Cell-cell junctions that seal adjacent epithelial cells together, preventing the passage of most dissolved molecules from one side of the epithelial sheet to the other. (Alberts et al., Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2nd ed, p22)
A MARVEL domain protein that plays an important role in the formation and regulation of the TIGHT JUNCTION paracellular permeability barrier.
Zonula Occludens-1 Protein
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)
A large family of transmembrane proteins found in TIGHT JUNCTIONS. They take part in the formation of paracellular barriers and pores that regulate paracellular permeability.
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.
Anchoring points where the CYTOSKELETON of neighboring cells are connected to each other. They are composed of specialized areas of the plasma membrane where bundles of the ACTIN CYTOSKELETON attach to the membrane through the transmembrane linkers, CADHERINS, which in turn attach through their extracellular domains to cadherins in the neighboring cell membranes. In sheets of cells, they form into adhesion belts (zonula adherens) that go all the way around a cell.
Zonula Occludens-2 Protein
A zonula occludens protein subtype found in epithelial cell junctions. Several isoforms of zonula occludens-2 protein exist due to use of alternative promoter regions and alternative mRNA splicings.
A ubiquitously-expressed claudin subtype that acts as a general barrier-forming protein in TIGHT JUNCTIONS. Elevated expression of claudin-3 is found in a variety of tumor cell types, suggesting its role as a therapeutic target for specific ANTINEOPLASTIC AGENTS.
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.
Cells that line the inner and outer surfaces of the body by forming cellular layers (EPITHELIUM) or masses. Epithelial cells lining the SKIN; the MOUTH; the NOSE; and the ANAL CANAL derive from ectoderm; those lining the RESPIRATORY SYSTEM and the DIGESTIVE SYSTEM derive from endoderm; others (CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM and LYMPHATIC SYSTEM) derive from mesoderm. Epithelial cells can be classified mainly by cell shape and function into squamous, glandular and transitional epithelial cells.
Junctional Adhesion Molecules
MARVEL Domain Containing 2 Protein
Cell Membrane Permeability
Human colonic ADENOCARCINOMA cells that are able to express differentiation features characteristic of mature intestinal cells, such as ENTEROCYTES. These cells are valuable in vitro tools for studies related to intestinal cell function and differentiation.
Zonula Occludens Proteins
A family of proteins that play a role in TIGHT JUNCTION formation by binding to and anchoring proteins to the ACTIN CYTOSKELETON.
One or more layers of EPITHELIAL CELLS, supported by the basal lamina, which covers the inner or outer surfaces of the body.
Calcium-dependent cell adhesion proteins. They are important in the formation of ADHERENS JUNCTIONS between cells. Cadherins are classified by their distinct immunological and tissue specificities, either by letters (E- for epithelial, N- for neural, and P- for placental cadherins) or by numbers (cadherin-12 or N-cadherin 2 for brain-cadherin). Cadherins promote cell adhesion via a homophilic mechanism as in the construction of tissues and of the whole animal body.
Specialized non-fenestrated tightly-joined ENDOTHELIAL CELLS with TIGHT JUNCTIONS that form a transport barrier for certain substances between the cerebral capillaries and the BRAIN tissue.
A specialized barrier, in the TESTIS, between the interstitial BLOOD compartment and the adluminal compartment of the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES. The barrier is formed by layers of cells from the VASCULAR ENDOTHELIUM of the capillary BLOOD VESSELS, to the SEMINIFEROUS EPITHELIUM of the seminiferous tubules. TIGHT JUNCTIONS form between adjacent SERTOLI CELLS, as well as between the ENDOTHELIAL CELLS.
Microscopy using an electron beam, instead of light, to visualize the sample, thereby allowing much greater magnification. The interactions of ELECTRONS with specimens are used to provide information about the fine structure of that specimen. In TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY the reactions of the electrons that are transmitted through the specimen are imaged. In SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY an electron beam falls at a non-normal angle on the specimen and the image is derived from the reactions occurring above the plane of the specimen.
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.
A diuretic and renal diagnostic aid related to sorbitol. It has little significant energy value as it is largely eliminated from the body before any metabolism can take place. It can be used to treat oliguria associated with kidney failure or other manifestations of inadequate renal function and has been used for determination of glomerular filtration rate. Mannitol is also commonly used as a research tool in cell biological studies, usually to control osmolarity.
Cell Adhesion Molecules
Supporting cells projecting inward from the basement membrane of SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES. They surround and nourish the developing male germ cells and secrete ANDROGEN-BINDING PROTEIN and hormones such as ANTI-MULLERIAN HORMONE. The tight junctions of Sertoli cells with the SPERMATOGONIA and SPERMATOCYTES provide a BLOOD-TESTIS BARRIER.
A type of junction that attaches one cell to its neighbor. One of a number of differentiated regions which occur, for example, where the cytoplasmic membranes of adjacent epithelial cells are closely apposed. It consists of a circular region of each membrane together with associated intracellular microfilaments and an intercellular material which may include, for example, mucopolysaccharides. (From Glick, Glossary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1990; Singleton & Sainsbury, Dictionary of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, 2d ed)
Holliday Junction Resolvases
Filamentous proteins that are the main constituent of the thin filaments of muscle fibers. The filaments (known also as filamentous or F-actin) can be dissociated into their globular subunits; each subunit is composed of a single polypeptide 375 amino acids long. This is known as globular or G-actin. In conjunction with MYOSINS, actin is responsible for the contraction and relaxation of muscle.
Fluorescent Antibody Technique
Test for tissue antigen using either a direct method, by conjugation of antibody with fluorescent dye (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, DIRECT) or an indirect method, by formation of antigen-antibody complex which is then labeled with fluorescein-conjugated anti-immunoglobulin antibody (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, INDIRECT). The tissue is then examined by fluorescence microscopy.
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.
Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells
The property of blood capillary ENDOTHELIUM that allows for the selective exchange of substances between the blood and surrounding tissues and through membranous barriers such as the BLOOD-AIR BARRIER; BLOOD-AQUEOUS BARRIER; BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER; BLOOD-NERVE BARRIER; BLOOD-RETINAL BARRIER; and BLOOD-TESTIS BARRIER. Small lipid-soluble molecules such as carbon dioxide and oxygen move freely by diffusion. Water and water-soluble molecules cannot pass through the endothelial walls and are dependent on microscopic pores. These pores show narrow areas (TIGHT JUNCTIONS) which may limit large molecule movement.
Major constituent of the cytoskeleton found in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells. They form a flexible framework for the cell, provide attachment points for organelles and formed bodies, and make communication between parts of the cell possible.
Desmoplakins are cytoskeletal linker proteins that anchor INTERMEDIATE FILAMENTS to the PLASMA MEMBRANE at DESMOSOMES.
An enzyme that phosphorylates myosin light chains in the presence of ATP to yield myosin-light chain phosphate and ADP, and requires calcium and CALMODULIN. The 20-kDa light chain is phosphorylated more rapidly than any other acceptor, but light chains from other myosins and myosin itself can act as acceptors. The enzyme plays a central role in the regulation of smooth muscle contraction.
Absorptive cells in the lining of the INTESTINAL MUCOSA. They are differentiated EPITHELIAL CELLS with apical MICROVILLI facing the intestinal lumen. Enterocytes are more abundant in the SMALL INTESTINE than in the LARGE INTESTINE. Their microvilli greatly increase the luminal surface area of the cell by 14- to 40 fold.
A multi-functional catenin that participates in CELL ADHESION and nuclear signaling. Beta catenin binds CADHERINS and helps link their cytoplasmic tails to the ACTIN in the CYTOSKELETON via ALPHA CATENIN. It also serves as a transcriptional co-activator and downstream component of WNT PROTEIN-mediated SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION PATHWAYS.
Highly specialized EPITHELIAL CELLS that line the HEART; BLOOD VESSELS; and lymph vessels, forming the ENDOTHELIUM. They are polygonal in shape and joined together by TIGHT JUNCTIONS. The tight junctions allow for variable permeability to specific macromolecules that are transported across the endothelial layer.
The epithelium lining the seminiferous tubules composed of primary male germ cells (SPERMATOGONIA) and supporting SERTOLI CELLS. As SPERMATOGENESIS proceeds, the developing germ cells migrate toward the lumen. The adluminal compartment, the inner two thirds of the tubules, contains SPERMATOCYTES and the more advanced germ cells.
Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.
Amino Acid Sequence
A group of glucose polymers made by certain bacteria. Dextrans are used therapeutically as plasma volume expanders and anticoagulants. They are also commonly used in biological experimentation and in industry for a wide variety of purposes.
RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.
A basic element found in nearly all organized tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol Ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes.
Catalyzes the ATP-dependent PHOSPHORYLATION of GMP to generate GDP and ADP.
Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
A form of fluorescent antibody technique commonly used to detect serum antibodies and immune complexes in tissues and microorganisms in specimens from patients with infectious diseases. The technique involves formation of an antigen-antibody complex which is labeled with fluorescein-conjugated anti-immunoglobulin antibody. (From Bennington, Saunders Dictionary & Encyclopedia of Laboratory Medicine and Technology, 1984)
Protein interaction domains of about 70-90 amino acid residues, named after a common structure found in PSD-95, Discs Large, and Zona Occludens 1 proteins. PDZ domains are involved in the recruitment and interaction of proteins, and aid the formation of protein scaffolds and signaling networks. This is achieved by sequence-specific binding between a PDZ domain in one protein and a PDZ motif in another protein.
Gene Expression Regulation
Protein Structure, Tertiary
The level of protein structure in which combinations of secondary protein structures (alpha helices, beta sheets, loop regions, and motifs) pack together to form folded shapes called domains. Disulfide bridges between cysteines in two different parts of the polypeptide chain along with other interactions between the chains play a role in the formation and stabilization of tertiary structure. Small proteins usually consist of only one domain but larger proteins may contain a number of domains connected by segments of polypeptide chain which lack regular secondary structure.
Protein Kinase C
An serine-threonine protein kinase that requires the presence of physiological concentrations of CALCIUM and membrane PHOSPHOLIPIDS. The additional presence of DIACYLGLYCEROLS markedly increases its sensitivity to both calcium and phospholipids. The sensitivity of the enzyme can also be increased by PHORBOL ESTERS and it is believed that protein kinase C is the receptor protein of tumor-promoting phorbol esters.
Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.
The passage of viable bacteria from the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT to extra-intestinal sites, such as the mesenteric lymph node complex, liver, spleen, kidney, and blood. Factors that promote bacterial translocation include overgrowth with gram-negative enteric bacilli, impaired host immune defenses, and injury to the INTESTINAL MUCOSA resulting in increased intestinal permeability. Bacterial translocation from the lung to the circulation is also possible and sometimes accompanies MECHANICAL VENTILATION.
Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
Diffusion Chambers, Culture
Devices used in a technique by which cells or tissues are grown in vitro or, by implantation, in vivo within chambers permeable to diffusion of solutes across the chamber walls. The chambers are used for studies of drug effects, osmotic responses, cytogenic and immunologic phenomena, metabolism, etc., and include tissue cages.
Pigment Epithelium of Eye
The layer of pigment-containing epithelial cells in the RETINA; the CILIARY BODY; and the IRIS in the eye.
Coxsackie and Adenovirus Receptor-Like Membrane Protein
An Ig superfamily transmembrane protein that localizes to junctional complexes that occur between ENDOTHELIAL CELLS and EPTHELIAL CELLS. The protein may play a role in cell-cell adhesion and is the primary site for the attachment of ADENOVIRUSES during infection.
Neuromuscular Junction Diseases
Conditions characterized by impaired transmission of impulses at the NEUROMUSCULAR JUNCTION. This may result from disorders that affect receptor function, pre- or postsynaptic membrane function, or ACETYLCHOLINESTERASE activity. The majority of diseases in this category are associated with autoimmune, toxic, or inherited conditions.
RNA, Small Interfering
Small double-stranded, non-protein coding RNAs (21-31 nucleotides) involved in GENE SILENCING functions, especially RNA INTERFERENCE (RNAi). Endogenously, siRNAs are generated from dsRNAs (RNA, DOUBLE-STRANDED) by the same ribonuclease, Dicer, that generates miRNAs (MICRORNAS). The perfect match of the siRNAs' antisense strand to their target RNAs mediates RNAi by siRNA-guided RNA cleavage. siRNAs fall into different classes including trans-acting siRNA (tasiRNA), repeat-associated RNA (rasiRNA), small-scan RNA (scnRNA), and Piwi protein-interacting RNA (piRNA) and have different specific gene silencing functions.
The external, nonvascular layer of the skin. It is made up, from within outward, of five layers of EPITHELIUM: (1) basal layer (stratum basale epidermidis); (2) spinous layer (stratum spinosum epidermidis); (3) granular layer (stratum granulosum epidermidis); (4) clear layer (stratum lucidum epidermidis); and (5) horny layer (stratum corneum epidermidis).