Claudin-16 and claudin-19 interaction is required for their assembly into tight junctions and for renal reabsorption of magnesium

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Sep 8;106(36):15350-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0907724106. Epub 2009 Aug 24.


Claudins are tight junction integral membrane proteins that are key regulators of the paracellular pathway. Defects in claudin-16 (CLDN16) and CLDN19 function result in the inherited human renal disorder familial hypomagnesemia with hypercalciuria and nephrocalcinosis (FHHNC). Previous studies showed that siRNA knockdown of CLDN16 in mice results in a mouse model for FHHNC. Here, we show that CLDN19-siRNA mice also developed the FHHNC symptoms of chronic renal wasting of magnesium and calcium together with defective renal salt handling. siRNA knockdown of CLDN19 caused a loss of CLDN16 from tight junctions in the thick ascending limb (TAL) without a decrease in CLDN16 expression level, whereas siRNA knockdown of CLDN16 produced a similar effect on CLDN19. In both mouse lines, CLDN10, CLDN18, occludin, and ZO-1, normal constituents of TAL tight junctions, remained correctly localized. CLDN16- and CLDN19-depleted tight junctions had normal barrier function but defective ion selectivity. These data, together with yeast two-hybrid binding studies, indicate that a heteromeric CLDN16 and CLDN19 interaction was required for assembling them into the tight junction structure and generating cation-selective paracellular channels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Animals
  • Claudins
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Immunoblotting
  • Lentivirus
  • Loop of Henle / metabolism*
  • Magnesium / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Oligonucleotides / genetics
  • Tight Junctions / metabolism*


  • Claudins
  • Cldn19 protein, mouse
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Oligonucleotides
  • claudin 16
  • Magnesium