Epithelial layers are integral for many physiological processes and are maintained by intercellular adhesive structures. During disease, these structures can disassemble, leading to breakdown of epithelia. TJs (tight junctions) are one type of intercellular adhesion. Loss of TJs has been linked to the pathogenesis of many diseases. The present review focuses on the role of vesicle trafficking in regulation of TJs, in particular trafficking of the TJ protein occludin. We examine how endocytosis and endosomal recycling modulate occludin localization under steady-state conditions and during stimulated TJ disassembly.

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