Claudin-2 knockout by TALEN-mediated gene targeting in MDCK cells: claudin-2 independently determines the leaky property of tight junctions in MDCK cells
Tokuda, S.; Furuse, M.
Plos one 10(3): E0119869
ISSN/ISBN: 1932-6203 PMID: 25781928 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0119869
Tight junctions (TJs) regulate the movements of substances through the paracellular pathway, and claudins are major determinants of TJ permeability. Claudin-2 forms high conductive cation pores in TJs. The suppression of claudin-2 expression by RNA interference in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) II cells (a low-resistance strain of MDCK cells) was shown to induce a three-fold increase in transepithelial electrical resistance (TER), which, however, was still lower than in high-resistance strains of MDCK cells. Because RNA interference-mediated knockdown is not complete and only reduces gene function, we considered the possibility that the remaining claudin-2 expression in the knockdown study caused the lower TER in claudin-2 knockdown cells. Therefore, we investigated the effects of claudin-2 knockout in MDCK II cells by establishing claudin-2 knockout clones using transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), a recently developed genome editing method for gene knockout. Surprisingly, claudin-2 knockout increased TER by more than 50-fold in MDCK II cells, and TER values in these cells (3000-4000 Ω·cm2) were comparable to those in the high-resistance strains of MDCK cells. Claudin-2 re-expression restored the TER of claudin-2 knockout cells dependent upon claudin-2 protein levels. In addition, we investigated the localization of claudin-1, -2, -3, -4, and -7 at TJs between control MDCK cells and their respective knockout cells using their TALENs. Claudin-2 and -7 were less efficiently localized at TJs between control and their knockout cells. Our results indicate that claudin-2 independently determines the 'leaky' property of TJs in MDCK II cells and suggest the importance of knockout analysis in cultured cells.