Isoforms of the polarity protein par6 have distinct functions

Gao L and Macara IG
Source: J Biol Chem
Publication Date: (2004)
Issue: 279(40): 41557-41562
Research Area:
Cancer Research/Cell Biology
Cells used in publication:
Species: canine
Tissue Origin: kidney
Nucleofector® I/II/2b
PAR-6 is essential for asymmetric division of the Caenorhabditis elegans zygote. It is also critical for cell polarization in many other contexts throughout the Metazoa. The Par6 protein contains a PDZ domain and a partial CRIB (Cdc42/Rac interactive binding) domain, which mediate interactions with other polarity proteins such as Par3, Cdc42, Pals1, and Lgl. A family of mammalian Par6 isoforms (Par6A-D) has been described, but the significance of this diversification has been unclear. Here we demonstrate that Par6 family members localize differently when expressed in Madin-Darby canine kidney epithelial cells and have distinct effects on tight junction (TJ) assembly. Par6B localizes to the cytosol and inhibits TJ formation, but Par6A co-localizes predominantly with the TJ marker ZO-1 at cell-cell contacts and does not affect junctions. These functional differences correlate with differences in Pals1 binding; Par6B interacts strongly with Pals1, whereas Par6A binds weakly to Pals1 even in the presence of active Cdc42. Pals1 has a low affinity for the isolated CRIB-PDZ domain of Par6A, but analysis of chimeras showed that in addition Pals1 binding is blocked by an inhibitory property of the N terminus of Par6A. Unexpectedly, the localization of Par6A to cell-cell contacts is Cdc42-independent.