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Graphical

Cell junctiongap junction

Definition

A gap junction (GJ) is a communicating junction between certain cell types that allows the passive passage of ions and small molecules providing a direct pathway for electrical and metabolic signaling. In vertebrates GJs are patches of channels, each cell membrane contains a 'hemichannel', so that each GJ channel is composed of two hemichannels (connexons), which in turn are composed of six membrane proteins (connexins (Cxs)). In invertebrates, GJ channels are formed by another large family of integral membrane proteins, the innexins. GJ exists in all metazoans (multi-cellular organisms) and in almost all cell types in these organisms.

Synonyms

Connexons

Category

› Cellular component

Keywords

Gap junction

GOi

gap junction [ GO:0005921 ]