Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 118, Issue 1, pp 7–21 | Cite as

New aspects of the molecular constituents of tissue barriers

  • H. C. Bauer
  • A. Traweger
  • J. Zweimueller-Mayer
  • C. Lehner
  • H. Tempfer
  • I. Krizbai
  • I. Wilhelm
  • H. Bauer
Basic Neurosciences, Genetics and Immunology - Review Article


Epithelial and endothelial tissue barriers are based on tight intercellular contacts (Tight Junctions, TJs) between neighbouring cells. TJs are multimeric complexes, located at the most apical border of the lateral membrane. So far, a plethora of proteins locating at tight intercellular contacts have been discovered, the role of which has just partly been unraveled. Yet, there is convincing evidence that many TJ proteins exert a dual role: They act as structural components at the junctional site and they are involved in signalling pathways leading to alterations of gene expression and cell behaviour (migration, proliferation). This review will shortly summarize the classical functions of TJs and TJ-related proteins and will introduce a new category, termed the “non-classical” functions of junctional proteins. A particular focus will be directed towards the nuclear targeting of junctional proteins and the downstream effects elicited by their intranuclear activities.


Tissue-barriers Epithelia Endothelia Tight junctions 



This work was supported by the Austrian FWF P-18743 and by research grants from the Paracelsus Medical Private University (PMU) Salzburg, Austria. Bauer HC and Bauer H are participants of the NEUROBID consortium (EU 7th FP).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. C. Bauer
    • 1
    • 3
  • A. Traweger
    • 2
  • J. Zweimueller-Mayer
    • 1
  • C. Lehner
    • 1
    • 4
  • H. Tempfer
    • 3
  • I. Krizbai
    • 5
  • I. Wilhelm
    • 5
  • H. Bauer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Organismic BiologyUniversity of SalzburgSalzburgAustria
  2. 2.Baxter Innovations GmbHOrth an der DonauAustria
  3. 3.Paracelsus Private Medical UniversitySalzburgAustria
  4. 4.Department of Traumatology and Sports InjuriesParacelsus Private Medical UniversitySalzburgAustria
  5. 5.Biological Research CenterInstitute of BiophysicsSzegedHungary

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