A novel role for aquaporin-5 in enhancing microtubule organization and stability

Venkataramana K. Sidhaye, Eric Chau, Vasudha Srivastava, Srinivas Sirimalle, Chinmayee Balabhadrapatruni, Neil R. Aggarwal, Franco R. D'Alessio, Douglas N. Robinson, Landon S. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Aquaporin-5 (AQP5) is a water-specific channel located on the apical surface of airway epithelial cells. In addition to regulating transcellular water permeability, AQP5 can regulate paracellular permeability, though the mechanisms by which this occurs have not been determined. Microtubules also regulate paracellular permeability. Here, we report that AQP5 promotes microtubule assembly and helps maintain the assembled microtubule steady state levels with slower turnover dynamics in cells. Specifically, reduced levels of AQP5 correlated with lower levels of assembled microtubules and decreased paracellular permeability. In contrast, overexpression of AQP5 increased assembly of microtubules, with evidence of increased MT stability, and promoted the formation of long straight microtubules in the apical domain of the epithelial cells. These findings indicate that AQP5-mediated regulation of microtubule dynamics modulates airway epithelial barrier properties and epithelial function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere38717
JournalPloS one
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 8 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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