Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Tight Junction

  • Makoto Osanai
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_5814-3


Tight junctions (TJs) are the apicalmost intercellular structures in epithelial and endothelial cells, playing central roles in the formation of cell polarity and functioning as major determinants of paracellular permeability. Cancer cells often exhibit loss of functional TJs, and decreased or impaired TJ formation has been reported for various types of cancer. Disruption of the TJ structure is associated with cancer development, which is causally involved in malignant phenotypes. Endothelial TJs of the host are believed to be the key apparatus to prevent blood-borne metastasis.


TJs are essential for the tight sealing of cellular sheets, thus functioning as major determinants of paracellular permeability and therefore maintaining tissue homeostasis (Fig. 1). TJs also play a crucial role in the maintenance of cell polarity by forming the fence that prevents lateral diffusion of membrane proteins and lipids, thereby creating a boundary between the apical and...


Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Paracellular Permeability Salivary Gland Epithelial Cell Apical Junctional Complex Occludin Expression 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyKochi University School of MedicineKochiJapan