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The area composita is a special heart muscle specific mixed type adhering junction connecting single cardiomyocytes. They are responsible for the force transmission during muscle contraction and are believed to be the main component of the mammalian cardiac intercalated discs (see Franke et al. 2006; Pieperhoff and Franke, 2007; Pieperhoff and Franke, 2008; see also Goossens et al., 2007). Area composita structures consist of typical desmosomal in addition to typical fascia adhaerens proteins, whereas in epithelia both molecular classes show distinct and mutual exclusive localizations and both structures are also well separated.
- Borrmann, C. M., Grund, C., Kuhn, C., Hofmann, I., Pieperhoff, S., Franke, W. W., 2006. The area composita of adhering junctions connecting heart muscle cells of vertebrates. II. Colocalizations of desmosomal and fascia adhaerens molecules in the intercalated disk. Eur J Cell Biol 85, 469-85.
- Franke, W. W., Borrmann, C. M., Grund, C., Pieperhoff, S., 2006. The area composita of adhering junctions connecting heart muscle cells of vertebrates. I. Molecular definition in intercalated disks of cardiomyocytes by immunoelectron microscopy of desmosomal proteins. Eur J Cell Biol 85, 69-82.
- Goossens S, Janssens B, Bonné S, De Rycke R, Braet F, van Hengel J, van Roy F. 2007. A unique and specific interaction between alphaT-catenin and plakophilin-2 in the area composita, the mixed-type junctional structure of cardiac intercalated discs. J Cell Sci. 120, 2126-36.
- Pieperhoff, S., Franke, W. W., 2007. The area composita of adhering junctions connecting heart muscle cells of vertebrates - IV: Coalescence and amalgamation of desmosomal and adhaerens junction components - Late processes in mammalian heart development. Eur J Cell Biol 86, 377-91.
- Pieperhoff, S., Franke, W. W., 2008. The area composita of adhering junctions connecting heart muscle cells of vertebrates -VI. Polar and lateral junctions of non-mammalian species. Eur J. Cell Biol. 87, 413-30.
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