Genome-wide association studies revealed that loss-of-function mutations in protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor type 2 (PTPN2) increase the risk of developing chronic immune diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and celiac disease. These conditions are associated with increased intestinal permeability as an early etiological event. The aim of this study was to examine the consequences of deficient activity of the PTPN2 gene product, T cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TCPTP), on intestinal barrier function and tight junction organization in vivo and in vitro. Here, we demonstrate that TCPTP protected against intestinal barrier dysfunction induced by the inflammatory cytokine IFN-γ by 2 mechanisms: it maintained localization of zonula occludens 1 and occludin at apical tight junctions and restricted both expression and insertion of the cation pore-forming transmembrane protein, claudin-2, at tight junctions through upregulation of the inhibitory cysteine protease, matriptase. We also confirmed that the loss-of-function PTPN2 rs1893217 SNP was associated with increased intestinal claudin-2 expression in patients with IBD. Moreover, elevated claudin-2 levels and paracellular electrolyte flux in TCPTP-deficient intestinal epithelial cells were normalized by recombinant matriptase. Our findings uncover distinct and critical roles for epithelial TCPTP in preserving intestinal barrier integrity, thereby proposing a mechanism by which PTPN2 mutations contribute to IBD.


Ronald R. Marchelletta, Moorthy Krishnan, Marianne R. Spalinger, Taylaur W. Placone, Rocio Alvarez, Anica Sayoc-Becerra, Vinicius Canale, Ali Shawki, Young Su Park, Lucas H.P. Bernts, Stephen Myers, Michel L. Tremblay, Kim E. Barrett, Evan Krystofiak, Bechara Kachar, Dermot P.B. McGovern, Christopher R. Weber, Elaine M. Hanson, Lars Eckmann, Declan F. McCole


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