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The study of claudins in a model system of the proximal tubule Open Access


Other title
Proximal tubule
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Borovac, Jelena
Supervisor and department
Alexander, RT
Examining committee member and department
Wevrick, Rachel (Medical Genetics)
Cordat, Emmanuelle
Chen, Xing-Zhen
Department of Physiology

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
The proximal tubule (PT) is a major site of paracellular transport. Research in this area is undermined by the lack of a model system that is representative of PT electrophysiology. We examined opossum kidney (OK) cell characteristics and found a striking resemblance to the PT (transepithelial resistance = 11.7 Ω cm2 and the permeability ratio PNa+/PCl- = 1.08). Furthermore, OK cells express a number of claudins (claudin-4 > -1 > -6 > -20 > -9 > -12 > -11 > -15, in order of the amount of expression), which are known to regulate paracellular transport. We over-expressed claudin-2 and found that it forms a non-selective pore at the tight junction of OK cells. Over-expression of claudin-4, on the other hand, led to the formation of a non-selective barrier. However, the expression of these isoforms caused significant perturbations in expression of endogenous claudins leading us to conclude that claudin expression is strongly interdependent.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Borovac J, Barker RS, Rievaj J, Rasmussen A, Pan W, Wevrick R, and Alexander RT. Claudin-4 forms a paracellular barrier, revealing the interdependence of claudin expression in the loose epithelial cell culture model, Opossum Kidney Cells. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 2012. Oct 17. [Epub ahead of print]

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