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Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2014 Aug 1;307(3):C245-54. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00336.2013. Epub 2014 Jun 11.

Microtubules are required for efficient epithelial tight junction homeostasis and restoration.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois;
2
Departments of Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology, Loyola University Chicago, Maywood, Illinois;
3
University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois;
4
Departments of Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology, Loyola University Chicago, Maywood, Illinois; Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital, Hines, Illinois ghecht@lumc.edu.

Abstract

Epithelial tight junctions are critical for creating a barrier yet allowing paracellular transport. Although it is well established that the actin cytoskeleton is critical for preserving the dynamic organization of the tight junction and maintaining normal tight junction protein recycling, contributions of microtubules to tight junction organization and function remain undefined. The aim of this study is to determine the role of microtubules in tight junction homeostasis and restoration. Our data demonstrate that occludin traffics on microtubules and that microtubule disruption perturbs tight junction structure and function. Microtubules are also shown to be required for restoring barrier function following Ca(2+) chelation and repletion. These processes are mediated by proteins participating in microtubule minus-end-directed trafficking but not plus-end-directed trafficking. These studies show that microtubules participate in the preservation of epithelial tight junction structure and function and play a vital role in tight junction restoration, thus expanding our understanding of the regulation of tight junction physiology.

KEYWORDS:

dynein; kinesin; microtubules; tight junctions

PMID:
24920678
PMCID:
PMC4121580
DOI:
10.1152/ajpcell.00336.2013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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