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Mol Biol Cell. 2004 Mar;15(3):1134-45. Epub 2003 Dec 10.

EFA6, exchange factor for ARF6, regulates the actin cytoskeleton and associated tight junction in response to E-cadherin engagement.

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  • 1Institut de Pharmacologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-Unité Mixte Recherche 6097, 06560 Valbonne, France.


We addressed the role of EFA6, exchange factor for ARF6, during the development of epithelial cell polarity in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. EFA6 is located primarily at the apical pole of polarized cells, including the plasma membrane. After calcium-triggered E-cadherin-mediated cell adhesion, EFA6 is recruited to a Triton X-100-insoluble fraction and its protein level is increased concomitantly to the accelerated formation of a functional tight junction (TJ). The expression of EFA6 results in the selective retention at the cell surface of the TJ protein occludin. This effect is due to EFA6 capacities to promote selectively the stability of the apical actin ring onto which the TJ is anchored, resulting in the exclusion of TJ proteins from endocytosis. Finally, our data suggest that EFA6 effects are achieved by the coordinate action of both its exchange activity and its actin remodeling C-terminal domain. We conclude that EFA6 is a signaling molecule that responds to E-cadherin engagement and is involved in TJ formation and stability.

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