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Cell Tissue Res. 2009 Oct;338(1):1-17. doi: 10.1007/s00441-009-0849-z. Epub 2009 Aug 14.

The junctions that don't fit the scheme: special symmetrical cell-cell junctions of their own kind.

Author information

1
Helmholtz Group for Cell Biology, German Cancer Research Center, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany. w.franke@dkfz.de

Abstract

Immunocytochemical, electron-, and immunoelectron-microscopical studies have revealed that, in addition to the four major "textbook categories" of cell-cell junctions (gap junctions, tight junctions, adherens junctions, and desmosomes), a broad range of other junctions exists, such as the tiny puncta adhaerentia minima, the taproot junctions (manubria adhaerentia), the plakophilin-2-containing adherens junctions of mesenchymal or mesenchymally derived cell types including malignantly transformed cells, the composite junctions (areae compositae) of the mature mammalian myocardium, the cortex adhaerens of the eye lens, the interdesmosomal "sandwich" or "stud" junctions in the subapical layers of stratified epithelia and the tumors derived therefrom, and the complexus adhaerentes of the endothelial and virgultar cells of the lymph node sinus. On the basis of their sizes and shapes, other morphological criteria, and their specific molecular ensembles, these junctions and the genes that encode them cannot be subsumed under one of the major categories mentioned above but represent special structures in their own right, appear to serve special functions, and can give rise to specific pathological disorders.

PMID:
19680692
PMCID:
PMC2760712
DOI:
10.1007/s00441-009-0849-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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