[Frontiers in Bioscience 14, 2130-2148, January 1, 2009]
Na,K-ATPase and epithelial tight junctions
Sigrid A. Rajasekaran, Ayyappan K. Rajasekaran
Nemours Center for Childhood Cancer Research, Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE 19803
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Tight junctions are unique organelles in polarized epithelial and endothelial cells that regulate the flow of solutes and ions across the epithelial barrier. The structure and functions of tight junctions are regulated by a wide variety of signaling and molecular mechanisms. Several recent studies in mammals, drosophila, and zebrafish reported a new role for Na,K-ATPase, a well-studied ion transporter, in the modulation of tight junction development, permeability, and polarity. In this review, we have attempted to compile these new reports and suggest a model for a conserved role of Na,K-ATPase in the regulation of tight junction structure and functions.