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gap junction
medical dictionary

<cell biology> A junction between two cells consisting of many pores that allow the passage of molecules up to about 900D.

Each pore is formed by an hexagonal array (connexon) of six transmembrane proteins (connexins) in each plasma membrane: when mated together the pores open, allowing communication and the interchange of metabolites between cells.

Electrical synapses are gap junctions and metabolic cooperation depends upon the formation of gap junctions.

This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology

(11 Mar 2008)

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