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Archives of Dermatological Research

, Volume 306, Issue 2, pp 131–141 | Cite as

p38δ mitogen-activated protein kinase regulates the expression of tight junction protein ZO-1 in differentiating human epidermal keratinocytes

  • Elina Siljamäki
  • Laura Raiko
  • Mervi Toriseva
  • Liisa Nissinen
  • Tuomas Näreoja
  • Juha Peltonen
  • Veli-Matti Kähäri
  • Sirkku Peltonen
Original Paper

Abstract

Increasing evidence has recognized tight junctions (TJs) as the lower epidermal inside-out diffusion barrier located in granular cell layers of the epidermis. However, little is known about the regulation of TJ components in epidermis. p38 pathway is one of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways, which controls cell growth, differentiation, and apoptosis. We have investigated the role of p38 signaling pathway in the regulation of selected desmosomal, adherens and TJ components in human primary keratinocytes during Ca2+-induced differentiation, as well as in cultured squamous cell carcinoma cell lines. p38 signaling pathway was inhibited in cultured keratinocytes and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma cells using recombinant adenoviruses, small inhibitory RNAs (siRNA) and chemical inhibitors. Expression of intercellular junction proteins was investigated using Western analysis and indirect immunofluorescence (IIF). The results showed that inhibition of p38δ function by siRNA or adenovirally delivered dominant negative mutant led to markedly decreased levels of Zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) protein in keratinocytes, while the expression of other junctional proteins studied was not altered. Immunolocalization of ZO-1 revealed that intercellular junction areas were depleted from ZO-1. Inhibition of ZO-1 by siRNA silencing did not however result in an altered expression or subcellular localization of other TJ components studied. The expression of ZO-1 in carcinoma cells was also regulated by p38. The results indicate that ZO-1 is regulated by p38δ while the other junction proteins studied are not. Since ZO-1 is an integral component of functional TJs, various pathological processes affecting signaling via p38δ may also interfere with epithelial maturation and the formation and function of TJs.

Keywords

Tight junction MAPK kinase Keratinocyte p38 ZO-1 Desmosome 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Miso Immonen, Sari Pitkänen and Johanna Markola-Wärn for their skillful technical assistance. The authors thank Dr. Erkki Suominen from the Department of Surgery, Turku University Hospital for the tissue samples and Prof. Reidar Grénman from the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Turku University Hospital for SCC cells. Markku Saari is acknowledged for his invaluable help with confocal imaging and image processing. Confocal imaging was performed at the Cell Imaging Core, Turku Centre for Biotechnology. This work was supported by grants from the Technology Development Center of Finland (TEKES), Academy of Finland (Projects 137687 and 251136), Turku University Hospital (Project 13336 and 13085), the Sigrid Jusélius Foundation, and the Cancer Research Foundation of Finland.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

Supplementary material

403_2013_1391_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (78 kb)
Western analyses of five independent normal human keratinocyte experiments show biphasic activation of p38 cultured in high Ca2+ for various times. (PDF 77 kb)
403_2013_1391_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (154 kb)
Quantification of the Western analyses shown in the Fig. 2. Mean values of three independent western blot experiments were included in the diagram. The results demonstrate low expression of ZO-1 in cells with p38δ inhibition. (PDF 153 kb)
403_2013_1391_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (809 kb)
Inhibition of the activity of p38α and p38δ with BIRB796 does not affect the amount or localization of other junction proteins. (a–c) Keratinocyte cultures were untreated (control) or treated with BIRB796 (10 μM) or SB203580 (10 μM) and grown for 72 h in low or in high Ca2+ concentration. IIF demonstrates that the expression or localization of β-catenin, E-cadherin or desmoplakin was not affected. Bar 10 μm. (PDF 808 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elina Siljamäki
    • 1
    • 2
  • Laura Raiko
    • 1
    • 3
  • Mervi Toriseva
    • 1
    • 2
  • Liisa Nissinen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tuomas Näreoja
    • 3
    • 4
  • Juha Peltonen
    • 3
  • Veli-Matti Kähäri
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sirkku Peltonen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of DermatologyUniversity of Turku and Turku University HospitalTurkuFinland
  2. 2.MediCity Research LaboratoryUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland
  3. 3.Department of Cell Biology and AnatomyUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland
  4. 4.Laboratory of Biophysics, Department of Cell Biology and AnatomyUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland

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