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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Apr;1788(4):813-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2008.07.017. Epub 2008 Jul 28.

Knockout animals and natural mutations as experimental and diagnostic tool for studying tight junction functions in vivo.

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  • Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, Kobe University, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0017, Japan. furuse@med.kobe-u.ac.jp


Two sides of functions of tight junctions; the barrier and the channel in the paracellular pathway are believed to be essential for the development and physiological functions of organs. Recent identification of molecular components of tight junctions has enabled us to analyze their functions by generating knockout mice of the corresponding genes. In addition, positional cloning has identified mutations in the genes of several components of tight junctions in hereditary diseases. These studies have highlighted in vivo functions of tight junctions.

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