Regulation of the blood-testis barrier by coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR).
Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2012 Aug 8;
Authors: Su L, Mruk DD, Cheng CY
The blood-testis barrier (BTB) divides the seminiferous epithelium into the basal and the adluminal compartment. It restricts paracellular diffusion of molecules between Sertoli cells, confers cell polarity, and creates a unique microenvironment in the adluminal compartment for spermatid development. However, it undergoes restructuring during the epithelial cycle so that preleptotene spermatocytes differentiated from type B spermatogonia residing in the basal compartment can traverse the BTB at stage VIII of the cycle, while the immunological barrier is maintained. Herein, coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR), a tight junction (TJ) integral membrane protein in the testis and multiple epithelia and endothelia, was found to act as a regulatory protein at the BTB, besides served as a structural adhesion protein. RNAi-mediated knockdown of CAR in a Sertoli cell epithelium with an established TJ-permeability barrier that mimicked the BTB in vivo resulted in a disruption of the TJ-barrier and an increase in endocytosis of the TJ-protein occludin. Furthermore, such an enhancement in occludin endocytosis was accompanied by a down-regulation of Thr-phosphorylation in occludin, and an increase in the association of endocytosed occludin with early endosome antigen-1. These findings were confirmed by overexpressing CAR in Sertoli cells, which was found to "tighten" the Sertoli cell TJ-barrier, promoting BTB function. These findings support the emerging concept that CAR is not only a structural protein, it is involved in conferring the phosphorylation status of other adhesion proteins at the BTB (e.g., occludin) possibly mediated via its structural interactions with non-receptor protein kinases, thereby modulating endocytic vesicle-mediated protein trafficking.
PMID: 22875787 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]Visit Source