Cell Signaling Problem Set
Problem 11: Gap Junctions
Tutorial to help answer the question
Direct cellular connections such as gap junctions in animal cells and plasmodesmata in plant cells permit:
Gap junctions of animal cells and plasmodesmata of plant cells are protein structures that permit the movement of small molecules through pores in the cell membranes. Small molecules, ions, and signaling molecules are small enough to move through the protein pores.
Movement of signal molecules between cells may be an important part of the coordinated response of a tissue to an outside signal or ligand. Proteins and genetic information are too large to pass between cells through these junctions. These systems probably function to provide more rapid communication between cells.
The Biology Project
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
University of Arizona
Revised: August 2004
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