The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 122, Issue 3, pp 193–202 | Cite as

Assembly and sealing of tight junctions: Possible participation of G-proteins, phospholipase C, protein kinase C and calmodulin

  • M. S. Balda
  • L. González-Mariscal
  • R. G. Contreras
  • M. Macias-Silva
  • M. E. Torres-Marquez
  • J. A. García Sáinz
  • M. Cereijido


The making and sealing of a tight junction (TJ) requires cell-cell contacts and Ca2−, and can be gauged through the development of transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) and the accumulation of ZO-1 peptide at the cell borders. We observe that pertussis toxin increases TER, while AIF3 and carbamil choline (carbachol) inhibit it, and 5-guanylylimidodiphosphate (GTPΓs) blocks the development of a cell border pattern of ZO-1, suggesting that G-proteins are involved. Phospholipase C (PLC) and protein kinase C (PKC) probably participate in these processes since (i) activation of PLC by thyrotropin-1 releasing hormone increases TER, and its inhibition by neomycin blocks the development of this resistance; (ii) 1,2-dioctanoylglycerol, an activator of PKC, stimulates TER development, while polymyxin B and 1-(5-isoquinoline sulfonyl)-2-methyl-piperazine dihydrochloride (H7), which inhibit this enzyme, abolish TER. Addition of 3-isobutyl-1-methyl-xanthine, dB-cAMP or forskolin do not enhance the value of TER, but have just the opposite effect. Trifluoperazine and calmidazoline inhibit TER development, suggesting that calmodulin (CaM) also plays a role in junction formation. These results indicate that junction formation may be controlled by a network of reactions where G-proteins, phospholipase C, adenylate cyclase, protein kinase C and CaM are involved.

Key Words

epithelia tight junctions G-protein Ca2+-MDCK phospholipase C protein kinase C calmodulin exocytic fusion 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. S. Balda
    • 1
  • L. González-Mariscal
    • 1
  • R. G. Contreras
    • 1
  • M. Macias-Silva
    • 1
  • M. E. Torres-Marquez
    • 1
  • J. A. García Sáinz
    • 2
  • M. Cereijido
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and BiophysicsCenter for Research and Advanced StudiesMexico 14, D.F.Mexico
  2. 2.Instituto de Fisiologia CelularUNAMMexico, D.F.Mexico

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