Thin section electron microscopy reveals two different types of membrane interactions between the fiber cells of bovine lens. Monoclonal antibodies against lens membrane protein MP70 (Kistler et al., 1985, J. Cell Biol., 101:28-35) bound exclusively to the 16-17-nm intercellular junctions. MP70 localization was most dramatic in the lens outer cortex and strongly reduced deeper in the lens. In contrast, the 12-nm double membrane structures and single membranes were consistently unlabeled. In freeze-fracture replicas with adherent cortical fiber membranes, MP70 was immunolocalized in the junctional plaques which closely resemble the gap junctions in other tissues. MP70 is thus likely to be associated with intercellular communication in the lens.

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