Water transport through the intestinal epithelial barrier under different osmotic conditions is dependent on LI-cadherin trans-interaction.
Sprache des Titels:
In the intestine water has to be reabsorbed from the chymus across the intestinal epithelium. The osmolarity within the lumen is subjected to high variations meaning that water transport often has to take place against osmotic gradients. It has been hypothesized that LI-cadherin is important in this process by keeping the intercellular cleft narrow facilitating the buildup of an osmotic gradient allowing water reabsorption. LI-cadherin is exceptional among the cadherin superfamily with respect to its localization along the lateral plasma membrane of epithelial cells being excluded from adherens junction. Furthermore it has 7 but not 5 extracellular cadherin repeats (EC1-EC7) and a small cytosolic domain. In this study we identified the peptide VAALD as an inhibitor of LI-cadherin trans-interaction by modeling the structure of LI-cadherin and comparison with the known adhesive interfaces of E-cadherin. This inhibitory peptide was used to measure LI-cadherin dependency of water transport through a monolayer of epithelial CACO2 cells under various osmotic conditions. If LI-cadherin trans-interaction was inhibited by use of the peptide, water transport from the luminal to the basolateral side was impaired and even reversed in the case of hypertonic conditions whereas no effect could be observed at isotonic conditions. These data are in line with a recently published model predicting LI-cadherin to keep the width of the lateral intercellular cleft small. In this narrow cleft a high osmolarity can be achieved due to ion pumps yielding a standing osmotic gradient allowing water absorption from the gut even if the faeces is highly hypertonic.