The junctional adhesion molecule (JAM) family members JAM-2 and JAM-3 associate with the cell polarity protein PAR-3: a possible role for JAMs in endothelial cell polarity.

Tight junctions play a central role in the establishment of cell polarity in vertebrate endothelial and epithelial cells. A ternary protein complex consisting of the cell polarity proteins PAR-3 and PAR-6 and the atypical protein kinase C localizes at tight junctions and is crucial for tight junction formation. We have ...
recently shown that PAR-3 directly associates with the junctional adhesion molecule (JAM), which suggests that the ternary complex is targeted to tight junctions of epithelial cells through PAR-3 binding to JAM. The expression of JAM-related proteins by endothelial cells prompted us to test whether recruitment of the ternary complex in endothelial cells can occur through binding to JAM-2, JAM-3, endothelial cell-selective adhesion molecule (ESAM) or coxsackie- and adenovirus receptor (CAR). Here we show that the two JAM-related proteins JAM-2 and JAM-3 directly associate with PAR-3. The association between PAR-3 and JAM-2/-3 is mediated through the first PDZ domain of PAR-3. In agreement with the predominant expression of JAM-2 and JAM-3 in endothelial cells, we found that PAR-3 is expressed by endothelial cells in vivo and is localized at cell contacts of cultured endothelial cells. PAR-3 associates with JAM-2/-3 but not with the JAM-related Ig-superfamily members ESAM or CAR. In addition, we show that the tight junction-associated protein ZO-1 associates with JAM-2/-3 in a PDZ domain-dependent manner. Using ectopic expression of JAM-2 in CHO cells, we show that the junctional localization of JAM-2 is regulated by serine phosphorylation and that its clustering at cell-cell contacts recruits endogenous PAR-3 and ZO-1. Our findings suggest that JAM-2 affects endothelial cell junctions by its regulated clustering at intercellular contacts, and they support a role for JAM-2, and possibly JAM-3, in tight junction formation of endothelial cells.
Mesh Terms:
Animals, CHO Cells, COS Cells, Carrier Proteins, Cell Adhesion Molecules, Cell Polarity, Cells, Cultured, Cercopithecus aethiops, Cloning, Molecular, Cricetinae, Cricetulus, Endothelial Cells, Epithelial Cells, Humans, Immunoglobulins, Immunohistochemistry, Membrane Proteins, Mice, Phosphorylation, Protein Binding, Protein Structure, Tertiary, Serine, Tight Junctions
J. Cell. Sci.
Date: Oct. 01, 2003
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