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Ste20-Related Proline/Alanine-Rich Kinase (SPAK) Regulated Transcriptionally by Hyperosmolarity Is Involved in Intestinal Barrier Function

By Yutao Yan, Guillaume Dalmasso, Hang Thi Thu Nguyen, Tracy S. Obertone, Shanthi V. Sitaraman and Didier Merlin

Abstract

The Ste20-related protein proline/alanine-rich kinase (SPAK) plays important roles in cellular functions such as cell differentiation and regulation of chloride transport, but its roles in pathogenesis of intestinal inflammation remain largely unknown. Here we report significantly increased SPAK expression levels in hyperosmotic environments, such as mucosal biopsy samples from patients with Crohn's disease, as well as colon tissues of C57BL/6 mice and Caco2-BBE cells treated with hyperosmotic medium. NF-κB and Sp1-binding sites in the SPAK TATA-less promoter are essential for SPAK mRNA transcription. Hyperosmolarity increases the ability of NF-κB and Sp1 to bind to their binding sites. Knock-down of either NF-κB or Sp1 by siRNA reduces the hyperosmolarity-induced SPAK expression levels. Furthermore, expression of NF-κB, but not Sp1, was upregulated by hyperosmolarity in vivo and in vitro. Nuclear run-on assays showed that hyperosmolarity increases SPAK expression levels at the transcriptional level, without affecting SPAK mRNA stability. Knockdown of SPAK expression by siRNA or overexpression of SPAK in cells and transgenic mice shows that SPAK is involved in intestinal permeability in vitro and in vivo. Together, our data suggest that SPAK, the transcription of which is regulated by hyperosmolarity, plays an important role in epithelial barrier function

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: Public Library of Science
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:2660421
Provided by: PubMed Central

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