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The Integral Role of Tight Junction Proteins in the Repair of Injured Intestinal Epithelium

Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(3), 972;
Received: 30 August 2019 / Revised: 10 October 2019 / Accepted: 14 October 2019 / Published: 1 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Tight Junction and Its Proteins: More Than Just a Barrier)
The intestinal epithelial monolayer forms a transcellular and paracellular barrier that separates luminal contents from the interstitium. The paracellular barrier consists of a highly organized complex of intercellular junctions that is primarily regulated by apical tight junction proteins and tight junction-associated proteins. This homeostatic barrier can be lost through a multitude of injurious events that cause the disruption of the tight junction complex. Acute repair after injury leading to the reestablishment of the tight junction barrier is crucial for the return of both barrier function as well as other cellular functions, including water regulation and nutrient absorption. This review provides an overview of the tight junction complex components and how they link to other plasmalemmal proteins, such as ion channels and transporters, to induce tight junction closure during repair of acute injury. Understanding the components of interepithelial tight junctions and the mechanisms of tight junction regulation after injury is crucial for developing future therapeutic targets for patients experiencing dysregulated intestinal permeability. View Full-Text
Keywords: barrier function; tight junction; repair; occludin; claudin; NHE2; ClC-2 barrier function; tight junction; repair; occludin; claudin; NHE2; ClC-2
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Slifer, Z.M.; Blikslager, A.T. The Integral Role of Tight Junction Proteins in the Repair of Injured Intestinal Epithelium. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 972.

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