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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1995 Feb;5(1):56-65.

Not just glue: cell-cell junctions as cellular signaling centers.

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Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599-3280, USA.


Proper cell-cell adhesion and communication are essential for normal development and are often perturbed during tumor formation. We have come to realize that cell-cell junctions not only mediate intercellular adhesion, but also serve as organizing centers for specific cell-cell signaling pathways. The characterization of protein components of adhesive and tight/septate junctions in vertebrates and Drosophila is reviewed, and their roles in adhesion and signaling discussed. Many molecules that mediate intercellular signaling, including certain tumor suppressor gene products, are localized to particular cell-cell junctions, suggesting that disruption of junctional signaling pathways contributes to tumorigenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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