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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 Mar;1778(3):770-93. Epub 2007 Sep 15.

Tight junction and polarity interaction in the transporting epithelial phenotype.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Biophysics and Neurosciences, CINVESTAV, AP 14-740, México D.F. 07000, México. cereijido@fisio.cinvestav.mx

Abstract

Development of tight junctions and cell polarity in epithelial cells requires a complex cellular machinery to execute an internal program in response to ambient cues. Tight junctions, a product of this machinery, can act as gates of the paracellular pathway, fences that keep the identity of plasma membrane domains, bridges that communicate neighboring cells. The polarization internal program and machinery are conserved in yeast, worms, flies and mammals, and in cell types as different as epithelia, neurons and lymphocytes. Polarization and tight junctions are dynamic features that change during development, in response to physiological and pharmacological challenges and in pathological situations like infection.

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