Cellular Basics

Cell Walls and Membranes

What are cell junctions?

Cell junctions are the specialized connections between the plasma membranes of adjoining cells. The three general types of cell junctions are as follows: tight junctions that bind cells together, forming a barrier that is leakproof; for example, they form the lining of the digestive tract, preventing the contents of the intestine from entering the body; anchoring (or adhering) junctions link cells together, allowing them to function as a unit and form tissue, such as in the heart muscle; and communicating (or gap) junctions that allow rapid chemical and electrical communication between cells.


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