Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 56, Issue 5, pp 1342–1353 | Cite as

Sphingosine-1-Phosphate Regulates the Expression of Adherens Junction Protein E-Cadherin and Enhances Intestinal Epithelial Cell Barrier Function

  • Jose Greenspon
  • Ruiyun Li
  • Lan Xiao
  • Jaladanki N. Rao
  • Rex Sun
  • Eric D. Strauch
  • Terez Shea-Donohue
  • Jian-Ying Wang
  • Douglas J. Turner
Original Article



The regulation of intestinal barrier permeability is important in the maintenance of normal intestinal physiology. Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) has been shown to play a pivotal role in enhancing barrier function in several non-intestinal tissues. The current study determined whether S1P regulated function of the intestinal epithelial barrier by altering expression of E-cadherin, an important protein in adherens junctions.


Studies were performed upon cultured differentiated IECs (IEC-Cdx2L1 line) using standard techniques.


S1P treatment significantly increased levels of E-cadherin protein and mRNA in intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) and also led to E-cadherin localizing strongly to the cell–cell border. S1P also improved the barrier function as indicated by a decrease in 14C-mannitol paracellular permeability and an increase in transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) in vitro.


These results indicate that S1P increases levels of E-cadherin, both in cellular amounts and at the cell–cell junctions, and leads to improved barrier integrity in cultured intestinal epithelial cells.


Sphingosine Intestinal barrier Ca2+ signaling Intestinal epithelium 



This work was supported by a Research Career Development Award and a VA Merit Award (to D.J.T.) from the Department of Veterans Affairs.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA)  2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jose Greenspon
    • 2
  • Ruiyun Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lan Xiao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jaladanki N. Rao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rex Sun
    • 4
  • Eric D. Strauch
    • 2
  • Terez Shea-Donohue
    • 4
  • Jian-Ying Wang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Douglas J. Turner
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryBaltimore Veterans Affairs Medical CenterBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Cell Biology Group, Department of SurgeryUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of PathologyUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Department of GastroenterologyUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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