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Tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 4 is a dynamic tight junction-related shuttle protein involved in epithelium homeostasis.

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Despite numerous in vivo evidences that Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor-Associated Factor 4 (TRAF4) plays a key biological function, how it works at the cellular and molecular level remains elusive. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In the present study, we show using immunofluorescence and immuohistochemistry that TRAF4 is a novel player at the tight junctions (TJs). TRAF4 is connected to assembled TJs in confluent epithelial cells, but accumulates in the cytoplasm and/or nucleus when TJs are open in isolated cells or EGTA-treated confluent cells. In vivo, TRAF4 is consistently found at TJs in normal human mammary epithelia as well as in well-differentiated in situ carcinomas. In contrast, TRAF4 is never localized at the plasma membrane of poorly-differentiated invasive carcinomas devoid of correct TJs, but is observed in the cytoplasm and/or nucleus of the cancer cells. Moreover, TRAF4 TJ subcellular localization is remarkably dynamic. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) experiments show that TRAF4 is highly mobile and shuttles between TJs and the cytoplasm. Finally, we show that intracellular TRAF4 potentiates ERK1/2 phosphorylation in proliferating HeLa cells, an epithelial cell line known to be devoid of TJs. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Collectively, our data strongly support the new concept of TJs as a dynamic structure. Moreover, our results implicate TRAF4 in one of the emerging TJ-dependent signaling pathways that responds to cell polarity by regulating the cell proliferation/differentiation balance, and subsequently epithelium homeostasis. Drastic phenotypes or lethality in TRAF4-deficient mice and drosophila strongly argue in favor of such a function.
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https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-00350795
Contributor : Fabien Alpy <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 11:57:53 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 2:26:26 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - 6:57:14 PM

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Valérie Kédinger, Fabien Alpy, Aurélie Baguet, Myriam Polette, Isabelle Stoll, et al.. Tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 4 is a dynamic tight junction-related shuttle protein involved in epithelium homeostasis.. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2008, 3 (10), pp.e3518. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0003518⟩. ⟨inserm-00350795⟩

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