Adherens junctions

Adherens junctions and desmosomes (Adhesive Junctions)
  • Hold cells tightly together
  • Confer mechanical strength
  • Connects matrix to cytoskeleton
  • common in tissue that are subject to severe stress such as skin and cardiac muscle
Adherens junctions (Zonulae adherens)
Adherens junctions are a type of specialized adhesive junction particularly common in epithelia, The plasma membranes in this region are separated by 20 to 35 nm and are sites where cadherin molecules that bridge the gap between neighbouring cells.
adherens junction Molecular Structure of Adherens junctions
  • Belt like junctions located just below tight junction
  • Simple points of attachments, do not contain channels connecting the interiors of the two attached cells
  • Transmembrane fibrous proteins
  • Homophilic pairing of E-cadherins
  • Adapter proteins (plakoglobulin and alpha and beta catenins) link cadherins to the belt of actin filaments
  • Example- Tissue with high mechanical stress, such as the skin
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