adherens junction

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adherens junction

a component of the junctional complex just beneath and supporting the zonula occludens. The extracellular space at the adherens junction is spanned by the extracellular aspects of cadherin molecules, the intracellular aspects of which are supported by actin filaments.

Adherens Junction

A protein complex located at the junction between epithelial cells, which are subjected to stretching and pulling, yet require tight contact between them so they can function as a single unit. Adherens junctions are linked to the cell’s actin cytoskeleton, and take two forms: as bands encircling the cell—zonula adherens—or as “spot welds” to the extracellular matrix—adhesion plaques. Adherens junctions are composed of 4 principle proteins: cadherins and alpha-catenin, plakoglobulin (aka beta or gamma catenin) and p120 (aka delta catenin).

adherens junction

A point of junction between cells at which ACTIN filaments from inside the cells pass across the adjacent cell membranes. A broad, belt-like adherens junction is called an adhesion belt.