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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Calcium/Ask1/MKK7/JNK2/c-Src signalling cascade mediates disruption of intestinal epithelial tight junctions by dextran sulfate sodium

Geetha Samak, Kamaljit K Chaudhry, Ruchika Gangwar, Damodaran Narayanan, Jonathan H Jaggar, RadhaKrishna Rao
Biochemical Journal 2015 February 1, 465 (3): 503-15
25377781
Disruption of intestinal epithelial tight junctions is an important event in the pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis. Dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) induces colitis in mice with symptoms similar to ulcerative colitis. However, the mechanism of DSS-induced colitis is unknown. We investigated the mechanism of DSS-induced disruption of intestinal epithelial tight junctions and barrier dysfunction in Caco-2 cell monolayers in vitro and mouse colon in vivo. DSS treatment resulted in disruption of tight junctions, adherens junctions and actin cytoskeleton leading to barrier dysfunction in Caco-2 cell monolayers. DSS induced a rapid activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and the inhibition or knockdown of JNK2 attenuated DSS-induced tight junction disruption and barrier dysfunction. In mice, DSS administration for 4 days caused redistribution of tight junction and adherens junction proteins from the epithelial junctions, which was blocked by JNK inhibitor. In Caco-2 cell monolayers, DSS increased intracellular Ca(2+) concentration, and depletion of intracellular Ca(2+) by 1,2-bis-(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetra-acetic acid tetrakis(acetoxymethyl ester) (BAPTA/AM) or thapsigargin attenuated DSS-induced JNK activation, tight junction disruption and barrier dysfunction. Knockdown of apoptosis signal-regulated kinase 1 (Ask1) or MKK7 blocked DSS-induced tight junction disruption and barrier dysfunction. DSS activated c-Src by a Ca2+ and JNK-dependent mechanism. Inhibition of Src kinase activity or knockdown of c-Src blocked DSS-induced tight junction disruption and barrier dysfunction. DSS increased tyrosine phosphorylation of occludin, zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1), E-cadherin and β-catenin. SP600125 abrogated DSS-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of junctional proteins. Recombinant JNK2 induced threonine phosphorylation and auto-phosphorylation of c-Src. The present study demonstrates that Ca(2+)/Ask1/MKK7/JNK2/cSrc signalling cascade mediates DSS-induced tight junction disruption and barrier dysfunction.

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