zonula occludens

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A specialized junction between epithelial cells that makes the epithelial sheet impermeable, even to small molecules, because the apical junctions form a complete seal around the periphery of the cell. The membranes of the two cells are separated by only 1–2 nm. Integral membrane proteins cannot diffuse laterally through the junctions and so the apical and basolateral membrane domains are isolated from one another.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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