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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Mar 2;107(9):4200-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0903923107. Epub 2010 Feb 8.

Membrane-anchored serine protease matriptase regulates epithelial barrier formation and permeability in the intestine.

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1
Department of Physiology, Center for Vascular and Inflammatory Diseases, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.

Abstract

The intestinal epithelium serves as a major protective barrier between the mammalian host and the external environment. Here we show that the transmembrane serine protease matriptase plays a pivotol role in the formation and integrity of the intestinal epithelial barrier. St14 hypomorphic mice, which have a 100-fold reduction in intestinal matriptase mRNA levels, display a 35% reduction in intestinal transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER). Matriptase is expressed during intestinal epithelial differentiation and colocalizes with E-cadherin to apical junctional complexes (AJC) in differentiated polarized Caco-2 monolayers. Inhibition of matriptase activity using a specific peptide inhibitor or by knockdown of matriptase by siRNA disrupts the development of TEER in barrier-forming Caco-2 monolayers and increases paracellular permeability to macromolecular FITC-dextran. Loss of matriptase was associated with enhanced expression and incorporation of the permeability-associated, "leaky" tight junction protein claudin-2 at intercellular junctions. Knockdown of claudin-2 enhanced the development of TEER in matriptase-silenced Caco-2 monolayers, suggesting that the reduced barrier integrity was caused, at least in part, by an inability to regulate claudin-2 expression and incorporation into junctions. We find that matriptase enhances the rate of claudin-2 protein turnover, and that this is mediated indirectly through an atypical PKCzeta-dependent signaling pathway. These results support a key role for matriptase in regulating intestinal epithelial barrier competence, and suggest an intriguing link between pericellular serine protease activity and tight junction assembly in polarized epithelia.

PMID:
20142489
PMCID:
PMC2840089
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.0903923107
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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