TNFα up-regulates claudin-2 expression in epithelial HT-29/B6 cells via phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase signaling
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Our aim has been to characterize the molecular mechanisms regulating the expression of the channel-forming tight-junctional protein claudin-2 in response to the pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), which is elevated, for example, in active Crohn’s disease. TNFα caused an 89% decrease of the paracellular resistance in colonic HT-29/B6 cells, whereas transcellular resistance was unaltered. The claudin-2 protein level was increased by TNFα without changes in subcellular tight-junctional protein localization as revealed by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Enhanced gene expression was identified as the source of this increase, since claudin-2-specific mRNA and promoter activity was elevated, whereas mRNA stability remained unaltered. Specific inhibitors and phospho-specific antibodies revealed that the increased gene expression of claudin-2 after TNFα treatment was mediated by the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase pathway. Thus, the up-regulation of claudin-2 by TNFα is attributable to the regulation of the expression of the gene, as a result of which epithelial barrier function is disturbed, for example, during chronic intestinal inflammation.
KeywordsBarrier Claudin-2 Phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase Tight junction TNFα Human
We thank Nicole Held and Susanna Schön for excellent technical assistance. The support of Detlef Sorgenfrei (electronic engineer) is gratefully acknowledged.
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