Tight junctions are unique organelles in epithelial cells. They are localized to the apico-lateral region and essential for the epithelial cell transport functions. The paracellular transport process that occurs via tight junctions is extensively studied and is intricately regulated by various extracellular and intracellular signals. Fine regulation of this transport pathway is crucial for normal epithelial cell functions. Among factors that control tight junction permeability are ions and their transporters. However, this area of research is still in its infancy and much more needs to be learned about how these molecules regulate tight junction structure and functions. In this review we have attempted to compile literature on ion transporters and channels involved in the regulation of tight junctions. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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