Dodd, M.E., Hatzold, J., Mathias, J.R., Walters, K.B., Bennin, D.A., Rhodes, J., Kanki, J.P., Look, A.T., Hammerschmidt, M., and Huttenlocher, A. (2009) The ENTH domain protein Clint1 is required for epidermal homeostasis in zebrafish. Development (Cambridge, England). 136(15):2591-2600.
Epidermal hyperproliferation and inflammation are hallmarks of the human condition psoriasis. Here, we report that a zebrafish line with a mutation in the cargo adaptor protein Clint1 exhibits psoriasis-like phenotypes including epithelial hyperproliferation and leukocyte infiltration. Clint1 is an ENTH domain-containing protein that binds SNARE proteins and functions in vesicle trafficking; however, its in vivo function in animal models has not been reported to date. The clint1 mutants exhibit chronic inflammation characterized by increased Interleukin 1beta expression, leukocyte infiltration, bidirectional trafficking and phagocytosis of cellular debris. The defects in clint1 mutants can be rescued by expression of zebrafish clint1 and can be phenocopied with clint1-specific morpholinos, supporting an essential role for Clint1 in epidermal development. Interaction studies suggest that Clint1 and Lethal giant larvae 2 function synergistically to regulate epidermal homeostasis. Accordingly, clint1 mutants show impaired hemidesmosome formation, loss of cell-cell contacts and increased motility suggestive of epithelial to mesenchymal transition. Taken together, our findings describe a novel function for the ENTH domain protein Clint1 in epidermal development and inflammation and suggest that its deficiency in zebrafish generates a phenotype that resembles the human condition psoriasis.