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Epithelial and endothelial cell-cell contacts are established and maintained by several intercellular junctional complexes. These structurally and biochemically differentiated regions on the plasma membrane primarily include tight junctions (TJs), and anchoring junctions. While the adherens junctions (AJs) provide essential adhesive and mechanical properties, TJs hold the cells together and form a near leak-proof intercellular seal by the fusion of adjacent cell membranes. AJs and TJs play essential roles in vascular permeability. Considering their involvement in several key cellular functions such as barrier formation, proliferation, migration, survival, and differentiation, further research is warranted on the composition and signaling pathways regulating cell-cell junctions to develop novel therapeutics for diseases such as organ injuries. The current review article presents our current state of knowledge on various cell-cell junctions, their molecular composition, and mechanisms regulating their expression and function in endothelial and epithelial cells.


Mir S Adil, S Priya Narayanan, Payaningal R Somanath. Cell-cell junctions: structure and regulation in physiology and pathology. Tissue barriers. 2021 Jan 02;9(1):1848212

PMID: 33300427

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