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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Loss of epithelial polarity is accompanied by differential association of proteins with intracellular membranes.

Cellular membranes play an important role in the formation and maintenance of epithelial polarity, which is lost early during carcinogenesis. We set out to identify membrane proteins which are altered during loss of cell polarity in mammary epithelium. As a model system we used murine mammary epithelial cells expressing the conditional oncoprotein c-JunER, which induces a reversible loss of polarity upon beta-estradiol-driven activation [1]. When grown either in the absence or presence of hormone, these cells exhibit a polarized or unpolarized phenotype, respectively. Different membrane fractions of polarized or unpolarized cells were analyzed by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) and differentially expressed membrane proteins were identified. To distinguish between transmembrane orientation and peripheral attachment of these proteins, were performed extractions with carbonate at high pH or with Triton X-114. In addition, cytosolic proteins of both states were analyzed to investigate their differential association with distinct membrane fractions. We found ten protein spots preferentially or exclusively in polarized cells and 17 other proteins as being upregulated during loss of polarity. Some of the peripheral membrane proteins were identified by microsequencing. The resident Golgi protein nucleobindin and fructose-bisphosphate aldolase were preferentially associated with membranes of polarized cells, whereas alphaB crystallin was detected exclusively and in high amounts in unpolarized cells.[1]


  1. Loss of epithelial polarity is accompanied by differential association of proteins with intracellular membranes. Fialka, I., Pasquali, C., Kurzbauer, R., Lottspeich, F., Huber, L.A. Electrophoresis (1999) [Pubmed]
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