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Review

Super-Resolution Imaging of Tight and Adherens Junctions: Challenges and Open Questions

1
Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP), 13125 Berlin, Germany
2
Faculty of Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Freie Universität Berlin, 14195 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(3), 744; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21030744
Received: 11 December 2019 / Revised: 10 January 2020 / Accepted: 16 January 2020 / Published: 23 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Tight Junction and Its Proteins: More Than Just a Barrier)
The tight junction (TJ) and the adherens junction (AJ) bridge the paracellular cleft of epithelial and endothelial cells. In addition to their role as protective barriers against bacteria and their toxins they maintain ion homeostasis, cell polarity, and mechano-sensing. Their functional loss leads to pathological changes such as tissue inflammation, ion imbalance, and cancer. To better understand the consequences of such malfunctions, the junctional nanoarchitecture is of great importance since it remains so far largely unresolved, mainly because of major difficulties in dynamically imaging these structures at sufficient resolution and with molecular precision. The rapid development of super-resolution imaging techniques ranging from structured illumination microscopy (SIM), stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy, and single molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) has now enabled molecular imaging of biological specimens from cells to tissues with nanometer resolution. Here we summarize these techniques and their application to the dissection of the nanoscale molecular architecture of TJs and AJs. We propose that super-resolution imaging together with advances in genome engineering and functional analyses approaches will create a leap in our understanding of the composition, assembly, and function of TJs and AJs at the nanoscale and, thereby, enable a mechanistic understanding of their dysfunction in disease. View Full-Text
Keywords: super-resolution microscopy; structured illumination microscopy; stimulated emission depletion; single molecule localization microscopy; adherens junction; tight junction super-resolution microscopy; structured illumination microscopy; stimulated emission depletion; single molecule localization microscopy; adherens junction; tight junction
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gonschior, H.; Haucke, V.; Lehmann, M. Super-Resolution Imaging of Tight and Adherens Junctions: Challenges and Open Questions. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 744. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21030744

AMA Style

Gonschior H, Haucke V, Lehmann M. Super-Resolution Imaging of Tight and Adherens Junctions: Challenges and Open Questions. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020; 21(3):744. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21030744

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gonschior, Hannes, Volker Haucke, and Martin Lehmann. 2020. "Super-Resolution Imaging of Tight and Adherens Junctions: Challenges and Open Questions" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 21, no. 3: 744. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21030744

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