Rab14 regulation of claudin-2 trafficking modulates epithelial permeability and lumen morphogenesis

Ruifeng Lu, Debra L. Johnson, Lorraine Stewart, Kelsey Waite, David Elliott, Jean M. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Regulation of epithelial barrier function requires targeted insertion of tight junction proteins that have distinct selectively permeable characteristics. The insertion of newly synthesized proteins and recycling of internalized tight junction components control both polarity and junction function. Here we show that the small GTPase Rab14 regulates tight junction structure. In Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) II cells, Rab14 colocalizes with junctional proteins, and knockdown of Rab14 results in increased transepithelial resistance. In cells without Rab14, there are small changes in the trafficking of claudin-1 and occludin. In addition, there is substantial depletion of the leaky claudin, claudin-2, but not other tight junction components. The loss of claudin-2 is complemented by inhibition of lysosomal function, suggesting that Rab14 sorts claudin-2 out of the lysosome-directed pathway. MDCK I cells lack claudin-2 endogenously, and knockdown of Rab14 in these cells does not result in a change in transepithelial resistance, suggesting that the effect is specific to claudin-2 trafficking. Furthermore, leaky claudins have been shown to be required for epithelial morphogenesis, and knockdown of Rab14 results in failure to form normal single-lumen cysts in three-dimensional culture. These results implicate Rab14 in specialized trafficking of claudin-2 from the recycling endosome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1744-1754
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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