Developmental Mechanism - Cell Junctions

From Embryology
Embryology - 16 Jun 2024    Facebook link Pinterest link Twitter link  Expand to Translate  
Google Translate - select your language from the list shown below (this will open a new external page)

العربية | català | 中文 | 中國傳統的 | français | Deutsche | עִברִית | हिंदी | bahasa Indonesia | italiano | 日本語 | 한국어 | မြန်မာ | Pilipino | Polskie | português | ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਦੇ | Română | русский | Español | Swahili | Svensk | ไทย | Türkçe | اردو | ייִדיש | Tiếng Việt    These external translations are automated and may not be accurate. (More? About Translations)


Many developmental mechanisms require dynamic changes in cell adhesion that acts through different types of cell junctions.

Adhesion Cartoons

Adhesion EM Images

Adhesion EM Images: GIT epithelia EM1 | GIT epithelia EM2 | GIT epithelia EM3 | Desmosome EM
Adhesion Cartoons: Tight junction | Adherens Junction | Desmosome | Gap Junction
Mechanism Links: mitosis | cell migration | cell junctions |epithelial invagination | epithelial mesenchymal transition | mesenchymal epithelial transition | epithelial mesenchymal interaction | morphodynamics | tube formation | apoptosis | autophagy | axes formation | time | molecular

Some Recent Findings

More recent papers  
Mark Hill.jpg
PubMed logo.gif

This table allows an automated computer search of the external PubMed database using the listed "Search term" text link.

  • This search now requires a manual link as the original PubMed extension has been disabled.
  • The displayed list of references do not reflect any editorial selection of material based on content or relevance.
  • References also appear on this list based upon the date of the actual page viewing.

References listed on the rest of the content page and the associated discussion page (listed under the publication year sub-headings) do include some editorial selection based upon both relevance and availability.

More? References | Discussion Page | Journal Searches | 2019 References | 2020 References

Search term: Developmental Tight Junction | Developmental Desmosome | Developmental Gap Junction | Developmental Adherens Junction

Older papers  
These papers originally appeared in the Some Recent Findings table, but as that list grew in length have now been shuffled down to this collapsible table.

See also the Discussion Page for other references listed by year and References on this current page.

Tight Junction

  • Discovered by M.G. Farquhar and G.E. Palade in 1963
  • zonula occludens
  • Fusion of 2 plasma membranes acts as a “seal”
  • Epithelia lining
  • digestive system gut, ducts, cavities of glands, liver, pancreas capillary walls urinary bladder
Tight junction 01.jpg

Tight Junction

Search PubMed: Tight Junction

Adherens Junction

  • actin microfilaments anchor the plaque that occurs under the membrane of each cell
  • plaques not as dense also occur as hemi-form
  • heart muscle, layers covering body organs, digestive tract
  • transmembrane proteins
  • Cadherin
  • clustered as focal adhesion

Cadherin isoform naming was based upon the site of original identification: P-cadherin (placenta cadherin, cadherin 3), E-cadherin (epithelial cadherin cadherin 1), N-cadherin (neural cadherin, cadherin 2).

Adherens Junction 01.jpg

Adherens Junction

image - blood–testis barrier

Search PubMed: Adherens Junction


  • Discovered by K.R. Porter in 1954 [1]
  • intermediate filaments anchor the dense plaque that occurs under the membrane of each cell
  • desmos = bond
  • skin, lining of internal body cavity surfaces
  • disappear when cells are transformed
Desmosome 01.jpg


Search PubMed: Desmosome

Gap Junction

  • Discovered by J.P. Revel & M.J. Karnovsky in 1967
  • allowing direct communication between cells (open & close)
  • close membranes 2 - 3 nm apart
  • connexins form hollow 1.5 nm diameter cylinders
  • heart muscle, smooth muscle electrical and chemical integration as a single functional unit
  • Also in embryonic development (see blastocyst)
Gap junction 01.jpg

Gap Junction

Search PubMed: gap junction


  1. PORTER KR. (1954). Electron microscopy of basophilic components of cytoplasm. J. Histochem. Cytochem. , 2, 346-75. PMID: 13192325 DOI.



External Links

External Links Notice - The dynamic nature of the internet may mean that some of these listed links may no longer function. If the link no longer works search the web with the link text or name. Links to any external commercial sites are provided for information purposes only and should never be considered an endorsement. UNSW Embryology is provided as an educational resource with no clinical information or commercial affiliation.

Glossary Links

Glossary: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Numbers | Symbols | Term Link

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, June 16) Embryology Developmental Mechanism - Cell Junctions. Retrieved from

What Links Here?
© Dr Mark Hill 2024, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G