Multifunctional strands in tight junctions

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2001 Apr;2(4):285-93. doi: 10.1038/35067088.


Tight junctions are one mode of cell-cell adhesion in epithelial and endothelial cellular sheets. They act as a primary barrier to the diffusion of solutes through the intercellular space, create a boundary between the apical and the basolateral plasma membrane domains, and recruit various cytoskeletal as well as signalling molecules at their cytoplasmic surface. New insights into the molecular architecture of tight junctions allow us to now discuss the structure and functions of this unique cell-cell adhesion apparatus in molecular terms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Claudin-1
  • Humans
  • Membrane Lipids / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Permeability
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Tight Junctions / chemistry*
  • Tight Junctions / metabolism*


  • CLDN1 protein, human
  • Claudin-1
  • Membrane Lipids
  • Membrane Proteins