Permeability of the cell-to-cell membrane channels in mammalian cell juncton

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Science  27 Jul 1979:
Vol. 205, Issue 4404, pp. 404-407
DOI: 10.1126/science.377490


The channels in the junctions of various mammalian cell types--primary cultures and lines--were probed with a series of linear fluorescent amino acid and peptide molecules of different size and charge. Permeability is limited by probe size and electronegativity, these two factors apparently being related reciprocally. In respect to both factors, mammalian junctional channels are more restrictive than insect channels; hence the mammalian channels are narrower, more polar, or both. The channels of the various mammalian cell types differed slightly from each other; in some types the serum of the culture medium affected the channel permeability.