Rapid Changes in Connexin-43 in Response to Genotoxic Stress Stabilize Cell-Cell Communication in Corneal Endothelium
ABSTRACT To determine how corneal endothelial (CE) cells respond to acute genotoxic stress through changes in connexin-43 (Cx43) and gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC).
Cultured bovine CE cells were exposed to mitomycin C or other DNA-damaging agents. Changes in the levels, stability, binding partners, and trafficking of Cx43 were assessed by Western blot analysis and immunostaining. Live-cell imaging of a Cx43-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion protein was used to evaluate internalization of cell surface Cx43. Dye transfer and fluorescent recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) assessed GJIC.
After genotoxic stress, Cx43 accumulated in large gap junction plaques, had reduced zonula occludens-1 binding, and displayed increased stability. Live-cell imaging of Cx43-GFP plaques in stressed CE cells revealed reduced gap junction internalization and degradation compared to control cells. Mitomycin C enhanced transport of Cx43 from the endoplasmic reticulum to the cell surface and formation of gap junction plaques. Mitomycin C treatment also protected GJIC from disruption after cytokine treatment.
These results show a novel CE cell response to genotoxic stress mediated by marked and rapid changes in Cx43 and GJIC. This stabilization of cell-cell communication may be an important early adaptation to acute stressors encountered by CE.
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ABSTRACT: Purpose Gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) plays a critical role in the maintenance of corneal endothelium homeostasis. We determined if benzalkonium chloride (BAK) alters GJIC activity in the rabbit corneal endothelium since it is commonly used as a drug preservative in ocular eyedrop preparations even though it can have cytotoxic effects. Methods Thirty-six adult New Zealand albino rabbits were randomly divided into three groups. BAK at 0.01%, 0.05%, and 0.1% was applied twice daily to one eye of each of the rabbits in one of the three groups for seven days. The contralateral untreated eyes were used as controls. Corneal endothelial morphological features were observed by in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM). Immunofluorescent staining resolved changes in gap junction integrity and localization. Western blot analysis and RT-PCR evaluated changes in levels of connexin43 (Cx43) and tight junction zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) gene and protein expression, respectively. Cx43 and ZO-1 physical interaction was detected by immunoprecipitation (IP). Primary rabbit corneal endothelial cells were cultured in Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium (DMEM) containing BAK for 24 hours. The scrape-loading dye transfer technique (SLDT) was used to assess GJIC activity. Results Topical administration of BAK (0.05%, 0.1%) dose dependently disrupted corneal endothelial cell morphology, altered Cx43 and ZO-1 distribution and reduced Cx43 expression. BAK also markedly induced increases in Cx43 phosphorylation status concomitant with decreases in the Cx43-ZO-1 protein-protein interaction. These changes were associated with marked declines in GJIC activity. Conclusions The dose dependent declines in rabbit corneal endothelial GJIC activity induced by BAK are associated with less Cx43-ZO-1 interaction possibly arising from increases in Cx43 phosphorylation and declines in its protein expression. These novel changes provide additional evidence that BAK containing eyedrop preparations should be used with caution to avoid declines in corneal transparency resulting from losses in GJIC activity and endothelial function.PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10):e109708. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0109708 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Members of the highly conserved and ubiquitously expressed pleiotropic CK1 family play major regulatory roles in many cellular processes including DNA-processing and repair, proliferation, cytoskeleton dynamics, vesicular trafficking, apoptosis, and cell differentiation. As a consequence of cellular stress conditions, interaction of CK1 with the mitotic spindle is manifold increased pointing to regulatory functions at the mitotic checkpoint. Furthermore, CK1 is able to alter the activity of key proteins in signal transduction and signal integration molecules. In line with this notion, CK1 is tightly connected to the regulation and degradation of β-catenin, p53, and MDM2. Considering the importance of CK1 for accurate cell division and regulation of tumor suppressor functions, it is not surprising that mutations and alterations in the expression and/or activity of CK1 isoforms are often detected in various tumor entities including cancer of the kidney, choriocarcinomas, breast carcinomas, oral cancer, adenocarcinomas of the pancreas, and ovarian cancer. Therefore, scientific effort has enormously increased (i) to understand the regulation of CK1 and its involvement in tumorigenesis- and tumor progression-related signal transduction pathways and (ii) to develop CK1-specific inhibitors for the use in personalized therapy concepts. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge regarding CK1 regulation, function, and interaction with cellular proteins playing central roles in cellular stress-responses and carcinogenesis.
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ABSTRACT: Zonula Occludens (ZOs) proteins are ubiquitous scaffolding proteins providing the structural basis for the assembly of multiprotein complexes at the cytoplasmic surface of the plasma membrane and linking transmembrane proteins to the filamentous cytoskeleton. They belong to the large family of membrane-associated guanylate kinase (MAGUK)-like proteins comprising a number of subfamilies based on domain content and sequence similarity. ZO proteins were originally described to localize specifically to tight junctions, or Zonulae Occludentes, but this notion was rapidly reconsidered since ZO proteins were found to associate with adherens junctions as well with gap junctions, particularly with connexin-made intercellular channels, and also with a few other membrane channels. Accumulating evidences reveal that in addition to having passive scaffolding functions in organizing gap junction complexes, including connexins and cytoskeletals, ZO proteins (particularly ZO-1) also actively take part in the dynamic function as well as in the remodeling of junctional complexes in a number of cellular systems. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Reciprocal influences between cell cytoskeleton and membrane channels, receptors and transporters".Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 07/2013; 1838(2). DOI:10.1016/j.bbamem.2013.07.006 · 4.66 Impact Factor