Chloride intracellular channel 4 is critical for the epithelial morphogenesis of RPE cells and retinal attachment

Jen Zen Chuang, Szu Yi Chou, Ching Hwa Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Retinal detachment is a sight-threatening condition. The molecular mechanism underlying the adhesion between the RPE and photoreceptors is poorly understood because the intimate interactions between these two cell types are impossible to model and study in vitro. In this article, we show that chloride intracellular channel 4 (CLIC4) is enriched at apical RPE microvilli, which are interdigitated with the photoreceptor outer segment. We used a novel plasmid-based transfection method to cell-autonomously suppress CLIC4 in RPE in situ. CLIC4 silenced RPE cells exhibited a significant loss of apical microvilli and basal infoldings, reduced retinal adhesion, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Ectopically expressing ezrin failed to rescue the morphological changes exerted by CLIC4 silencing. Neural retinas adjacent to the CLIC4-suppressed RPE cells display severe dysplasia. Finally, a high level of aquaporin 1 unexpectedly appeared at the apical surfaces of CLIC4-suppressed RPE cells, together with a concomitant loss of basal surface expression of monocarboxylate transporter MCT3. Our results suggested that CLIC4 plays an important role in RPE-photoreceptor adhesion, perhaps by modulating the activity of cell surface channels/transporters. We propose that these changes may be attributable to subretinal fluid accumulation in our novel retinal detachment animal model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3017-3028
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Chloride intracellular channel 4 is critical for the epithelial morphogenesis of RPE cells and retinal attachment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this