Tight junction proteins connect epithelial and endothelial cells
and, importantly, form selective barriers and channels for
paracellular transportation. Two types of tight junction
proteins--the claudin family (claudins-1 to -27) and the TAMP
family (occludin, Marvel-D2, and tricellulin)--can be distinguished
molecularly and functionally. Recent work has focused on
delineating the functional significance of differences in selective
permeability, for example, by examining the regulatory mechanisms
of tight junctions. This work is of great clinical importance as
many inflammatory or infectious diseases are characterized by
increased permeability and the manipulation of tight junctions
presents a new horizon in the development of novel therapeutics.
The volume "Barriers and Channels Formed by Tight Junction Proteins
II "provides a detailed look at the recent advances in our
understanding of tight junction regulation and dysregulation. The
papers included focus on three major themes: inflammation and
gastrointestinal function; epithelial transport, barrier
modulation, and food components; and tight junctions in intestinal
and renal epithelia.
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