Dictionary > Cell junction

Cell junction

Definition
noun, plural: cell junctions
Intercellular connections between adjacent cells, resulting in varying degrees of fusion and specialized functions of animal tissues
Supplement
Cell junctions are intercellular connections between the plasma membranes of adjacent cells of animal tissues. They are formed by multiprotein complexes that provide contact between adjacent cells or between a cell and the extracellular matrix. There are three major types of cell junctions: (1) tight junctions, (2) gap junctions, and (3) anchoring junctions (e.g. desmosomes).

Tight junctions are a type of cell junction formed between epithelial cells of vertebrates wherein the outer layers of two adjacent cells fuse, thereby serving as a barrier to the passage of fluid between cells.
Gap junctions are cell junctions characterized by the intercellular channel that is formed between neighboring cells that allow direct communication between cells. Small molecules, ions, and electrical impulses are allowed to move between cells without passing the outside of cells.

Anchoring junctions are cell junctions that are anchored to one another and attached to components of the extracellular matrix. Examples of anchoring junctions are desmosomes, hemidesmosomes, and adherens junctions. They are important in keeping the cells together and structural cohesion of tissues.
Also called:

  • intercellular junction
  • intercellular bridge

See also:


You will also like...

Lights' Effect on Growth
Lights’ Effect on Growth

This tutorial elaborates on the effect of light on plant growth. It describes how different plants require different amo..

green plant cells
Plant Cells vs. Animal Cells

Plant cells have plastids essential in photosynthesis. They also have an additional layer called cell wall on their cell..

An artist's depiction of the origin of amphibians
Amphibians & Early Reptiles

Obtaining air outside an aquatic environment required species to acquire suitable adaptations, and this was the case of ..

A chart depicting Mendel's Law of Dominance
Mendel’s Law & Mendelian Genetics

One of Mendel’s law of inheritance is the “law of dominance”. Read this tutorial to know more about this form of i..

squirrel
Animal Water Regulation

Animals adapt to their environment in aspects of anatomy, physiology, and behavior. This tutorial will help you understa..

An artistic depiction of a human embryo
Growth and Development of a Human Baby

Upon fertilization, a zygote forms and develops into an embryo. This tutorial elaborates on the growth and development f..