Epithelial tubular structures are essential units in various organs. Here, we used rat intestinal epithelial IEC6 cells to investigate tubulogenesis and we found that tubular formation was induced by a combination of Wnt3a and EGF signaling during three-dimensional culture. Wnt3a and EGF induced the expression of the P2Y2 receptor (P2Y2R, also known as P2RY2), and knockdown of P2Y2R suppressed tubular formation. A P2Y2R mutant that lacks nucleotide responsiveness rescued the phenotypes resulting from P2Y2R knockdown, suggesting that nucleotide-dependent responses are not required for P2Y2R functions in tubular formation. The Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) sequence of P2Y2R has been shown to interact with integrins, and a P2Y2R mutant lacking integrin-binding activity was unable to induce tubular formation. P2Y2R expression inhibited the interaction between integrins and fibronectin, and induced cell morphological changes and proliferation. Inhibition of integrin and fibronectin binding by treatment with the cyclic RGD peptide and fibronectin knockdown induced tubular formation in the presence of EGF alone, but a fibronectin coat suppressed Wnt3a- and EGF-induced tubular formation. These results suggest that Wnt3a- and EGF-induced P2Y2R expression causes tubular formation by preventing the binding of integrins and fibronectin rather than by mediating nucleotide responses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology