Encyclopedia of Parasitology

Living Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Tight Junction

  • Heinz Mehlhorn
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27769-6_4407-1

This term describes the region (zonula occludens) between the plasma membranes of two adjacent cells of the same individual or the zone between a host cell and an attacking parasitic unicellular stage. The contact of the adjacent cells is so close that there is no space in between thus fusing cells closely together and providing a selective barrier to the diffusion of substances between cells. However, in case of penetration of protozoans into host cells (see moving junction), these tight connections help protozoans to slip into cells without disrupting the host cell membrane.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Zoomorphologie, Zellbiologie und ParasitologieHeinrich-Heine-UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany