fluid outflow. We observed significant increase in paracellular permeability following siRNA-mediated suppression of TJ transcripts, claudin-11, zonula-occludens-1 (ZO-1) and tricellulin in human SC endothelial monolayers. In mice claudin-11 was not detected, but intracameral injection of siRNAs targeting ZO-1 and tricellulin increased outflow facility significantly. Structural qualitative and quantitative analysis of SC inner wall by transmission electron microscopy revealed significantly more open clefts between endothelial cells treated with targeting, as opposed to non-targeting siRNA. These data substantiate the concept that the continuity of SC endothelium is an important determinant of outflow resistance, and suggest that SC endothelial TJs represent a specific target for enhancement of aqueous movement through the conventional outflow system.
Project description:To investigate potential physiological interactions between the transcellular and paracellular pathways of water transport, we asked whether targeted deletion of Aquaporin 5 (AQP5), the major transcellular water transporter in salivary acinar cells, affected paracellular transport of 4-kDa FITC-labeled dextran (FITC-D), which is transported through the paracellular but not the transcellular route. After i.v. injection of FITC-D into either AQP5 wild-type or AQP5-/- mice and saliva collection for fixed time intervals, we show that the relative amount of FITC-D transported in the saliva of AQP5-/- mice is half that in matched AQP5+/+ mice, indicating a 2-fold decrease in permeability of the paracellular barrier in mice lacking AQP5. We also found a significant difference in the proportion of transcellular vs. paracellular transport between male and female mice. Freeze-fracture electron microscopy revealed an increase in the number of tight junction strands of both AQP5+/+ and AQP5-/- male mice after pilocarpine stimulation but no change in strand number in female mice. Average acinar cell volume was increased by approximately 1.4-fold in glands from AQP5-/- mice, suggesting an alteration in the volume-sensing machinery of the cell. Western blots revealed that expression of Claudin-7, Claudin-3, and Occludin, critical proteins that regulate the permeability of the tight junction barrier, were significantly decreased in AQP5-/- compared with AQP5+/+ salivary glands. These findings reveal the existence of a gender-influenced molecular mechanism involving AQP5 that allows transcellular and paracellular routes of water transport to act in conjunction.