Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.506, No.1, 284-289, 2018
Molecular mechanism of Aquaporin 0-induced fiber cell to fiber cell adhesion in the eye lens
Cell-to-cell adhesion (CTCA), which is key for establishing lens transparency, is a critical function of Aquaporin 0 (AQP0). The aim of this investigation was to find out the possible mechanism by which AQP0 exerts CTCA between fiber cells, since there are two proposals currently, either an AQP0-AQP0 interaction or an AQP0-lipid interaction. We studied the mechanism of AQP0-induced CTCA in intact AQP0 and C-terminally cleaved AQP0 (CTC-AQP0). Assays showed CTCA between L-cells transfected with intact AQP0 or CTC-AQP0 and parental L-cells indicating AQP0-membrane interaction. Both forms of AQP0 significantly (P < 0.001) promoted adhesion to negatively charged L-a-phosphatidylserine lipid vesicles signifying AQP0-lipid interaction. AQP0-expressing L-cells also promoted adhesion of WT and AQP0-KO mouse lens fiber cell membrane vesicles (FCMVs) significantly (P < 0.001). However, when FCMVs of WT or AQP0-KO were plated over parental L-cells, only WT vesicles adhered significantly, corroborating AQP0-membrane interaction. After incubating with extracellular domain-specific AQP0 antibody, L-cells expressing intact AQP0 or CTC-AQP0 showed a significant reduction (P < 0.001) in the adhesion of AQP0-KO FCMVs indicating extracellular loop involvement in CTCA. WT FCMVs from outer cortex and inner cortex promoted adhesion to parental L-cells, without any statistically significant difference in adhesion efficiency (P > 0.05). Ultrastructure studies of WT, AQP0-KO and transgenic lenses showed AQP0 is critical for fiber CTCA and compaction. The data collected clearly demonstrate that the positively charged amino acids in the AQP0 extracellular loop domains interact with the negatively charged lipids in the plasma membrane to promote CTCA for compaction of fiber cells. (C) 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.