Epithelial organization and cyst lumen expansion require efficient Sec13-Sec31-driven secretion

Anna K Townley, Katy Schmidt, Lorna Hodgson, David J Stephens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
590 Downloads (Pure)


Epithelial morphogenesis is directed by interactions with the underlying extracellular matrix. Secretion of collagen and other matrix components requires efficient coat complex II (COPII) vesicle formation at the endoplasmic reticulum. Here, we show that suppression of the outer layer COPII component, Sec13, in zebrafish embryos results in a disorganized gut epithelium. In human intestinal epithelial cells (Caco-2), Sec13 depletion causes defective epithelial polarity and organization on permeable supports. Defects are seen in the ability of cells to adhere to the substrate, form a monolayer and form intercellular junctions. When embedded in a three-dimensional matrix, Sec13-depleted Caco-2 cells form cysts but, unlike controls, are defective in lumen expansion. Incorporation of primary fibroblasts within the three-dimensional culture substantially restores normal morphogenesis. We conclude that efficient COPII-dependent secretion, notably assembly of Sec13-Sec31, is required to drive epithelial morphogenesis in both two- and three-dimensional cultures in vitro, as well as in vivo. Our results provide insight into the role of COPII in epithelial morphogenesis and have implications for the interpretation of epithelial polarity and organization assays in cell culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-84
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


Dive into the research topics of 'Epithelial organization and cyst lumen expansion require efficient Sec13-Sec31-driven secretion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this