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Jason M. Keil, Xuwen Liu, David A. Antonetti; Glucocorticoid Induction of Occludin Expression and Endothelial Barrier Requires Transcription Factor p54 NONO. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(6):4007-4015. doi: 10.1167/iovs.13-11980.
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Glucocorticoids (GCs) effectively reduce retinal edema and induce vascular barrier properties but possess unwanted side effects. Understanding GC induction of barrier properties may lead to more effective and specific therapies. Previous work identified the occludin enhancer element (OEE) as a GC-responsive cis-element in the promoters of multiple junctional genes, including occludin, claudin-5, and cadherin-9. Here, we identify two OEE-binding factors and determine their contribution to GC induction of tight junction (TJ) gene expression and endothelial barrier properties.
OEE-binding factors were isolated from human retinal endothelial cells (HREC) using DNA affinity purification followed by MALDI-TOF MS/MS. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays determined in situ binding. siRNA was used to evaluate the role of trans-acting factors in transcription of TJ genes in response to GC stimulation. Paracellular permeability was determined by quantifying flux through a cell monolayer, whereas transendothelial electrical resistance (TER) was measured using the ECIS system.
MS/MS analysis of HREC nuclear extracts identified the heterodimer of transcription factors p54/NONO (p54) and polypyrimidine tract-binding protein-associated splicing factor (PSF) as OEE-binding factors, which was confirmed by ChIP assay from GC-treated endothelial cells and rat retina. siRNA knockdown of p54 demonstrated that this factor is necessary for GC induction of occludin and claudin-5 expression. Further, p54 knockdown ablated the pro-barrier effects of GC treatment.
p54 is essential for GC-mediated expression of occludin, claudin-5, and barrier induction, and the p54/PSF heterodimer may contribute to normal blood-retinal barrier (BRB) induction in vivo. Understanding the mechanism of GC induction of BRB properties may provide novel therapies for macular edema.
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