Zonula Occludens-1 Protein: A 195-kDa zonula occludens protein that is distinguished by the presence of a ZU5 domain at the C-terminal of the molecule.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.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.Tight Junctions: 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)Occludin: A MARVEL domain protein that plays an important role in the formation and regulation of the TIGHT JUNCTION paracellular permeability barrier.Intercellular Junctions: 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)Membrane Proteins: Proteins which are found in membranes including cellular and intracellular membranes. They consist of two types, peripheral and integral proteins. They include most membrane-associated enzymes, antigenic proteins, transport proteins, and drug, hormone, and lectin receptors.Tight Junction Proteins: Proteins that take part in the formation or structure of TIGHT JUNCTIONS.PhosphoproteinsCholera Toxin: An ENTEROTOXIN from VIBRIO CHOLERAE. It consists of two major protomers, the heavy (H) or A subunit and the B protomer which consists of 5 light (L) or B subunits. The catalytic A subunit is proteolytically cleaved into fragments A1 and A2. The A1 fragment is a MONO(ADP-RIBOSE) TRANSFERASE. The B protomer binds cholera toxin to intestinal epithelial cells, and facilitates the uptake of the A1 fragment. The A1 catalyzed transfer of ADP-RIBOSE to the alpha subunits of heterotrimeric G PROTEINS activates the production of CYCLIC AMP. Increased levels of cyclic AMP are thought to modulate release of fluid and electrolytes from intestinal crypt cells.PDZ Domains: 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.Freeze Fracturing: 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.Adherens 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.Claudins: 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.Epithelial Cells: 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.Vibrio cholerae: The etiologic agent of CHOLERA.Cadherins: 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.Permeability: Property of membranes and other structures to permit passage of light, heat, gases, liquids, metabolites, and mineral ions.Cell Membrane Permeability: A quality of cell membranes which permits the passage of solvents and solutes into and out of cells.Electric Impedance: The resistance to the flow of either alternating or direct electrical current.Caco-2 Cells: 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.Epithelium: One or more layers of EPITHELIAL CELLS, supported by the basal lamina, which covers the inner or outer surfaces of the body.Intestinal Mucosa: Lining of the INTESTINES, consisting of an inner EPITHELIUM, a middle LAMINA PROPRIA, and an outer MUSCULARIS MUCOSAE. In the SMALL INTESTINE, the mucosa is characterized by a series of folds and abundance of absorptive cells (ENTEROCYTES) with MICROVILLI.Microscopy, Electron: 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.Dogs: The domestic dog, Canis familiaris, comprising about 400 breeds, of the carnivore family CANIDAE. They are worldwide in distribution and live in association with people. (Walker's Mammals of the World, 5th ed, p1065)Actins: 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.Cell Line: Established cell cultures that have the potential to propagate indefinitely.Claudin-1: An integral membrane protein that is localized to TIGHT JUNCTIONS, where it plays a role in controlling the paracellular permeability of polarized cells. Mutations in the gene for claudin-1 are associated with Neonatal Ichthyosis-Sclerosing Cholangitis (NISCH) Syndrome.Cell Membrane: The lipid- and protein-containing, selectively permeable membrane that surrounds the cytoplasm in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.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 Binding: The process in which substances, either endogenous or exogenous, bind to proteins, peptides, enzymes, protein precursors, or allied compounds. Specific protein-binding measures are often used as assays in diagnostic assessments.Carrier Proteins: Transport proteins that carry specific substances in the blood or across cell membranes.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Connexins: A group of homologous proteins which form the intermembrane channels of GAP JUNCTIONS. The connexins are the products of an identified gene family which has both highly conserved and highly divergent regions. The variety contributes to the wide range of functional properties of gap junctions.Blood-Brain Barrier: 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.Guanylate Kinase: Catalyzes the ATP-dependent PHOSPHORYLATION of GMP to generate GDP and ADP.Gap Junctions: 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.Calbindin 2: A calbindin protein that is differentially expressed in distinct populations of NEURONS throughout the vertebrate and invertebrate NERVOUS SYSTEM, and modulates intrinsic neuronal excitability and influences LONG-TERM POTENTIATION. It is also found in LUNG, TESTIS, OVARY, KIDNEY, and BREAST, and is expressed in many tumor types found in these tissues. It is often used as an immunohistochemical marker for MESOTHELIOMA.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.Cytoskeletal Proteins: 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.Cytoskeleton: The network of filaments, tubules, and interconnecting filamentous bridges which give shape, structure, and organization to the cytoplasm.Protein Transport: The process of moving proteins from one cellular compartment (including extracellular) to another by various sorting and transport mechanisms such as gated transport, protein translocation, and vesicular transport.Microscopy, Fluorescence: Microscopy of specimens stained with fluorescent dye (usually fluorescein isothiocyanate) or of naturally fluorescent materials, which emit light when exposed to ultraviolet or blue light. Immunofluorescence microscopy utilizes antibodies that are labeled with fluorescent dye.RNA Interference: A gene silencing phenomenon whereby specific dsRNAs (RNA, DOUBLE-STRANDED) trigger the degradation of homologous mRNA (RNA, MESSENGER). The specific dsRNAs are processed into SMALL INTERFERING RNA (siRNA) which serves as a guide for cleavage of the homologous mRNA in the RNA-INDUCED SILENCING COMPLEX. DNA METHYLATION may also be triggered during this process.Endothelial Cells: 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.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Claudin-5: A claudin subtype that is found localized to TIGHT JUNCTIONS in VASCULAR ENDOTHELIAL CELLS. The protein was initially identified as one of several proteins which are deleted in VELOCARDIOFACIAL SYNDROME and may play an important role in maintaining the integrity of the BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER.Blood-Testis Barrier: 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.Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Signal Transduction: 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.S100 Calcium Binding Protein G: A calbindin protein found in many mammalian tissues, including the UTERUS, PLACENTA, BONE, PITUITARY GLAND, and KIDNEYS. In intestinal ENTEROCYTES it mediates intracellular calcium transport from apical to basolateral membranes via calcium binding at two EF-HAND MOTIFS. Expression is regulated in some tissues by VITAMIN D.Mice, Inbred C57BLalpha Catenin: A catenin that binds F-ACTIN and links the CYTOSKELETON with BETA CATENIN and GAMMA CATENIN.