Volume 2015, Issue 1
  • E-ISSN: 2223-506X


Junctional complexes are specialized contacts between neighboring cells and between cells and the extracellular matrix. They play an important role in embryogenesis, growth and development, as well as being the cause of pathologies. These contacts lead to a number of different interactions that have a profound effect on cellular biology. Cell junctions are best visualized using conventional or freeze-fracture electron microscopy, which reveals the interacting plasma membranes are highly specialized in these regions.

Cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) are proteins responsible for homophillic and heterophillic adhesions. They consist of various groups, including cadherins, selectins and intergrins and they facilitate cell adhesion, cell signaling, and motility. Dysregulation of these molecules can lead to various pathologies, for example mucocutaneous diseases and invasion of cancer. This review focuses on the pathophysiology of cell junctions and related diseases.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
Keyword(s): cell adhesion molecules , cell junctions , desmosomes , hemidesmosomes and junctional complexes
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