Cell-cell junction organization

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Homo sapiens
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Epithelial cell-cell contacts consist of three major adhesion systems: adherens junctions (AJs), tight junctions (TJs), and desmosomes. These adhesion systems differ in their function and composition. AJs play a critical role in initiating cell-cell contacts and promoting the maturation and maintenance of the contacts (reviewed in Ebnet, 2008; Hartsock and Nelson, 2008). TJs form physical barriers in various tissues and regulate paracellular transport of water, ions, and small water soluble molecules (reviewed in Rudini and Dejana, 2008; Ebnet, 2008; Aijaz et al., 2006; Furuse and Tsukit, 2006). Desmosomes mediate strong cell adhesion linking the intermediate filament cytoskeletons between cells and playing roles in wound repair, tissue morphogenesis, and cell signaling (reviewed in Holthofer et al., 2007).

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