Keratins (K) are intermediate filament proteins important in protection from stress. The roles of keratins in the intestine are not clear, but K8 knockout (K8-/-) mice develop a Th2-type colonic inflammation, epithelial hyperproliferation, and mild diarrhea caused by a keratin level-dependent decrease in short circuit current and net sodium and chloride absorption in the distal colon. The lack of K8 leads to mistargeting or altered levels of membrane proteins in colonocytes, however, the main transporter responsible for the keratin-related ion transport defect is unknown. We here analyzed protein and mRNA levels of candidate ion transporters CFTR, PAT-1, NHE-3 and DRA in ileum, caecum, proximal and distal colon. While no differences were observed for CFTR, PAT-1 or NHE-3, DRA mRNA levels were decreased by 3-4-fold and DRA protein was almost entirely lost in K8-/- caecum, proximal and distal colon compared to K8+/+, while the levels in ileum were normal. In K8+/- mice, DRA mRNA-levels were unaltered while decreased DRA protein was detected in the proximal colon. Immunofluorescence staining confirmed the loss of DRA in K8-/- distal colon while K8+/- displayed a similar but more patchy apical DRA distribution compared to K8+/+. DRA was similarly decreased when K8 was knocked-down in Caco-2 cells, confirming that K8 levels modulate DRA levels in an inflammation-independent manner. Taken together, the loss of DRA in the K8-/- mouse colon and caecum explains the dramatic chloride transport defect and diarrheal phenotype after K8 inactivation and identifies K8 as a novel regulator for DRA.
- ion transport
- Copyright © 2015, American Journal of Physiology- Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology