What type of cell junction anchors adjacent cells and resists their separation during contractile activities?
Anchoring junctions (adherens junctions and desmosomes).
There are two types of anchoring junctions that connect the cytoskeleton of two cells with each other. This helps the cells to resist their separation during various contractile activities:
- Adherens junctions
These junctions are formed by proteins called cadherins and they connect the actin filaments of two cells. They are often found in epithelial cells and can form an entire adhesion belt (continuous around the cell).
Example: adherens junctions resist the separation of epithelial cells in the bowel when the bowel contracts to move food forward.
These junctions are also formed by proteins from the cadherin family. They are structurally similar to adherens junctions, but In this case they connect the intermediate filaments of two cells. They are found in epidermal cells and in muscle cells of the heart.
Example: desmosomes prevent cardiac cells from separating during contraction of the heart.