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BACKGROUND - Chemotaxis is essential for a number of physiological processes including leukocyte recruitment. Chemokines initiate intracellular signaling pathways necessary for chemotaxis through binding seven transmembrane G protein-couple receptors. Little is known about the proteins that interact with the intracellular domains of chemokine receptors to initiate cellular signaling upon ligand binding. CXCR2 is a major chemokine receptor expressed on several cell types, including endothelial cells and neutrophils. We hypothesize that multiple proteins interact with the intracellular domains of CXCR2 upon ligand stimulation and these interactions comprise a "chemosynapse", and play important roles in transducing CXCR2 mediated signaling processes.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS - In an effort to define the complex of proteins that assemble upon CXCR2 activation to relay signals from activated chemokine receptors, a proteomics approach was employed to identify proteins that co-associate with CXCR2 with or without ligand stimulation. The components of the CXCR2 "chemosynapse" are involved in processes ranging from intracellular trafficking to cytoskeletal modification. IQ motif containing GTPase activating protein 1 (IQGAP1) was among the novel proteins identified to interact directly with CXCR2. Herein, we demonstrate that CXCR2 co-localizes with IQGAP1 at the leading edge of polarized human neutrophils and CXCR2 expressing differentiated HL-60 cells. Moreover, amino acids 1-160 of IQGAP1 directly interact with the carboxyl-terminal domain of CXCR2 and stimulation with CXCL8 enhances IQGAP1 association with Cdc42.
CONCLUSIONS - Our studies indicate that IQGAP1 is a novel essential component of the CXCR2 "chemosynapse".
Cadherins and catenins evidently partnered at the dawn of the animal kingdom to enable the first polarized epithelium, and perhaps animal evolution itself. New evidence from a primitive slime mold, however, suggests that α- and β-catenins may have engaged this function independently, long before cadherins arrived on the scene.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Helicobacter pylori (Hp) injects the CagA effector protein into host epithelial cells and induces growth factor-like signaling, perturbs cell-cell junctions, and alters host cell polarity. This enables Hp to grow as microcolonies adhered to the host cell surface even in conditions that do not support growth of free-swimming bacteria. We hypothesized that CagA alters host cell physiology to allow Hp to obtain specific nutrients from or across the epithelial barrier. Using a polarized epithelium model system, we find that isogenic ΔcagA mutants are defective in cell surface microcolony formation, but exogenous addition of iron to the apical medium partially rescues this defect, suggesting that one of CagA's effects on host cells is to facilitate iron acquisition from the host. Hp adhered to the apical epithelial surface increase basolateral uptake of transferrin and induce its transcytosis in a CagA-dependent manner. Both CagA and VacA contribute to the perturbation of transferrin recycling, since VacA is involved in apical mislocalization of the transferrin receptor to sites of bacterial attachment. To determine if the transferrin recycling pathway is involved in Hp colonization of the cell surface, we silenced transferrin receptor expression during infection. This resulted in a reduced ability of Hp to colonize the polarized epithelium. To test whether CagA is important in promoting iron acquisition in vivo, we compared colonization of Hp in iron-replete vs. iron-deficient Mongolian gerbils. While wild type Hp and ΔcagA mutants colonized iron-replete gerbils at similar levels, ΔcagA mutants are markedly impaired in colonizing iron-deficient gerbils. Our study indicates that CagA and VacA act in concert to usurp the polarized process of host cell iron uptake, allowing Hp to use the cell surface as a replicative niche.
BACKGROUND - Dilation of intercellular spaces is reported to be an early morphological marker in gastro-oesophageal reflux. It remains unknown if this marker is useful in diagnosing reflux-related chronic laryngitis.
AIM - To determine histopathology and electron microscopic changes in oesophageal and laryngeal epithelium in chronic laryngitis.
METHODS - In this prospective blinded study, we enrolled 53 participants: 15 controls, 20 patients with GERD and 18 patients with chronic laryngitis. The latter two groups were subsequently treated with lansoprazole 30 mg bid for 12-weeks. Baseline and postacid suppressive therapy biopsies were obtained from distal oesophagus and laryngeal postcricoid areas. Biopsy specimens were evaluated for histopathology and dilated intercellular space changes.
RESULTS - There was no significant increase in oesophageal or laryngeal epithelium intercellular spaces among GERD or laryngitis patients compared with controls at baseline or postacid suppressive therapy. Only patients with GERD had significantly (P = 0.03) higher proportion of moderate-to-severe oesophageal spongiosis and basal cell hyperplasia, which normalized postacid suppressive therapy.
CONCLUSIONS - There was no increase in the width of intercellular spaces in the oesophagus or larynx in GERD or chronic laryngitis at baseline or postacid suppressive therapy. Our findings question the uniform presence of dilated intercellular space in patients with GERD.
2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Glomerular visceral epithelial cells (podocytes) contain interdigitated processes that form specialized intercellular junctions, termed slit diaphragms, which provide a selective filtration barrier in the renal glomerulus. Analyses of disease-causing mutations in familial nephrotic syndromes and targeted mutagenesis in mice have revealed critical roles of several proteins in the assembly of slit diaphragms. The nephrin-podocin complex is the main constituent of slit diaphragms. However, the molecular mechanisms regulating these proteins to maintain the slit diaphragms are still largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the PAR3-atypical protein kinase C (aPKC)-PAR6beta cell polarity proteins co-localize to the slit diaphragms with nephrin. Furthermore, selective depletion of aPKClambda in mouse podocytes results in the disassembly of slit diaphragms, a disturbance in apico-basal cell polarity, and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). The aPKC-PAR3 complex associates with the nephrin-podocin complex in podocytes through direct interaction between PAR3 and nephrin, and the kinase activity of aPKC is required for the appropriate distribution of nephrin and podocin in podocytes. These observations not only establish a critical function of the polarity proteins in the maintenance of slit diaphragms, but also imply their potential involvement in renal failure in FSGS.
In contrast to growth factor-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of p120, its relatively constitutive serine/threonine phosphorylation is not well understood. Here we examined the role of serine/threonine phosphorylation of p120 in cadherin function. Expression of cadherins in cadherin-null cells converted them to an epithelial phenotype, induced p120 phosphorylation and localized it to sites of cell contact. Detergent solubility and immunofluorescence confirmed that phosphorylated p120 was at the plasma membrane. E-cadherin constructs incapable of traveling to the plasma membrane did not induce serine/threonine phosphorylation of p120, nor did cadherins constructs incapable of binding p120. However, an E-cadherin cytoplasmic domain construct artificially targeted to the plasma membrane did induce serine/threonine phosphorylation of p120, suggesting phosphorylation occurs independently of signals from cadherin dimerization and trafficking through the ER/Golgi. Solubility assays following calcium switch showed that p120 isoform 3A was more effective at stabilizing E-cadherin at the plasma membrane relative to isoform 4A. Since the major phosphorylation domain of p120 is included in isoform 3A but not 4A, we tested p120 mutated in the known phosphorylation sites in this domain and found that it was even less effective at stabilizing E-cadherin. These data suggest that serine/threonine phosphorylation of p120 influences the dynamics of E-cadherin in junctions.
We describe a model system in which cancer cell colonies disperse into single, highly migratory cells in response to lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). Though LPA is known to stimulate chemotaxis and chemokinesis, a colony dispersal effect has not been reported, to our knowledge. Cancer colony dispersal by LPA is comprised of an ordered sequence of events: (1) stimulation of membrane ruffling and formation of lamellipodia, (2) dissolution of adherens junctions, (3) single cell migration in a mesenchymal-like morphology we term "ginkgo-leaf." The net result is dispersal of carcinoma cells from a compact colony. We analyzed these three steps using live-cell imaging and computer-assisted quantification and measured the following parameters: onset of lamellipodia formation, lamellipodia velocity, colony dispersal, trans-epithelial resistance, migrating cell number and speed. Because hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) was described as an epithelial scatter factor, we compared it to LPA in our system and found that HGF has no epithelial colony dispersal properties and that this effect is strictly related to LPA. Given its striking similarity to tumor cell budding observed in patients, we propose that LPA-colony dispersal may provide a cellular mechanism underlying cancer invasion and as such deserves further studies.
Copyright (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Work in various model systems has yielded conflicting views of how p120-catenin participates in adherens junction assembly and regulation. A series of recent studies indicate that a core function of p120-catenin in mammalian cells is to regulate cadherin turnover by modulating the entry of cadherins into degradative endocytic pathways. By this mechanism, cellular levels of p120-catenin perform a 'rheostat' or 'set point' function that controls steady-state cadherin levels. These studies parallel a growing interest in the regulation of cadherin levels at the cell surface by membrane trafficking pathways. Collectively, the findings suggest exciting new roles for p120-catenin at the interface between cadherins and membrane trafficking machinery, and imply novel mechanisms by which p120-catenin may regulate cell adhesion and migration in the context of development and cancer.
Copyright 2004 Elsevier Ltd.