Adherens junctions link actin fibers in adjacent cells together. Desmosomes attach to intermediate filaments of the cytoskeleton. Desmosomes are the strongest cell-cell connections. Desmosomes may be small points of contact between two cells (spot desmosomes) or bands that encircle the entire cell (belt desmosomes). In addition, there are also two types of cell-matrix anchoring junctions: hemidesmosomes and focal adhesion.
An adherens junction is defined as a cell junction whose cytoplasmic face is linked to the actin cytoskeleton. They can appear as bands encircling the cell (zonula adherens) or as spots of attachment to the extracellular matrix (adhesion plaques).
Functionally, gap junctions in animal cells are a lot like plasmodesmata in plant cells: they are channels between neighboring cells that allow for the transport of ions, water, and other substances 3 ^3 3 start superscript, 3, end superscript. Structurally, however, gap junctions and plasmodesmata are quite different.
Tight junctions, also known as occluding junctions or zonulae occludentes (singular, zonula occludens) are multiprotein junctional complex whose general function is to prevent leakage of transported solutes and water and seals the paracellular pathway.