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  • EGF regulates claudin-2 and -4 expression through Src and STAT3 in MDCK cells.

EGF regulates claudin-2 and -4 expression through Src and STAT3 in MDCK cells.

Journal of cellular physiology (2014-06-10)
Vicky García-Hernández, Catalina Flores-Maldonado, Ruth Rincon-Heredia, Odette Verdejo-Torres, José Bonilla-Delgado, Ivan Meneses-Morales, Patricio Gariglio, Rubén G Contreras
ABSTRACT

Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) is a key regulator of epithelial paracellular permeability, a property that depends on tight junctions (TJ) and can be evaluated through the measurement of the transepithelial electrical resistance (TER). EGF increases the TER of MDCK monolayers by inducing ERK1/2-dependent downregulation of claudin-2 (CLDN-2) and upregulation of claudin-4 (CLDN-4). Because either increments or decrements in TER often involve Src activation and epithelial cell differentiation occasionally depends on STAT3, here we investigated whether EGF might control CLDN-2 downregulation and CLDN-4 upregulation through those proteins. We found that EGF induces Src activation necessary for the reduction of CLDN-2 at the TJ, the degradation of this CLDN, the reduction of the cellular levels of its mRNA and the resulting increase of TER. EGF-induced changes on CLDN-2 protein and mRNA also depend on STAT3 activity. This growth factor increases the levels of STAT3 phosphorylated at Y705 in the nucleus, a process that depends on Src activation. Interestingly, Src and STAT3 activation do not exclusively mediate the EGF-induced downregulation of CLDN-2, but they are also implicated in the EGF-induced CLDN-4 transcription, translation, and exocytic fusion into TJ. Our results indicate that EGF controls the levels of CLDN-2 and -4 proteins and mRNAs through Src and STAT3 activity.

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