The role of phosphorylation in development of tight junctions in cultured renal epithelial (MDCK) cells

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1991 Dec 16;181(2):548-53. doi: 10.1016/0006-291x(91)91224-z.


We have explored the effect of the protein kinase inhibitor H7 on tight junction formation in a MDCK cell model for the development of cell-cell contact, tight junctions and epithelial polarity: the "Ca++ switch" model. In this developmental model, which is thought to mimic processes during the early morphogenesis of epithelial tissues, the protein kinase inhibitor H7 markedly inhibits the development of transepithelial resistance of confluent MDCK cells during the "switch" from low (1-5 microM) to normal (1.8 mM) Ca++ media compared with control MDCK cells. Moreover, indirect immunofluorescence using specific antisera against two tight junctional proteins, ZO1 and cingulin, revealed that H7 inhibits the sorting of these proteins from an intracellular site to the lateral surfaces of MDCK cells when the Ca++ in the medium is raised. These data suggest protein kinase mediation in sorting events that lead to the assembly of tight junctions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 1-(5-Isoquinolinesulfonyl)-2-Methylpiperazine
  • Animals
  • Calcium / pharmacology
  • Cell Line
  • Dogs
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Epithelium / physiology
  • Epithelium / ultrastructure
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Intercellular Junctions / drug effects
  • Intercellular Junctions / physiology*
  • Isoquinolines / pharmacology
  • Kidney / physiology
  • Kidney / ultrastructure*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Piperazines / pharmacology
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*


  • Isoquinolines
  • Piperazines
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • 1-(5-Isoquinolinesulfonyl)-2-Methylpiperazine
  • Protein Kinases
  • Calcium