Tight junction interactions

Stable Identifier
Homo sapiens
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Tight junctions (TJs) are the most apical component of the epithelial junctional complex forming a belt-like structure at the cellular junction. When visualized by freeze-fracture electron microscopy they appear as a branched network of intramembrane strands that correspond to the sites of direct membrane contacts and that are composed of the integral membrane claudin proteins. The TJs act as a primary barrier to the diffusion of solutes through the paracellular space (barrier function) (Tsukita et al., 2001). They also prevent the intermixing of intramembrane proteins and lipids and thus create a boundary between the apical and the basolateral membrane domains of polarized epithelial cells (fence function) (Tsukita et al., 2001). Interestingly, the fence function seems not to depend on TJ strands (Umeda et al., 2006). Recents evidence indicates that the TJs also participate in signal transduction mechanisms which regulate cell proliferation and morphogenesis (Matter and Balda, 2003; Matter and Balda, 2007). This module describes the major molecular interactions responsible for the formation of TJ strands and for the rectruitment of the PAR-3-PKC-PAR-6 and CRB3-Pals1-PATJ complexes that function in tight junction formation (Ebnet, 2008).

Literature References
PubMed ID Title Journal Year
16923393 ZO-1 and ZO-2 independently determine where claudins are polymerized in tight-junction strand formation

Tsukita, S, Tsukita, S, Furuse, M, Umeda, K, Furuse, K, Ikenouchi, J, Sasaki, H, Matsui, T, Nakayama, M, Katahira-Tayama, S

Cell 2006
18365233 Organization of multiprotein complexes at cell-cell junctions

Ebnet, K

Histochem Cell Biol 2008
12612641 Signalling to and from tight junctions

Matter, K, Balda, MS

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 2003
11283726 Multifunctional strands in tight junctions

Tsukita, S, Furuse, M, Itoh, M

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 2001
17452622 Epithelial tight junctions, gene expression and nucleo-junctional interplay

Matter, K, Balda, MS

J Cell Sci 2007
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