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Membranes (Basel) 2022 Jul 23;128:. doi: 10.3390/membranes12080731.
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Functional Analysis of Gastric Tight Junction Proteins in Xenopus laevis Oocytes.

Stein L , Brunner N , Amasheh S .

The epithelial barrier is crucial for proper gastrointestinal function, preventing the unwanted passage of solutes and therefore representing a prerequisite for vectorial transport. Claudin-4 and claudin-18.2, two critical tight junction proteins of the gastric epithelium, seal neighboring cells in a physically and mechanically challenging environment. As the Xenopus laevis oocyte allows the functional and molecular analyses of claudin interaction, we have addressed the hypothesis that this interaction is not only dependent on mechanical force but also on pH. We expressed human claudin-4 and claudin-18 in Xenopus oocytes, and analyzed them in a two-cell model approach. Cells were clustered in pairs to form contact areas expressing CLDN18 + CLDN18, CLDN4/18 + CLDN4/18, and compared to controls, respectively. Contact areas in cells incubated in medium at pH 5.5 and 7.4 were quantified by employing transmitted light microscopy. After 24 h at pH 5.5, clustering of CLDN18 + CLDN18 and CLDN4/18 + CLDN4/18-expressing oocytes revealed a contact area reduced by 45% and 32%, compared with controls, respectively. A further approach, high-pressure impulse assay, revealed a stronger tight junction interaction at pH 5.5 in oocyte pairs expressing CLDN18 + CLDN18 or CLDN4/18 + CLDN4/18 indicating a protective role of claudin-18 for tight junction integrity during pH challenge. Thus, our current analysis of gastric tight junction proteins further establishes oocytes as an expression and two-cell screening model for tight junction integrity analysis of organ- and tissue-specific claudins by the characterization of homo- and heterophilic trans-interaction dependent on barrier effectors.

PubMed ID: 35893449
Article link: Membranes (Basel)
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis

References [+] :
Amasheh, Electrophysiological analysis of the function of the mammalian renal peptide transporter expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. 1997, Pubmed, Xenbase