Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Chem. 2013 Apr 26;288(17):12253-68. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M113.457499. Epub 2013 Mar 13.

Epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) regulates claudin dynamics and tight junctions.

Author information

Dermatology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, NCI, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1908, USA.


Epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) (CD326) is a surface glycoprotein expressed by invasive carcinomas and some epithelia. Herein, we report that EpCAM regulates the composition and function of tight junctions (TJ). EpCAM accumulated on the lateral interfaces of human colon carcinoma and normal intestinal epithelial cells but did not co-localize with TJ. Knockdown of EpCAM in T84 and Caco-2 cells using shRNAs led to changes in morphology and adhesiveness. TJ formed readily after EpCAM knockdown; the acquisition of trans-epithelial electroresistance was enhanced, and TJ showed increased resistance to disruption by calcium chelation. Preparative immunoprecipitation demonstrated that EpCAM bound tightly to claudin-7. Co-immunoprecipitation documented associations of EpCAM with claudin-7 and claudin-1 but not claudin-2 or claudin-4. Claudin-1 associated with claudin-7 in co-transfection experiments, and claudin-7 was required for association of claudin-1 with EpCAM. EpCAM knockdown resulted in decreases in claudin-7 and claudin-1 proteins that were reversed with lysosome inhibitors. Immunofluorescence microscopy revealed that claudin-7 and claudin-1 continually trafficked into lysosomes. Although EpCAM knockdown decreased claudin-1 and claudin-7 protein levels overall, accumulations of claudin-1 and claudin-7 in TJ increased. Physical interactions between EpCAM and claudins were required for claudin stabilization. These findings suggest that EpCAM modulates adhesion and TJ function by regulating intracellular localization and degradation of selected claudins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center