IMR Press / FBL / Volume 13 / Issue 17 / DOI: 10.2741/3172

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Regulation of epithelial and endothelial junctions by PAR proteins
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1 Institute of Medical Biochemistry, ZMBE, University of Muenster, D-48149 Muenster, Germany
2 Department of Molecular Biology, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, Yokohama 236-0004, Japan
Academic Editor:Andrei Ivanov
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2008, 13(17), 6520–6536;
Published: 1 May 2008
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular engines that build and break epithelial junctions)

The organization of tissues depends on intercellular junctions that connect individual cells to each other. In sheets of epithelial cells the junctions contain different components like adherens junctions or tight junctions in an asymmetric distribution along the cell-cell contacts. Tight junctions are located at the most apical region of cell junctions, act as a regulatable barrier for small solutes, and separate the apical membrane domain from the basolateral membrane domain. For a long time, the mechanisms that underly the formation of tight junctions and the development of apico-basal membrane polarity in epithelial cells have been poorly understood. Recently, strong evidence has been provided which implicates a conserved set of cell polarity proteins - the PAR proteins - in this process. Here we discuss the mechanisms by which PAR proteins regulate the formation of cell junctions with a special emphasis on vertebrate epithelial cells.

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