Molecular and cellular biology

JAM4, a junctional cell adhesion molecule interacting with a tight junction protein, MAGI-1.

PMID 12773569


MAGI-1 is a membrane-associated guanylate kinase protein at tight junctions in epithelial cells. It interacts with various molecules and functions as a scaffold protein at cell junctions. We report here a novel MAGI-1-binding protein that we named junctional adhesion molecule 4 (JAM4). JAM4 belongs to an immunoglobulin protein family. JAM4 was colocalized with ZO-1 in kidney glomeruli and in intestinal epithelial cells. Biochemical in vitro studies revealed that JAM4 bound to MAGI-1 but not to ZO-1, whereas JAM1 did not bind to MAGI-1. JAM4 and MAGI-1 interacted with each other and formed clusters in COS-7 cells when coexpressed. JAM4 mediated calcium-independent homophilic adhesion and was accumulated at cell-cell contacts when expressed in L cells. MAGI-1, ZO-1, and occludin were recruited to JAM4-based cell contacts. JAM4 also reduced the permeability of CHO cell monolayers. MAGI-1 strengthened JAM4-mediated cell adhesion in L cells and sealing effects in CHO cells. These findings suggest that JAM4 together with MAGI-1 provides an adhesion machinery at tight junctions, which may regulate the permeability of kidney glomerulus and small intestinal epithelial cells.