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The metalloprotease meprinbeta processes E-cadherin and weakens intercellular adhesion.


Huguenin, Maya; Müller, Eliane J; Trachsel-Rösmann, Sandra; Oneda, Beatrice; Ambort, Daniel; Sterchi, Erwin E; Lottaz, Daniel (2008). The metalloprotease meprinbeta processes E-cadherin and weakens intercellular adhesion. PLoS ONE, 3(5):e2153.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Meprin (EC 3.4.24.18), an astacin-like metalloprotease, is expressed in the epithelium of the intestine and kidney tubules and has been related to cancer, but the mechanistic links are unknown.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS

We used MDCK and Caco-2 cells stably transfected with meprin alpha and or meprin beta to establish models of renal and intestinal epithelial cells expressing this protease at physiological levels. In both models E-cadherin was cleaved, producing a cell-associated 97-kDa E-cadherin fragment, which was enhanced upon activation of the meprin zymogen and reduced in the presence of a meprin inhibitor. The cleavage site was localized in the extracellular domain adjacent to the plasma membrane. In vitro assays with purified components showed that the 97-kDa fragment was specifically generated by meprin beta, but not by ADAM-10 or MMP-7. Concomitantly with E-cadherin cleavage and degradation of the E-cadherin cytoplasmic tail, the plaque proteins beta-catenin and plakoglobin were processed by an intracellular protease, whereas alpha-catenin, which does not bind directly to E-cadherin, remained intact. Using confocal microscopy, we observed a partial colocalization of meprin beta and E-cadherin at lateral membranes of incompletely polarized cells at preconfluent or early confluent stages. Meprin beta-expressing cells displayed a reduced strength of cell-cell contacts and a significantly lower tendency to form multicellular aggregates.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE

By identifying E-cadherin as a substrate for meprin beta in a cellular context, this study reveals a novel biological role of this protease in epithelial cells. Our results suggest a crucial role for meprin beta in the control of adhesiveness via cleavage of E-cadherin with potential implications in a wide range of biological processes including epithelial barrier function and cancer progression.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Meprin (EC 3.4.24.18), an astacin-like metalloprotease, is expressed in the epithelium of the intestine and kidney tubules and has been related to cancer, but the mechanistic links are unknown.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS

We used MDCK and Caco-2 cells stably transfected with meprin alpha and or meprin beta to establish models of renal and intestinal epithelial cells expressing this protease at physiological levels. In both models E-cadherin was cleaved, producing a cell-associated 97-kDa E-cadherin fragment, which was enhanced upon activation of the meprin zymogen and reduced in the presence of a meprin inhibitor. The cleavage site was localized in the extracellular domain adjacent to the plasma membrane. In vitro assays with purified components showed that the 97-kDa fragment was specifically generated by meprin beta, but not by ADAM-10 or MMP-7. Concomitantly with E-cadherin cleavage and degradation of the E-cadherin cytoplasmic tail, the plaque proteins beta-catenin and plakoglobin were processed by an intracellular protease, whereas alpha-catenin, which does not bind directly to E-cadherin, remained intact. Using confocal microscopy, we observed a partial colocalization of meprin beta and E-cadherin at lateral membranes of incompletely polarized cells at preconfluent or early confluent stages. Meprin beta-expressing cells displayed a reduced strength of cell-cell contacts and a significantly lower tendency to form multicellular aggregates.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE

By identifying E-cadherin as a substrate for meprin beta in a cellular context, this study reveals a novel biological role of this protease in epithelial cells. Our results suggest a crucial role for meprin beta in the control of adhesiveness via cleavage of E-cadherin with potential implications in a wide range of biological processes including epithelial barrier function and cancer progression.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Medical Genetics
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Life Sciences > General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Health Sciences > Multidisciplinary
Language:English
Date:14 May 2008
Deposited On:26 Nov 2020 13:54
Last Modified:01 Dec 2020 14:21
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0002153
PubMed ID:18478055

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