The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics

Claudin-1 Binder Enhances Epidermal Permeability in a Human Keratinocyte Model.

PMID 26139628


Tight junctions (TJs) are complex biochemical structures that seal the intercellular space and prevent the free movement of solutes across epithelial cell sheets. Modulating the TJ seal is a promising option for increasing the transdermal absorption of drugs. Within TJs, the binding of the claudin (CLDN) family of tetratransmembrane proteins through cis- and trans-interactions is an integral part of seal formation. Because epidermal TJs contain CLDN-1 and CLDN-4, a binder for these CLDNs may be a useful modulator of the permeability of the epidermal barrier. Here, we investigated whether m19, which can bind to CLDN-1/-4 (also CLDN-2/-5), modulates the integrity of epidermal TJs and the permeability of cell sheets to solutes. Treatment of normal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEKs) with the CLDN binder reduced the integrity of TJs. A CLDN-1-specific binder (a monoclonal antibody, clone 7A5) also weakened the TJ seal in NHEKs. Although m19 attenuated the TJ barrier in human intestinal epithelial cells (Caco-2), 7A5 did not. Treatment of NHEKs with 7A5 enhanced permeation of a paracellular permeation marker. These findings indicate that CLDN-1 is a potential target for modulating the permeability of the epidermis, and that our CLDN-1 binder is a promising candidate molecule for development as a dermal absorption enhancer.