Solubilization of isolated rat liver plasma membranes in 1% deoxycholate and centrifugation yielded a fraction (pellet) that consisted mainly of tight junctions (zonulae occludentes). An hexagonal array of subunits similar to that previously found in a number of the unfractionated plasma membranes was demonstrated in all the membrane sheets of these preparations by negative staining. It is concluded that the hexagonal subunit pattern is present in the tight junctions, and that this structural differentiation may be related to the intercellular diffusion afforded by the junctional membrane.

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