, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 568-577
Date: 21 Oct 2011

Cell–Cell Junctional Proteins in Cardiovascular Mechanotransduction

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Abstract

Cell–cell junctional proteins play important structural and functional roles in several physiological systems. Recent studies have illuminated key aspects in the relationship of junctional proteins with normal cell and tissue function as well as various pathologies. In this review article, the roles of cell–cell junctional proteins will be presented in four classes: adherens junctions, desmosomes, gap junctions, and tight junctions, and discussed primarily in the context of cardiovascular cell and tissue physiology and pathophysiology. The functions of the proteins are described from the perspective of mechanotransductive regulation of physiological and disease processes, with focus being laid on more biomechanical aspects, such as cell adhesion, migration, and mechanosignaling.