Connections between cells which allow passage of small molecules and electric current. Gap junctions were first described anatomically as regions of close apposition between cells with a narrow (1-2 nm) gap between cell membranes. The variety in the properties of gap junctions is reflected in the number of CONNEXINS, the family of proteins which form the junctions.
A 43-kDa peptide which is a member of the connexin family of gap junction proteins. Connexin 43 is a product of a gene in the alpha class of connexin genes (the alpha-1 gene). It was first isolated from mammalian heart, but is widespread in the body including the brain.
Direct contact of a cell with a neighboring cell. Most such junctions are too small to be resolved by light microscopy, but they can be visualized by conventional or freeze-fracture electron microscopy, both of which show that the interacting CELL MEMBRANE and often the underlying CYTOPLASM and the intervening EXTRACELLULAR SPACE are highly specialized in these regions. (From Alberts et al., Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2d ed, p792)
Gated, ion-selective glycoproteins that traverse membranes. The stimulus for ION CHANNEL GATING can be due to a variety of stimuli such as LIGANDS, a TRANSMEMBRANE POTENTIAL DIFFERENCE, mechanical deformation or through INTRACELLULAR SIGNALING PEPTIDES AND PROTEINS.
Preparation for electron microscopy of minute replicas of exposed surfaces of the cell which have been ruptured in the frozen state. The specimen is frozen, then cleaved under high vacuum at the same temperature. The exposed surface is shadowed with carbon and platinum and coated with carbon to obtain a carbon replica.
Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.
Ion Channel Gating
The opening and closing of ion channels due to a stimulus. The stimulus can be a change in membrane potential (voltage-gated), drugs or chemical transmitters (ligand-gated), or a mechanical deformation. Gating is thought to involve conformational changes of the ion channel which alters selective permeability.
Zonula Occludens-1 Protein
A class of large neuroglial (macroglial) cells in the central nervous system - the largest and most numerous neuroglial cells in the brain and spinal cord. Astrocytes (from "star" cells) are irregularly shaped with many long processes, including those with "end feet" which form the glial (limiting) membrane and directly and indirectly contribute to the BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER. They regulate the extracellular ionic and chemical environment, and "reactive astrocytes" (along with MICROGLIA) respond to injury.
Molecular Sequence Data
Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.
The commonest and widest ranging species of the clawed "frog" (Xenopus) in Africa. This species is used extensively in research. There is now a significant population in California derived from escaped laboratory animals.
Encyclopedias as Topic
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular
A CX3C chemokine that is a transmembrane protein found on the surface of cells. The soluble form of chemokine CX3CL1 can be released from cell surface by proteolysis and act as a chemoattractant that may be involved in the extravasation of leukocytes into inflamed tissues. The membrane form of the protein may also play a role in cell adhesion.
An electrophysiologic technique for studying cells, cell membranes, and occasionally isolated organelles. All patch-clamp methods rely on a very high-resistance seal between a micropipette and a membrane; the seal is usually attained by gentle suction. The four most common variants include on-cell patch, inside-out patch, outside-out patch, and whole-cell clamp. Patch-clamp methods are commonly used to voltage clamp, that is control the voltage across the membrane and measure current flow, but current-clamp methods, in which the current is controlled and the voltage is measured, are also used.
The voltage differences across a membrane. For cellular membranes they are computed by subtracting the voltage measured outside the membrane from the voltage measured inside the membrane. They result from differences of inside versus outside concentration of potassium, sodium, chloride, and other ions across cells' or ORGANELLES membranes. For excitable cells, the resting membrane potentials range between -30 and -100 millivolts. Physical, chemical, or electrical stimuli can make a membrane potential more negative (hyperpolarization), or less negative (depolarization).
The property of antibodies which enables them to react with some ANTIGENIC DETERMINANTS and not with others. Specificity is dependent on chemical composition, physical forces, and molecular structure at the binding site.
The production of ANTIBODIES by proliferating and differentiated B-LYMPHOCYTES under stimulation by ANTIGENS.
Wheat Germ Agglutinins
Lectins purified from the germinating seeds of common wheat (Triticum vulgare); these bind to certain carbohydrate moieties on cell surface glycoproteins and are used to identify certain cell populations and inhibit or promote some immunological or physiological activities. There are at least two isoforms of this lectin.
A plant genus of the family POACEAE that is the source of EDIBLE GRAIN. A hybrid with rye (SECALE CEREALE) is called TRITICALE. The seed is ground into FLOUR and used to make BREAD, and is the source of WHEAT GERM AGGLUTININS.