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EMBO J. 1995 Feb 1;14(3):409-21.

Suppression of villin expression by antisense RNA impairs brush border assembly in polarized epithelial intestinal cells.

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Institut Pasteur, D├ępartement de Biologie Mol├ęculaire, Paris, France.


We have used an antisense RNA strategy to investigate the role of the actin-associated protein, villin, in the brush-border morphogenesis of human intestinal CaCO2 cells. Stable expression of a cDNA encoding antisense villin RNA resulted in the permanent down-regulation of the endogenous villin message and dramatically affected brush-border assembly. Ultrastructural and immunolocalization studies revealed that epithelial cell polarity was largely maintained. However, in contrast to brush-border markers such as dipeptidyl-peptidase IV, the apical localization of sucrase-isomaltase was specifically impaired. Retransfection of the villin antisense-expressing cell line with a cDNA encoding a partial sense villin RNA restored both brush-border assembly and sucrase-isomaltase apical expression. The suggestion that brush-border morphogenesis may be important for the trafficking of certain proteins is discussed.

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