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

Claudin 5 is transiently expressed during the development of the retinal pigment epithelium.

During the development of chick retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), the permeability and selectivity of the epithelium's tight junctions are continuously modulated. Overall paracellular permeability decreases, but selectivity increases. Because the claudin family of transmembrane proteins appears to provide the structural basis for selectivity, we examined the expression of claudins as a function of development in chick RPE. Degenerate primers were used with the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to obtain complete sequences of chick claudins 3 and 5. Northern blotting and semi-quantitative RT-PCR demonstrated that claudin 5 was expressed in RPE, but claudin 3 was expressed only in the choroid layer of the eye. Northern blotting, semiquantitative RT-PCR and immunoblotting demonstrated that the expression of claudin 5 was transient, with peak levels of expression between embryonic days 10 and 14. Primary cultures were used to demonstrate that factors secreted by the neural retina induced the expression of claudin 5 nearly 3-fold if RPE was isolated from embryonic day 7 embryos. There was little effect if RPE was isolated from embryonic day 14. The upregulation of claudin 5 correlates with permeability changes that occur during the intermediate stage of RPE development. Interestingly, claudin 5 must be replaced during the late stage of development when the number and complexity of tight junctional strands increases. This would imply more changes in selectivity.[1]


  1. Claudin 5 is transiently expressed during the development of the retinal pigment epithelium. Kojima, S., Rahner, C., Peng, S., Rizzolo, L.J. J. Membr. Biol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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