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Probing the cis-arrangement of prototype tight junction proteins claudin-1 and claudin-3

Probing the cis-arrangement of prototype tight junction proteins claudin-1 and claudin-3

Biochemical Journal 468(3): 449-458

Claudins form a large family of TJ (tight junction) proteins featuring four transmembrane segments (TM1-TM4), two extracellular loops, one intracellular loop and intracellular N- and C-termini. They form continuous and branched TJ strands by homo- or heterophilic interaction within the same membrane (cis-interaction) and with claudins of the opposing lateral cell membrane (trans-interaction). In order to clarify the molecular organization of TJ strand formation, we investigated the cis-interaction of two abundant prototypic claudins. Human claudin-1 and claudin-3, fused to ECFP or EYFP at the N- or C-terminus, were expressed in the TJ-free cell line HEK (human embryonic kidney)-293. Using FRET analysis, the proximity of claudin N- and C-termini integrated in homopolymeric strands composed of claudin-3 or of heteropolymeric strands composed of claudin-1 and claudin-3 were determined. The main results are that (i) within homo- and heteropolymers, the average distance between the cytoplasmic ends of the TM1s of cis-interacting claudin molecules is shorter than the average distance between their TM4s, and (ii) TM1 segments of neighbouring claudins are oriented towards each other as the cytoplasmic end of TM1 is in close proximity to more other TM1 segments than TM4 is to other TM4 segments. The results indicate at least two different cis-interaction interfaces within claudin-3 homopolymers as well as within claudin-1/claudin-3 heteropolymers. The data provide novel insight into the molecular TJ architecture consistent with a model with an antiparallel double-row cis-arrangement of classic claudin protomers within strands.

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Accession: 058629129

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PMID: 25849148

DOI: 10.1042/bj20150148

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