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J Biol Chem. 2014 Feb 7;289(6):3148-63. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M113.528190. Epub 2013 Dec 15.

Vascular endothelial tight junctions and barrier function are disrupted by 15(S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid partly via protein kinase C ε-mediated zona occludens-1 phosphorylation at threonine 770/772.

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From the Department of Physiology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee 38163.


Disruption of tight junctions (TJs) perturbs endothelial barrier function and promotes inflammation. Previously, we have shown that 15(S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (15(S)-HETE), the major 15-lipoxygenase 1 (15-LO1) metabolite of arachidonic acid, by stimulating zona occludens (ZO)-2 tyrosine phosphorylation and its dissociation from claudins 1/5, induces endothelial TJ disruption and its barrier dysfunction. Here, we have studied the role of serine/threonine phosphorylation of TJ proteins in 15(S)-HETE-induced endothelial TJ disruption and its barrier dysfunction. We found that 15(S)-HETE enhances ZO-1 phosphorylation at Thr-770/772 residues via PKCε-mediated MEK1-ERK1/2 activation, causing ZO-1 dissociation from occludin, disrupting endothelial TJs and its barrier function, and promoting monocyte transmigration; these effects were reversed by T770A/T772A mutations. In the arteries of WT mice ex vivo, 15(S)-HETE also induced ZO-1 phosphorylation and endothelial TJ disruption in a PKCε and MEK1-ERK1/2-dependent manner. In line with these observations, in WT mice high fat diet feeding induced 12/15-lipoxygenase (12/15-LO) expression in the endothelium and caused disruption of its TJs and barrier function. However, in 12/15-LO(-/-) mice, high fat diet feeding did not cause disruption of endothelial TJs and barrier function. These observations suggest that the 12/15-LO-12/15(S)-HETE axis, in addition to tyrosine phosphorylation of ZO-2, also stimulates threonine phosphorylation of ZO-1 in the mediation of endothelial TJ disruption and its barrier dysfunction.


Eicosanoid; Endothelial Cell; Lipoxygenase Pathway; Signal Transduction; Tight Junctions

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