- Define the general structure and function of the glycocalyx and extracellular matrix.
- Describe the function and structure of basement membranes (basal lamina).
- Describe the membrane proteins involved in the adhesion of cells to noncellular surfaces.
- Compare and contrast the structures and functions of the different cell junctions.
- Describe the membrane proteins involved in cell–cell adhesion.
Most animal cells release materials into the extracellular space. The primary components of these materials are glycoproteins and the protein collagen. Collectively, these materials are called the extracellular matrix. Not only does the extracellular matrix hold the cells together to form a tissue, but it also allows the cells within the tissue to communicate with each other.
Thumbnail: Grey, Kindred, Chapter 19. 2021. CC BY 4.0. Adapted from Cellular tight junction-it by Mariana Ruiz. Public domain. From Wikimedia Commons.