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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 Mar;1778(3):588-600. Epub 2007 Sep 4.

Transmembrane proteins of tight junctions.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, South-1, West-17, Chuo-ku, Sapporo 060-8556, Japan.


Tight junctions contribute to the paracellular barrier, the fence dividing plasma membranes, and signal transduction, acting as a multifunctional complex in vertebrate epithelial and endothelial cells. The identification and characterization of the transmembrane proteins of tight junctions, claudins, junctional adhesion molecules (JAMs), occludin and tricellulin, have led to insights into the molecular nature of tight junctions. We provide an overview of recent progress in studies on these proteins and highlight their roles and regulation, as well as their functional significance in human diseases.

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