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The Role of Claudin-Based Tight Junctions in Morphogenesis


Address for correspondence: Mikio Furuse, Ph.D., Division of Cell Biology, Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kusunoki-cho 7-5-1, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0017, Japan. Voice: +81-78-382-5805; fax: +81-78-382-5806.


In morphogenetic events during developmental processes, the hydrostatic pressure caused by fluid accumulation is thought to be an important factor determining the shape of epithelial structures. Recent studies using loss of function of claudins have demonstrated that tight junctions, by their control of fluid accumulation, have crucial roles in morphogenesis. Interestingly, both the barrier and the channel functions of tight junctions appear to contribute to morphogenesis.