Epithelial paracellular proteins in health and disease

Daniel Landau

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Tight junctions are intercellular seams sealing and preventing the entrance of microorganisms or unwanted substances from the luminal compartment. They also define the border between the basolateral and apical membranes of polarized cells, thus enabling the normal transcellular vectorial transport typical of epithelial function. Their major components are claudin and occludin proteins. Tight junctions are now recognized as having more specific properties in cell function. This review will concentrate on novel findings related to tight junctions in polarized cells. RECENT FINDINGS: Tight junctions are regulated, interacting with the cell cytoskeleton and being responsible for the reabsorption of molecules. The latter has been exemplified by the discovery of claudin 16 (paracellin-1) as the gene product responsible for the hypomagnesaemia with hypercalciuria syndrome. Pathogenic bacteria and viruses target and use the tight-junction machinery to invade multicellular organisms. SUMMARY: Tight-junction-targeted research may help not only in the future design of novel therapies against invading microorganisms, but also may promote passage of medications through the normally sealed epithelial barrier. In addition, the regulatory properties of tight junctions may help in the understanding of still unanswered aspects of epithelial ion transport.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-429
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Claudin
  • Hypomagnesmia
  • Occludin
  • Tight junction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Nephrology


Dive into the research topics of 'Epithelial paracellular proteins in health and disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this