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Cell Junctions and Their Functions

Cells will be the small parts of human body. These are organized to form tissues. They are simply linked collectively by cell junctions and are backed by a matrix which they themselves secrete.

The connection between cells is named cell junction. Cell junctions have any various varieties of junctions. Generally, it could be split into two types : the ones that link cells collectively and the ones that link cells to the extracellular matrix.

Cell junctions can make a difference part of body. They can be important to some other live creatures. For example, they maintain cells integrity, become barriers to permeability and invite intercellular transfer. Cell junctions have many functions inside our human body and another live animals.

Cell junctions are one of important elements of the body. They linked along and because of that, cells can develop into tissues, tissue can form into organs, organs can form into systems and lastly systems can form into organism. They have got three general types of junctions. The types of junction have each functions in body and another live creatures. Therefore, cell junctions can be important.

Cell junctions have many kind of junctions. You will find three standard kind of junctions. In the booklet "Molecular Biology of the Cell" (Alberts, et al, 2002) says :

"Special cell junctions take place at factors of cell-cell and cell-matrix contact in every tissues, and they are particularly plentiful in epithelia. Cell junctions are best visualizedusing either conventional or freeze-fracture electron microscopy, which reveals that the interacting plasma membranes (and often the underlying cytoplasm and the intervening intercellular space as well) are highly specialized in these regions.

Cell junctions can be categorised into three useful groups:

  • Occluding junctions seal cells together in an epithelium in a way that inhibits even small molecules from leaking in one aspect of the sheet to the other.
  • Anchoring junctions mechanically connect skin cells (and their cytoskletons) to their neighbors or even to the extracellular matrix.
  • Communicating junctions mediate the passage of chemical or electric signals in one interacting cell to its partner.


  • Tight junctions (vertebrates only)
  • Septate junctions (inverterates mainly)


  • Actin filament connection sites
  • Cell-cell junctions (adherens junctions)
  • Cell-matrix junctions (focal adhesions)
  • Intermediate filament attachment sites
  • Cell-cell junctions (desmosomes)
  • Cell-matrix junctions (hemidesmosomes)


  • Gap junctions
  • Chemical junctions
  • Plasmodesmata (crops only)

In pets or animals, there are three common types of junctions. A couple of adhesive junctions, small junctions, and space junctions. For the publication "The World of the Cell"(Becker, et al, 2009) states : 422


"One of the three mainly junctions in animal skin cells is the adhesive (or anchoring) junction. Adhesive junctions link cells mutually into tissues, therby allowing the cells to operate as a product. All junctions in this category anchor the cytoskeleton to the cell surface. The resulting interconnected cytoskeletal network really helps to maintain muscle integrity and to withstand mechanised stress. Both main varieties of cell-cell adhesive junctions are adherens junction and desmosomes. " (Becker, et al, 2009)


"Adherens junctions hook up bundles of actin filaments from cell to cell. Adherens junctions happen in various forms. In many nonepithelial cells, they take the proper execution of small punctate or streaklike parts that indirectly hook up the cortical actin filaments under the plasma membranes of two interacting skin cells. However the prototypical types of adherens junctions occur in epithelia, where they often times form a continuing adhesion belt (or zonula adherens) just underneath the restricted junctions, encircling each one of the interacting skin cells in the sheet. The adhesion belts are straight apposed in adjacent epithelial skin cells, with the interacting plasma membranes kept along by the cadherins that provide here as transmembrane adhesion protein. " (Alberts, et al, 2002)


"Desmosomes are button-like points of strong adhesion between adjacent skin cells in a structure. Desmosomes supply the structure structural integrity, permitting cells to function as a unit and to resist stress. Desmosomes are found in many tissue but are specially abundant in epidermis, center muscle, and the neck of the guitar of the uterus. " (Becker, et al, 2009)


"Although limited junctions seal the membranes of adjacent cells alongside one another very effectively, the membranes are not actually in close contact over broad areas. Rather, these are linked along sharply identified ridges. Tight junctions is seen especially well by freeze-fracture microscopy, which reveals the inner faces of membranes. Each junction looks as a series of ridges that form an interconnected network stretching over the junction. Each ridge involves a continuous row of firmly loaded transmembrane junctional proteins about 3-4 nm in diameter. The result is rather like putting two pieces of corrugated metal along so that their ridges are aligned and then fusing both bits lengthwise along each ridge of contact. " (Alberts, et al, 2002)


"Apart from few terminally differentiated cells such as skeletal muscle cells and blood skin cells in animal tissues are in communication with the neighbors via distance junctions. Each space junction looks in normal electron micrographs as a patch where in fact the membranes of two adjacent cells are separated by the uniform narrow gap around 2-4 nm. The distance is spanned by channel-forming proteins (connexins). The channel they form (connexons) allow inorganic ions and other small water-soluble substances to cross direcly from the cytoplasm of one cell to the cytoplasm of the other, therby coupling the cells both electically and metabolically. " (Becker, et al, 2009)

Cell Junctions are associated with one another collectively. Cells junctions belong to three useful classes : occluding junctions, anchoring junctions, and connecting junctions. In dog, there are three kind types of junctions : adhesive junctions, tight junctions and space junctions. In vegetation, cell junctions is called plasmodesmata. A couple of two main kind of adhesive junctions : adheren junctions and desmosomes. Adhesive junctions are anchored to the cytoskeleton by linker proteins that put on adherens junctions and desmosomes. Desmosomes are particularly prominent in tissues that must resist considerable mechanised stress. Tight junctions form a permeability barrier between epithelial skin cells and they avoid the lateral motion of membrane protein. Difference junctions form open channels between cells, allowing direct substance and electical communication between skin cells. Their connexons allow inorganic ions.

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