Most cells in tissues are polarized and usually have two distinct plasma membrane domains-an apical membrane and a basolateral membrane, which are the result of polarized trafficking of proteins and lipids. However, the mechanism underlying the cell polarization is not fully understood. In this study, we investigated the involvement of synaptotagmin-like protein 2-a (Slp2-a), an effector molecule for the small GTPase Rab27, in polarized trafficking by using Madin-Darby canine kidney II cells as a model of polarized cells. The results show that the level of Slp2-a expression in MDCK II cells increases greatly as the cells become polarized and that its expression is specifically localized at the apical membrane. The results also reveal that Slp2-a is required for targeting of the signaling molecule podocalyxin to the apical membrane in a Rab27A-dependent manner. In addition, ezrin, a downstream target of podocalyxin, and ERK1/2 are activated in Slp2-a-knockdown cells, and their activation results in a dramatic reduction in the amount of the tight junction protein claudin-2. Because both Slp2-a and claudin-2 are highly expressed in mouse renal proximal tubules, Slp2-a is likely to regulate claudin-2 expression through trafficking of podocalyxin to the apical surface in mouse renal tubule epithelial cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology