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Mol Biol Cell. 2007 Mar;18(3):874-85. Epub 2006 Dec 20.

PALS1 regulates E-cadherin trafficking in mammalian epithelial cells.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


Protein Associated with Lin Seven 1 (PALS1) is an evolutionarily conserved scaffold protein that targets to the tight junction in mammalian epithelia. Prior work in our laboratory demonstrated that the knockdown of PALS1 in Madin Darby canine kidney cells leads to tight junction and polarity defects. We have created new PALS1 stable knockdown cell lines with more profound reduction of PALS1 expression, and a more severe defect in tight junction formation was observed. Unexpectedly, we also observed a severe adherens junction defect, and both defects were corrected when PALS1 wild type and certain PALS1 mutants were expressed in the knockdown cells. We found that the adherens junction structural component E-cadherin was not effectively delivered to the cell surface in the PALS1 knockdown cells, and E-cadherin puncta accumulated in the cell periphery. The exocyst complex was also found to be mislocalized in PALS1 knockdown cells, potentially explaining why E-cadherin trafficking is disrupted. Our results suggest a broad and evolutionarily conserved role for the tight junction protein PALS1 in the biogenesis of adherens junction.

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