Farnesol contributes to intestinal epithelial barrier function by enhancing tight junctions via the JAK/STAT3 signaling pathway in differentiated Caco-2 cells

Research paper by Yangxin Fang, Chunrong Wu, Qiuyue Wang, Jianguo Tang

Indexed on: 17 Dec '19Published on: 16 Dec '19Published in: Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes


Candida albicans causes mucosal diseases and secretes farnesol, a quorum-sensing molecule, which plays a vital role in suppressing the yeast-to-mycelia switch. Farnesol can also regulate immune cell function. However, how farnesol interacts with the intestinal epithelium remains unknown. Herein, we identified that farnesol promotes intestinal barrier function, by promoting transepithelial electrical resistance, reducing paracellular flux, inducing the Zonula Occludens-1 Protein (ZO-1) and occludin expression. Moreover, the JAK/STAT3 signaling pathway was activated after farnesol treatment, and inhibition of STAT3 phosphorylation by stattic remarkably suppressed the expression level of ZO-1. Additionally, chromatin immunoprecipitation assay (Chip) revealed that farnesol facilitated the transcriptional activation of STAT3 to significantly enhance the expression of ZO-1. Taken together, our findings demonstrated that farnesol facilitated intestinal epithelial barrier transcriptional regulation via activating JAK/STAT3 signaling. The involved molecules may be potentially targeted for treatment of Candida albicans invasion.