Functions of claudin tight junction proteins and their complex interactions in various physiological systems

Int Rev Cell Mol Biol. 2010;279:1-32. doi: 10.1016/S1937-6448(10)79001-8. Epub 2010 Jan 29.


Members of the claudin family of proteins are the main components of tight junctions (TJs), the major selective barrier of the paracellular pathway between epithelial cells. As such, the claudins have the ability to generate the TJ physiological barrier and to control various physiological processes. Therefore, the importance of this family of proteins is obvious and many efforts were made to reveal different aspects of claudin TJ protein biology. In this review, we discuss recent advances in our understanding of claudin structure and function, as well as their distribution pattern in different organs and tissues. We mainly highlight the complex interactions of claudins in various physiological systems and suggest a possible role for a coregulation mechanism.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Claudins / chemistry
  • Claudins / genetics
  • Claudins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Phenotype
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Isoforms / chemistry
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism*
  • Tight Junctions / chemistry*
  • Tight Junctions / metabolism*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Claudins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms