Claudin 13, a member of the claudin family regulated in mouse stress induced erythropoiesis

Pamela D Thompson, Hannah Tipney, Andy Brass, Harry Noyes, Stephen Kemp, Jan Naessens, May Tassabehji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mammals are able to rapidly produce red blood cells in response to stress. The molecular pathways used in this process are important in understanding responses to anaemia in multiple biological settings. Here we characterise the novel gene Claudin 13 (Cldn13), a member of the Claudin family of tight junction proteins using RNA expression, microarray and phylogenetic analysis. We present evidence that Cldn13 appears to be co-ordinately regulated as part of a stress induced erythropoiesis pathway and is a mouse-specific gene mainly expressed in tissues associated with haematopoietic function. CLDN13 phylogenetically groups with its genomic neighbour CLDN4, a conserved tight junction protein with a putative role in epithelial to mesenchymal transition, suggesting a recent duplication event. Mechanisms of mammalian stress erythropoiesis are of importance in anaemic responses and expression microarray analyses demonstrate that Cldn13 is the most abundant Claudin in spleen from mice infected with Trypanosoma congolense. In mice prone to anaemia (C57BL/6), its expression is reduced compared to strains which display a less severe anaemic response (A/J and BALB/c) and is differentially regulated in spleen during disease progression. Genes clustering with Cldn13 on microarrays are key regulators of erythropoiesis (Tal1, Trim10, E2f2), erythrocyte membrane proteins (Rhd and Gypa), associated with red cell volume (Tmcc2) and indirectly associated with erythropoietic pathways (Cdca8, Cdkn2d, Cenpk). Relationships between genes appearing co-ordinately regulated with Cldn13 post-infection suggest new insights into the molecular regulation and pathways involved in stress induced erythropoiesis and suggest a novel, previously unreported role for claudins in correct cell polarisation and protein partitioning prior to erythroblast enucleation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2010


  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Anemia
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Claudins
  • Erythrocytes
  • Erythropoiesis
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Hemoglobins
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Phylogeny
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Takifugu
  • Trypanosoma congolense
  • Zebrafish


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