Angiopoietin-1 Regulates Brain Endothelial Permeability through PTPN-2 Mediated Tyrosine Dephosphorylation of Occludin

Siddiqui, M. R.; Mayanil, C. S.; Kim, K. S.; Tomita, T.

PLoS One. 2015 Jun 20; 10(6):e0130857


OBJECTIVE: Blood brain barrier (BBB) breakdown and increased endothelial permeability is a hallmark of neuro-vascular inflammation. Angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1), a Tie-2 receptor agonist ligand, is known to modulate barrier function of endothelial cells; however the molecular mechanisms related to Ang-1 mediated repair of Tight Junctions (TJs) in brain endothelium still remain elusive. In this study, we investigated a novel role of non-receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase N-2 (PTPN-2) in Ang-1 mediated stabilization of tight junction proteins. METHOD AND RESULT: To study the barrier protective mechanism of Ang-1, we challenged human brain microvascular endothelial cells in-vitro, with a potent inflammatory mediator thrombin. By using confocal microscopy and transwell permeability assay, we show that pretreatment of brain endothelial cells with Ang-1 diminish thrombin mediated disruption of TJs and increase in endothelial permeability. We also found that Ang-1 inhibits thrombin induced tyrosine phosphorylation of Occludin and promote Occludin interaction with Zona Occludens-1 (ZO-1) to stabilize TJs. Interestingly, our study revealed that depletion of PTPN-2 by siRNAs abolishes Ang-1 ability to promote tyrosine dephosphorylation of Occludin, resulting Occludin disassociation from ZO-1 and endothelial hyperpermeability. SUMMARY: Collectively, our findings suggest that in brain endothelial cells blocking PTPN-2 mediated tyrosine phosphorylation of Occludin is a novel mechanism to maintain BBB function, and may offer a key therapeutic strategy for neuro-inflammatory disorders associated with BBB disruption.

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