Freeze-fracture electron microscopic study of tight junction strands in HEK293 cells and MDCK II cells expressing claudin-1 mutants in the second extracellular loop

Tetsuichiro Inai, Akihito Sengoku, Eiji Hirose, Hiroshi Iida, Yosaburo Shibata

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Claudins constitute tight junction (TJ) strands. In order to examine the function of the second extracellular loop (ECL2), we constructed 1CLΔFY and 1CLΔPL in which highly conserved amino acids, FY or PL, in the ECL2 of mouse claudin-1 were deleted. They were then tagged with either EGFP at the NH2-terminus (EGFP1CLΔFY and EGFP1CLΔPL) or the myc-epitope at the COOH-terminus (1CLΔFYmyc and 1CLΔPLmyc). The expression of EGFP1CLΔFY and EGFP1CLΔPL in TJ-free HEK293 cells formed TJ strands resembling those formed by wild-type claudin-1. The expression of 1CLΔPLmyc in TJ-bearing MDCK II cells induced aberrant TJ strands in the lateral plasma membranes whose intramembranous particles were almost equally distributed in the P- and E-face. In contrast, 1CLΔFYmyc formed aggregates of short continuous strands which were frequently associated with vesicle-like structures. Coculture experiments with MDCK II cells showed that 1CLΔPLmyc was localized at heterotypic cell-cell junctions but 1CLΔFYmyc was not. These results suggest that changes in the TJ morphology due to the expression of either 1CLΔFYmyc or 1CLΔPLmyc may be caused by some factors specific to epithelial MDCK II cells including endogenous claudins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-690
Number of pages10
JournalHistochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2009


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Histology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Medical Laboratory Technology
  • Cell Biology

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