Crosstalk of tight junction components with signaling pathways

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 Mar;1778(3):729-56. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2007.08.018. Epub 2007 Sep 4.


Tight junctions (TJs) regulate the passage of ions and molecules through the paracellular pathway in epithelial and endothelial cells. TJs are highly dynamic structures whose degree of sealing varies according to external stimuli, physiological and pathological conditions. In this review we analyze how the crosstalk of protein kinase C, protein kinase A, myosin light chain kinase, mitogen-activated protein kinases, phosphoinositide 3-kinase and Rho signaling pathways is involved in TJ regulation triggered by diverse stimuli. We also report how the phosphorylation of the main TJ components, claudins, occludin and ZO proteins, impacts epithelial and endothelial cell function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cell Polarity
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / physiology
  • Cyclic GMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / physiology
  • Humans
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Myosin-Light-Chain Kinase / physiology
  • Occludin
  • Paracrine Communication
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / physiology
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases / physiology
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Kinase C / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Tight Junctions / chemistry
  • Tight Junctions / physiology*
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / physiology


  • Membrane Proteins
  • OCLN protein, human
  • Occludin
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Cyclic GMP-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Myosin-Light-Chain Kinase
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins