The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 39–54

Intercellular communication and tissue growth: IX. Junctional membrane structure of hybrids between communication-competent and communication-incompetent cells

Authors

  • W. J. Larsen
    • Department of Physiology and BiophysicsUniversity of Miami School of Medicine
  • R. Azarnia
    • Department of Physiology and BiophysicsUniversity of Miami School of Medicine
  • W. R. Loewenstein
    • Department of Physiology and BiophysicsUniversity of Miami School of Medicine
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF01870292

Cite this article as:
Larsen, W.J., Azarnia, R. & Loewenstein, W.R. J. Membrain Biol. (1977) 34: 39. doi:10.1007/BF01870292

Summary

The structure of the membrane junctions of the hybrid cell system, examined in the companion paper in respect to competence for communication through cell-to-cell membrane channels, is here examined by freeze-fracture electron microscopy. The junctions of the channel-competent parent cell and of the channel-competent hybrid cells present aggregates of intramembranous particles typical of “gap junction”; those of the channel-incompetent parent cell and channel-incompetent segregant hybrid cells do not. Competence for junctional communication and for gap junction formation are genetically related. The junctions of the intermediate hybrid cells with incomplete channel-competence (characterized by cell-to-cell transfer of small inorganic ions but not of fluorescein), present special intramembranous fibrillar structures instead of discrete gap-junctional particles. The possibility that these structures may constitute coupling elements with subnormal permeability is discussed in terms of incomplete dominance of the genetic determinants of gap junction.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1977