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Sample records for cx43 gap junctions

  1. Intracellular trafficking pathways of Cx43 gap junction channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epifantseva, Irina; Shaw, Robin M

    2018-01-01

    Gap Junction (GJ) channels, including the most common Connexin 43 (Cx43), have fundamental roles in excitable tissues by facilitating rapid transmission of action potentials between adjacent cells. For instance, synchronization during each heartbeat is regulated by these ion channels at the cardiomyocyte cell-cell border. Cx43 protein has a short half-life, and rapid synthesis and timely delivery of those proteins to particular subdomains are crucial for the cellular organization of gap junctions and maintenance of intracellular coupling. Impairment in gap junction trafficking contributes to dangerous complications in diseased hearts such as the arrhythmias of sudden cardiac death. Of recent interest are the protein-protein interactions with the Cx43 carboxy-terminus. These interactions have significant impact on the full length Cx43 lifecycle and also contribute to trafficking of Cx43 as well as possibly other functions. We are learning that many of the known non-canonical roles of Cx43 can be attributed to the recently identified six endogenous Cx43 truncated isoforms which are produced by internal translation. In general, alternative translation is a new leading edge for proteome expansion and therapeutic drug development. This review highlights recent mechanisms identified in the trafficking of gap junction channels, involvement of other proteins contributing to the delivery of channels to the cell-cell border, and understanding of possible roles of the newly discovered alternatively translated isoforms in Cx43 biology. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Gap Junction Proteins edited by Jean Claude Herve. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Regulation of gap junction conductance by calcineurin through Cx43 phosphorylation: implications for action potential conduction.

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    Jabr, Rita I; Hatch, Fiona S; Salvage, Samantha C; Orlowski, Alejandro; Lampe, Paul D; Fry, Christopher H

    2016-11-01

    Cardiac arrhythmias are associated with raised intracellular [Ca 2+ ] and slowed action potential conduction caused by reduced gap junction (GJ) electrical conductance (Gj). Ventricular GJs are composed of connexin proteins (Cx43), with Gj determined by Cx43 phosphorylation status. Connexin phosphorylation is an interplay between protein kinases and phosphatases but the precise pathways are unknown. We aimed to identify key Ca 2+ -dependent phosphorylation sites on Cx43 that regulate cardiac gap junction conductance and action potential conduction velocity. We investigated the role of the Ca 2+ -dependent phosphatase, calcineurin. Intracellular [Ca 2+ ] was raised in guinea-pig myocardium by a low-Na solution or increased stimulation. Conduction velocity and Gj were measured in multicellular strips. Phosphorylation of Cx43 serine residues (S365 and S368) and of the intermediary regulator I1 at threonine35 was measured by Western blot. Measurements were made in the presence and absence of inhibitors to calcineurin, I1 or protein phosphatase-1 and phosphatase-2.Raised [Ca 2 + ] i decreased Gj, reduced Cx43 phosphorylation at S365 and increased it at S368; these changes were reversed by calcineurin inhibitors. Cx43-S368 phosphorylation was reversed by the protein kinase C inhibitor chelerythrine. Raised [Ca 2+ ] i also decreased I1 phosphorylation, also prevented by calcineurin inhibitors, to increase activity of the Ca 2+ -independent phosphatase, PPI. The PP1 inhibitor, tautomycin, prevented Cx43-365 dephosphorylation, Cx43-S368 phosphorylation and Gj reduction in raised [Ca 2+ ] i . PP2A had no role. Conduction velocity was reduced by raised [Ca 2+ ] i and reversed by calcineurin inhibitors. Reduced action potential conduction and Gj in raised [Ca 2+ ] are regulated by calcineurin-dependent Cx43-S365 phosphorylation, leading to Cx43-S368 dephosphorylation. The calcineurin action is indirect, via I1 dephosphorylation and subsequent activation of PP1.

  3. Diabetes Increases Cryoinjury Size with Associated Effects on Cx43 Gap Junction Function and Phosphorylation in the Mouse Heart.

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    Palatinus, Joseph A; Gourdie, Robert G

    2016-01-01

    Diabetic patients develop larger myocardial infarctions and have an increased risk of death following a heart attack. The poor response to myocardial injury in the diabetic heart is likely related to the many metabolic derangements from diabetes that create a poor substrate in general for wound healing, response to injury and infection. Studies in rodents have implicated a role for the gap junction protein connexin 43 (Cx43) in regulating the injury response in diabetic skin wounds. In this study, we sought to determine whether diabetes alters Cx43 molecular interactions or intracellular communication in the cryoinjured STZ type I diabetic mouse heart. We found that epicardial cryoinjury size is increased in diabetic mice and this increase is prevented by preinjury insulin administration. Consistent with these findings, we found that intercellular coupling via gap junctions is decreased after insulin administration in diabetic and nondiabetic mice. This decrease in coupling is associated with a concomitant increase in phosphorylation of Cx43 at serine 368, a residue known to decrease channel conductance. Taken together, our results suggest that insulin regulates both gap junction-mediated intercellular communication and injury propagation in the mouse heart.

  4. Keratitis-Ichthyosis-Deafness syndrome-associated Cx26 mutants produce nonfunctional gap junctions but hyperactive hemichannels when co-expressed with wild type Cx43

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    García, Isaac E.; Maripillán, Jaime; Jara, Oscar; Ceriani, Ricardo; Palacios-Muñoz, Angelina; Ramachandran, Jayalakshimi; Olivero, Pablo; Pérez-Acle, Tomás; González, Carlos; Sáez, Juan C.; Contreras, Jorge E.; Martínez, Agustín D.

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in Cx26 gene are found in most cases of human genetic deafness. Some mutations produce syndromic deafness associated with skin disorders, like Keratitis Ichthyosis Deafness syndrome (KID). Because in the human skin Cx26 is co-expressed with other connexins, like Cx43 and Cx30, and since KID syndrome is inherited as autosomal dominant condition, it is possible that KID mutations change the way Cx26 interacts with other co-expressed connexins. Indeed, some Cx26 syndromic mutations showed gap junction dominant negative effect when co-expressed with wild type connexins, including Cx26 and Cx43. The nature of these interactions and the consequences on hemichannels and gap junction channels functions remain unknown. In this study we demonstrate that syndromic mutations at the N-terminus segment of Cx26, change connexin oligomerization compatibility, allowing aberrant interactions with Cx43. Strikingly, heteromeric oligomer formed by Cx43/Cx26 (syndromic mutants) show exacerbated hemichannel activity, but nonfunctional gap junction channels; this also occurs for those Cx26 KID mutants that do not show functional homomeric hemichannels. Heterologous expression of these hyperactive heteromeric hemichannels increases cell membrane permeability, favoring ATP release and Ca2+ overload. The functional paradox produced by oligomerization of Cx43 and Cx26 KID mutants could underlie the severe syndromic phenotype in human skin. PMID:25625422

  5. Beyond Gap Junction Channel Function: the Expression of Cx43 Contributes to Aldosterone-Induced Mesangial Cell Proliferation via the ERK1/2 and PKC Pathways

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    Aiqing Zhang

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Aims: This study aimed to explore the precise mechanism and signaling pathways of mesangial cell (MC proliferation from a new point of view considering Connexin 43 (Cx43. Methods: MC proliferation was measured by the incorporation of 3H-thymidine (3H-TdR. Cx43 was over-expressed in MC cells using lipofectamine 2000, and the expression level was tested with reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR and Western blot analyses. The gap junction channel function was explored by Lucifer Yellow scrape loading and dye transfer (SLDT, and the intracellular calcium concentrations ([Ca2+]i were characterized by confocal microscopy on cells loaded with Fura-3/AM. Results: There was an inverse correlation between Cx43 expression and MC proliferation (P0.05. Our data also showed that the mineralcorticoid receptor (MR antagonist spironolactone, ERK1/2 inhibitor PD98059 and PKC inhibitor GF109203X could attenuate the down-regulation of Cx43 expression in Aldo-induced MC proliferation; however, the PI3K inhibitor LY294002 could block MC proliferation without affecting Cx43 expression at either the mRNA or protein level. In addition, Aldo promoted MC proliferation in parallel with increasing [Ca2+]i (PConclusions: Our study provides preliminary evidence that Cx43 is an important regulator of Aldo-promoted MC proliferation. Furthermore, reduced Cx43 expression promoted MC proliferation independent of the gap junction channel function, and this process might be mediated through the ERK1/2- and PKC-dependent pathways.

  6. On the role of the gap junction protein Cx43 (GJA1 in human cardiac malformations with Fallot-pathology. a study on paediatric cardiac specimen.

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    Aida Salameh

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Gap junction channels are involved in growth and differentiation. Therefore, we wanted to elucidate if the main cardiac gap junction protein connexin43 (GJA1 is altered in patients with Tetralogy of Fallot or double-outlet right ventricle of Fallot-type (62 patients referred to as Fallot compared to other cardiac anomalies (21 patients referred to as non-Fallot. Patients were divided into three age groups: 0-2years, 2-12years and >12years. Myocardial tissue samples were collected during corrective surgery and analysis of cell morphology, GJA1- and N-cadherin (CDH2-distribution, as well as GJA1 protein- and mRNA-expression was carried out. Moreover, GJA1-gene analysis of 16 patients and 20 healthy subjects was performed. RESULTS: Myocardial cell length and width were significantly increased in the oldest age group compared to the younger ones. GJA1 distribution changed significantly during maturation with the ratio of polar/lateral GJA1 increasing from 2.93±0.68 to 8.52±1.41. While in 0-2years old patients ∼6% of the lateral GJA1 was co-localised with CDH2 this decreased with age. Furthermore, the changes in cell morphology and GJA1-distribution were not due to the heart defect itself but were significantly dependent on age. Total GJA1 protein expression decreased during growing-up, whereas GJA1-mRNA remained unchanged. Sequencing of the GJA1-gene revealed only few heterozygous single nucleotide polymorphisms within the Fallot and the healthy control group. CONCLUSION: During maturation significant changes in gap junction remodelling occur which might be necessary for the growing and developing heart. In our study point mutations within the Cx43-gene could not be identified as a cause of the development of TOF.

  7. [Effects of Chinese herbal compound for supplementing qi and activating blood circulation on actin, Cx43 expressions and gap junctional intercellular communication functions of myocardial cells in patients with Coxsackie virus B 3 viral myocarditis].

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    Zhang, Ming-xue; He, Wei; Gu, Ping

    2010-08-01

    To observe the effect of Chinese herbal compound for supplementing qi and activating blood circulation (CHC) on the gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) function of myocardial cells in patients with Coxsackie virus B 3 (CVB3) viral myocarditis. Expressions of actin and connexin43 (Cx43) in myocardial cells of patients arranged in three groups (the normal control group, the viral infected group and the CHC treated group) were detected by immunohistochemical method; the fluorescence photobleaching recovery rate of cells was detected by laser scanning confocal microscope. As compared with the viral infected group, the expressions of actin and Cx43 were increased and the GJIC function was improved in the CHC treated group. CHC could antagonize viral injury on skeleton protein, and repair the structure of gap junction channel to improve the GJIC function of myocardial cells after being attacked by CVB3.

  8. Correlations of differentially expressed gap junction connexins Cx26, Cx30, Cx32, Cx43 and Cx46 with breast cancer progression and prognosis.

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    Ivett Teleki

    Full Text Available Connexins and their cell membrane channels contribute to the control of cell proliferation and compartmental functions in breast glands and their deregulation is linked to breast carcinogenesis. Our aim was to correlate connexin expression with tumor progression and prognosis in primary breast cancers.Meta-analysis of connexin isotype expression data of 1809 and 1899 breast cancers from the Affymetrix and Illumina array platforms, respectively, was performed. Expressed connexins were also monitored at the protein level in tissue microarrays of 127 patients equally representing all tumor grades, using immunofluorescence and multilayer, multichannel digital microscopy. Prognostic correlations were plotted in Kaplan-Meier curves and tested using the log-rank test and cox-regression analysis in univariate and multivariate models.The expression of GJA1/Cx43, GJA3/Cx46 and GJB2/Cx26 and, for the first time, GJA6/Cx30 and GJB1/Cx32 was revealed both in normal human mammary glands and breast carcinomas. Within their subfamilies these connexins can form homo- and heterocellular epithelial channels. In cancer, the array datasets cross-validated each other's prognostic results. In line with the significant correlations found at mRNA level, elevated Cx43 protein levels were linked with significantly improved breast cancer outcome, offering Cx43 protein detection as an independent prognostic marker stronger than vascular invasion or necrosis. As a contrary, elevated Cx30 mRNA and protein levels were associated with a reduced disease outcome offering Cx30 protein detection as an independent prognostic marker outperforming mitotic index and necrosis. Elevated versus low Cx43 protein levels allowed the stratification of grade 2 tumors into good and poor relapse free survival subgroups, respectively. Also, elevated versus low Cx30 levels stratified grade 3 patients into poor and good overall survival subgroups, respectively.Differential expression of Cx43 and Cx

  9. Aberrant Cx43 Expression and Mislocalization in Metastatic Human Melanomas.

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    Alaga, Katanya C; Crawford, Melissa; Dagnino, Lina; Laird, Dale W

    2017-01-01

    At present, it is unclear if melanocytes contain Cx43 gap junctions and whether Cx43 expression is regulated in melanoma onset and progression. To this end, we cultured pure populations of mouse melanocytes and found that they had no detectable Cx43 and exhibited an inability for dye transfer indicating they were devoid of functional gap junctions. Given the evidence that melanomas acquire the expression of other connexin isoforms during tumor progression, we assessed if Cx43 was also expressed and assembled into gap junctions at any stage of human melanoma onset and progression to distant metastases. Nearly all primary melanomas within the epidermis lacked Cx43. In contrast, nodal metastases expressed low levels of Cx43 which was markedly higher in distant metastases that had invaded vital organs. Importantly, in all stages of melanoma progression, Cx43 could be detected in intracellular compartments but was rarely assembled into gap junctions indicative of functional gap junction channels. Overall, these studies suggest that melanocytes do not form Cx43 homocellular gap junctions and even though Cx43 levels increase during melanoma progression, this connexin rarely assembles into gap junction structures.

  10. The role of the Cx43 C-terminus in GJ plaque formation and internalization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wayakanon, Praween; Bhattacharjee, Rajib; Nakahama, Ken-ichi; Morita, Ikuo

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Cx43-GFP or -DsRed fusion proteins were expressed in HeLa cells. ► Roles of C-terminus were examined using various mutants. ► Gap junction plaque size was dependent on the length of C-terminus. ► C-terminus dependent gap junction plaque internalization was observed. -- Abstract: Connexin 43 (Cx43) is a major gap junction (GJ) protein found in many mammalian cell types. The C-terminal (CT) domain of Cx43 has unique characteristics in terms of amino acid (aa) sequence and its length differs from other connexins. This CT domain can be associated with protein partners to regulate GJ assembly and degradation, which results in the direct control of gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC). However, the essential roles of the CT regions involved in these mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we aimed to investigate the specific regions of Cx43CT involved in GJ formation and internalization. Wild type Cx43 (382aa) and 10 CT truncated mutants were stably expressed in HeLa cells as GFP or DsRed tagged proteins. First, we found that the deletion of 235–382aa from Cx43 resulted in failure to make GJ and establish GJIC. Second, the Cx43 with 242–382aa CT deletion could form functional GJs and be internalized as annular gap junctions (AGJs). However, the plaques consisting of Cx43 with CT deletions (Δ242–382aa to Δ271–382aa) were longer than the plaques consisting of Cx43 with CT deletions (Δ302–382aa). Third, co-culture experiments of cells expressing wild type Cx43 (382) with cells expressing Cx43CT mutants revealed that the directions of GJ internalization were dependent on the length of the respective CT. Moreover, a specific region, 325–342aa residues of Cx43, played an important role in the direction of GJ internalization. These results showed the important roles of the Cx43 C-terminus in GJ expression and its turnover.

  11. 17β estradiol regulation of connexin 43-based gap junction and mechanosensitivity through classical estrogen receptor pathway in osteocyte-like MLO-Y4 cells.

    KAUST Repository

    Ren, Jian; Wang, Xuhui; Wang, Guangchao; Wu, Junhua

    2013-01-01

    Connexin 43 (Cx43) plays an essential role in osteocyte mechanotransduction. Although estrogen involves in the adaptive responses of bone cells to mechanical loadings, its effects on osteocytic Cx43-based gap junction intercellular communication

  12. Green fluorescent protein changes the conductance of connexin 43 (Cx43) hemichannels reconstituted in planar lipid bilayers.

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    Carnarius, Christian; Kreir, Mohamed; Krick, Marcel; Methfessel, Christoph; Moehrle, Volker; Valerius, Oliver; Brüggemann, Andrea; Steinem, Claudia; Fertig, Niels

    2012-01-20

    In mammalian tissues, connexin 43 (Cx43) is the most prominent member of the connexin family. In a single lipid bilayer, six connexin subunits assemble into a hemichannel (connexon). Direct communication of apposing cells is realized by two adjacent hemichannels, which can form gap junction channels. Here, we established an expression system in Pichia pastoris to recombinantly produce and purify Cx43 as well as Cx43 fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP). Proteins were isolated from crude cell membrane fractions via affinity chromatography. Cx43 and Cx43-GFP hemichannels were reconstituted in giant unilamellar vesicles as proven by fluorescence microscopy, and their electrophysiological behavior was analyzed on the single channel level by planar patch clamping. Cx43 and Cx43-GFP both showed an ohmic behavior and a voltage-dependent open probability. Cx43 hemichannels exhibited one major mean conductance of 224 ± 26 picosiemens (pS). In addition, a subconductance state at 124 ± 5 pS was identified. In contrast, the analysis of Cx43-GFP single channels revealed 10 distinct conductance states in the range of 15 to 250 pS, with a larger open probability at 0 mV as compared with Cx43, which suggests that intermolecular interactions between the GFP molecules alter the electrophysiology of the protein.

  13. Green Fluorescent Protein Changes the Conductance of Connexin 43 (Cx43) Hemichannels Reconstituted in Planar Lipid Bilayers*

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    Carnarius, Christian; Kreir, Mohamed; Krick, Marcel; Methfessel, Christoph; Moehrle, Volker; Valerius, Oliver; Brüggemann, Andrea; Steinem, Claudia; Fertig, Niels

    2012-01-01

    In mammalian tissues, connexin 43 (Cx43) is the most prominent member of the connexin family. In a single lipid bilayer, six connexin subunits assemble into a hemichannel (connexon). Direct communication of apposing cells is realized by two adjacent hemichannels, which can form gap junction channels. Here, we established an expression system in Pichia pastoris to recombinantly produce and purify Cx43 as well as Cx43 fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP). Proteins were isolated from crude cell membrane fractions via affinity chromatography. Cx43 and Cx43-GFP hemichannels were reconstituted in giant unilamellar vesicles as proven by fluorescence microscopy, and their electrophysiological behavior was analyzed on the single channel level by planar patch clamping. Cx43 and Cx43-GFP both showed an ohmic behavior and a voltage-dependent open probability. Cx43 hemichannels exhibited one major mean conductance of 224 ± 26 picosiemens (pS). In addition, a subconductance state at 124 ± 5 pS was identified. In contrast, the analysis of Cx43-GFP single channels revealed 10 distinct conductance states in the range of 15 to 250 pS, with a larger open probability at 0 mV as compared with Cx43, which suggests that intermolecular interactions between the GFP molecules alter the electrophysiology of the protein. PMID:22139870

  14. Defective cancellous bone structure and abnormal response to PTH in cortical bone of mice lacking Cx43 cytoplasmic C-terminus domain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacheco-Costa, Rafael; Davis, Hannah M.; Sorenson, Chad; Hon, Mary C.; Hassan, Iraj; Reginato, Rejane D.; Allen, Matthew R.; Bellido, Teresita; Plotkin, Lilian I.

    2015-01-01

    Connexin43 (Cx43) forms gap junction channels and hemichannels that allow the communication among osteocytes, osteoblasts, and osteoclasts. Cx43 carboxy-terminal (CT) domain regulates channel opening and intracellular signaling by acting as a scaffold for structural and signaling proteins. To determine the role of Cx43 CT domain in bone, mice in which one allele of full length Cx43 was replaced by a mutant lacking the CT domain (Cx43ΔCT/fl) were studied. Cx43ΔCT/fl mice exhibit lower cancellous bone volume but higher cortical thickness than Cx43fl/fl controls, indicating that the CT domain is involved in normal cancellous bone gain but opposes cortical bone acquisition. Further, Cx43ΔCT is able to exert the functions of full length osteocytic Cx43 on cortical bone geometry and mechanical properties, demonstrating that domains other than the CT are responsible for Cx43 function in cortical bone. In addition, parathyroid hormone (PTH) failed to increase endocortical bone formation or energy to failure, a mechanical property that indicates resistance to fracture, in cortical bone in Cx43ΔCT mice with or without osteocytic full length Cx43. On the other hand, bone mass and bone formation markers were increased by the hormone in all mouse models, regardless of whether full length or Cx43ΔCT were or not expressed. We conclude that Cx43 CT domain is involved in proper bone acquisition; and that Cx43 expression in osteocytes is dispensable for some but not all PTH anabolic actions. PMID:26409319

  15. 7-Ketocholesterol modulates intercellular communication through gap-junction in bovine lens epithelial cells

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    Pereira Paulo

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Connexin43 (Cx43 is an integral membrane protein that forms intercellular channels called gap junctions. Intercellular communication in the eye lens relies on an extensive network of gap junctions essential for the maintenance of lens transparency. The association of Cx43 with cholesterol enriched lipid raft domains was recently demonstrated. The objective of this study is to assess if products of cholesterol oxidation (oxysterols affect gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC. Results Primary cultures of lens epithelial cells (LEC were incubated with 7-ketocholesterol (7-Keto, 25-hydroxycholesterol (25-OH or cholesterol and the subcellular distribution of Cx43 was evaluated by immunofluorescence confocal microscopy. The levels of Cx43 present in gap junction plaques were assessed by its insolubility in Triton X-100 and quantified by western blotting. The stability of Cx43 at the plasma membrane following incubation with oxysterols was evaluated by biotinylation of cell surface proteins. Gap junction intercellular communication was evaluated by transfer of the dye Lucifer yellow. The results obtained showed that 7-keto induces an accumulation of Cx43 at the plasma membrane and an increase in intercellular communication through gap junction. However, incubation with cholesterol or 25-OH did not lead to significant alterations on subcellular distribution of Cx43 nor in intercellular communication. Data further suggests that increased intercellular communication results from increased stability of Cx43 at the plasma membrane, presumably forming functional gap-junctions, as suggested by decreased solubility of Cx43 in 1% Triton X-100. The increased stability of Cx43 at the plasma membrane seems to be specific and not related to disruption of endocytic pathway, as demonstrated by dextran uptake. Conclusions Results demonstrate, for the first time, that 7-keto induces an increase in gap junction intercellular communication

  16. Anchored PKA as a gatekeeper for gap junctions.

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    Pidoux, Guillaume; Taskén, Kjetil

    2015-01-01

    Anchored protein kinase A (PKA) bound to A Kinase Anchoring Protein (AKAP) mediates effects of localized increases in cAMP in defined subcellular microdomains and retains the specificity in cAMP-PKA signaling to distinct extracellular stimuli. Gap junctions are pores between adjacent cells constituted by connexin proteins that provide means of communication and transfer of small molecules. While the PKA signaling is known to promote human trophoblast cell fusion, the gap junction communication through connexin 43 (Cx43) is a prerequisite for this process. We recently demonstrated that trophoblast fusion is regulated by ezrin, a known AKAP, which binds to Cx43 and delivers PKA in the vicinity gap junctions. We found that disruption of the ezrin-Cx43 interaction abolished PKA-dependent phosphorylation of Cx43 as well as gap junction communication and subsequently cell fusion. We propose that the PKA-ezrin-Cx43 macromolecular complex regulating gap junction communication constitutes a general mechanism to control opening of Cx43 gap junctions by phosphorylation in response to cAMP signaling in various cell types.

  17. Disruption of the Cx43/miR21 pathway leads to osteocyte apoptosis and increased osteoclastogenesis with aging.

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    Davis, Hannah M; Pacheco-Costa, Rafael; Atkinson, Emily G; Brun, Lucas R; Gortazar, Arancha R; Harris, Julia; Hiasa, Masahiro; Bolarinwa, Surajudeen A; Yoneda, Toshiyuki; Ivan, Mircea; Bruzzaniti, Angela; Bellido, Teresita; Plotkin, Lilian I

    2017-06-01

    Skeletal aging results in apoptosis of osteocytes, cells embedded in bone that control the generation/function of bone forming and resorbing cells. Aging also decreases connexin43 (Cx43) expression in bone; and osteocytic Cx43 deletion partially mimics the skeletal phenotype of old mice. Particularly, aging and Cx43 deletion increase osteocyte apoptosis, and osteoclast number and bone resorption on endocortical bone surfaces. We examined herein the molecular signaling events responsible for osteocyte apoptosis and osteoclast recruitment triggered by aging and Cx43 deficiency. Cx43-silenced MLO-Y4 osteocytic (Cx43 def ) cells undergo spontaneous cell death in culture through caspase-3 activation and exhibit increased levels of apoptosis-related genes, and only transfection of Cx43 constructs able to form gap junction channels reverses Cx43 def cell death. Cx43 def cells and bones from old mice exhibit reduced levels of the pro-survival microRNA miR21 and, consistently, increased levels of the miR21 target phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) and reduced phosphorylated Akt, whereas PTEN inhibition reduces Cx43 def cell apoptosis. miR21 reduction is sufficient to induce apoptosis of Cx43-expressing cells and miR21 deletion in miR21 fl/fl bones increases apoptosis-related gene expression, whereas a miR21 mimic prevents Cx43 def cell apoptosis, demonstrating that miR21 lies downstream of Cx43. Cx43 def cells release more osteoclastogenic cytokines [receptor activator of NFκB ligand (RANKL)/high-mobility group box-1 (HMGB1)], and caspase-3 inhibition prevents RANKL/HMGB1 release and the increased osteoclastogenesis induced by conditioned media from Cx43 def cells, which is blocked by antagonizing HMGB1-RAGE interaction. These findings identify a novel Cx43/miR21/HMGB1/RANKL pathway involved in preventing osteocyte apoptosis that also controls osteoclast formation/recruitment and is impaired with aging. © 2017 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society

  18. Chronic hypertension alters the expression of Cx43 in cardiovascular muscle cells

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    Haefliger J.-A.

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Connexin43 (Cx43, the predominant gap junction protein of muscle cells in vessels and heart, is involved in the control of cell-to-cell communication and is thought to modulate the contractility of the vascular wall and the electrical coupling of cardiac myocytes. We have investigated the effects of arterial hypertension on the expression of Cx43 in aorta and heart in three different models of experimental hypertension. Rats were made hypertensive either by clipping one renal artery (two kidney, one-clip renal (2K,1C model by administration of deoxycorticosterone and salt (DOCA-salt model or by inhibiting nitric oxide synthase with NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME model. After 4 weeks, rats of the three models showed a similar increase in intra-arterial mean blood pressure and in the thickness of the walls of both aorta and heart. Analysis of heart mRNA demonstrated no change in Cx43 expression in the three models compared to their respective controls. The same 2K,1C and DOCA-salt hypertensive animals expressed twice more Cx43 in aorta, and the 2K,1C rats showed an increase in arterial distensibility. In contrast, the aortae of L-NAME hypertensive rats were characterized by a 50% decrease in Cx43 and the carotid arteries did not show increased distensibility. Western blot analysis indicated that Cx43 was more phosphorylated in the aortae of 2K,1C rats than in those of L-NAME or control rats, indicating a differential regulation of aortic Cx43 in different models of hypertension. The data suggest that localized mechanical forces induced by hypertension affect Cx43 expression and that the cell-to-cell communication mediated by Cx43 channels may contribute to regulating the elasticity of the vascular wall.

  19. Gap junctions-guards of excitability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stroemlund, Line Waring; Jensen, Christa Funch; Qvortrup, Klaus

    2015-01-01

    Cardiomyocytes are connected by mechanical and electrical junctions located at the intercalated discs (IDs). Although these structures have long been known, it is becoming increasingly clear that their components interact. This review describes the involvement of the ID in electrical disturbances...... of the heart and focuses on the role of the gap junctional protein connexin 43 (Cx43). Current evidence shows that Cx43 plays a crucial role in organizing microtubules at the intercalated disc and thereby regulating the trafficking of the cardiac sodium channel NaV1.5 to the membrane....

  20. Protein kinase C-dependent regulation of connexin43 gap junctions and hemichannels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alstrøm, Jette Skov; Stroemlund, Line Waring; Nielsen, Morten Schak

    2015-01-01

    Connexin43 (Cx43) generates intercellular gap junction channels involved in, among others, cardiac and brain function. Gap junctions are formed by the docking of two hemichannels from neighbouring cells. Undocked Cx43 hemichannels can upon different stimuli open towards the extracellular matrix...... and allow transport of molecules such as fluorescent dyes and ATP. A range of phosphorylated amino acids have been detected in the C-terminus of Cx43 and their physiological role has been intensively studied both in the gap junctional form of Cx43 and in its hemichannel configuration. We present the current...... knowledge of protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent regulation of Cx43 and discuss the divergent results....

  1. Regulation of connexin43 gap junctional communication by phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Zeijl, Leonie; Ponsioen, Bas; Giepmans, Ben N G; Ariaens, Aafke; Postma, Friso R; Várnai, Péter; Balla, Tamas; Divecha, Nullin; Jalink, Kees; Moolenaar, Wouter H

    2007-01-01

    Cell-cell communication through connexin43 (Cx43)-based gap junction channels is rapidly inhibited upon activation of various G protein coupled receptors; however, the mechanism is unknown. We show that Cx43-based cell-cell communication is inhibited by depletion of phosphatidylinositol

  2. Gap junction intercellular communication mediated by connexin43 in astrocytes is essential for their resistance to oxidative stress.

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    Le, Hoa T; Sin, Wun Chey; Lozinsky, Shannon; Bechberger, John; Vega, José Luis; Guo, Xu Qiu; Sáez, Juan C; Naus, Christian C

    2014-01-17

    Oxidative stress induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS) is associated with various neurological disorders including aging, neurodegenerative diseases, as well as traumatic and ischemic insults. Astrocytes have an important role in the anti-oxidative defense in the brain. The gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43) forms intercellular channels as well as hemichannels in astrocytes. In the present study, we investigated the contribution of Cx43 to astrocytic death induced by the ROS hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and the mechanism by which Cx43 exerts its effects. Lack of Cx43 expression or blockage of Cx43 channels resulted in increased ROS-induced astrocytic death, supporting a cell protective effect of functional Cx43 channels. H2O2 transiently increased hemichannel activity, but reduced gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC). GJIC in wild-type astrocytes recovered after 7 h, but was absent in Cx43 knock-out astrocytes. Blockage of Cx43 hemichannels incompletely inhibited H2O2-induced hemichannel activity, indicating the presence of other hemichannel proteins. Panx1, which is predicted to be a major hemichannel contributor in astrocytes, did not appear to have any cell protective effect from H2O2 insults. Our data suggest that GJIC is important for Cx43-mediated ROS resistance. In contrast to hypoxia/reoxygenation, H2O2 treatment decreased the ratio of the hypophosphorylated isoform to total Cx43 level. Cx43 has been reported to promote astrocytic death induced by hypoxia/reoxygenation. We therefore speculate the increase in Cx43 dephosphorylation may account for the facilitation of astrocytic death. Our findings suggest that the role of Cx43 in response to cellular stress is dependent on the activation of signaling pathways leading to alteration of Cx43 phosphorylation states.

  3. TGF-beta1 inhibits Cx43 expression and formation of functional syncytia in cultured smooth muscle cells from human detrusor.

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    Neuhaus, Jochen; Heinrich, Marco; Schwalenberg, Thilo; Stolzenburg, Jens-Uwe

    2009-02-01

    Human detrusor smooth muscle cells (hBSMCs) are coupled by connexin 43 (Cx43)-positive gap junctions to form functional syncytia. Gap junctional communication likely is necessary for synchronised detrusor contractions and is supposed to be altered in voiding disturbances. Other authors have shown that the pleiotropic cytokine TGF-beta1 upregulates Cx43 expression in human aortic smooth muscle cells. In this study, we examined the TGF-beta1 effects on Cx43 expression in cultured hBSMCs. hBSMC cultures, established from patients undergoing cystectomy, were treated with recombinant human TGF-beta1. Cx43 expression was then examined by Western blotting, real-time PCR, and immunocytochemistry. Dye-injection experiments were used to study the size of functional syncytia. Dye-coupling experiments revealed stable formation of functional syncytia in passaged cell cultures (P1-P4). Stimulation with TGF-beta1 led to significant reduction of Cx43 immunoreactivity and coupling. Cx43 protein expression was significantly downregulated and Cx43 mRNA was only 30% of the control level. Interestingly, low phosphorylation species of Cx43 were particularly affected. Our experiments demonstrated a significant down regulation of connexin 43 by TGF-beta1 in cultured hBSMCs. These findings support the view that TGF-beta1 is involved in the pathophysiology of urinary bladder dysfunction.

  4. Intracellular Cleavage of the Cx43 C-Terminal Domain by Matrix-Metalloproteases: A Novel Contributor to Inflammation?

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    Marijke De Bock

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The coordination of tissue function is mediated by gap junctions (GJs that enable direct cell-cell transfer of metabolic and electric signals. GJs are formed by connexin (Cx proteins of which Cx43 is most widespread in the human body. Beyond its role in direct intercellular communication, Cx43 also forms nonjunctional hemichannels (HCs in the plasma membrane that mediate the release of paracrine signaling molecules in the extracellular environment. Both HC and GJ channel function are regulated by protein-protein interactions and posttranslational modifications that predominantly take place in the C-terminal domain of Cx43. Matrix metalloproteases (MMPs are a major group of zinc-dependent proteases, known to regulate not only extracellular matrix remodeling, but also processing of intracellular proteins. Together with Cx43 channels, both GJs and HCs, MMPs contribute to acute inflammation and a small number of studies reports on an MMP-Cx43 link. Here, we build further on these reports and present a novel hypothesis that describes proteolytic cleavage of the Cx43 C-terminal domain by MMPs and explores possibilities of how such cleavage events may affect Cx43 channel function. Finally, we set out how aberrant channel function resulting from cleavage can contribute to the acute inflammatory response during tissue injury.

  5. The gap junction protein connexin43 interacts with the second PDZ domain of the zona occludens-1 protein

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giepmans, B N; Moolenaar, W H

    1998-01-01

    Gap junctions mediate cell-cell communication in almost all tissues and are composed of channel-forming integral membrane proteins, termed connexins [1-3]. Connexin43 (Cx43) is the most widely expressed and the most well-studied member of this family. Cx43-based cell-cell communication is regulated

  6. Terbinafine inhibits gap junctional intercellular communication

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Ju Yeun; Yoon, Sei Mee; Choi, Eun Ju; Lee, Jinu

    2016-01-01

    Terbinafine is an antifungal agent that selectively inhibits fungal sterol synthesis by blocking squalene epoxidase. We evaluated the effect of terbinafine on gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC). Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) and I-YFP GJIC assays revealed that terbinafine inhibits GJIC in a reversible and dose-dependent manner in FRT-Cx43 and LN215 cells. Treatment with terbinafine did not affect Cx43 phosphorylation status or intracellular Ca 2+ concentration, well-known action mechanisms of various GJIC blockers. While a structurally related chemical, naftifine, attenuated GJIC, epigallocatechin gallate, another potent squalene epoxidase inhibitor with a different structure, did not. These results suggest that terbinafine inhibits GJIC with a so far unknown mechanism of action. - Highlights: • In vitro pharmacological studies were performed on FRT-Cx43 and LN215 cells. • Terbinafine inhibits gap junctional intercellular communication in both cell lines. • The inhibitory effect of terbinafine is reversible and dose-dependent. • Treatment of terbinafine does not alter Cx43 phosphorylation or cytosolic Ca 2+ concentration. • Inhibition of squalene epoxidase is not involved in this new effect of terbinafine.

  7. Terbinafine inhibits gap junctional intercellular communication

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Ju Yeun, E-mail: whitewndus@naver.com [College of Pharmacy, Yonsei Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Yonsei University, 85 Songdogwahak-ro, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon 21983 (Korea, Republic of); Yoon, Sei Mee, E-mail: sei_mee@naver.com [College of Pharmacy, Yonsei Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Yonsei University, 85 Songdogwahak-ro, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon 21983 (Korea, Republic of); Department of Integrated OMICS for Biomedical Sciences, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-749 (Korea, Republic of); Choi, Eun Ju, E-mail: yureas@naver.com [College of Pharmacy, Yonsei Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Yonsei University, 85 Songdogwahak-ro, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon 21983 (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Jinu, E-mail: jinulee@yonsei.ac.kr [College of Pharmacy, Yonsei Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Yonsei University, 85 Songdogwahak-ro, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon 21983 (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-09-15

    Terbinafine is an antifungal agent that selectively inhibits fungal sterol synthesis by blocking squalene epoxidase. We evaluated the effect of terbinafine on gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC). Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) and I-YFP GJIC assays revealed that terbinafine inhibits GJIC in a reversible and dose-dependent manner in FRT-Cx43 and LN215 cells. Treatment with terbinafine did not affect Cx43 phosphorylation status or intracellular Ca{sup 2+} concentration, well-known action mechanisms of various GJIC blockers. While a structurally related chemical, naftifine, attenuated GJIC, epigallocatechin gallate, another potent squalene epoxidase inhibitor with a different structure, did not. These results suggest that terbinafine inhibits GJIC with a so far unknown mechanism of action. - Highlights: • In vitro pharmacological studies were performed on FRT-Cx43 and LN215 cells. • Terbinafine inhibits gap junctional intercellular communication in both cell lines. • The inhibitory effect of terbinafine is reversible and dose-dependent. • Treatment of terbinafine does not alter Cx43 phosphorylation or cytosolic Ca{sup 2+} concentration. • Inhibition of squalene epoxidase is not involved in this new effect of terbinafine.

  8. Gap junction protein connexin-43 interacts directly with microtubules

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giepmans, B N; Verlaan, I; Hengeveld, T; Janssen, H; Calafat, J; Falk, M M; Moolenaar, W H

    2001-01-01

    Gap junctions are specialized cell-cell junctions that mediate intercellular communication. They are composed of connexin proteins, which form transmembrane channels for small molecules [1, 2]. The C-terminal tail of connexin-43 (Cx43), the most widely expressed connexin member, has been implicated

  9. The Cx43-like connexin protein Cx40.8 is differentially localized during fin ontogeny and fin regeneration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah V Gerhart

    Full Text Available Connexins (Cx are the subunits of gap junctions, membraneous protein channels that permit the exchange of small molecules between adjacent cells. Cx43 is required for cell proliferation in the zebrafish caudal fin. Previously, we found that a Cx43-like connexin, cx40.8, is co-expressed with cx43 in the population of proliferating cells during fin regeneration. Here we demonstrate that Cx40.8 exhibits novel differential subcellular localization in vivo, depending on the growth status of the fin. During fin ontogeny, Cx40.8 is found at the plasma membrane, but Cx40.8 is retained in the Golgi apparatus during regeneration. We next identified a 30 amino acid domain of Cx40.8 responsible for its dynamic localization. One possible explanation for the differential localization is that Cx40.8 contributes to the regulation of Cx43 in vivo, perhaps modifying channel activity during ontogenetic growth. However, we find that the voltage-gating properties of Cx40.8 are similar to Cx43. Together our findings reveal that Cx40.8 exhibits differential subcellular localization in vivo, dependent on a discrete domain in its carboxy terminus. We suggest that the dynamic localization of Cx40.8 differentially influences Cx43-dependent cell proliferation during ontogeny and regeneration.

  10. Sox4 mediates Tbx3 transcriptional regulation of the gap junction protein Cx43

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boogerd, C.J.; Wong, L.Y.; van den Boogaard, M.; Bakker, M.A.J.; Tessadori, F.; Bakkers, J.; 't Hoen, P.A.C.; Moorman, A.F.; Christoffels, V.M.; Barnett, P.

    2011-01-01

    Tbx3, a T-box transcription factor, regulates key steps in development of the heart and other organ systems. Here, we identify Sox4 as an interacting partner of Tbx3. Pull-down and nuclear retention assays verify this interaction and in situ hybridization reveals Tbx3 and Sox4 to co-localize

  11. Connexin 43 Expression on Peripheral Blood Eosinophils: Role of Gap Junctions in Transendothelial Migration

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    Harissios Vliagoftis

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Eosinophils circulate in the blood and are recruited in tissues during allergic inflammation. Gap junctions mediate direct communication between adjacent cells and may represent a new way of communication between immune cells distinct from communication through cytokines and chemokines. We characterized the expression of connexin (Cx43 by eosinophils isolated from atopic individuals using RT-PCR, Western blotting, and confocal microscopy and studied the biological functions of gap junctions on eosinophils. The formation of functional gap junctions was evaluated measuring dye transfer using flow cytometry. The role of gap junctions on eosinophil transendothelial migration was studied using the inhibitor 18-a-glycyrrhetinic acid. Peripheral blood eosinophils express Cx43 mRNA and protein. Cx43 is localized not only in the cytoplasm but also on the plasma membrane. The membrane impermeable dye BCECF transferred from eosinophils to epithelial or endothelial cells following coculture in a dose and time dependent fashion. The gap junction inhibitors 18-a-glycyrrhetinic acid and octanol did not have a significant effect on dye transfer but reduced dye exit from eosinophils. The gap junction inhibitor 18-a-glycyrrhetinic acid inhibited eosinophil transendothelial migration in a dose dependent manner. Thus, eosinophils from atopic individuals express Cx43 constitutively and Cx43 may play an important role in eosinophil transendothelial migration and function in sites of inflammation.

  12. Gap Junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Morten Schak; Axelsen, Lene Nygaard; Sorgen, Paul L.; Verma, Vandana; Delmar, Mario; Holstein-Rathlou, Niels-Henrik

    2013-01-01

    Gap junctions are essential to the function of multicellular animals, which require a high degree of coordination between cells. In vertebrates, gap junctions comprise connexins and currently 21 connexins are known in humans. The functions of gap junctions are highly diverse and include exchange of metabolites and electrical signals between cells, as well as functions, which are apparently unrelated to intercellular communication. Given the diversity of gap junction physiology, regulation of gap junction activity is complex. The structure of the various connexins is known to some extent; and structural rearrangements and intramolecular interactions are important for regulation of channel function. Intercellular coupling is further regulated by the number and activity of channels present in gap junctional plaques. The number of connexins in cell-cell channels is regulated by controlling transcription, translation, trafficking, and degradation; and all of these processes are under strict control. Once in the membrane, channel activity is determined by the conductive properties of the connexin involved, which can be regulated by voltage and chemical gating, as well as a large number of posttranslational modifications. The aim of the present article is to review our current knowledge on the structure, regulation, function, and pharmacology of gap junctions. This will be supported by examples of how different connexins and their regulation act in concert to achieve appropriate physiological control, and how disturbances of connexin function can lead to disease. © 2012 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 2:1981-2035, 2012. PMID:23723031

  13. Terbinafine inhibits gap junctional intercellular communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ju Yeun; Yoon, Sei Mee; Choi, Eun Ju; Lee, Jinu

    2016-09-15

    Terbinafine is an antifungal agent that selectively inhibits fungal sterol synthesis by blocking squalene epoxidase. We evaluated the effect of terbinafine on gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC). Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) and I-YFP GJIC assays revealed that terbinafine inhibits GJIC in a reversible and dose-dependent manner in FRT-Cx43 and LN215 cells. Treatment with terbinafine did not affect Cx43 phosphorylation status or intracellular Ca(2+) concentration, well-known action mechanisms of various GJIC blockers. While a structurally related chemical, naftifine, attenuated GJIC, epigallocatechin gallate, another potent squalene epoxidase inhibitor with a different structure, did not. These results suggest that terbinafine inhibits GJIC with a so far unknown mechanism of action. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. TC-PTP directly interacts with connexin43 to regulate gap junction intercellular communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hanjun; Spagnol, Gaelle; Naslavsky, Naava; Caplan, Steve; Sorgen, Paul L.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Protein kinases have long been reported to regulate connexins; however, little is known about the involvement of phosphatases in the modulation of intercellular communication through gap junctions and the subsequent downstream effects on cellular processes. Here, we identify an interaction between the T-cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TC-PTP, officially known as PTPN2) and the carboxyl terminus of connexin43 (Cx43, officially known as GJA1). Two cell lines, normal rat kidney (NRK) cells endogenously expressing Cx43 and an NRK-derived cell line expressing v-Src with temperature-sensitive activity, were used to demonstrate that EGF and v-Src stimulation, respectively, induced TC-PTP to colocalize with Cx43 at the plasma membrane. Cell biology experiments using phospho-specific antibodies and biophysical assays demonstrated that the interaction is direct and that TC-PTP dephosphorylates Cx43 residues Y247 and Y265, but does not affect v-Src. Transfection of TC-PTP also indirectly led to the dephosphorylation of Cx43 S368, by inactivating PKCα and PKCδ, with no effect on the phosphorylation of S279 and S282 (MAPK-dependent phosphorylation sites). Dephosphorylation maintained Cx43 gap junctions at the plaque and partially reversed the channel closure caused by v-Src-mediated phosphorylation of Cx43. Understanding dephosphorylation, along with the well-documented roles of Cx43 phosphorylation, might eventually lead to methods to modulate the regulation of gap junction channels, with potential benefits for human health. PMID:24849651

  15. Localization of connexin 43 gap junctions and hemichannels in tanycytes of adult mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szilvásy-Szabó, Anett; Varga, Edina; Beliczai, Zsuzsa; Lechan, Ronald M; Fekete, Csaba

    2017-10-15

    Tanycytes are specialized glial cells lining the lateral walls and the floor of the third ventricle behind the optic chiasm. In addition to functioning as barrier cells, they also have an important role in the regulation of neuroendocrine axes and energy homeostasis. To determine whether tanycytes communicate with each other via Connexin 43 (Cx43) gap junctions, individual tanycytes were loaded with Lucifer yellow (LY) through a patch pipette. In all cases, LY filled a larger group of tanycytes as well as blood vessels adjacent to tanycyte processes. The Cx43-blocker, carbenoxolone, inhibited spreading of LY. The greatest density of Cx43-immunoreactive spots was observed in the cell membrane of α-tanycyte cell bodies. Cx43-immunoreactivity was also present in the membrane of β-tanycyte cell bodies, but in lower density. Processes of both types of tanycytes also contained Cx43-immunoreactivity. At the ultrastructural level, Cx43-immunoreactivity was present in the cell membrane of all types of tanycytes including their ventricular surface, but gap junctions were more frequent among α-tanycytes. Cx43-immunoreactivity was also observed in the cell membrane between contacting tanycyte endfeet processes, and between tanycyte endfeet process and axon varicosities in the external zone of the median eminence and capillaries in the arcuate nucleus and median eminence. These results suggest that gap junctions are present not only among tanycytes, but also between tanycytes and the axons of hypophysiotropic neurons. Cx43 hemichannels may also facilitate the transport between tanycytes and extracellular fluids, including the cerebrospinal fluid, extracellular space of the median eminence and bloodstream. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Proinflammatory cytokines downregulate connexin 43-gap junctions via the ubiquitin-proteasome system in rat spinal astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fang Fang; Morioka, Norimitsu; Kitamura, Tomoya; Hisaoka-Nakashima, Kazue; Nakata, Yoshihiro

    2015-09-04

    Astrocytic gap junctions formed by connexin 43 (Cx43) are crucial for intercellular communication between spinal cord astrocytes. Various neurological disorders are associated with dysfunctional Cx43-gap junctions. However, the mechanism modulating Cx43-gap junctions in spinal astrocytes under pathological conditions is not entirely clear. A previous study showed that treatment of spinal astrocytes in culture with pro-inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) decreased both Cx43 expression and gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) via a c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)-dependent pathway. The current study further elaborates the intracellular mechanism that decreases Cx43 under an inflammatory condition. Cycloheximide chase analysis revealed that TNF-α (10 ng/ml) alone or in combination with IFN-γ (5 ng/ml) accelerated the degradation of Cx43 protein in cultured spinal astrocytes. The reduction of both Cx43 expression and GJIC induced by a mixture of TNF-α and IFN-γ were blocked by pretreatment with proteasome inhibitors MG132 (0.5 μM) and epoxomicin (25 nM), a mixture of TNF-α and IFN-γ significantly increased proteasome activity and Cx43 ubiquitination. In addition, TNF-α and IFN-γ-induced activation of ubiquitin-proteasome systems was prevented by SP600125, a JNK inhibitor. Together, these results indicate that a JNK-dependent ubiquitin-proteasome system is induced under an inflammatory condition that disrupts astrocytic gap junction expression and function, leading to astrocytic dysfunction and the maintenance of the neuroinflammatory state. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Interfering amino terminal peptides and functional implications for heteromeric gap junction formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard David Veenstra

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Connexin43 (Cx43 is widely expressed in many different tissues of the human body. In cells of some organs, Cx43 is co-expressed with other connexins (Cx, including Cx46 and Cx50 in lens, Cx40 in atrium, Purkinje fibers, and the blood vessel wall, Cx45 in heart, and Cx37 in the ovary. Interactions with the co-expressed connexins may have profound functional implications. The abilities of Cx37, Cx45, Cx46, and Cx50 to function in heteromeric gap junction combinations with Cx43 are well documented. Different studies disagree regarding the ability of Cx43 and Cx40 to produce functional heteromeric gap junctions with each other. We review previous studies regarding the heteromeric interactions of Cx43. The possibility of negative functional interactions between the cytoplasmic pore-forming amino terminal (NT domains of these connexins was assessed using pentameric connexin sequence-specific NT domain (iNT peptides applied to cells expressing homomeric Cx40, Cx37, Cx45, Cx46, and Cx50 gap junctions. A Cx43 iNT peptide corresponding to amino acids 9 to 13 (Ac-KLLDK-NH2 specifically inhibited the electrical coupling of Cx40 gap junctions in a transjunctional (Vj voltage-dependent manner without affecting the function of homologous Cx37, Cx46, Cx50, and Cx45 gap junctions. A Cx40 iNT (Ac-EFLEE-OH peptide counteracted the Vj-dependent block of Cx40 gap junctions, whereas a similarly charged Cx50 iNT (Ac-EEVNE-OH peptide did not, suggesting that these NT domain interactions are not solely based on electrostatics. These data are consistent with functional Cx43 heteromeric gap junction formation with Cx37, Cx45, Cx46, and Cx50 and suggest that Cx40 uniquely experiences functional suppressive interactions with a Cx43 NT domain sequence. These findings present unique functional implications about the heteromeric interactions between Cx43 and Cx40 that may influence cardiac conduction in atrial myocardium and the specialized conduction system.

  18. Lack of connexin43-mediated Bergmann glial gap junctional coupling does not affect cerebellar long-term depression, motor coordination, or eyeblink conditioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mika Tanaka

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Bergmann glial cells are specialized astrocytes in the cerebellum. In the mature cerebellar molecular layer, Bergmann glial processes are closely associated with Purkinje cells, enclosing Purkinje cell dendritic synapses with a glial sheath. There is intensive gap junctional coupling between Bergmann glial processes, but their significance in cerebellar functions is not known. Connexin43 (Cx43, a major component of astrocytic gap junction channels, is abundantly expressed in Bergmann glial cells. To examine the role of Cx43-mediated gap junctions between Bergmann glial cells in cerebellar functions, we generated Cx43 conditional knockout mice with the S100b-Cre transgenic line (Cx43fl/fl:S100b-Cre, which exhibited a significant loss of Cx43 in the Bergmann glial cells and astrocytes in the cerebellum with a postnatal onset. The Cx43fl/fl:S100b-Cre mice had normal cerebellar architecture. Although gap junctional coupling between the Bergmann glial cells measured by spreading of microinjected Lucifer yellow was virtually abolished in Cx43fl/fl:S100b-Cre mice, electrophysiologic analysis revealed that cerebellar long-term depression could be induced and maintained normally in thier cerebellar slices. In addition, at the behavioral level, Cx43fl/fl:S100b-Cre mice had normal motor coordination in the rotarod task and normal conditioned eyelid response. Our findings suggest that Cx43-mediated gap junctional coupling between Bergmann glial cells is not necessary for the neuron-glia interactions required for cerebellum-dependent motor coordination and motor learning.

  19. Regulation of gap junction function and Connexin 43 expression by cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Polusani, Srikanth R.; Kar, Rekha; Riquelme, Manuel A.; Masters, Bettie Sue; Panda, Satya P.

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → Humans with severe forms of cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR) mutations show bone defects as observed in Antley-Bixler Syndrome. → First report showing knockdown of CYPOR in osteoblasts decreased Connexin 43 (Cx43) protein levels. Cx43 is known to play an important role in bone modeling. → Knockdown of CYPOR decreased Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication and hemichannel activity. → Knockdown of CYPOR decreased Cx43 in mouse primary calvarial osteoblasts. → Decreased Cx43 expression was observed at the transcriptional level. -- Abstract: Cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR) is a microsomal electron-transferring enzyme containing both FAD and FMN as co-factors, which provides the reducing equivalents to various redox partners, such as cytochromes P450 (CYPs), heme oxygenase (HO), cytochrome b 5 and squalene monooxygenase. Human patients with severe forms of CYPOR mutation show bone defects such as cranio- and humeroradial synostoses and long bone fractures, known as Antley-Bixler-like Syndrome (ABS). To elucidate the role of CYPOR in bone, we knocked-down CYPOR in multiple osteoblast cell lines using RNAi technology. In this study, knock-down of CYPOR decreased the expression of Connexin 43 (Cx43), known to play a critical role in bone formation, modeling, and remodeling. Knock-down of CYPOR also decreased Gap Junction Intercellular Communication (GJIC) and hemichannel activity. Promoter luciferase assays revealed that the decrease in expression of Cx43 in CYPOR knock-down cells was due to transcriptional repression. Primary osteoblasts isolated from bone specific Por knock-down mice calvariae confirmed the findings in the cell lines. Taken together, our study provides novel insights into the regulation of gap junction function by CYPOR and suggests that Cx43 may play an important role(s) in CYPOR-mediated bone defects seen in patients.

  20. Regulation of gap junction function and Connexin 43 expression by cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Polusani, Srikanth R.; Kar, Rekha; Riquelme, Manuel A.; Masters, Bettie Sue [The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Department of Biochemistry, San Antonio, TX 78229 (United States); Panda, Satya P., E-mail: panda@uthscsa.edu [The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Department of Biochemistry, San Antonio, TX 78229 (United States)

    2011-08-05

    Highlights: {yields} Humans with severe forms of cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR) mutations show bone defects as observed in Antley-Bixler Syndrome. {yields} First report showing knockdown of CYPOR in osteoblasts decreased Connexin 43 (Cx43) protein levels. Cx43 is known to play an important role in bone modeling. {yields} Knockdown of CYPOR decreased Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication and hemichannel activity. {yields} Knockdown of CYPOR decreased Cx43 in mouse primary calvarial osteoblasts. {yields} Decreased Cx43 expression was observed at the transcriptional level. -- Abstract: Cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR) is a microsomal electron-transferring enzyme containing both FAD and FMN as co-factors, which provides the reducing equivalents to various redox partners, such as cytochromes P450 (CYPs), heme oxygenase (HO), cytochrome b{sub 5} and squalene monooxygenase. Human patients with severe forms of CYPOR mutation show bone defects such as cranio- and humeroradial synostoses and long bone fractures, known as Antley-Bixler-like Syndrome (ABS). To elucidate the role of CYPOR in bone, we knocked-down CYPOR in multiple osteoblast cell lines using RNAi technology. In this study, knock-down of CYPOR decreased the expression of Connexin 43 (Cx43), known to play a critical role in bone formation, modeling, and remodeling. Knock-down of CYPOR also decreased Gap Junction Intercellular Communication (GJIC) and hemichannel activity. Promoter luciferase assays revealed that the decrease in expression of Cx43 in CYPOR knock-down cells was due to transcriptional repression. Primary osteoblasts isolated from bone specific Por knock-down mice calvariae confirmed the findings in the cell lines. Taken together, our study provides novel insights into the regulation of gap junction function by CYPOR and suggests that Cx43 may play an important role(s) in CYPOR-mediated bone defects seen in patients.

  1. Gap junction protein connexin43 exacerbates lung vascular permeability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James J O'Donnell

    Full Text Available Increased vascular permeability causes pulmonary edema that impairs arterial oxygenation and thus contributes to morbidity and mortality associated with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and sepsis. Although components of intercellular adhesive and tight junctions are critical for maintaining the endothelial barrier, there has been limited study of the roles of gap junctions and their component proteins (connexins. Since connexins can modulate inflammatory signaling in other systems, we hypothesized that connexins may also regulate pulmonary endothelial permeability. The relationships between connexins and the permeability response to inflammatory stimuli were studied in cultured human pulmonary endothelial cells. Prolonged treatment with thrombin, lipopolysaccharide, or pathological cyclic stretch increased levels of mRNA and protein for the major connexin, connexin43 (Cx43. Thrombin and lipopolysaccharide both increased intercellular communication assayed by transfer of microinjected Lucifer yellow. Although thrombin decreased transendothelial resistance in these cells, the response was attenuated by pretreatment with the connexin inhibitor carbenoxolone. Additionally, the decreases of transendothelial resistance produced by either thrombin or lipopolysaccharide were attenuated by reducing Cx43 expression by siRNA knockdown. Both carbenoxolone and Cx43 knockdown also abrogated thrombin-induced phosphorylation of myosin light chain. Taken together, these data suggest that increased lung vascular permeability induced by inflammatory conditions may be amplified via increased expression of Cx43 and intercellular communication among pulmonary endothelial cells.

  2. HYS-32, a novel analogue of combretastatin A-4, enhances connexin43 expression and gap junction intercellular communication in rat astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Pei-Chun; Shen, Chien-Chang; Liao, Chih-Kai; Jow, Guey-Mei; Chiu, Chi-Ting; Chung, Tun-Hui; Wu, Jiahn-Chun

    2013-05-01

    HYS-32 [4-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-3-(naphthalen-2-yl)-2(5H)-furanone] is a new analogue of the anti-tumor compound combretastatin A-4 containing a cis-stilbene moiety. In this study, we investigated its effects on Cx43 gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) and the signaling pathway involved in rat primary astrocytes. Western blot analyses showed that HYS-32 dose- and time-dependently upregulated Cx43 expression. A confocal microscopic study and scrape-loading/dye transfer analyses demonstrated that HYS-32 (5μM) induced microtubule coiling, accumulation of Cx43 in gap junction plaques, and increased GJIC in astrocytes. The HYS-32-induced microtubule coiling and Cx43 accumulation in gap junction plaques was reversed when HYS-32 was removed. Treatment of astrocytes with cycloheximide resulted in time-dependent degradation of by co-treatment with HYS-32 by increasing the half-life of Cx43. Co-treatment with HYS-32 also prevented the LPS-induced downregulation of Cx43 and inhibition of GJIC in astrocytes. HYS-32 induced activation of PKC, ERK, and JNK, and co-treatment with the PKC inhibitor Go6976 or the ERK inhibitor PD98059, but not the JNK inhibitor SP600125, prevented the HYS-32-induced increase in Cx43 expression and GJIC. Go6976 suppressed the HYS-32-induced PKC phosphorylation and increase in phospho-ERK levels, while PD98059 did not prevent the HYS-32-induced increase in phospho-PKC levels, suggesting that PKC is an upstream effector of ERK. In conclusion, our results show that HYS-32 increases the half-life of Cx43 and enhances Cx43 expression and GJIC in astrocytes via a PKC-ERK signaling cascade. These novel biological effects of HYS-32 on astrocyte gap junctions support its potential for therapeutic use as a protective agent for the central nervous system. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Transient suppression of gap junctional intercellular communication after exposure to 100-nanosecond pulsed electric fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steuer, Anna; Schmidt, Anke; Labohá, Petra; Babica, Pavel; Kolb, Juergen F

    2016-12-01

    Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) is an important mechanism that is involved and affected in many diseases and injuries. So far, the effect of nanosecond pulsed electric fields (nsPEFs) on the communication between cells was not investigated. An in vitro approach is presented with rat liver epithelial WB-F344 cells grown and exposed in a monolayer. In order to observe sub-lethal effects, cells were exposed to pulsed electric fields with a duration of 100ns and amplitudes between 10 and 20kV/cm. GJIC strongly decreased within 15min after treatment but recovered within 24h. Gene expression of Cx43 was significantly decreased and associated with a reduced total amount of Cx43 protein. In addition, MAP kinases p38 and Erk1/2, involved in Cx43 phosphorylation, were activated and Cx43 became hyperphosphorylated. Immunofluorescent staining of Cx43 displayed the disassembly of gap junctions. Further, a reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton was observed whereas tight junction protein ZO-1 was not significantly affected. All effects were field- and time-dependent and most pronounced within 30 to 60min after treatment. A better understanding of a possible manipulation of GJIC by nsPEFs might eventually offer a possibility to develop and improve treatments. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Chlorpromazine reduces the intercellular communication via gap junctions in mammalian cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Orellana, Juan A.; Palacios-Prado, Nicolas; Saez, Juan C.

    2006-01-01

    In the work presented herein, we evaluated the effect of chlorpromazine (CPZ) on gap junctions expressed by two mammalian cell types; Gn-11 cells (cell line derived from mouse LHRH neurons) and rat cortical astrocytes maintained in culture. We also attempted to elucidate possible mechanisms of action of CPZ effects on gap junctions. CPZ, in concentrations comparable with doses used to treat human diseases, was found to reduce the intercellular communication via gap junctions as evaluated with measurements of dye coupling (Lucifer yellow). In both cell types, maximal inhibition of functional gap junctions was reached within about 1 h of treatment with CPZ, an recovery was almost complete at about 5 h after CPZ wash out. In both cell types, CPZ treatment increased the phosphorylation state of connexin43 (Cx43), a gap junction protein subunit. Moreover, CPZ reduced the reactivity of Cx43 (immunofluorescence) at cell interfaces and concomitantly increased its reactivity in intracellular vesicles, suggesting an increased retrieval from and/or reduced insertion into the plasma membrane. CPZ also caused cellular retraction reducing cell-cell contacts in a reversible manner. The reduction in contact area might destabilize existing gap junctions and abrogate formation of new ones. Moreover, the CPZ-induced reduction in gap junctional communication may depend on the connexins (Cxs) forming the junctions. If Cx43 were the only connexin expressed, MAPK-dependent phosphorylation of this connexin would induce closure of gap junction channels

  5. Overexpression of Cx43 in cells of the myocardial scar: Correction of post-infarct arrhythmias through heterotypic cell-cell coupling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roell, Wilhelm; Klein, Alexandra M; Breitbach, Martin; Becker, Torsten S; Parikh, Ashish; Lee, Jane; Zimmermann, Katrin; Reining, Shaun; Gabris, Beth; Ottersbach, Annika; Doran, Robert; Engelbrecht, Britta; Schiffer, Miriam; Kimura, Kenichi; Freitag, Patricia; Carls, Esther; Geisen, Caroline; Duerr, Georg D; Sasse, Philipp; Welz, Armin; Pfeifer, Alexander; Salama, Guy; Kotlikoff, Michael; Fleischmann, Bernd K

    2018-05-08

    Ventricular tachycardia (VT) is the most common and potentially lethal complication following myocardial infarction (MI). Biological correction of the conduction inhomogeneity that underlies re-entry could be a major advance in infarction therapy. As minimal increases in conduction of infarcted tissue markedly influence VT susceptibility, we reasoned that enhanced propagation of the electrical signal between non-excitable cells within a resolving infarct might comprise a simple means to decrease post-infarction arrhythmia risk. We therefore tested lentivirus-mediated delivery of the gap-junction protein Connexin 43 (Cx43) into acute myocardial lesions. Cx43 was expressed in (myo)fibroblasts and CD45 + cells within the scar and provided prominent and long lasting arrhythmia protection in vivo. Optical mapping of Cx43 injected hearts revealed enhanced conduction velocity within the scar, indicating Cx43-mediated electrical coupling between myocytes and (myo)fibroblasts. Thus, Cx43 gene therapy, by direct in vivo transduction of non-cardiomyocytes, comprises a simple and clinically applicable biological therapy that markedly reduces post-infarction VT.

  6. Tumor-induced loss of mural Connexin 43 gap junction activity promotes endothelial proliferation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choudhary, Mayur; Naczki, Christine; Chen, Wenhong; Barlow, Keith D.; Case, L. Douglas; Metheny-Barlow, Linda J.

    2015-01-01

    Proper functional association between mural cells and endothelial cells (EC) causes EC of blood vessels to become quiescent. Mural cells on tumor vessels exhibit decreased attachment to EC, which allows vessels to be unstable and proliferative. The mechanisms by which tumors prevent proper association between mural cells and EC are not well understood. Since gap junctions (GJ) play an important role in cell-cell contact and communication, we investigated whether loss of GJ plays a role in tumor-induced mural cell dissociation. Mural cell regulation of endothelial proliferation was assessed by direct co-culture assays of fluorescently labeled cells quantified by flow cytometry or plate reader. Gap junction function was assessed by parachute assay. Connexin 43 (Cx43) protein in mural cells exposed to conditioned media from cancer cells was assessed by Western and confocal microscopy; mRNA levels were assessed by quantitative real-time PCR. Expression vectors or siRNA were utilized to overexpress or knock down Cx43. Tumor growth and angiogenesis was assessed in mouse hosts deficient for Cx43. Using parachute dye transfer assay, we demonstrate that media conditioned by MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells diminishes GJ communication between mural cells (vascular smooth muscle cells, vSMC) and EC. Both protein and mRNA of the GJ component Connexin 43 (Cx43) are downregulated in mural cells by tumor-conditioned media; media from non-tumorigenic MCF10A cells had no effect. Loss of GJ communication by Cx43 siRNA knockdown, treatment with blocking peptide, or exposure to tumor-conditioned media diminishes the ability of mural cells to inhibit EC proliferation in co-culture assays, while overexpression of Cx43 in vSMC restores GJ and endothelial inhibition. Breast tumor cells implanted into mice heterozygous for Cx43 show no changes in tumor growth, but exhibit significantly increased tumor vascularization determined by CD31 staining, along with decreased mural cell support

  7. GAP junctional communication in brain secondary organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosone, Camilla; Andreu, Abraham; Echevarria, Diego

    2016-06-01

    Gap junctions (GJs) are integral membrane proteins that enable the direct cytoplasmic exchange of ions and low molecular weight metabolites between adjacent cells. They are formed by the apposition of two connexons belonging to adjacent cells. Each connexon is formed by six proteins, named connexins (Cxs). Current evidence suggests that gap junctions play an important part in ensuring normal embryo development. Mutations in connexin genes have been linked to a variety of human diseases, although the precise role and the cell biological mechanisms of their action remain almost unknown. Among the big family of Cxs, several are expressed in nervous tissue but just a few are expressed in the anterior neural tube of vertebrates. Many efforts have been made to elucidate the molecular bases of Cxs cell biology and how they influence the morphogenetic signal activity produced by brain signaling centers. These centers, orchestrated by transcription factors and morphogenes determine the axial patterning of the mammalian brain during its specification and regionalization. The present review revisits the findings of GJ composed by Cx43 and Cx36 in neural tube patterning and discuss Cx43 putative enrollment in the control of Fgf8 signal activity coming from the well known secondary organizer, the isthmic organizer. © 2016 The Authors. Development, Growth & Differentiation published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.

  8. Presence of Cx43 in extracellular vesicles reduces the cardiotoxicity of the anti-tumour therapeutic approach with doxorubicin

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    Tania Martins-Marques

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Extracellular vesicles (EVs are major conveyors of biological information, mediating local and systemic cell-to-cell communication under physiological and pathological conditions. These endogenous vesicles have been recognized as prominent drug delivery vehicles of several therapeutic cargoes, including doxorubicin (dox, presenting major advantages over the classical approaches. Although dox is one of the most effective anti-tumour agents in the clinical practice, its use is very often hindered by its consequent dramatic cardiotoxicity. Despite significant advances witnessed in the past few years, more comprehensive studies, supporting the therapeutic efficacy of EVs, with decreased side effects, are still scarce. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the role of the gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43 in mediating the release of EV content into tumour cells. Moreover, we investigated whether Cx43 improves the efficiency of dox-based anti-tumour treatment, with a concomitant decrease of cardiotoxicity. In the present report, we demonstrate that the presence of Cx43 in EVs increases the release of luciferin from EVs into tumour cells in vitro and in vivo. In addition, using cell-based approaches and a subcutaneous mouse tumour model, we show that the anti-tumour effect of dox incorporated into EVs is similar to the administration of the free drug, regardless the presence of Cx43. Strikingly, we demonstrate that the presence of Cx43 in dox-loaded EVs reduces the cardiotoxicity of the drug. Altogether, these results bring new insights into the concrete potential of EVs as therapeutic vehicles and open new avenues toward the development of strategies that help to reduce unwanted side effects.

  9. Roles of gap junctions, connexins and pannexins in epilepsy

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    Shanthini eMylvaganam

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Enhanced gap junctional communication (GJC between neurons is considered a major factor underlying the neuronal synchrony driving seizure activity. In addition, the hippocampal sharp wave ripple complexes, associated with learning and seizures, are diminished by GJC blocking agents. Although gap junctional blocking drugs inhibit experimental seizures, they all have other nonspecific actions. Besides interneuronal GJC between dendrites, inter-axonal and inter-glial GJC is also considered important for seizure generation. Interestingly, in most studies of cerebral tissue from animal seizure models and from human patients with epilepsy, there is up-regulation of glial, but not neuronal gap junctional mRNA and protein. Significant changes in the expression and post-translational modification of the astrocytic connexin Cx43, and Panx1 were observed in an in vitro Co++ seizure model, further supporting a role for glia in seizure-genesis, although the reasons for this remain unclear. Further suggesting an involvement of astrocytic GJC in epilepsy, is the fact that the expression of astrocytic Cx mRNAs (Cxs 30 and 43 is several fold higher than that of neuronal Cx mRNAs (Cxs 36 and 45, and the number of glial cells outnumber neuronal cells in mammalian hippocampal and cortical tissue. Pannexin expression is also increased in both animal and human epileptic tissues. Specific Cx43 mimetic peptides, Gap 27 and SLS, inhibit the docking of astrocytic connexin Cx43 proteins from forming intercellular gap junctions, diminishing spontaneous seizures. Besides GJs, Cx membrane hemichannels in glia and Panx membrane channels in neurons and glia are also inhibited by gap junctional pharmacological blockers. Although there is no doubt that connexin-based gap junctions and hemichannels, and pannexin-based membrane channels are related to epilepsy, the specific details of how they are involved and how we can modulate their function for therapeutic purposes remain to

  10. Histone deacetylase inhibition reduces cardiac Connexin43 expression and gap junction communication

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    Qin eXu

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Histone deactylase (HDAC inhibitors are being investigated as novel therapies for cancer, inflammation, neurodegeneration, and heart failure. The effects of HDAC inhibitors on the functional expression of cardiac gap junctions (GJ are essentially unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of trichostatin A (TSA and vorinostat (VOR on functional GJ expression in ventricular cardiomyocytes. The effects of HDAC inhibition on connexin43 (Cx43 expression and functional GJ assembly were examined in primary cultured neonatal mouse ventricular myocytes. TSA and VOR reduced Cx43 mRNA, protein expression, and immunolocalized Cx43 GJ plaque area within ventricular myocyte monolayer cultures in a dose-dependent manner. Chromatin-immunoprecipitation experiments revealed altered protein interactions with the Cx43 promoter. VOR also altered the phosphorylation state of several key regulatory Cx43 phospho-serine sites. Patch clamp analysis revealed reduced electrical coupling between isolated ventricular myocyte pairs, altered transjunctional voltage-dependent inactivation kinetics, and steady state junctional conductance inactivation and recovery relationships. Single GJ channel conductance was reduced to 54 pS only by maximum inhibitory doses of TSA (>= 100 nM. These two hydroxamate pan-HDAC inhibitors exert multiple levels of regulation on ventricular GJ communication by altering Cx43 expression, GJ area, post-translational modifications (e.g. phosphorylation, acetylation, gating, and channel conductance. Although a 50% downregulation of Cx43 GJ communication alone may not be sufficient to slow ventricular conduction or induce arrhythmias, the development of class-selective HDAC inhibitors may help avoid the potential negative cardiovascular effects of pan-HDACI.

  11. Ginsenoside Rg1 alleviates corticosterone-induced dysfunction of gap junctions in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Cong-Yuan; Chu, Shi-Feng; Zhang, Shuai; Gao, Yan; Ren, Qian; Lou, Yu-Xia; Luo, Piao; Tian, Man-Tong; Wang, Zhi-Qi; Du, Guo-Hua; Tomioka, Yoshihisa; Yamakuni, Tohru; Zhang, Yi; Wang, Zhen-Zhen; Chen, Nai-Hong

    2017-08-17

    Ginsenoside Rg1 (Rg1), one of the major bioactive ingredients of Panax ginseng C. A. Mey, has neuroprotective effects in animal models of depression, but the mechanism underlying these effects is still largely unknown AIM OF THE STUDY: Gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) dysfunction is a potentially novel pathogenic mechanism for depression. Thus, we investigated that whether antidepressant-like effects of Rg1 were related to GJIC. Primary rat prefrontal cortical and hippocampal astrocytes cultures were treated with 50μM CORT for 24h to induce gap junction damage. Rg1 (0.1, 1, or 10μM) or fluoxetine (1μM) was added 1h prior to CORT treatment. A scrape loading and dye transfer assay was performed to identify the functional capacity of gap junctions. Western blot was used to detect the expression and phosphorylation of connexin43 (Cx43), the major component of gap junctions. Treatment of primary astrocytes with CORT for 24h inhibited GJIC, decreased total Cx43 expression, and increased the phosphorylation of Cx43 at serine368 in a dose-dependent manner. Pre-treatment with 1μM and 10μM Rg1 significantly improved GJIC in CORT-treated astrocytes from the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, respectively, and this was accompanied by upregulation of Cx43 expression and downregulation of Cx43 phosphorylation. These findings provide the first evidence indicating that Rg1 can alleviate CORT-induced gap junction dysfunction, which may have clinical significance in the treatment of depression. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. [Effects of gap junction blocking on the oxygen partial pressure in acupoints of the bladder meridian].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qi; Yu, Wei-Chang; Jiang, Hong-Zhi; Chen, Sheng-Li; Zhang, Ming-Min; Kong, E-Sheng; Huang, Guang-Ying

    2010-12-01

    To explore the relation between gap junction and meridian phenomenon. The oxygen partial pressure in acupoints [see text for formula] and in their corresponding non-acupoints of the Bladder Meridian was observed with the needle-type tissue oxygen tension sensor in the gap junction blocking goats by 1-Heptanol injection and the Connexin 43 (Cx43) gene knockout mice. (1) The oxygen partial pressure in acupoints of Bladder Meridian on goats was higher than that in non-acupoints after 1-Heptanol injection with significant differences between them (both P oxygen partial pressure in acupoints of Bladder Meridian on goats increased significantly after injecting 1-Heptanol as compare with that either injecting normal saline or injecting nothing with significant differences between them (all P oxygen partial pressure in acupoints of the Bladder Meridian was significantly higher than that in the non-acupoint controls in Cx43 wild type (WT) mice (all P oxygen partial pressure between acupoints and non-acupoint controls showed no significant differences (all P > 0.05). (4) In acupoints, the oxygen partial pressure in Cx43 WT mice was significantly higher than that in Cx43 HT mice (all P 0.05). Gap junction maybe the essential factor in signal transduction of acupuncture.

  13. Amitriptyline up-regulates connexin43-gap junction in rat cultured cortical astrocytes via activation of the p38 and c-Fos/AP-1 signalling pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morioka, N; Suekama, K; Zhang, F F; Kajitani, N; Hisaoka-Nakashima, K; Takebayashi, M; Nakata, Y

    2014-06-01

    Intercellular communication via gap junctions, comprised of connexin (Cx) proteins, allow for communication between astrocytes, which in turn is crucial for maintaining CNS homeostasis. The expression of Cx43 is decreased in post-mortem brains from patients with major depression. A potentially novel mechanism of tricyclic antidepressants is to increase the expression and functioning of gap junctions in astrocytes. The effect of amitriptyline on the expression of Cx43 and gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) in rat primary cultured cortical astrocytes was investigated. We also investigated the role of p38 MAPK intracellular signalling pathway in the amitriptyline-induced expression of Cx43 and GJIC. Treatment with amitriptyline for 48 h significantly up-regulated Cx43 mRNA, protein and GJIC. The up-regulation of Cx43 was not monoamine-related since noradrenaline, 5-HT and dopamine did not induce Cx43 expression and pretreatment with α- and β-adrenoceptor antagonists had no effect. Intracellular signalling involved p38 MAPK, as amitriptyline significantly increased p38 MAPK phosphorylation and Cx43 expression and GJIC were significantly blocked by the p38 inhibitor SB 202190. Furthermore, amitriptyline-induced Cx43 expression and GJIC were markedly reduced by transcription factor AP-1 inhibitors (curcumin and tanshinone IIA). The translocation of c-Fos from the cytosol and the nucleus of cortical astrocytes was increased by amitriptyline, and this response was dependent on p38 activity. These findings indicate a novel mechanism of action of amitriptyline through cortical astrocytes, and further suggest that targeting this mechanism could lead to the development of a new class of antidepressants. © 2014 The British Pharmacological Society.

  14. 17β estradiol regulation of connexin 43-based gap junction and mechanosensitivity through classical estrogen receptor pathway in osteocyte-like MLO-Y4 cells.

    KAUST Repository

    Ren, Jian

    2013-04-01

    Connexin 43 (Cx43) plays an essential role in osteocyte mechanotransduction. Although estrogen involves in the adaptive responses of bone cells to mechanical loadings, its effects on osteocytic Cx43-based gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) remain obscure. We found that 17β estradiol (E2) up-regulated Cx43, and enhanced GJIC in osteocyte-like MLO-Y4 cells in fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) assay. Combination of E2 pre-treatment and oscillating fluid flow (OFF) further enhanced Cx43 expression and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation, comparing to E2 or OFF treatment alone. Both blocking of classical estrogen receptors (ERα/β) by fulvestrant and ERα knockdown by small interfering RNA inhibited E2-mediated Cx43 increase, while a GPR30-specific agonist G-1 failed to promote Cx43 expression. Our results suggest that the presence of E2 enhanced Cx43-based GJIC mainly via ERα/β pathway, and sensitized osteocytes to mechanical loading. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Gap-junction-mediated communication in human periodontal ligament cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, R; Ishihara, Y; Kawanabe, N; Sumiyoshi, K; Yoshikawa, Y; Nakamura, M; Imai, Y; Yanagita, T; Fukushima, H; Kamioka, H; Takano-Yamamoto, T; Yamashiro, T

    2013-07-01

    Periodontal tissue homeostasis depends on a complex cellular network that conveys cell-cell communication. Gap junctions (GJs), one of the intercellular communication systems, are found between adjacent human periodontal ligament (hPDL) cells; however, the functional GJ coupling between hPDL cells has not yet been elucidated. In this study, we investigated functional gap-junction-mediated intercellular communication in isolated primary hPDL cells. SEM images indicated that the cells were in contact with each other via dendritic processes, and also showed high anti-connexin43 (Cx43) immunoreactivity on these processes. Gap-junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) among hPDL cells was assessed by fluorescence recovery after a photobleaching (FRAP) analysis, which exhibited dye coupling between hPDL cells, and was remarkably down-regulated when the cells were treated with a GJ blocker. Additionally, we examined GJs under hypoxic stress. The fluorescence recovery and expression levels of Cx43 decreased time-dependently under the hypoxic condition. Exposure to GJ inhibitor or hypoxia increased RANKL expression, and decreased OPG expression. This study shows that GJIC is responsible for hPDL cells and that its activity is reduced under hypoxia. This is consistent with the possible role of hPDL cells in regulating the biochemical reactions in response to changes in the hypoxic environment.

  16. Mono-Heteromeric Configurations of Gap Junction Channels Formed by Connexin43 and Connexin45 Reduce Unitary Conductance and Determine both Voltage Gating and Metabolic Flux Asymmetry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guoqiang Zhong

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available In cardiac tissues, the expression of multiple connexins (Cx40, Cx43, Cx45, and Cx30.2 is a requirement for proper development and function. Gap junctions formed by these connexins have distinct permeability and gating mechanisms. Since a single cell can express more than one connexin isoform, the formation of hetero-multimeric gap junction channels provides a tissue with an enormous repertoire of combinations to modulate intercellular communication. To study further the perm-selectivity and gating properties of channels containing Cx43 and Cx45, we studied two monoheteromeric combinations in which a HeLa cell co-transfected with Cx43 and Cx45 was paired with a cell expressing only one of these connexins. Macroscopic measurements of total conductance between cell pairs indicated a drastic reduction in total conductance for mono-heteromeric channels. In terms of Vj dependent gating, Cx43 homomeric connexons facing heteromeric connexons only responded weakly to voltage negativity. Cx45 homomeric connexons exhibited no change in Vj gating when facing heteromeric connexons. The distributions of unitary conductances (γj for both mono-heteromeric channels were smaller than predicted, and both showed low permeability to the fluorescent dyes Lucifer yellow and Rhodamine123. For both mono-heteromeric channels, we observed flux asymmetry regardless of dye charge: flux was higher in the direction of the heteromeric connexon for MhetCx45 and in the direction of the homomeric Cx43 connexon for MhetCx43. Thus, our data suggest that co-expression of Cx45 and Cx43 induces the formation of heteromeric connexons with greatly reduced permeability and unitary conductance. Furthermore, it increases the asymmetry for voltage gating for opposing connexons, and it favors asymmetric flux of molecules across the junction that depends primarily on the size (not the charge of the crossing molecules.

  17. Mono-Heteromeric Configurations of Gap Junction Channels Formed by Connexin43 and Connexin45 Reduce Unitary Conductance and Determine both Voltage Gating and Metabolic Flux Asymmetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Guoqiang; Akoum, Nazem; Appadurai, Daniel A.; Hayrapetyan, Volodya; Ahmed, Osman; Martinez, Agustin D.; Beyer, Eric C.; Moreno, Alonso P.

    2017-01-01

    In cardiac tissues, the expression of multiple connexins (Cx40, Cx43, Cx45, and Cx30.2) is a requirement for proper development and function. Gap junctions formed by these connexins have distinct permeability and gating mechanisms. Since a single cell can express more than one connexin isoform, the formation of hetero-multimeric gap junction channels provides a tissue with an enormous repertoire of combinations to modulate intercellular communication. To study further the perm-selectivity and gating properties of channels containing Cx43 and Cx45, we studied two monoheteromeric combinations in which a HeLa cell co-transfected with Cx43 and Cx45 was paired with a cell expressing only one of these connexins. Macroscopic measurements of total conductance between cell pairs indicated a drastic reduction in total conductance for mono-heteromeric channels. In terms of Vj dependent gating, Cx43 homomeric connexons facing heteromeric connexons only responded weakly to voltage negativity. Cx45 homomeric connexons exhibited no change in Vj gating when facing heteromeric connexons. The distributions of unitary conductances (γj) for both mono-heteromeric channels were smaller than predicted, and both showed low permeability to the fluorescent dyes Lucifer yellow and Rhodamine123. For both mono-heteromeric channels, we observed flux asymmetry regardless of dye charge: flux was higher in the direction of the heteromeric connexon for MhetCx45 and in the direction of the homomeric Cx43 connexon for MhetCx43. Thus, our data suggest that co-expression of Cx45 and Cx43 induces the formation of heteromeric connexons with greatly reduced permeability and unitary conductance. Furthermore, it increases the asymmetry for voltage gating for opposing connexons, and it favors asymmetric flux of molecules across the junction that depends primarily on the size (not the charge) of the crossing molecules. PMID:28611680

  18. Improving cardiac gap junction communication as a new antiarrhythmic mechanism: the action of antiarrhythmic peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhein, Stefan; Hagen, Anja; Jozwiak, Joanna; Dietze, Anna; Garbade, Jens; Barten, Markus; Kostelka, Martin; Mohr, Friedrich-Wilhelm

    2010-03-01

    Co-ordinated electrical activation of the heart is maintained by intercellular coupling of cardiomyocytes via gap junctional channels located in the intercalated disks. These channels consist of two hexameric hemichannels, docked to each other, provided by either of the adjacent cells. Thus, a complete gap junction channel is made from 12 protein subunits, the connexins. While 21 isoforms of connexins are presently known, cardiomyocytes typically are coupled by Cx43 (most abundant), Cx40 or Cx45. Some years ago, antiarrhythmic peptides were discovered and synthesised, which were shown to increase macroscopic gap junction conductance (electrical coupling) and enhance dye transfer (metabolic coupling). The lead substance of these peptides is AAP10 (H-Gly-Ala-Gly-Hyp-Pro-Tyr-CONH(2)), a peptide with a horseshoe-like spatial structure as became evident from two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance studies. A stable D: -amino-acid derivative of AAP10, rotigaptide, as well as a non-peptide analogue, gap-134, has been developed in recent years. Antiarrhythmic peptides act on Cx43 and Cx45 gap junctions but not on Cx40 channels. AAP10 has been shown to enhance intercellular communication in rat, rabbit and human cardiomyocytes. Antiarrhythmic peptides are effective against ventricular tachyarrhythmias, such as late ischaemic (type IB) ventricular fibrillation, CaCl(2) or aconitine-induced arrhythmia. Interestingly, the effect of antiarrhythmic peptides is higher in partially uncoupled cells and was shown to be related to maintained Cx43 phosphorylation, while arrhythmogenic conditions like ischaemia result in Cx43 dephosphorylation and intercellular decoupling. It is still a matter of debate whether these drugs also act against atrial fibrillation. The present review outlines the development of this group of peptides and derivatives, their mode of action and molecular mechanisms, and discusses their possible therapeutic potential.

  19. The effects of the Histone Deacetylase (HDAC Inhibitor 4-Phenylbutyrate on gap junction conductance and permeability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua eKaufman

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Longitudinal resistance is a key factor in determining cardiac action potential propagation. Action potential conduction velocity has been shown to be proportional to the square root of longitudinal resistance. A major determinant of longitudinal resistance in myocardium is the gap junction channel, comprised of connexin proteins. Within the ventricular myocardium connexin 43 (Cx43 is the dominantly expressed connexin. Reduced numbers of gap junction channels will result in an increase in longitudinal resistance creating the possibility of slowed conduction velocity while increased numbers of channels would potentially result in an increase in conduction velocity. We sought to determine if inhibition of histone deacetylase (HDAC by 4-phenylbutyrate (4-PB, a known inhibitor of HDAC resulted in an increase in junctional conductance and permeability, which is not the result of changes in single channel unitary conductance. These experiments were performed using HEK-293 cells and HeLa cells stably transfected with Cx43. Following treatment with increasing concentrations of 4-PB up-regulation of Cx43 was observed via Western blot analysis. Junctional (gj conductance and unitary single channel conductance were measured via whole-cell patch clamp. In addition intercellular transfer of Lucifer Yellow (LY was determined by fluorescence microscopy. The data in this study indicates that 4-PB is able to enhance functional Cx43 gap junction coupling as indicated by LY dye transfer and multichannel and single channel data along with Western blot analysis. As a corollary, pharmacological agents such as 4-PB have the potential, by increasing intercellular coupling, to reduce the effect of ischemia. It remains to be seen whether drugs like 4-PB will be effective in preventing cardiac maladies.

  20. Gap Junctions Contribute to Ictal/Interictal Genesis in Human Hypothalamic Hamartomas

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    Jie Wu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Human hypothalamic hamartoma (HH is a rare subcortical lesion associated with treatment-resistant epilepsy. Cellular mechanisms responsible for epileptogenesis are unknown. We hypothesized that neuronal gap junctions contribute to epileptogenesis through synchronous activity within the neuron networks in HH tissue. We studied surgically resected HH tissue with Western-blot analysis, immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, biocytin microinjection of recorded HH neurons, and microelectrode patch clamp recordings with and without pharmacological blockade of gap junctions. Normal human hypothalamus tissue was used as a control. Western blots showed increased expression of both connexin-36 (Cx36 and connexin-43 (Cx43 in HH tissue compared with normal human mammillary body tissue. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that Cx36 and Cx43 are expressed in HH tissue, but Cx36 was mainly expressed within neuron clusters while Cx43 was mainly expressed outside of neuron clusters. Gap-junction profiles were observed between small HH neurons with electron microscopy. Biocytin injection into single recorded small HH neurons showed labeling of adjacent neurons, which was not observed in the presence of a neuronal gap-junction blocker, mefloquine. Microelectrode field recordings from freshly resected HH slices demonstrated spontaneous ictal/interictal-like discharges in most slices. Bath-application of gap-junction blockers significantly reduced ictal/interictal-like discharges in a concentration-dependent manner, while not affecting the action-potential firing of small gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA neurons observed with whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from the same patient's HH tissue. These results suggest that neuronal gap junctions between small GABAergic HH neurons participate in the genesis of epileptic-like discharges. Blockade of gap junctions may be a new therapeutic strategy for controlling seizure activity in HH patients.

  1. The alpha2-adrenoreceptor agonist dexmedetomidine protects against lipopolysaccharide-induced apoptosis via inhibition of gap junctions in lung fibroblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuan; Tan, Xiaoming; Xue, Lianfang

    2018-01-01

    The α2-adrenoceptor inducer dexmedetomidine protects against acute lung injury (ALI), but the mechanism of this effect is largely unknown. The present study investigated the effect of dexmedetomidine on apoptosis induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and the relationship between this effect and gap junction intercellular communication in human lung fibroblast cell line. Flow cytometry was used to detect apoptosis induced by LPS. Parachute dye coupling assay was used to measure gap junction function, and western blot analysis was used to determine the expression levels of connexin43 (Cx43). The results revealed that exposure of human lung fibroblast cell line to LPS for 24 h increased the apoptosis, and pretreatment of dexmedetomidine and 18α-GA significantly reduced LPS-induced apoptosis. Dexmedetomidine exposure for 1 h inhibited gap junction function mainly via a decrease in Cx43 protein levels in human lung fibroblast cell line. These results demonstrated that the inhibition of gap junction intercellular communication by dexmedetomidine affected the LPS-induced apoptosis through inhibition of gap junction function by reducing Cx43 protein levels. The present study provides evidence of a novel mechanism underlying the effects of analgesics in counteracting ALI. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Rescue of perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS)-mediated Sertoli cell injury by overexpression of gap junction protein connexin 43

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Nan; Mruk, Dolores D.; Chen, Haiqi; Wong, Chris K. C.; Lee, Will M.; Cheng, C. Yan

    2016-07-01

    Perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) is an environmental toxicant used in developing countries, including China, as a stain repellent for clothing, carpets and draperies, but it has been banned in the U.S. and Canada since the late 2000s. PFOS perturbed the Sertoli cell tight junction (TJ)-permeability barrier, causing disruption of actin microfilaments in cell cytosol, perturbing the localization of cell junction proteins (e.g., occluden-ZO-1, N-cadherin-ß-catenin). These changes destabilized Sertoli cell blood-testis barrier (BTB) integrity. These findings suggest that human exposure to PFOS might induce BTB dysfunction and infertility. Interestingly, PFOS-induced Sertoli cell injury associated with a down-regulation of the gap junction (GJ) protein connexin43 (Cx43). We next investigated if overexpression of Cx43 in Sertoli cells could rescue the PFOS-induced cell injury. Indeed, overexpression of Cx43 in Sertoli cells with an established TJ-barrier blocked the disruption in PFOS-induced GJ-intercellular communication, resulting in the re-organization of actin microfilaments, which rendered them similar to those in control cells. Furthermore, cell adhesion proteins that utilized F-actin for attachment became properly distributed at the cell-cell interface, resealing the disrupted TJ-barrier. In summary, Cx43 is a good target that might be used to manage PFOS-induced reproductive dysfunction.

  3. Role of Myoendothelial Gap Junctions in the Regulation of Human Coronary Artery Smooth Muscle Cell Differentiation by Laminar Shear Stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zongqi Zhang

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Smooth muscle cells may dedifferentiate into the synthetic phenotype and promote atherosclerosis. Here, we explored the role of myoendothelial gap junctions in phenotypic switching of human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (HCASMCs co-cultured with human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs exposed to shear stress. Methods: HCASMCs and HCAECs were seeded on opposite sides of Transwell inserts, and HCAECs were exposed to laminar shear stress of 12 dyn/cm2 or 5 dyn/cm2. The myoendothelial gap junctions were evaluated by using a multi-photon microscope. Results: In co-culture with HCAECs, HCASMCs exhibited a contractile phenotype, and maintained the expression of differentiation markers MHC and H1-calponin. HCASMCs and HCAECs formed functional intercellular junctions, as evidenced by colocalization of connexin(Cx40 and Cx43 on cellular projections inside the Transwell membrane and biocytin transfer from HCAECs to HCASMCs. Cx40 siRNA and 18-α-GA attenuated protein expression of MHC and H1-calponin in HCASMCs. Shear stress of 5 dyn/cm2 increased Cx43 and decreased Cx40 expression in HCAECs, and partly inhibited biocytin transfer from HCAECs to HCASMCs, which could be completely blocked by Cx43 siRNA or restored by Cx40 DNA transfected into HCAECs. The exposure of HCAECs to shear stress of 5 dyn/cm2 promoted HCASMC phenotypic switching, manifested by morphological changes, decrease in MHC and H1-calponin expression, and increase in platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-BB release, which was partly rescued by Cx43 siRNA or Cx40 DNA or PDGF receptor signaling inhibitor. Conclusions: The exposure of HCAECs to shear stress of 5 dyn/cm2 caused the dysfunction of Cx40/Cx43 heterotypic myoendothelial gap junctions, which may be replaced by homotypic Cx43/Cx43 channels, and induced HCASMC transition to the synthetic phenotype associated with the activation of PDGF receptor signaling, which may contribute to shear stress

  4. The B[a]P-increased intercellular communication via translocation of connexin-43 into gap junctions reduces apoptosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tekpli, X.; Rivedal, E.; Gorria, M.; Landvik, N.E.; Rissel, M.; Dimanche-Boitrel, M.-T.; Baffet, G.; Holme, J.A.; Lagadic-Gossmann, D.

    2010-01-01

    Gap junctions are channels in plasma membrane composed of proteins called connexins. These channels are organized in special domains between cells, and provide for direct gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC), allowing diffusion of signalling molecules < 1 kD. GJIC regulates cell homeostasis and notably the balance between proliferation, cell cycle arrest, cell survival and apoptosis. Here, we have investigated benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) effects on GJIC and on the subcellular localization of the major protein of gap junction: connexin-43 (Cx43). Our results showed that B[a]P increased GJIC between mouse hepatoma Hepa1c1c7 cells via translocation of Cx43 from Golgi apparatus and lipid rafts into gap junction plaques. Interestingly, inhibition of GJIC by chlordane or small interference RNA directed against Cx43 enhanced B[a]P-induced apoptosis in Hepa1c1c7 cells. The increased apoptosis caused by inhibition of GJIC appeared to be mediated by ERK/MAPK pathway. It is suggested that B[a]P could induce transfer of cell survival signal or dilute cell death signal via regulation of ERK/MAPK through GJIC.

  5. Neonatal hypothyroidism affects testicular glucose homeostasis through increased oxidative stress in prepubertal mice: effects on GLUT3, GLUT8 and Cx43.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, D; Singh, S K

    2017-07-01

    Thyroid hormones (THs) play an important role in maintaining the link between metabolism and reproduction and the altered THs status is associated with induction of oxidative stress in various organs like brain, heart, liver and testis. Further, reactive oxygen species play a pivotal role in regulation of glucose homeostasis in several organs, and glucose utilization by Leydig cells is essential for testosterone biosynthesis and thus is largely dependent on glucose transporter 8 (GLUT8). Glucose uptake by Sertoli cells is mediated through glucose transporter 3 (GLUT3) under the influence of THs to meet energy requirement of developing germ cells. THs also modulate level of gap junctional protein such as connexin 43 (Cx43), a potential regulator of cell proliferation and apoptosis in the seminiferous epithelium. Although the role of transient neonatal hypothyroidism in adult testis in terms of testosterone production is well documented, the effect of THs deficiency in early developmental period and its role in testicular glucose homeostasis and oxidative stress with reference to Cx43 in immature mice remain unknown. Therefore, the present study was conducted to evaluate the effect of neonatal hypothyroidism on testicular glucose homeostasis and oxidative stress at postnatal days (PND) 21 and 28 in relation to GLUT3, GLUT8 and Cx43. Hypothyroidism induced by 6-propyl-2-thiouracil (PTU) markedly decreased testicular glucose level with considerable reduction in expression level of GLUT3 and GLUT8. Likewise, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity and intratesticular concentration of lactate were also decreased in hypothyroid mice. There was also a rise in germ cell apoptosis with increased expression of caspase-3 in PTU-treated mice. Further, neonatal hypothyroidism affected germ cell proliferation with decreased expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and Cx43. In conclusion, our results suggest that neonatal hypothyroidism alters testicular glucose

  6. Impact of obesity on 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced altered ovarian connexin gap junction proteins in female mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ganesan, Shanthi; Nteeba, Jackson; Keating, Aileen F.

    2015-01-01

    The ovarian gap junction proteins alpha 4 (GJA4 or connexin 37; CX37), alpha 1 (GJA1 or connexin 43; CX43) and gamma 1 (GJC1 or connexin 45; CX45) are involved in cell communication and folliculogenesis. 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) alters Cx37 and Cx43 expression in cultured neonatal rat ovaries. Additionally, obesity has an additive effect on DMBA-induced ovarian cell death and follicle depletion, thus, we investigated in vivo impacts of obesity and DMBA on CX protein levels. Ovaries were collected from lean and obese mice aged 6, 12, 18, or 24 wks. A subset of 18 wk old mice (lean and obese) were dosed with sesame oil or DMBA (1 mg/kg; ip) for 14 days and ovaries collected 3 days thereafter. Cx43 and Cx45 mRNA and protein levels decreased (P < 0.05) after 18 wks while Cx37 mRNA and protein levels decreased (P < 0.05) after 24 wks in obese ovaries. Cx37 mRNA and antral follicle protein staining intensity were reduced (P < 0.05) by obesity while total CX37 protein was reduced (P < 0.05) in DMBA exposed obese ovaries. Cx43 mRNA and total protein levels were decreased (P < 0.05) by DMBA in both lean and obese ovaries while basal protein staining intensity was reduced (P < 0.05) in obese controls. Cx45 mRNA, total protein and protein staining intensity level were decreased (P < 0.05) by obesity. These data support that obesity temporally alters gap junction protein expression and that DMBA-induced ovotoxicity may involve reduced gap junction protein function. - Highlights: • Ovarian gap junction proteins are affected by ovarian aging and obesity. • DMBA exposure negatively impacts gap junction proteins. • Altered gap junction proteins may contribute to infertility

  7. Impact of obesity on 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced altered ovarian connexin gap junction proteins in female mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ganesan, Shanthi, E-mail: shanthig@iastate.edu; Nteeba, Jackson, E-mail: nteeba@iastate.edu; Keating, Aileen F., E-mail: akeating@iastate.edu

    2015-01-01

    The ovarian gap junction proteins alpha 4 (GJA4 or connexin 37; CX37), alpha 1 (GJA1 or connexin 43; CX43) and gamma 1 (GJC1 or connexin 45; CX45) are involved in cell communication and folliculogenesis. 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) alters Cx37 and Cx43 expression in cultured neonatal rat ovaries. Additionally, obesity has an additive effect on DMBA-induced ovarian cell death and follicle depletion, thus, we investigated in vivo impacts of obesity and DMBA on CX protein levels. Ovaries were collected from lean and obese mice aged 6, 12, 18, or 24 wks. A subset of 18 wk old mice (lean and obese) were dosed with sesame oil or DMBA (1 mg/kg; ip) for 14 days and ovaries collected 3 days thereafter. Cx43 and Cx45 mRNA and protein levels decreased (P < 0.05) after 18 wks while Cx37 mRNA and protein levels decreased (P < 0.05) after 24 wks in obese ovaries. Cx37 mRNA and antral follicle protein staining intensity were reduced (P < 0.05) by obesity while total CX37 protein was reduced (P < 0.05) in DMBA exposed obese ovaries. Cx43 mRNA and total protein levels were decreased (P < 0.05) by DMBA in both lean and obese ovaries while basal protein staining intensity was reduced (P < 0.05) in obese controls. Cx45 mRNA, total protein and protein staining intensity level were decreased (P < 0.05) by obesity. These data support that obesity temporally alters gap junction protein expression and that DMBA-induced ovotoxicity may involve reduced gap junction protein function. - Highlights: • Ovarian gap junction proteins are affected by ovarian aging and obesity. • DMBA exposure negatively impacts gap junction proteins. • Altered gap junction proteins may contribute to infertility.

  8. Methamphetamine compromises gap junctional communication in astrocytes and neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellano, Paul; Nwagbo, Chisom; Martinez, Luis R; Eugenin, Eliseo A

    2016-05-01

    Methamphetamine (meth) is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that results in psychological and physical dependency. The long-term effects of meth within the CNS include neuronal plasticity changes, blood-brain barrier compromise, inflammation, electrical dysfunction, neuronal/glial toxicity, and an increased risk to infectious diseases including HIV. Most of the reported meth effects in the CNS are related to dysregulation of chemical synapses by altering the release and uptake of neurotransmitters, especially dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. However, little is known about the effects of meth on connexin (Cx) containing channels, such as gap junctions (GJ) and hemichannels (HC). We examined the effects of meth on Cx expression, function, and its role in NeuroAIDS. We found that meth altered Cx expression and localization, decreased GJ communication between neurons and astrocytes, and induced the opening of Cx43/Cx36 HC. Furthermore, we found that these changes in GJ and HC induced by meth treatment were mediated by activation of dopamine receptors, suggesting that dysregulation of dopamine signaling induced by meth is essential for GJ and HC compromise. Meth-induced changes in GJ and HC contributed to amplified CNS toxicity by dysregulating glutamate metabolism and increasing the susceptibility of neurons and astrocytes to bystander apoptosis induced by HIV. Together, our results indicate that connexin containing channels, GJ and HC, are essential in the pathogenesis of meth and increase the sensitivity of the CNS to HIV CNS disease. Methamphetamine (meth) is an extremely addictive central nervous system stimulant. Meth reduced gap junctional (GJ) communication by inducing internalization of connexin-43 (Cx43) in astrocytes and reducing expression of Cx36 in neurons by a mechanism involving activation of dopamine receptors (see cartoon). Meth-induced changes in Cx containing channels increased extracellular levels of glutamate and resulted in higher

  9. Gap junction connexins in female reproductive organs: implications for women's reproductive health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winterhager, Elke; Kidder, Gerald M

    2015-01-01

    Connexins comprise a family of ~20 proteins that form intercellular membrane channels (gap junction channels) providing a direct route for metabolites and signalling molecules to pass between cells. This review provides a critical analysis of the evidence for essential roles of individual connexins in female reproductive function, highlighting implications for women's reproductive health. No systematic review has been carried out. Published literature from the past 35 years was surveyed for research related to connexin involvement in development and function of the female reproductive system. Because of the demonstrated utility of genetic manipulation for elucidating connexin functions in various organs, much of the cited information comes from research with genetically modified mice. In some cases, a distinction is drawn between connexin functions clearly related to the formation of gap junction channels and those possibly linked to non-channel roles. Based on work with mice, several connexins are known to be required for female reproductive functions. Loss of connexin43 (CX43) causes an oocyte deficiency, and follicles lacking or expressing less CX43 in granulosa cells exhibit reduced growth, impairing fertility. CX43 is also expressed in human cumulus cells and, in the context of IVF, has been correlated with pregnancy outcome, suggesting that this connexin may be a determinant of oocyte and embryo quality in women. Loss of CX37, which exclusively connects oocytes with granulosa cells in the mouse, caused oocytes to cease growing without acquiring meiotic competence. Blocking of CX26 channels in the uterine epithelium disrupted implantation whereas loss or reduction of CX43 expression in the uterine stroma impaired decidualization and vascularization in mouse and human. Several connexins are important in placentation and, in the human, CX43 is a key regulator of the fusogenic pathway from the cytotrophoblast to the syncytiotrophoblast, ensuring placental growth

  10. Gap Junctions Are Involved in the Rescue of CFTR-Dependent Chloride Efflux by Amniotic Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Coculture with Cystic Fibrosis CFBE41o- Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annalucia Carbone

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available We previously found that human amniotic mesenchymal stem cells (hAMSCs in coculture with CF immortalised airway epithelial cells (CFBE41o- line, CFBE on Transwell® filters acquired an epithelial phenotype and led to the expression of a mature and functional CFTR protein. In order to explore the role of gap junction- (GJ- mediated intercellular communication (GJIC in this rescue, cocultures (hAMSC : CFBE, 1 : 5 ratio were studied for the formation of GJIC, before and after silencing connexin 43 (Cx43, a major component of GJs. Functional GJs in cocultures were inhibited when the expression of the Cx43 protein was downregulated. Transfection of cocultures with siRNA against Cx43 resulted in the absence of specific CFTR signal on the apical membrane and reduction in the mature form of CFTR (band C, and in parallel, the CFTR-dependent chloride channel activity was significantly decreased. Cx43 downregulation determined also a decrease in transepithelial resistance and an increase in paracellular permeability as compared with control cocultures, implying that GJIC may regulate CFTR expression and function that in turn modulate airway epithelium tightness. These results indicate that GJIC is involved in the correction of CFTR chloride channel activity upon the acquisition of an epithelial phenotype by hAMSCs in coculture with CF cells.

  11. Gap Junctions Are Involved in the Rescue of CFTR-Dependent Chloride Efflux by Amniotic Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Coculture with Cystic Fibrosis CFBE41o- Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbone, Annalucia; Zefferino, Roberto; Beccia, Elisa; Casavola, Valeria; Castellani, Stefano; Di Gioia, Sante; Giannone, Valentina; Seia, Manuela; Angiolillo, Antonella; Colombo, Carla; Favia, Maria; Conese, Massimo

    2018-01-01

    We previously found that human amniotic mesenchymal stem cells (hAMSCs) in coculture with CF immortalised airway epithelial cells (CFBE41o- line, CFBE) on Transwell® filters acquired an epithelial phenotype and led to the expression of a mature and functional CFTR protein. In order to explore the role of gap junction- (GJ-) mediated intercellular communication (GJIC) in this rescue, cocultures (hAMSC : CFBE, 1 : 5 ratio) were studied for the formation of GJIC, before and after silencing connexin 43 (Cx43), a major component of GJs. Functional GJs in cocultures were inhibited when the expression of the Cx43 protein was downregulated. Transfection of cocultures with siRNA against Cx43 resulted in the absence of specific CFTR signal on the apical membrane and reduction in the mature form of CFTR (band C), and in parallel, the CFTR-dependent chloride channel activity was significantly decreased. Cx43 downregulation determined also a decrease in transepithelial resistance and an increase in paracellular permeability as compared with control cocultures, implying that GJIC may regulate CFTR expression and function that in turn modulate airway epithelium tightness. These results indicate that GJIC is involved in the correction of CFTR chloride channel activity upon the acquisition of an epithelial phenotype by hAMSCs in coculture with CF cells.

  12. Gap junctions and motor behavior

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiehn, Ole; Tresch, Matthew C.

    2002-01-01

    The production of any motor behavior requires coordinated activity in motor neurons and premotor networks. In vertebrates, this coordination is often assumed to take place through chemical synapses. Here we review recent data suggesting that electrical gap-junction coupling plays an important role...... in coordinating and generating motor outputs in embryonic and early postnatal life. Considering the recent demonstration of a prevalent expression of gap-junction proteins and gap-junction structures in the adult mammalian spinal cord, we suggest that neuronal gap-junction coupling might also contribute...... to the production of motor behavior in adult mammals....

  13. Oligomeric structure and functional characterization of Caenorhabditis elegans Innexin-6 gap junction protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oshima, Atsunori; Matsuzawa, Tomohiro; Nishikawa, Kouki; Fujiyoshi, Yoshinori

    2013-04-12

    Innexin is the molecular component of invertebrate gap junctions. Here we successfully expressed and purified Caenorhabditis elegans innexin-6 (INX-6) gap junction channels and characterized the molecular dimensions and channel permeability using electron microscopy (EM) and microinjection of fluorescent dye tracers, respectively. Negative staining and thin-section EM of isolated INX-6 gap junction membranes revealed a loosely packed hexagonal lattice and a greater cross-sectional width than that of connexin26 and connexin43 (Cx43)-GFP. In gel filtration analysis, the elution profile of purified INX-6 channels in dodecyl maltoside solution exhibited a peak at ∼400 kDa that was shifted to ∼800 kDa in octyl glucose neopentyl glycol. We also obtained the class averages of purified INX-6 channels from these peak fractions by single particle analysis. The class average from the ∼800-kDa fraction showed features of the junction form with a longitudinal height of 220 Å, a channel diameter of 110 Å in the absence of detergent micelles, and an extracellular gap space of 60 Å, whereas the class averages from the ∼400-kDa fraction showed diameters of up to 140 Å in the presence of detergent micelles. These findings indicate that the purified INX-6 channels are predominantly hemichannels in dodecyl maltoside and docked junction channels in octyl glucose neopentyl glycol. Dye transfer experiments revealed that the INX-6-GFP-His channels are permeable to 3- and 10-kDa tracers, whereas no significant amounts of these tracers passed through the Cx43-GFP channels. Based on these findings, INX-6 channels have a larger overall structure and greater permeability than connexin channels.

  14. Oligomeric Structure and Functional Characterization of Caenorhabditis elegans Innexin-6 Gap Junction Protein*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oshima, Atsunori; Matsuzawa, Tomohiro; Nishikawa, Kouki; Fujiyoshi, Yoshinori

    2013-01-01

    Innexin is the molecular component of invertebrate gap junctions. Here we successfully expressed and purified Caenorhabditis elegans innexin-6 (INX-6) gap junction channels and characterized the molecular dimensions and channel permeability using electron microscopy (EM) and microinjection of fluorescent dye tracers, respectively. Negative staining and thin-section EM of isolated INX-6 gap junction membranes revealed a loosely packed hexagonal lattice and a greater cross-sectional width than that of connexin26 and connexin43 (Cx43)-GFP. In gel filtration analysis, the elution profile of purified INX-6 channels in dodecyl maltoside solution exhibited a peak at ∼400 kDa that was shifted to ∼800 kDa in octyl glucose neopentyl glycol. We also obtained the class averages of purified INX-6 channels from these peak fractions by single particle analysis. The class average from the ∼800-kDa fraction showed features of the junction form with a longitudinal height of 220 Å, a channel diameter of 110 Å in the absence of detergent micelles, and an extracellular gap space of 60 Å, whereas the class averages from the ∼400-kDa fraction showed diameters of up to 140 Å in the presence of detergent micelles. These findings indicate that the purified INX-6 channels are predominantly hemichannels in dodecyl maltoside and docked junction channels in octyl glucose neopentyl glycol. Dye transfer experiments revealed that the INX-6-GFP-His channels are permeable to 3- and 10-kDa tracers, whereas no significant amounts of these tracers passed through the Cx43-GFP channels. Based on these findings, INX-6 channels have a larger overall structure and greater permeability than connexin channels. PMID:23460640

  15. Activation of L-type calcium channels is required for gap junction-mediated intercellular calcium signaling in osteoblastic cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Niklas Rye; Teilmann, Stefan Cuoni; Henriksen, Zanne

    2003-01-01

    The propagation of mechanically induced intercellular calcium waves (ICW) among osteoblastic cells occurs both by activation of P2Y (purinergic) receptors by extracellular nucleotides, resulting in "fast" ICW, and by gap junctional communication in cells that express connexin43 (Cx43), resulting...... in "slow" ICW. Human osteoblastic cells transmit intercellular calcium signals by both of these mechanisms. In the current studies we have examined the mechanism of slow gap junction-dependent ICW in osteoblastic cells. In ROS rat osteoblastic cells, gap junction-dependent ICW were inhibited by removal...... of extracellular calcium, plasma membrane depolarization by high extracellular potassium, and the L-type voltage-operated calcium channel inhibitor, nifedipine. In contrast, all these treatments enhanced the spread of P2 receptor-mediated ICW in UMR rat osteoblastic cells. Using UMR cells transfected to express Cx...

  16. Gap Junctions Contribute to the Regulation of Walking-Like Activity in the Adult Mudpuppy (Necturus Maculatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Lavrov

    Full Text Available Although gap junctions are widely expressed in the developing central nervous system, the role of electrical coupling of neurons and glial cells via gap junctions in the spinal cord in adults is largely unknown. We investigated whether gap junctions are expressed in the mature spinal cord of the mudpuppy and tested the effects of applying gap junction blocker on the walking-like activity induced by NMDA or glutamate in an in vitro mudpuppy preparation. We found that glial and neural cells in the mudpuppy spinal cord expressed different types of connexins that include connexin 32 (Cx32, connexin 36 (Cx36, connexin 37 (Cx37, and connexin 43 (Cx43. Application of a battery of gap junction blockers from three different structural classes (carbenexolone, flufenamic acid, and long chain alcohols substantially and consistently altered the locomotor-like activity in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast, these blockers did not significantly change the amplitude of the dorsal root reflex, indicating that gap junction blockers did not inhibit neuronal excitability nonselectively in the spinal cord. Taken together, these results suggest that gap junctions play a significant modulatory role in the spinal neural networks responsible for the generation of walking-like activity in the adult mudpuppy.

  17. Ochratoxim A alters cell adhesion and gap junction intercellular communication in MDCK cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mally, Angela; Decker, Martina; Bekteshi, Michaela; Dekant, Wolfgang

    2006-01-01

    Ochratoxin A (OTA) is one of the most potent renal carcinogens studied to date, but the mechanism of tumor formation by ochratoxin A remains largely unknown. Cell adhesion and cell-cell communication participate in the regulation of signaling pathways involved in cell proliferation and growth control and it is therefore not surprising that modulation of cell-cell signaling has been implicated in cancer development. Several nephrotoxicants and renal carcinogens have been shown to alter cell-cell signaling by interference with gap junction intercell communication (GJIC) and/or cell adhesion, and the aim of this study was to determine if disruption of cell-cell interactions occurs in kidney epithelial cells in response to OTA treatment. MDCK cells were treated with OTA (0-50 μM) for up to 24 h and gap junction function was analyzed using the scrape-load/dye transfer assay. In addition, expression and intracellular localization of Cx43, E-cadherin and β-catenin were determined by immunoblot and immunofluorescence analysis. A clear decrease in the distance of dye transfer was evident following treatment with OTA at concentrations/incubation times which did not affect cell viability. Consistent with the functional inhibition of GJIC, treatment with OTA resulted in a dose-dependent decrease in Cx43 expression. In contrast to Cx43, OTA did not alter total amount of the adherens junction proteins E-cadherin and β-catenin. Moreover, Western blot analysis of Triton X-100 soluble and insoluble protein fractions did not indicate translocation of cell adhesion molecules from the membrane to the cytoplasm. However, a ∼78 kDa fragment of β-catenin was detected in the detergent soluble fraction, indicating proteolytic cleavage of β-catenin. Immunofluorescence analysis also revealed changes in the pattern of both β-catenin and E-cadherin labeling, suggesting that OTA may alter cell-adhesion. Taken together, these data support the hypothesis that disruption of cell

  18. Heterocellular interaction enhances recruitment of α and β-catenins and ZO-2 into functional gap-junction complexes and induces gap junction-dependant differentiation of mammary epithelial cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Talhouk, Rabih S.; Mroue, Rana; Mokalled, Mayssa; Abi-Mosleh, Lina; Nehme, Ralda; Ismail, Ayman; Khalil, Antoine; Zaatari, Mira; El-Sabban, Marwan E.

    2008-01-01

    Gap junctions (GJ) are required for mammary epithelial differentiation. Using epithelial (SCp2) and myoepithelial-like (SCg6) mouse-derived mammary cells, the role of heterocellular interaction in assembly of GJ complexes and functional differentiation (β-casein expression) was evaluated. Heterocellular interaction is critical for β-casein expression, independent of exogenous basement membrane or cell anchoring substrata. Functional differentiation of SCp2, co-cultured with SCg6, is more sensitive to GJ inhibition relative to homocellular SCp2 cultures differentiated by exogenous basement membrane. Connexin (Cx)32 and Cx43 levels were not regulated across culture conditions; however, GJ functionality was enhanced under differentiation-permissive conditions. Immunoprecipitation studies demonstrated association of junctional complex components (α-catenin, β-catenin and ZO-2) with Cx32 and Cx43, in differentiation conditions, and additionally with Cx30 in heterocellular cultures. Although β-catenin did not shuttle between cadherin and GJ complexes, increased association between connexins and β-catenin in heterocellular cultures was observed. This was concomitant with reduced nuclear β-catenin, suggesting that differentiation in heterocellular cultures involves sequestration of β-catenin in GJ complexes

  19. Neuroinflammation leads to region-dependent alterations in astrocyte gap junction communication and hemichannel activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpuk, Nikolay; Burkovetskaya, Maria; Fritz, Teresa; Angle, Amanda; Kielian, Tammy

    2011-01-12

    Inflammation attenuates gap junction (GJ) communication in cultured astrocytes. Here we used a well-characterized model of experimental brain abscess as a tool to query effects of the CNS inflammatory milieu on astrocyte GJ communication and electrophysiological properties. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were performed on green fluorescent protein (GFP)-positive astrocytes in acute brain slices from glial fibrillary acidic protein-GFP mice at 3 or 7 d after Staphylococcus aureus infection in the striatum. Astrocyte GJ communication was significantly attenuated in regions immediately surrounding the abscess margins and progressively increased to levels typical of uninfected brain with increasing distance from the abscess proper. Conversely, astrocytes bordering the abscess demonstrated hemichannel activity as evident by enhanced ethidium bromide (EtBr) uptake that could be blocked by several pharmacological inhibitors, including the connexin 43 (Cx43) mimetic peptide Gap26, carbenoxolone, the pannexin1 (Panx1) mimetic peptide (10)Panx1, and probenecid. However, hemichannel opening was transient with astrocytic EtBr uptake observed near the abscess at day 3 but not day 7 after infection. The region-dependent pattern of hemichannel activity at day 3 directly correlated with increases in Cx43, Cx30, Panx1, and glutamate transporter expression (glial L-glutamate transporter and L-glutamate/L-aspartate transporter) along the abscess margins. Changes in astrocyte resting membrane potential and input conductance correlated with the observed changes in GJ communication and hemichannel activity. Collectively, these findings indicate that astrocyte coupling and electrical properties are most dramatically affected near the primary inflammatory site and reveal an opposing relationship between the open states of GJ channels versus hemichannels during acute infection. This relationship may extend to other CNS diseases typified with an inflammatory component.

  20. Articular chondrocyte network mediated by gap junctions: role in metabolic cartilage homeostasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayan, Maria D; Gago-Fuentes, Raquel; Carpintero-Fernandez, Paula; Fernandez-Puente, Patricia; Filgueira-Fernandez, Purificacion; Goyanes, Noa; Valiunas, Virginijus; Brink, Peter R; Goldberg, Gary S; Blanco, Francisco J

    2017-01-01

    Objective This study investigated whether chondrocytes within the cartilage matrix have the capacity to communicate through intercellular connections mediated by voltage-gated gap junction (GJ) channels. Methods Frozen cartilage samples were used for immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry assays. Samples were embedded in cacodylate buffer before dehydration for scanning electron microscopy. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments and mass spectrometry (MS) were performed to identify proteins that interact with the C-terminal end of Cx43. GJ communication was studied through in situ electroporation, electrophysiology and dye injection experiments. A transwell layered culture system and MS were used to identify and quantify transferred amino acids. Results Microscopic images revealed the presence of multiple cellular projections connecting chondrocytes within the matrix. These projections were between 5 and 150 μm in length. MS data analysis indicated that the C-terminus of Cx43 interacts with several cytoskeletal proteins implicated in Cx trafficking and GJ assembly, including α-tubulin and β-tubulin, actin, and vinculin. Electrophysiology experiments demonstrated that 12-mer oligonucleotides could be transferred between chondrocytes within 12 min after injection. Glucose was homogeneously distributed within 22 and 35 min. No transfer was detected when glucose was electroporated into A549 cells, which have no GJs. Transwell layered culture systems coupled with MS analysis revealed connexins can mediate the transfer of L-lysine and L-arginine between chondrocytes. Conclusions This study reveals that intercellular connections between chondrocytes contain GJs that play a key role in cell-cell communication and a metabolic function by exchange of nutrients including glucose and essential amino acids. A three-dimensional cellular network mediated through GJs might mediate metabolic and physiological homeostasis to maintain cartilage tissue. PMID:24225059

  1. Connexin 30 expression and frequency of connexin heterogeneity in astrocyte gap junction plaques increase with age in the rat retina.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hussein Mansour

    Full Text Available We investigated age-associated changes in retinal astrocyte connexins (Cx by assaying Cx numbers, plaque sizes, protein expression levels and heterogeneity of gap junctions utilizing six-marker immunohistochemistry (IHC. We compared Wistar rat retinal wholemounts in animals aged 3 (young adult, 9 (middle-aged and 22 months (aged. We determined that retinal astrocytes have gap junctions composed of Cx26, -30, -43 and -45. Cx30 was consistently elevated at 22 months compared to younger ages both when associated with parenchymal astrocytes and vascular-associated astrocytes. Not only was the absolute number of Cx30 plaques significantly higher (P<0.05 but the size of the plaques was significantly larger at 22 months compared to younger ages (p<0.05. With age, Cx26 increased significantly initially, but returned to basal levels; whereas Cx43 expression remained low and stable with age. Evidence that astrocytes alter connexin compositions of gap junctions was demonstrated by the significant increase in the number of Cx26/Cx45 gap junctions with age. We also found gap junctions comprised of 1, 2, 3 or 4 Cx proteins suggesting that retinal astrocytes use various connexin protein combinations in their gap junctions during development and aging. These data provides new insight into the dynamic and extensive Cx network utilized by retinal astrocytes for communication within both the parenchyma and vasculature for the maintenance of normal retinal physiology with age. This characterisation of the changes in astrocytic gap junctional communication with age in the CNS is crucial to the understanding of physiological aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

  2. The relation of Cx43 and NMDA to visceral sensitization in rats with irritable bowel syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing-yu ZHANG

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective  To study the relationship between connexin 43 (Cx43 and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptors and visceral sensitization in the rats with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS. Methods  Thirty rats were gavaged with Triehinella spiralis to reproduce the IBS model. These rats were randomly divided into IBS group, IBS+colon distension group, and IBS+STI-571+colon distension group, and other groups of normal rats were randomized into normal group and normal+colon distension group, with 10 rats in each group. Immunofluorescent double staining were used to observe the expressions of intestine Cx43 and sacral NMDA re ceptors of rats in all the groups. Results  The Cx43 and sacral NMDA expressions in the normal group, normal+colon distension group and IBS group showed no significant changes (P>0.05, however, Cx43 and sacral NMDA expressions were significantly higher in IBS rats with colon distension as compared with those in normal group, normal+colon distension group, and IBS group (P<0.05, while they were significantly lower in the IBS+STI-571+colon distension group after STI-571 intervention (P<0.05. Conclusion  Cx43 and sacral NMDA may be the most important factor of visceral sensitization in IBS rats. DOI: 10.11855/j.issn.0577-7402.2015.12.02

  3. Gap junctions and connexin-interacting proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giepmans, Ben N G

    2004-01-01

    Gap junctions form channels between adjacent cells. The core proteins of these channels are the connexins. Regulation of gap junction communication (GJC) can be modulated by connexin-associating proteins, such as regulatory protein phosphatases and protein kinases, of which c-Src is the

  4. impairs gap junction function causing congenital cataract

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Navya

    2017-03-24

    Mar 24, 2017 ... experiment showed a lower dye diffusion distance of Cx46 V44M cells, ... Studies of connexins show that channel gating and permeability .... have found that connexin assembled into gap junction plaques is not soluble in 1% ..... high glucose reduces gap junction activity in microvascular endothelial cells.

  5. impairs gap junction function causing congenital cataract

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    LIJUAN CHEN

    2017-12-20

    Dec 20, 2017 ... showed a lower dye diffusion distance of Cx46 V44M cells, which indicates that the gap junction intercellular ... permeability could be affected by alterations of charged residues of .... bled into gap junction plaques is not soluble in 1% Triton ..... regulation of connexin 43 expression by high glucose reduces.

  6. Modulatory effects of cAMP and PKC activation on gap junctional intercellular communication among thymic epithelial cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neves-dos-Santos Sandra

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We investigated the effects of the signaling molecules, cyclic AMP (cAMP and protein-kinase C (PKC, on gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC between thymic epithelial cells (TEC. Results Treatment with 8-Br-cAMP, a cAMP analog; or forskolin, which stimulates cAMP production, resulted in an increase in dye transfer between adjacent TEC, inducing a three-fold enhancement in the mean fluorescence of coupled cells, ascertained by flow cytometry after calcein transfer. These treatments also increased Cx43 mRNA expression, and stimulated Cx43 protein accumulation in regions of intercellular contacts. VIP, adenosine, and epinephrine which may also signal through cyclic nucleotides were tested. The first two molecules did not mimic the effects of 8-Br-cAMP, however epinephrine was able to increase GJIC suggesting that this molecule functions as an endogenous inter-TEC GJIC modulators. Stimulation of PKC by phorbol-myristate-acetate inhibited inter-TEC GJIC. Importantly, both the enhancing and the decreasing effects, respectively induced by cAMP and PKC, were observed in both mouse and human TEC preparations. Lastly, experiments using mouse thymocyte/TEC heterocellular co-cultures suggested that the presence of thymocytes does not affect the degree of inter-TEC GJIC. Conclusions Overall, our data indicate that cAMP and PKC intracellular pathways are involved in the homeostatic control of the gap junction-mediated communication in the thymic epithelium, exerting respectively a positive and negative role upon cell coupling. This control is phylogenetically conserved in the thymus, since it was seen in both mouse and human TEC preparations. Lastly, our work provides new clues for a better understanding of how the thymic epithelial network can work as a physiological syncytium.

  7. Autophagy and gap junctional intercellular communication inhibition are involved in cadmium-induced apoptosis in rat liver cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zou, Hui [College of Veterinary Medicine, Yangzhou University, and Jiangsu Co-innovation Center for Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, 225009 (China); Zhuo, Liling [College of Life Science, Zaozhuang University, Zaozhuang, Shandong, 277160 (China); Han, Tao; Hu, Di; Yang, Xiaokang; Wang, Yi; Yuan, Yan; Gu, Jianhong; Bian, Jianchun; Liu, Xuezhong [College of Veterinary Medicine, Yangzhou University, and Jiangsu Co-innovation Center for Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, 225009 (China); Liu, Zongping, E-mail: liuzongping@yzu.edu.cn [College of Veterinary Medicine, Yangzhou University, and Jiangsu Co-innovation Center for Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, 225009 (China)

    2015-04-17

    Cadmium (Cd) is known to induce hepatotoxicity, yet the underlying mechanism of how this occurs is not fully understood. In this study, Cd-induced apoptosis was demonstrated in rat liver cells (BRL 3A) with apoptotic nuclear morphological changes and a decrease in cell index (CI) in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. The role of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) and autophagy in Cd-induced apoptosis was investigated. Cd significantly induced GJIC inhibition as well as downregulation of connexin 43 (Cx43). The prototypical gap junction blocker carbenoxolone disodium (CBX) exacerbated the Cd-induced decrease in CI. Cd treatment was also found to cause autophagy, with an increase in mRNA expression of autophagy-related genes Atg-5, Atg-7, Beclin-1, and microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 (LC3) conversion from cytosolic LC3-I to membrane-bound LC3-II. The autophagic inducer rapamycin (RAP) prevented the Cd-induced CI decrease, while the autophagic inhibitor chloroquine (CQ) caused a further reduction in CI. In addition, CBX promoted Cd-induced autophagy, as well as changes in expression of Atg-5, Atg-7, Beclin-1 and LC3. CQ was found to block the Cd-induced decrease in Cx43 and GJIC inhibition, whereas RAP had opposite effect. These results demonstrate that autophagy plays a protective role during Cd-induced apoptosis in BRL 3A cells during 6 h of experiment, while autophagy exacerbates Cd-induced GJIC inhibition which has a negative effect on cellular fate. - Highlights: • GJIC and autophagy is crucial for biological processes. • Cd exposure causes GJIC inhibition and autophagy increase in BRL 3A cells. • Autophagy protects Cd induced BRL 3A cells apoptosis at an early stage. • Autophagy exacerbates Cd-induced GJIC inhibition. • GJIC plays an important role in autophagy induced cell death or survival.

  8. Mechanotransductive Regulation of Gap-Junction Activity Between MLO-Y4 Osteocyte-Like and MC3T3-E1 Osteoblast-Like Cells in Three-Dimensional Co-Culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juran, C. M.; Blaber, E. A.; Almeida, E. A. C.

    2016-01-01

    Cell and animal studies conducted onboard the International Space Station and formerly on Shuttle flights have provided groundbreaking data illuminating the deleterious biological response of bone to mechanical unloading. However the intercellular communicative mechanisms associated with the regulation of bone synthesis and bone resorption cells are still largely unknown. Connexin-43 (CX43), a gap junction protein, is hypothesized to play a significant role in osteoblast and osteocyte signaling. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate within a novel three-dimensional microenvironment how the osteocyte-osteoblast gap-junction expression changes when cultures are exposed to exaggerated mechanical load. MLO-Y4 osteocyte-like cells were cultured on a 3D-Biotek polystyrene insert and placed in direct contact with an MC3T3-E1 pre-osteoblast co-cultured monolayer and exposed to 48 h of mechanical stimulation (pulsatile fluid flow (PFF) or monolayer cyclic stretch (MCS)) then evaluated for viability, proliferation, metabolism, and CX43 expression. Mono-cultured MLO-Y4 and MC3T3-E1 control experiments were conducted under PFF and MCS stimulation to observe how strain application stimuli (PFF cell membrane shear or MCS cell focal adhesion/attachment loading) initiates different signaling pathways or downstream regulatory controls. TotalLive cell count, viability and metabolic reduction (Trypan Blue, LIVEDead and Alamar Blue analysis respectively) indicate that mechanical activation of MC3T3-E1 cells inhibits proliferation while maintaining an average 1.04E4 reductioncell metabolic rate, *p0.05 n4. MLO-Y4s in monolayer culture increase in number when exposed to MCS loading but the percent of live cells within the population is low (46.3 total count, *p0.05 n4), these results may indicate an apoptotic signaling cascade. PFF stimulation of the three-dimensional co-cultures elicits a universal increase in CX43 in MLO-Y4 and MC3T3-E1 cells, illustrated by

  9. Spinal Gap Junction Channels in Neuropathic Pain

    OpenAIRE

    Jeon, Young Hoon; Youn, Dong Ho

    2015-01-01

    Damage to peripheral nerves or the spinal cord is often accompanied by neuropathic pain, which is a complex, chronic pain state. Increasing evidence indicates that alterations in the expression and activity of gap junction channels in the spinal cord are involved in the development of neuropathic pain. Thus, this review briefly summarizes evidence that regulation of the expression, coupling, and activity of spinal gap junction channels modulates pain signals in neuropathic pain states induced...

  10. Antiproliferative Action of Conjugated Linoleic Acid on Human MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells Mediated by Enhancement of Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication through Inactivation of NF-κB

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Md. Abdur Rakib

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The major conjugated linoleic acid (CLA isomers, c9,t11-CLA and t10,c12-CLA, have anticancer effects; however, the exact mechanisms underlying these effects are unknown. Evidence suggests that reversal of reduced gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC in cancer cells inhibits cell growth and induces cell death. Hence, we determined that CLA isomers enhance GJIC in human MCF-7 breast cancer cells and investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms. The CLA isomers significantly enhanced GJIC of MCF-7 cells at 40 μM concentration, whereas CLA inhibited cell growth and induced caspase-dependent apoptosis. CLA increased connexin43 (Cx43 expression both at the transcriptional and translational levels. CLA inhibited nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB activity and enhanced reactive oxygen species (ROS generation. No significant difference was observed in the efficacy of c9,t11-CLA and t10,c12-CLA. These results suggest that the anticancer effect of CLA is associated with upregulation of GJIC mediated by enhanced Cx43 expression through inactivation of NF-κB and generation of ROS in MCF-7 cells.

  11. Inhibition of gap junctional Intercellular communication in WB-F344 rat liver epithelial cells by triphenyltin chloride through MAPK and PI3-kinase pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tsai Ming-Che

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Organotin compounds (OTCs have been widely used as stabilizers in the production of plastic, agricultural pesticides, antifoulant plaints and wood preservation. The toxicity of triphenyltin (TPT compounds was known for their embryotoxic, neurotoxic, genotoxic and immunotoxic effects in mammals. The carcinogenicity of TPT was not well understood and few studies had discussed the effects of OTCs on gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC of cells. Method In the present study, the effects of triphenyltin chloride (TPTC on GJIC in WB-F344 rat liver epithelial cells were evaluated, using the scrape-loading dye transfer technique. Results TPTC inhibited GJIC after a 30-min exposure in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Pre-incubation of cells with the protein kinase C (PKC inhibitor did not modify the response, but the specific MEK 1 inhibitor PD98059 and PI3K inhibitor LY294002 decreased substantially the inhibition of GJIC by TPTC. After WB-F344 cells were exposed to TPTC, phosphorylation of Cx43 increased as seen in Western blot analysis. Conclusions These results show that TPTC inhibits GJIC in WB-F344 rat liver epithelial cells by altering the Cx43 protein expression through both MAPK and PI3-kinase pathways.

  12. Joint diseases: from connexins to gap junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donahue, Henry J; Qu, Roy W; Genetos, Damian C

    2017-12-19

    Connexons form the basis of hemichannels and gap junctions. They are composed of six tetraspan proteins called connexins. Connexons can function as individual hemichannels, releasing cytosolic factors (such as ATP) into the pericellular environment. Alternatively, two hemichannel connexons from neighbouring cells can come together to form gap junctions, membrane-spanning channels that facilitate cell-cell communication by enabling signalling molecules of approximately 1 kDa to pass from one cell to an adjacent cell. Connexins are expressed in joint tissues including bone, cartilage, skeletal muscle and the synovium. Indicative of their importance as gap junction components, connexins are also known as gap junction proteins, but individual connexin proteins are gaining recognition for their channel-independent roles, which include scaffolding and signalling functions. Considerable evidence indicates that connexons contribute to the function of bone and muscle, but less is known about the function of connexons in other joint tissues. However, the implication that connexins and gap junctional channels might be involved in joint disease, including age-related bone loss, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, emphasizes the need for further research into these areas and highlights the therapeutic potential of connexins.

  13. Increasing gap junctional coupling: a tool for dissecting the role of gap junctions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Axelsen, Lene Nygaard; Haugan, Ketil; Stahlhut, Martin

    2007-01-01

    Much of our current knowledge about the physiological and pathophysiological role of gap junctions is based on experiments where coupling has been reduced by either chemical agents or genetic modification. This has brought evidence that gap junctions are important in many physiological processes....... In a number of cases, gap junctions have been implicated in the initiation and progress of disease, and experimental uncoupling has been used to investigate the exact role of coupling. The inverse approach, i.e., to increase coupling, has become possible in recent years and represents a new way of testing...... the role of gap junctions. The aim of this review is to summarize the current knowledge obtained with agents that selectively increase gap junctional intercellular coupling. Two approaches will be reviewed: increasing coupling by the use of antiarrhythmic peptide and its synthetic analogs...

  14. Gap junction diseases of the skin.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steensel, M.A.M. van

    2004-01-01

    Gap junctions are intercellular channels that allow the passage of water, ions, and small molecules. They are involved in quick, short-range messaging between cells and are found in skin, nervous tissue, heart, and muscle. An increasing number of hereditary skin disorders appear to be caused by

  15. Structure modeling and mutational analysis of gap junction beta 2 ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Yomi

    2012-04-03

    Apr 3, 2012 ... Three dimensional (3 D) structure is very useful for understanding biological functions. Gap junction beta 2 (GJB2), human gene encoding for gap junction beta 2 protein is involved in ... Research in deafness became real.

  16. Tanshinone IIA increases the bystander effect of herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase/ganciclovir gene therapy via enhanced gap junctional intercellular communication.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianyong Xiao

    Full Text Available The bystander effect is an intriguing phenomenon by which adjacent cells become sensitized to drug treatment during gene therapy with herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase/ganciclovir (HSV-tk/GCV. This effect is reported to be mediated by gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC, and therefore, we postulated that upregulation of genes that facilitate GJIC may enhance the HSV-tk/GCV bystander effect. Previous findings have shown Tanshinone IIA (Tan IIA, a chemical substance derived from a Chinese medicine herb, promotes the upregulation of the connexins Cx26 and Cx43 in B16 cells. Because gap junctions are formed by connexins, we hypothesized that Tan IIA might increase GJIC. Our results show that Tan IIA increased GJIC in B16 melanoma cells, leading to more efficient GCV-induced bystander killing in cells stably expressing HSV-tk. Additionally, in vivo experiments demonstrated that tumors in mice with 10% HSV-tk positive B16 cells and 90% wild-type B16 cells became smaller following treatment with the combination of GCV and Tan IIA as compared to GCV or Tan IIA alone. These data demonstrate that Tan IIA can augment the bystander effect of HSV-tk/GCV system through increased gap junction coupling, which adds strength to the promising strategy that develops connexins inducer to potentiate the effects of suicide gene therapy.

  17. Visfatin Reduces Gap Junction Mediated Cell-to-Cell Communication in Proximal Tubule-Derived Epithelial Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire E. Hills

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: In the current study we examined if the adipocytokine, visfatin, alters connexin-mediated intercellular communication in proximal tubule-derived epithelial cells. Methods: The effects of visfatin (10-200ng/mL on cell viability and cytotoxicity in HK2-cells were assessed by MTT, crystal violet and lactate dehydrogenase assays. Western blot analysis was used to confirm expression of Cx26, Cx40 and Cx43. The effect of visfatin (10-200ng/mL on TGF-β1 secretion was confirmed by ELISA, and the effects of both TGF-β1 (2-10ng/mL and visfatin (10-200ng/mL on connexin expression were assessed by western blot. Functional intercellular communication was determined using transfer of Lucifer Yellow and paired-whole cell patch clamp electrophysiology. Results: In low glucose (5mM, visfatin (10-200ng/mL did not affect membrane integrity, cytotoxicity or cell viability at 48hrs, but did evoke a concentration-dependent reduction in Cx26 and Cx43 expression. The expression of Cx40 was unaffected. At 48hrs, visfatin (10-200ng/mL increased the secretion of TGF-β1 and the visfatin-evoked changes in connexin expression were mimicked by exogenous application of the pro-fibrotic cytokine (2-10ng/ml. Visfatin reduced dye transfer between coupled cells and decreased functional conductance, with levels falling by 63% as compared to control. Although input resistance was increased following visfatin treatment by 166%, the change was not significant as compared to control. The effects of visfatin on Cx-expression and cell-coupling were blocked in the presence of a TGF-β1 specific neutralizing antibody. Conclusions: The adipocytokine visfatin selectively evoked a non-toxic reduction in connexin expression in HK2-cells. The loss in gap-junction associated proteins was mirrored by a loss in functional conductance between coupled cells. Visfatin increased TGF-β secretion and the pattern of change for connexins expression was mimicked by exogenous

  18. Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication and Breast Cancer Metastasis to Bone

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Donahue, Henry

    2001-01-01

    .... We found that: 1) expressing the metastasis suppressing gene BRMS1 in diverse cancer cell lines, including breast and melanoma, restores homotypic gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC); 2...

  19. O tabagismo está associado com a remodelação de junções comunicantes no coração de ratos: explicação do paradoxo dos fumantes? Smoking is associated with remodeling of gap junction in the rat heart: smoker's paradox explanation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosangela Novo

    2013-03-01

    reperfusion. OBJECTIVE: Thus, this study aimed to analyze the effects of exposure to tobacco smoke on intensity, distribution or phosphorylation of connexin 43 in the rat heart. METHODS: Wistar rats weighing 100 g were randomly allocated into 2 groups: 1 Control (n = 25; 2 Exposed to tobacco smoke (ETS, n = 23. After 5 weeks, left ventricular morphometric analysis, immunohisthochemistry and western blotting for connexin 43 (Cx43 were performed. RESULTS: Collagen volume fraction, cross-sectional areas, and ventricular weight were not statistically different between control and ETS. ETS showed lower stain intensity of Cx43 at intercalated disks (Control: 2.32 ± 0.19; ETS: 1.73 ± 0.18; p = 0.04. The distribution of CX43 at intercalated disks did not differ between the groups (Control: 3.73 ± 0.12; ETS: 3.20 ± 0.17; p = 0.18. ETS rats showed higher levels of dephosphorylated form of Cx43 (Control: 0.45 ± 0.11; ETS: 0.90 ± 0.11; p = 0.03. On the other hand, total Cx43 did not differ between control and ETS groups (Control: 0.75 ± 0.19; ETS: 0.93 ± 0.27; p = 0.58. CONCLUSION: Exposure to tobacco smoke resulted in cardiac gap junction remodeling, characterized by alterations in the quantity and phosphorylation of the Cx43, in rats hearts. This finding could explain the smoker's paradox observed in some studies.

  20. Connexin43 hemichannels contributes to the disassembly of cell junctions through modulation of intracellular oxidative status

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan Chi

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Connexin (Cx hemichannels regulate many cellular processes with little information available regarding their mechanisms. Given that many pathological factors that activate hemichannels also disrupts the integrity of cellular junctions, we speculated a potential participation of hemichannels in the regulation of cell junctions. Here we tested this hypothesis. Exposure of renal tubular epithelial cells to Ca2+-free medium led to disassembly of tight and adherens junctions, as indicated by the reduced level of ZO-1 and cadherin, disorganization of F-actin, and severe drop in transepithelial electric resistance. These changes were preceded by an activation of Cx43 hemichannels, as revealed by extracellular efflux of ATP and intracellular influx of Lucifer Yellow. Inhibition of hemichannels with chemical inhibitors or Cx43 siRNA greatly attenuated the disassembly of cell junctions. Further analysis using fetal fibroblasts derived from Cx43 wide-type (Cx43+/+, heterozygous (Cx43+/- and knockout (Cx43-/- littermates showed that Cx43-positive cells (Cx43+/+ exhibited more dramatic changes in cell shape, F-actin, and cadherin in response to Ca2+ depletion, as compared to Cx43-null cells (Cx43-/-. Consistently, these cells had higher level of protein carbonyl modification and phosphorylation, and much stronger activation of P38 and JNK. Hemichannel opening led to extracellular loss of the major antioxidant glutathione (GSH. Supplement of cells with exogenous GSH or inhibition of oxidative sensitive kinases largely prevented the above-mentioned changes. Taken together, our study indicates that Cx43 hemichannels promote the disassembly of cell junctions through regulation of intracellular oxidative status.

  1. Gap Junctions and Cancer: Communicating for 50 Years’

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aasen, Trond; Mesnil, Marc; Naus, Christian C.; Lampe, Paul D.; Laird, Dale W.

    2017-01-01

    Fifty years ago, tumour cells were found to lack electrical coupling, leading to the hypothesis that loss of direct intercellular communication is commonly associated with cancer onset and progression. Subsequent studies linked this phenomenon to gap junctions composed of connexin proteins. While many studies support the notion that connexins are tumour suppressors, recent evidence suggests that, in some tumour types, they may facilitate specific stages of tumour progression through both junctional and non-junctional signalling pathways. This Timeline article highlights the milestones connecting gap junctions to cancer, and underscores important unanswered questions, controversies and therapeutic opportunities in the field. PMID:27782134

  2. Ischemic preconditioning protects against gap junctional uncoupling in cardiac myofibroblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundset, Rune; Cooper, Marie; Mikalsen, Svein-Ole; Ytrehus, Kirsti

    2004-01-01

    Ischemic preconditioning increases the heart's tolerance to a subsequent longer ischemic period. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of gap junction communication in simulated preconditioning in cultured neonatal rat cardiac myofibroblasts. Gap junctional intercellular communication was assessed by Lucifer yellow dye transfer. Preconditioning preserved intercellular coupling after prolonged ischemia. An initial reduction in coupling in response to the preconditioning stimulus was also observed. This may protect neighboring cells from damaging substances produced during subsequent regional ischemia in vivo, and may preserve gap junctional communication required for enhanced functional recovery during subsequent reperfusion.

  3. Observation of gap inhomogeneity in superconducting aluminum tunnel junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gilmartin, H.R.

    1982-01-01

    Experiments using a novel technique to investigate spatial variations in the superconducting gap parameter of aluminum films driven out of equilibrium by intense tunnel injection are described. The technique features fine spatial and energy resolution of the gap parameter. The experiments employed a finely focused laser spot scanned across the surface of a double tunnel junction sandwich to produce a very weak electrical signal that was analyzed to determine the gap parameter as a function of position in the plane of the device. Technical aspects of the problem are emphasized, since a new technique is presented. An elaborate explanation of the origin and analysis of the laser induced signal is given, as well as a detailed description of the experimental apparatus. Very briefly, the principle of operation is that a large flux of quasiparticles is injected through the lower junction of the sandwich into the middle aluminum film, and the upper junction serves to detect the effects of that injection. The middle film takes on two or more values of the gap parameter under injection, presumably indicating spatial variation. The presence of a small laser spot on a given point on the device perturbs the potential on the detector junction very slightly. That perturbation is measured as a function of bias current to determine the gap parameter of the middle film at that point. The spot is scanned in a raster pattern to produce a picture of the space dependence of the gap parameter

  4. Gap junction modulation by extracellular signaling molecules: the thymus model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alves L.A.

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Gap junctions are intercellular channels which connect adjacent cells and allow direct exchange of molecules of low molecular weight between them. Such a communication has been described as fundamental in many systems due to its importance in coordination, proliferation and differentiation. Recently, it has been shown that gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC can be modulated by several extracellular soluble factors such as classical hormones, neurotransmitters, interleukins, growth factors and some paracrine substances. Herein, we discuss some aspects of the general modulation of GJIC by extracellular messenger molecules and more particularly the regulation of such communication in the thymus gland. Additionally, we discuss recent data concerning the study of different neuropeptides and hormones in the modulation of GJIC in thymic epithelial cells. We also suggest that the thymus may be viewed as a model to study the modulation of gap junction communication by different extracellular messengers involved in non-classical circuits, since this organ is under bidirectional neuroimmunoendocrine control.

  5. Hyperglycaemia and diabetes impair gap junctional communication among astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gandhi, Gautam K; Ball, Kelly K; Cruz, Nancy F; Dienel, Gerald A

    2010-03-15

    Sensory and cognitive impairments have been documented in diabetic humans and animals, but the pathophysiology of diabetes in the central nervous system is poorly understood. Because a high glucose level disrupts gap junctional communication in various cell types and astrocytes are extensively coupled by gap junctions to form large syncytia, the influence of experimental diabetes on gap junction channel-mediated dye transfer was assessed in astrocytes in tissue culture and in brain slices from diabetic rats. Astrocytes grown in 15-25 mmol/l glucose had a slow-onset, poorly reversible decrement in gap junctional communication compared with those grown in 5.5 mmol/l glucose. Astrocytes in brain slices from adult STZ (streptozotocin)-treated rats at 20-24 weeks after the onset of diabetes also exhibited reduced dye transfer. In cultured astrocytes grown in high glucose, increased oxidative stress preceded the decrement in dye transfer by several days, and gap junctional impairment was prevented, but not rescued, after its manifestation by compounds that can block or reduce oxidative stress. In sharp contrast with these findings, chaperone molecules known to facilitate protein folding could prevent and rescue gap junctional impairment, even in the presence of elevated glucose level and oxidative stress. Immunostaining of Cx (connexin) 43 and 30, but not Cx26, was altered by growth in high glucose. Disruption of astrocytic trafficking of metabolites and signalling molecules may alter interactions among astrocytes, neurons and endothelial cells and contribute to changes in brain function in diabetes. Involvement of the microvasculature may contribute to diabetic complications in the brain, the cardiovascular system and other organs.

  6. Gap junctions and hydrogen peroxide are involved in endothelium-derived hyperpolarising responses to bradykinin in omental arteries and veins isolated from pregnant women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammond, Stephanie; Mathewson, Alastair M; Baker, Philip N; Mayhew, Terry M; Dunn, William R

    2011-10-01

    Altered endothelial function may underlie human cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension, diabetes and pre-eclampsia. While much is known about endothelial function in small arteries, very little is known about endothelial responses in small veins isolated from humans. Therefore, we assessed endothelium-dependent responses in omental arteries and veins isolated from healthy pregnant women, focussing on endothelium-dependent hyperpolarising (EDH) mechanisms. Human omental arteries and veins were obtained from women undergoing elective caesarean sections and examined using pressure myography. In pressurised vessels, the effects of proposed inhibitors of EDH production/function were examined on responses to bradykinin. The expression of connexins Cx37, 40 and 43 was assessed using immunohistochemistry. Bradykinin caused vasodilatation in human pressurised omental arteries and veins. In both vessels, responses to bradykinin were partially blocked in the presence of the gap junction uncoupler, carbenoxolone, and reduced further with the addition of catalase, which acts to degrade H(2)O(2). The effect of catalase alone was more pronounced in venous preparations. All three connexins were expressed in both arteries and veins, with a similar distribution pattern, where Cx37 and Cx40 were located mainly in the endothelium and Cx43 located mostly in the media. These data show that, in human omental vessels, an EDH mechanism is produced in response to bradykinin that involves gap junction communication and the production of H(2)O(2). These mechanisms may be involved in the haemodynamic alterations that take place during pregnancy, and any aberration in their function could contribute to raised blood pressure in hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, such as pre-eclampsia. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Pallidal gap junctions-triggers of synchrony in Parkinson's disease?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schwab, B.C.; Heida, T.; Zhao, Y.; Gils, S.A. van; Wezel, R.J.A. van

    2014-01-01

    Although increased synchrony of the neural activity in the basal ganglia may underlie the motor deficiencies exhibited in Parkinson's disease (PD), how this synchrony arises, propagates through the basal ganglia, and changes under dopamine replacement remains unknown. Gap junctions could play a

  8. Pallidal gap junctions - Triggers of synchrony in Parkinson's disease?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schwab, B.C.; Heida, Tjitske; Zhao, Yan; van Gils, Stephanus A.; van Wezel, Richard Jack Anton

    2014-01-01

    Although increased synchrony of the neural activity in the basal ganglia may underlie the motor deficiencies exhibited in Parkinson's disease (PD), how this synchrony arises, propagates through the basal ganglia, and changes under dopamine replacement remains unknown. Gap junctions could play a

  9. [Gap junctions: A new therapeutic target in major depressive disorder?].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarrouilhe, D; Dejean, C

    2015-11-01

    Major depressive disorder is a multifactorial chronic and debilitating mood disease with high lifetime prevalence and is associated with excess mortality, especially from cardiovascular diseases and through suicide. The treatments of this disease with tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors are poorly tolerated and those that selectively target serotonin and norepinephrine re-uptake are not effective in all patients, showing the need to find new therapeutic targets. Post-mortem studies of brains from patients with major depressive disorders described a reduced expression of the gap junction-forming membrane proteins connexin 30 and connexin 43 in the prefrontal cortex and the locus coeruleus. The use of chronic unpredictable stress, a rodent model of depression, suggests that astrocytic gap junction dysfunction contributes to the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder. Chronic treatments of rats with fluoxetine and of rat cultured cortical astrocytes with amitriptyline support the hypothesis that the upregulation of gap junctional intercellular communication between brain astrocytes could be a novel mechanism for the therapeutic effect of antidepressants. In conclusion, astrocytic gap junctions are emerging as a new potential therapeutic target for the treatment of patients with major depressive disorder. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  10. The psychostimulant modafinil enhances gap junctional communication in cortical astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xinhe; Petit, Jean-Marie; Ezan, Pascal; Gyger, Joël; Magistretti, Pierre; Giaume, Christian

    2013-12-01

    Sleep-wake cycle is characterized by changes in neuronal network activity. However, for the last decade there is increasing evidence that neuroglial interaction may play a role in the modulation of sleep homeostasis and that astrocytes have a critical impact in this process. Interestingly, astrocytes are organized into communicating networks based on their high expression of connexins, which are the molecular constituents of gap junction channels. Thus, neuroglial interactions should also be considered as the result of the interplay between neuronal and astroglial networks. Here, we investigate the effect of modafinil, a wakefulness-promoting agent, on astrocyte gap junctional communication. We report that in the cortex modafinil injection increases the expression of mRNA and protein of connexin 30 but not those of connexin 43, the other major astroglial connexin. These increases are correlated with an enhancement of intercellular dye coupling in cortical astrocytes, which is abolished when neuronal activity is silenced by tetrodotoxin. Moreover, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, which at a millimolar concentration induces sleep, has an opposite effect on astroglial gap junctions in an activity-independent manner. These results support the proposition that astroglia may play an important role in complex physiological brain functions, such as sleep regulation, and that neuroglial networking interaction is modified during sleep-wake cycle. This article is part of the Special Issue Section entitled 'Current Pharmacology of Gap Junction Channels and Hemichannels'. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  11. Gap junctions and inhibitory synapses modulate inspiratory motoneuron synchronization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bou-Flores, C; Berger, A J

    2001-04-01

    Interneuronal electrical coupling via gap junctions and chemical synaptic inhibitory transmission are known to have roles in the generation and synchronization of activity in neuronal networks. Uncertainty exists regarding the roles of these two modes of interneuronal communication in the central respiratory rhythm-generating system. To assess their roles, we performed studies on both the neonatal mouse medullary slice and en bloc brain stem-spinal cord preparations where rhythmic inspiratory motor activity can readily be recorded from both hypoglossal and phrenic nerve roots. The rhythmic inspiratory activity observed had two temporal characteristics: the basic respiratory frequency occurring on a long time scale and the synchronous neuronal discharge within the inspiratory burst occurring on a short time scale. In both preparations, we observed that bath application of gap-junction blockers, including 18 alpha-glycyrrhetinic acid, 18 beta-glycyrrhetinic acid, and carbenoxolone, all caused a reduction in respiratory frequency. In contrast, peak integrated phrenic and hypoglossal inspiratory activity was not significantly changed by gap-junction blockade. On a short-time-scale, gap-junction blockade increased the degree of synchronization within an inspiratory burst observed in both nerves. In contrast, opposite results were observed with blockade of GABA(A) and glycine receptors. We found that respiratory frequency increased with receptor blockade, and simultaneous blockade of both receptors consistently resulted in a reduction in short-time-scale synchronized activity observed in phrenic and hypoglossal inspiratory bursts. These results support the concept that the central respiratory system has two components: a rhythm generator responsible for the production of respiratory cycle timing and an inspiratory pattern generator that is involved in short-time-scale synchronization. In the neonatal rodent, properties of both components can be regulated by interneuronal

  12. Inhibition of hepatocyte gap junctional intercellular communication by tumor promoters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ruch, R.J.

    1988-01-01

    The mechanisms by which tumor promoters enhance neoplasia are poorly understood. One effect common to most tumor promoters is their ability to inhibit the cell-to-cell exchange of small molecules and ions through gap junctions, i.e., gap junctional intercellular communication (IC). IC maybe necessary for normal growth control and the loss of IC may predispose cells to enhanced growth. In the present studies, the effects of liver tumor promoters and other agents on IC between rodent hepatocytes in primary culture has been studied. IC was detected between hepatocytes: (1) autoradiographically following the passage and incorporation of [5- 3 H]uridine nucleotides from pre-labeled donor hepatocytes to non-labeled, adjacent recipient hepatocytes and (2) by fluorescence microscopy after microinjection of fluorescent Lucifer Yellow CH dye into hepatocytes and visualizing dye spread into adjacent hepatocytes

  13. Symposia for a Meeting on Ion Channels and Gap Junctions

    CERN Document Server

    Sáez, Juan

    1997-01-01

    Ion channels allow us to see nature in all its magnificence, to hear a Bach suite, to smell the aroma of grandmother's cooking, and, in this regard, they put us in contact with the external world. These ion channels are protein molecules located in the cell membrane. In complex organisms, cells need to communicate in order to know about their metabolic status and to act in a coordinate manner. The latter is also accomplished by a class of ion channels able to pierce the lipid bilayer membranes of two adjacent cells. These intercellular channels are the functional subunits of gap junctions. Accordingly, the book is divided in two parts: the first part is dedicated to ion channels that look to the external world, and the second part is dedicated to gap junctions found at cell interfaces. This book is based on a series of symposia for a meeting on ion channels and gap junctions held in Santiago, Chile, on November 28-30, 1995. The book should be useful to graduate students taking the first steps in this field as...

  14. Conduction gap in graphene strain junctions: direction dependence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nguyen, M Chung; Nguyen, V Hung; Dollfus, P; Nguyen, Huy-Viet

    2014-01-01

    It has been shown in a recent study (Nguyen et al 2014 Nanotechnology 25 165201) that unstrained/strained graphene junctions are promising candidates to improve the performance of graphene transistors which is usually hindered by the gapless nature of graphene. Although the energy bandgap of strained graphene still remains zero, the shift of Dirac points in the k-space due to strain-induced deformation of graphene lattice can lead to the appearance of a finite conduction gap of several hundred meV in strained junctions with a strain of only a few per cent. However, since it depends essentially on the magnitude of the Dirac point shift, this conduction gap strongly depends on the direction of applied strain and the transport direction. In this work, a systematic study of conduction-gap properties with respect to these quantities is presented and the results are carefully analyzed. Our study provides useful information for further investigations to exploit graphene-strained junctions in electronic applications and strain sensors. (paper)

  15. Gap junction coupling confers isopotentiality on astrocyte syncytium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Baofeng; Buckalew, Richard; Du, Yixing; Kiyoshi, Conrad M.; Alford, Catherine C.; Wang, Wei; McTigue, Dana D.; Enyeart, John J.; Terman, David; Zhou, Min

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes are extensively coupled through gap junctions into a syncytium. However, the basic role of this major brain network remains largely unknown. Using electrophysiological and computational modeling methods, we demonstrate that the membrane potential (VM) of an individual astrocyte in a hippocampal syncytium, but not in a single, freshly isolated cell preparation, can be well-maintained at quasi-physiological levels when recorded with reduced or K+ free pipette solutions that alter the K+ equilibrium potential to non-physiological voltages. We show that an astrocyte’s associated syncytium provides powerful electrical coupling, together with ionic coupling at a lesser extent, that equalizes the astrocyte’s VM to levels comparable to its neighbors. Functionally, this minimizes VM depolarization attributable to elevated levels of local extracellular K+ and thereby maintains a sustained driving force for highly efficient K+ uptake. Thus, gap junction coupling functions to achieve isopotentiality in astrocytic networks, whereby a constant extracellular environment can be powerfully maintained for crucial functions of neural circuits. PMID:26435164

  16. Xenobiotic Modulation of Human Mammary Epithelial Cell Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication and Growth

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ruch, Randall

    1999-01-01

    .... These agents also inhibit gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC). This inhibition may contribute to the enhancement of breast epithelial growth and breast cancer formation by xenobiotics...

  17. Inhibition of Connexin 26/43 and Extracellular-Regulated Kinase Protein Plays a Critical Role in Melatonin Facilitated Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication in Hydrogen Peroxide-Treated HaCaT Keratinocyte Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyo-Jung Lee

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Though melatonin was known to regulate gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC in chick astrocytes and mouse hepatocytes, the underlying mechanism by melatonin was not elucidated in hydrogen peroxide- (H2O2- treated HaCaT keratinocyte cells until now. In the current study, though melatonin at 2 mM and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 at 300 μM showed weak cytotoxicity in HaCaT keratinocyte cells, melatonin significantly suppressed the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS in H2O2-treated HaCaT cells compared to untreated controls. Also, the scrape-loading dye-transfer assay revealed that melatonin enhances the intercellular communication by introducing Lucifer Yellow into H2O2-treated cells. Furthermore, melatonin significantly enhanced the expression of connexin 26 (Cx26 and connexin 43 (Cx43 at mRNA and protein levels, but not that of connexin 30 (Cx30 in H2O2-treated HaCaT cells. Of note, melatonin attenuated the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases (ERKs more than p38 MAPK or JNK in H2O2-treated HaCaT cells. Conversely, ERK inhibitor PD98059 promoted the intercellular communication in H2O2-treated HaCaT cells. Furthermore, combined treatment of melatonin (200 μM and vitamin C (10 μg/mL significantly reduced ROS production in H2O2-treated HaCaT cells. Overall, these findings support the scientific evidences that melatonin facilitates gap junctional intercellular communication in H2O2-treated HaCaT keratinocyte cells via inhibition of connexin 26/43 and ERK as a potent chemopreventive agent.

  18. Ouabain Increases Gap Junctional Communication in Epithelial Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arturo Ponce

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: The finding that endogenous ouabain acts as a hormone prompted efforts to elucidate its physiological function. In previous studies, we have shown that 10 nM ouabain (i.e., a concentration within the physiological range modulates cell-cell contacts such as tight junctions and apical/basolateral polarity. In this study, we examined whether 10 nM ouabain affects another important cell-cell feature: gap junction communication (GJC. Methods: We employed two different approaches: 1 analysis of the cell-to-cell diffusion of neurobiotin injected into a particular MDCK cell (epithelial cells from dog kidneys in a confluent monolayer by counting the number of neighboring cells reached by the probe and 2 measurement of the electrical capacitance. Results: We found that 10 nM ouabain increase GJC by 475% within 1 hour. The Na+-K+-ATPase acts as a receptor of ouabain. In previous works we have shown that ouabain activates c-Src and ERK1/2 in 1 hour; in the present study we show that the inhibition of these proteins block the effect of ouabain on GJC. This increase in GJC does not require synthesis of new protein components, because the inhibitors cycloheximide and actinomycin D did not affect this phenomenon. Using silencing assays we also demonstrate that this ouabain-induced enhancement of GJC involves connexins 32 and 43. Conclusion: Ouabain 10 nM increases GJC in MDCK cells.

  19. A three-dimensional model of a gap junction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xylouris, K.; Wittum, G.

    2009-01-01

    Gap junctions are effective electric couplings between neurons and form a very important way of communication between them. Since they can be considered as the points on the neuron's membrane on which for example dendrites of different cells become one piece, in three dimensions they can be modelled by observing this property in the created geometry. Thus they can be easily made part in an already existing 3-dimensional model for signal propagation on the neuron's membrane, if the geometries are chosen in such a way respect the blending of the membranes. A small network of two cells was created, which blend in their dendrites and a simulation of the three-dimensional model was carried out which reveals the fast transmission of the signal from one cell to the other.

  20. Limitations of the dual voltage clamp method in assaying conductance and kinetics of gap junction channels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wilders, R.; Jongsma, H. J.

    1992-01-01

    The electrical properties of gap junctions in cell pairs are usually studied by means of the dual voltage clamp method. The voltage across the junctional channels, however, cannot be controlled adequately due to an artificial resistance and a natural resistance, both connected in series with the gap

  1. Limitations of the dual voltage clamp method in assaying conductance and kinetics of gap junction channels

    OpenAIRE

    Wilders, R.; Jongsma, H.J.

    1992-01-01

    The electrical properties of gap junctions in cell pairs are usually studied by means of the dual voltage clamp method. The voltage across the junctional channels, however, cannot be controlled adequately due to an artificial resistance and a natural resistance, both connected in series with the gap junction. The access resistances to the cell interior of the recording pipettes make up the artificial resistance. The natural resistance consists of the cytoplasmic access resistances to the tigh...

  2. Treatment with the gap junction modifier rotigaptide (ZP123) reduces infarct size in rats with chronic myocardial infarction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haugan, Ketil; Marcussen, Niels; Kjølbye, Anne Louise

    2006-01-01

    Treatment with non-selective drugs (eg, long-chain alcohols, halothane) that reduce gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) is associated with reduced infarct size after myocardial infarction (MI). Therefore, it has been suggested that gap junction intercellular communication stimulating ...

  3. Effects of gap junction blockers on human neocortical synchronization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gigout, S; Louvel, J; Kawasaki, H; D'Antuono, M; Armand, V; Kurcewicz, I; Olivier, A; Laschet, J; Turak, B; Devaux, B; Pumain, R; Avoli, M

    2006-06-01

    Field potentials and intracellular recordings were obtained from human neocortical slices to study the role of gap junctions (GJ) in neuronal network synchronization. First, we examined the effects of GJ blockers (i.e., carbenoxolone, octanol, quinine, and quinidine) on the spontaneous synchronous events (duration = 0.2-1.1 s; intervals of occurrence = 3-27 s) generated by neocortical slices obtained from temporal lobe epileptic patients during application of 4-aminopyridine (4AP, 50 muM) and glutamatergic receptor antagonists. The synchronicity of these potentials (recorded at distances up to 5 mm) was decreased by GJ blockers within 20 min of application, while prolonged GJ blockers treatment at higher doses made them disappear with different time courses. Second, we found that slices from patients with focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) could generate in normal medium spontaneous synchronous discharges (duration = 0.4-8 s; intervals of occurrence = 0.5-90 s) that were (i) abolished by NMDA receptor antagonists and (ii) slowed down by carbenoxolone. Finally, octanol or carbenoxolone blocked 4AP-induced ictal-like discharges (duration = up to 35 s) in FCD slices. These data indicate that GJ play a role in synchronizing human neocortical networks and may implement epileptiform activity in FCD.

  4. Local dynamics of gap-junction-coupled interneuron networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lau, Troy; Zochowski, Michal; Gage, Gregory J; Berke, Joshua D

    2010-01-01

    Interneurons coupled by both electrical gap-junctions (GJs) and chemical GABAergic synapses are major components of forebrain networks. However, their contributions to the generation of specific activity patterns, and their overall contributions to network function, remain poorly understood. Here we demonstrate, using computational methods, that the topological properties of interneuron networks can elicit a wide range of activity dynamics, and either prevent or permit local pattern formation. We systematically varied the topology of GJ and inhibitory chemical synapses within simulated networks, by changing connection types from local to random, and changing the total number of connections. As previously observed we found that randomly coupled GJs lead to globally synchronous activity. In contrast, we found that local GJ connectivity may govern the formation of highly spatially heterogeneous activity states. These states are inherently temporally unstable when the input is uniformly random, but can rapidly stabilize when the network detects correlations or asymmetries in the inputs. We show a correspondence between this feature of network activity and experimental observations of transient stabilization of striatal fast-spiking interneurons (FSIs), in electrophysiological recordings from rats performing a simple decision-making task. We suggest that local GJ coupling enables an active search-and-select function of striatal FSIs, which contributes to the overall role of cortical-basal ganglia circuits in decision-making

  5. Abundance of gap junctions at glutamatergic mixed synapses in adult Mosquitofish spinal cord neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose L Serrano-Velez

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Dye-coupling, whole-mount immunohistochemistry for gap junction channel protein connexin 35 (Cx35, and freeze-fracture replica immunogold labeling (FRIL reveal an abundance of electrical synapses/gap junctions at glutamatergic mixed synapses in the 14th spinal segment that innervates the adult male gonopodium of Western Mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis (Mosquitofish.To study gap junctions’ role in fast motor behavior, we used a minimally-invasive neural-tract-tracing technique to introduce gap junction-permeant or -impermeant dyes into deep muscles controlling the gonopodium of the adult male Mosquitofish, a teleost fish that rapidly transfers (complete in 50 of the 62 gap junctions at mixed synapses are in the 14th spinal segment.Our results support and extend studies showing gap junctions at mixed synapses in spinal cord segments involved in control of genital reflexes in rodents, and they suggest a link between mixed synapses and fast motor behavior. The findings provide a basis for studies of specific roles of spinal neurons in the generation/regulation of sex-specific behavior and for studies of gap junctions’ role in regulating fast motor behavior. Finally, the CoPA IN provides a novel candidate neuron for future studies of gap junctions and neural control of fast motor behaviors.

  6. Quantitative analysis of dual whole-cell voltage-clamp determination of gap junctional conductance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Rijen, H. V.; Wilders, R.; van Ginneken, A. C.; Jongsma, H. J.

    1998-01-01

    The dual whole-cell voltage-clamp technique is used widely for determination of kinetics and conductance of gap junctions. The use of this technique may, however, occasion to considerable errors. We have analysed the errors in steady state junctional conductance measurements under different

  7. ATP- and gap junction-dependent intercellular calcium signaling in osteoblastic cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jorgensen, N R; Geist, S T; Civitelli, R

    1997-01-01

    mechanically induced calcium waves in two rat osteosarcoma cell lines that differ in the gap junction proteins they express, in their ability to pass microinjected dye from cell to cell, and in their expression of P2Y2 (P2U) purinergic receptors. ROS 17/2.8 cells, which express the gap junction protein......Many cells coordinate their activities by transmitting rises in intracellular calcium from cell to cell. In nonexcitable cells, there are currently two models for intercellular calcium wave propagation, both of which involve release of inositol trisphosphate (IP3)- sensitive intracellular calcium...... stores. In one model, IP3 traverses gap junctions and initiates the release of intracellular calcium stores in neighboring cells. Alternatively, calcium waves may be mediated not by gap junctional communication, but rather by autocrine activity of secreted ATP on P2 purinergic receptors. We studied...

  8. Synopsis of the International Gap Junction Conference in Elsinore, Denmark August 5-9, 2007

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willecke, Klaus; Nielsen, Morten Schak

    2008-01-01

    This synopsis covers the main results and conclusions from the platform presentations during the International Gap Junction Conference. More detailed information is provided in the mini reviews on controversial scientific issues, short reports of research results and conference abstracts publishe...

  9. [Inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication protects astrocytes from hypoxia/reoxygenation injury].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Xu-Hui; Gu, Yu-Chen; Jiao, Hao; Yu, Li; Dong, Shu-Ying

    2015-01-01

    To investigate the effects of inhibiting gap junctional intercellular communication on hypoxia/reoxygenation injury in astrocytes. Primary cultured cerebral cortical astrocytes of neonate rats were divided into normal control group, hypoxia reoxygenation injury group and 18-α-glycyrrhetinic acid and oleamide (gap junctional intercellular channel inhibitors) group. The gap junction intercellular communication was determined by Parachute assay. The viability of astrocyes was detected by MTT assay. The apoptosis of astrocytes were detected with annexin V/PI and Hoechst 33258 staining. Compared with the normal control group, the gap junctional function of astrocytes was increased significantly in ischemia/reperfusion group (Pastrocytes decreased significantly (Pastrocytes in18-α-glycyrrhetinic acid and oleamide group decreased significantly (Pastrocytes increased significantly (Pastrocytes.

  10. Innexin gap junctions in nerve cells coordinate spontaneous contractile behavior in Hydra polyps

    KAUST Repository

    Takaku, Yasuharu

    2014-01-07

    Nerve cells and spontaneous coordinated behavior first appeared near the base of animal evolution in the common ancestor of cnidarians and bilaterians. Experiments on the cnidarian Hydra have demonstrated that nerve cells are essential for this behavior, although nerve cells in Hydra are organized in a diffuse network and do not form ganglia. Here we show that the gap junction protein innexin-2 is expressed in a small group of nerve cells in the lower body column of Hydra and that an anti-innexin-2 antibody binds to gap junctions in the same region. Treatment of live animals with innexin-2 antibody eliminates gap junction staining and reduces spontaneous body column contractions. We conclude that a small subset of nerve cells, connected by gap junctions and capable of synchronous firing, act as a pacemaker to coordinate the contraction of the body column in the absence of ganglia.

  11. Gap junctions and epileptic seizures--two sides of the same coin?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladislav Volman

    Full Text Available Electrical synapses (gap junctions play a pivotal role in the synchronization of neuronal ensembles which also makes them likely agonists of pathological brain activity. Although large body of experimental data and theoretical considerations indicate that coupling neurons by electrical synapses promotes synchronous activity (and thus is potentially epileptogenic, some recent evidence questions the hypothesis of gap junctions being among purely epileptogenic factors. In particular, an expression of inter-neuronal gap junctions is often found to be higher after the experimentally induced seizures than before. Here we used a computational modeling approach to address the role of neuronal gap junctions in shaping the stability of a network to perturbations that are often associated with the onset of epileptic seizures. We show that under some circumstances, the addition of gap junctions can increase the dynamical stability of a network and thus suppress the collective electrical activity associated with seizures. This implies that the experimentally observed post-seizure additions of gap junctions could serve to prevent further escalations, suggesting furthermore that they are a consequence of an adaptive response of the neuronal network to the pathological activity. However, if the seizures are strong and persistent, our model predicts the existence of a critical tipping point after which additional gap junctions no longer suppress but strongly facilitate the escalation of epileptic seizures. Our results thus reveal a complex role of electrical coupling in relation to epileptiform events. Which dynamic scenario (seizure suppression or seizure escalation is ultimately adopted by the network depends critically on the strength and duration of seizures, in turn emphasizing the importance of temporal and causal aspects when linking gap junctions with epilepsy.

  12. Chaotic synchronization with gap junction of multi-neurons in external electrical stimulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deng Bin; Wang Jiang; Fei Xiangyang

    2005-01-01

    The synchronization of n(n 3) neurons coupled with gap junction in external electrical stimulation is investigated. In this paper, the coupled model is established on the basis of nonlinear cable model, and then the relation between coupling strength of the gap junction and the synchronization is discussed in detail. The sufficient condition of complete synchronization is attained from rigorous mathematical derivation. The synchronizations of periodic neurons and chaotic neurons are studied respectively

  13. Inhibition of connexin43 gap junction channels by the endocrine disruptor ioxynil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leithe, Edward; Kjenseth, Ane; Bruun, Jarle; Sirnes, Solveig; Rivedal, Edgar

    2010-01-01

    Gap junctions are intercellular plasma membrane domains containing channels that mediate transport of ions, metabolites and small signaling molecules between adjacent cells. Gap junctions play important roles in a variety of cellular processes, including regulation of cell growth and differentiation, maintenance of tissue homeostasis and embryogenesis. The constituents of gap junction channels are a family of trans-membrane proteins called connexins, of which the best-studied is connexin43. Connexin43 functions as a tumor suppressor protein in various tissue types and is frequently dysregulated in human cancers. The pesticide ioxynil has previously been shown to act as an endocrine disrupting chemical and has multiple effects on the thyroid axis. Furthermore, both ioxynil and its derivative ioxynil octanoate have been reported to induce tumors in animal bioassays. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the possible tumorigenic effects of these compounds are unknown. In the present study we show that ioxynil and ioxynil octanoate are strong inhibitors of connexin43 gap junction channels. Both compounds induced rapid loss of connexin43 gap junctions at the plasma membrane and increased connexin43 degradation. Ioxynil octanoate, but not ioxynil, was found to be a strong activator of ERK1/2. The compounds also had different effects on the phosphorylation status of connexin43. Taken together, the data show that ioxynil and ioxynil octanoate are potent inhibitors of intercellular communication via gap junctions.

  14. Intercellular communication via gap junctions affected by mechanical load in the bovine annulus fibrosus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desrochers, Jane; Duncan, Neil A

    2014-01-01

    Cells in the intervertebral disc, as in other connective tissues including tendon, ligament and bone, form interconnected cellular networks that are linked via functional gap junctions. These cellular networks may be necessary to affect a coordinated response to mechanical and environmental stimuli. Using confocal microscopy with fluorescence recovery after photobleaching methods, we explored the in situ strain environment of the outer annulus of an intact bovine disc and the effect of high-level flexion on gap junction signalling. The in situ strain environment in the extracellular matrix of the outer annulus under high flexion load was observed to be non-uniform with the extensive cellular processes remaining crimped sometimes at flexion angles greater than 25°. A significant transient disruption of intercellular communication via functional gap junctions was measured after 10 and 20 min under high flexion load. This study illustrates that in healthy annulus fibrosus tissue, high mechanical loads can impede the functioning of the gap junctions. Future studies will explore more complex loading conditions to determine whether losses in intercellular communication can be permanent and whether gap junctions in aged and degenerated tissues become more susceptible to load. The current research suggests that cellular structures such as gap junctions and intercellular networks, as well as other cell-cell and cell-matrix interconnections, need to be considered in computational models in order to fully understand how macroscale mechanical signals are transmitted across scales to the microscale and ultimately into a cellular biosynthetic response in collagenous tissues.

  15. Impact of 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene exposure on connexin gap junction proteins in cultured rat ovaries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ganesan, Shanthi, E-mail: shanthig@iastate.edu; Keating, Aileen F., E-mail: akeating@iastate.edu

    2014-01-15

    7,12-Dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) destroys ovarian follicles in a concentration-dependent manner. The impact of DMBA on connexin (CX) proteins that mediate communication between follicular cell types along with pro-apoptotic factors p53 and Bax were investigated. Postnatal day (PND) 4 Fisher 344 rat ovaries were cultured for 4 days in vehicle medium (1% DMSO) followed by a single exposure to vehicle control (1% DMSO) or DMBA (12.5 nM or 75 nM) and cultured for 4 or 8 days. RT-PCR was performed to quantify Cx37, Cx43, p53 and Bax mRNA level. Western blotting and immunofluorescence staining were performed to determine CX37 or CX43 level and/or localization. Cx37 mRNA and protein increased (P < 0.05) at 4 days of 12.5 nM DMBA exposure. Relative to vehicle control-treated ovaries, mRNA encoding Cx43 decreased (P < 0.05) but CX43 protein increased (P < 0.05) at 4 days by both DMBA exposures. mRNA expression of pro-apoptotic p53 was decreased (P < 0.05) but no changes in Bax expression were observed after 4 days of DMBA exposures. In contrast, after 8 days, DMBA decreased Cx37 and Cx43 mRNA and protein but increased both p53 and Bax mRNA levels. CX43 protein was located between granulosa cells, while CX37 was located at the oocyte cell surface of all follicle stages. These findings support that DMBA exposure impacts ovarian Cx37 and Cx43 mRNA and protein prior to both observed changes in pro-apoptotic p53 and Bax and follicle loss. It is possible that such interference in follicular cell communication is detrimental to follicle viability, and may play a role in DMBA-induced follicular atresia. - Highlights: • DMBA increases Cx37 and Cx43 expression prior to follicle loss. • During follicle loss both Cx37 and Cx43 expressions are reduced. • CX43 protein is absent in follicle remnants lacking an oocyte.

  16. Inter-band phase fluctuations in macroscopic quantum tunneling of multi-gap superconducting Josephson junctions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asai, Hidehiro, E-mail: hd-asai@aist.go.jp [Electronics and Photonics Research Institute (ESPRIT), National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8568 (Japan); Ota, Yukihiro [CCSE, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8587 (Japan); Kawabata, Shiro [Electronics and Photonics Research Institute (ESPRIT), National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8568 (Japan); Nori, Franco [CEMS, RIKEN, Wako-shi, Saitama 351-0198 (Japan); Physics Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1040 (United States)

    2014-09-15

    Highlights: • We study MQT in Josephson junctions composed of multi-gap superconductors. • We derive a formula of the MQT escape rate for multiple phase differences. • We investigate the effect of inter-band phase fluctuation on MQT. • The MQT escape rate is significantly enhanced by the inter-band phase fluctuation. - Abstract: We theoretically investigate macroscopic quantum tunneling (MQT) in a hetero Josephson junction formed by a conventional single-gap superconductor and a multi-gap superconductor. In such Josephson junctions, phase differences for each tunneling channel are defined, and the fluctuation of the relative phase differences appear which is referred to as Josephson–Leggett’s mode. We take into account the effect of the fluctuation in the tunneling process and calculate the MQT escape rate for various junction parameters. We show that the fluctuation of relative phase differences drastically enhances the escape rate.

  17. Inter-band phase fluctuations in macroscopic quantum tunneling of multi-gap superconducting Josephson junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asai, Hidehiro; Ota, Yukihiro; Kawabata, Shiro; Nori, Franco

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • We study MQT in Josephson junctions composed of multi-gap superconductors. • We derive a formula of the MQT escape rate for multiple phase differences. • We investigate the effect of inter-band phase fluctuation on MQT. • The MQT escape rate is significantly enhanced by the inter-band phase fluctuation. - Abstract: We theoretically investigate macroscopic quantum tunneling (MQT) in a hetero Josephson junction formed by a conventional single-gap superconductor and a multi-gap superconductor. In such Josephson junctions, phase differences for each tunneling channel are defined, and the fluctuation of the relative phase differences appear which is referred to as Josephson–Leggett’s mode. We take into account the effect of the fluctuation in the tunneling process and calculate the MQT escape rate for various junction parameters. We show that the fluctuation of relative phase differences drastically enhances the escape rate

  18. A PC microsimulation of a gap acceptance model for turning left at a T-junction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaap, Nina; Dijck, T.; van Arem, Bart; Morsink, Peter L.J.

    2009-01-01

    Vehicles are controlled by sub-behavioral models in a microsimulation model, this includes the gap acceptance model where the decision about how to cross a junction is made. The critical gap in these models must serve as a threshold value to accept or reject the space between two successive vehicles

  19. Gemcitabine intercellular diffusion mediated by gap junctions: new implications for cancer therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caruso Manuel

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Solid tumors are often poorly vascularized, with cells that can be 100 μm away from blood vessels. These distant cells get less oxygen and nutrients and are exposed to lower doses of chemotherapeutic agents. As gap junctions allow the passage of small molecules between cells, we tested the possibility that the chemotherapeutic agent gemcitabine can diffuse through gap junctions in solid tumors. Results We first showed with a dye transfer assay that the glioblastoma and the osteosarcoma cells used in this study have functional gap junctions. These cells were genetically engineered to express the herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (TK, and induced a "bystander effect" as demonstrated by the killing of TK-negative cells in presence of the nucleoside analogue ganciclovir (GCV. The ability of gemcitabine to induce a similar bystander effect was then tested by mixing cells treated with 3 μM gemcitabine for 24 hours with untreated cells at different ratios. In all cell lines tested, bystander cells were killed with ratios containing as low as 5% treated cells, and this toxic effect was reduced in presence of α-glycyrrhetinic acid (AGA, a specific gap junction inhibitor. We also showed that a 2- or a 24-hour gemcitabine treatment was more efficient to inhibit the growth of spheroids with functional gap junctions as compared to the same treatment made in presence of AGA. Finally, after a 24-hour gemcitabine treatment, the cell viability in spheroids was reduced by 92% as opposed to 51% in presence of AGA. Conclusion These results indicate that gemcitabine-mediated toxicity can diffuse through gap junctions, and they suggest that gemcitabine treatment could be more efficient for treating solid tumors that display gap junctions. The presence of these cellular channels could be used to predict the responsiveness to this nucleoside analogue therapy.

  20. Microwave dependence of subharmonic gap structure in superconducting junctions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, O. Hoffman; Kofoed, Bent; Pedersen, Niels Falsig

    1974-01-01

    are integers: m=1,2,3,… and n=0,1,2,…. The power dependence of the satellite structure and the microwave-assisted tunneling structure is consistent for all junctions tested with the expression Jn2(m e Vrf / h ν), where Jn(x) is the ordinary Bessel function of order n, Vrf is the amplitude of the induced...

  1. Gap junctional coupling in the vertebrate retina: variations on one theme?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Völgyi, Béla; Kovács-Oller, Tamás; Atlasz, Tamás; Wilhelm, Márta; Gábriel, Róbert

    2013-05-01

    Gap junctions connect cells in the bodies of all multicellular organisms, forming either homologous or heterologous (i.e. established between identical or different cell types, respectively) cell-to-cell contacts by utilizing identical (homotypic) or different (heterotypic) connexin protein subunits. Gap junctions in the nervous system serve electrical signaling between neurons, thus they are also called electrical synapses. Such electrical synapses are particularly abundant in the vertebrate retina where they are specialized to form links between neurons as well as glial cells. In this article, we summarize recent findings on retinal cell-to-cell coupling in different vertebrates and identify general features in the light of the evergrowing body of data. In particular, we describe and discuss tracer coupling patterns, connexin proteins, junctional conductances and modulatory processes. This multispecies comparison serves to point out that most features are remarkably conserved across the vertebrate classes, including (i) the cell types connected via electrical synapses; (ii) the connexin makeup and the conductance of each cell-to-cell contact; (iii) the probable function of each gap junction in retinal circuitry; (iv) the fact that gap junctions underlie both electrical and/or tracer coupling between glial cells. These pan-vertebrate features thus demonstrate that retinal gap junctions have changed little during the over 500 million years of vertebrate evolution. Therefore, the fundamental architecture of electrically coupled retinal circuits seems as old as the retina itself, indicating that gap junctions deeply incorporated in retinal wiring from the very beginning of the eye formation of vertebrates. In addition to hard wiring provided by fast synaptic transmitter-releasing neurons and soft wiring contributed by peptidergic, aminergic and purinergic systems, electrical coupling may serve as the 'skeleton' of lateral processing, enabling important functions such

  2. The extracellular matrix component laminin promotes gap junction formation in the rat anterior pituitary gland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horiguchi, Kotaro; Kouki, Tom; Fujiwara, Ken; Kikuchi, Motoshi; Yashiro, Takashi

    2011-03-01

    Folliculo-stellate (FS) cells in the anterior pituitary gland are believed to have multifunctional properties. FS cells connect to each other not only by mechanical means, but also by gap junctional cell-to-cell communication. Using transgenic rats that express green fluorescent protein (GFP) specifically in FS cells in the anterior pituitary gland (S100b-GFP rats), we recently revealed that FS cells in primary culture markedly change their shape, and form numerous interconnections with neighboring FS cells in the presence of laminin, an extracellular matrix (ECM) component of the basement membrane. Morphological and functional changes in cells are believed to be partly modified by matricrine signaling, by which ECM components function as cellular signals. In the present study, we examined whether gap junction formation between FS cells is affected by matricrine cues. A cell sorter was used to isolate FS cells from male S100b-GFP rat anterior pituitary for primary culture. We observed that mRNA and protein levels of connexin 43 in gap junction channels were clearly higher in the presence of laminin. In addition, we confirmed the formation of gap junctions between FS cells in primary culture by electron microscopy. Interestingly, we also observed that FS cells in the presence of laminin displayed well-developed rough endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus. Our findings suggest that, in anterior pituitary gland, FS cells may facilitate functional roles such as gap junctional cell-to-cell communication by matricrine signaling.

  3. Gap junctions in cells of the immune system: structure, regulation and possible functional roles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.C. Sáez

    2000-04-01

    Full Text Available Gap junction channels are sites of cytoplasmic communication between contacting cells. In vertebrates, they consist of protein subunits denoted connexins (Cxs which are encoded by a gene family. According to their Cx composition, gap junction channels show different gating and permeability properties that define which ions and small molecules permeate them. Differences in Cx primary sequences suggest that channels composed of different Cxs are regulated differentially by intracellular pathways under specific physiological conditions. Functional roles of gap junction channels could be defined by the relative importance of permeant substances, resulting in coordination of electrical and/or metabolic cellular responses. Cells of the native and specific immune systems establish transient homo- and heterocellular contacts at various steps of the immune response. Morphological and functional studies reported during the last three decades have revealed that many intercellular contacts between cells in the immune response present gap junctions or "gap junction-like" structures. Partial characterization of the molecular composition of some of these plasma membrane structures and regulatory mechanisms that control them have been published recently. Studies designed to elucidate their physiological roles suggest that they might permit coordination of cellular events which favor the effective and timely response of the immune system.

  4. Search for a proximity effect induced gap in gold/high Tc junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dessau, D.S.; Wells, B.O.; Shen, Z.; Spicer, W.E.; Arko, A.J.; List, R.S.; Olson, C.G.; Eom, C.B.; Mitzi, D.B.; Kapitulnik, A.; Geballe, T.H.

    1991-01-01

    We have used high-resolution photoemission spectroscopy to search for a proximity effect induced superconducting gap in gold overlayers on c-axis single crystals of Bi 2 Sr 2 CaCu 2 O 8 and a-axis thin films of YBa 2 Cu 3 O 7 . These two junction types give us a representative sampling of very well characterized near-ideal interfaces (gold/c-axis Bi 2 Sr 2 CaCu 2 O 8 ) and junctions in which the geometry more strongly favors the existence of the proximity effect but the interfacial quality may not be as ideal (gold/a-axis YBa 2 Cu 3 O 7 ). In neither of these junction types did we observe any evidence for a proximity effect induced gap, and we place an upper limit of approximately 5 meV on its existence in the junctions that we have studied

  5. Feature of the energy gap in YBa2 Cu3 O7 from break junction measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ekino, T.; Minami, T.; Fujii, H.

    1995-01-01

    Superconducting energy gap in YBa 2 Cu 3 O 7 have been investigated using break junctions. The tunneling conductance, dI/dV, at T=4.2 K shows no leakage around zero bias, while the gap edge peaks are broadened compared to the simple BCS density of states. These features suggest the spatial distribution of the energy gap or the anisotropic s-wave pairing. The observed largest gap value, determined by the peak-to-peak (p-p) separation in dI/dV, is 140 meV, which corresponds to the 4 δ p-p of an SIS junction. The observed tunneling density of states is fairly well expressed by the probability distribution of the energy gap using the BCS density of states

  6. Astrocytic gap junctional networks suppress cellular damage in an in vitro model of ischemia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shinotsuka, Takanori; Yasui, Masato; Nuriya, Mutsuo, E-mail: mnuriya@z2.keio.jp

    2014-02-07

    Highlights: • Astrocytes exhibit characteristic changes in [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} under OGD. • Astrocytic [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increase is synchronized with a neuronal anoxic depolarization. • Gap junctional couplings protect neurons as well as astrocytes during OGD. - Abstract: Astrocytes play pivotal roles in both the physiology and the pathophysiology of the brain. They communicate with each other via extracellular messengers as well as through gap junctions, which may exacerbate or protect against pathological processes in the brain. However, their roles during the acute phase of ischemia and the underlying cellular mechanisms remain largely unknown. To address this issue, we imaged changes in the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i}) in astrocytes in mouse cortical slices under oxygen/glucose deprivation (OGD) condition using two-photon microscopy. Under OGD, astrocytes showed [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} oscillations followed by larger and sustained [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increases. While the pharmacological blockades of astrocytic receptors for glutamate and ATP had no effect, the inhibitions of gap junctional intercellular coupling between astrocytes significantly advanced the onset of the sustained [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increase after OGD exposure. Interestingly, the simultaneous recording of the neuronal membrane potential revealed that the onset of the sustained [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increase in astrocytes was synchronized with the appearance of neuronal anoxic depolarization. Furthermore, the blockade of gap junctional coupling resulted in a concurrent faster appearance of neuronal depolarizations, which remain synchronized with the sustained [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increase in astrocytes. These results indicate that astrocytes delay the appearance of the pathological responses of astrocytes and neurons through their gap junction-mediated intercellular network under OGD. Thus, astrocytic gap junctional networks provide protection against tissue damage

  7. Astrocytic gap junctional networks suppress cellular damage in an in vitro model of ischemia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shinotsuka, Takanori; Yasui, Masato; Nuriya, Mutsuo

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Astrocytes exhibit characteristic changes in [Ca 2+ ] i under OGD. • Astrocytic [Ca 2+ ] i increase is synchronized with a neuronal anoxic depolarization. • Gap junctional couplings protect neurons as well as astrocytes during OGD. - Abstract: Astrocytes play pivotal roles in both the physiology and the pathophysiology of the brain. They communicate with each other via extracellular messengers as well as through gap junctions, which may exacerbate or protect against pathological processes in the brain. However, their roles during the acute phase of ischemia and the underlying cellular mechanisms remain largely unknown. To address this issue, we imaged changes in the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca 2+ ] i ) in astrocytes in mouse cortical slices under oxygen/glucose deprivation (OGD) condition using two-photon microscopy. Under OGD, astrocytes showed [Ca 2+ ] i oscillations followed by larger and sustained [Ca 2+ ] i increases. While the pharmacological blockades of astrocytic receptors for glutamate and ATP had no effect, the inhibitions of gap junctional intercellular coupling between astrocytes significantly advanced the onset of the sustained [Ca 2+ ] i increase after OGD exposure. Interestingly, the simultaneous recording of the neuronal membrane potential revealed that the onset of the sustained [Ca 2+ ] i increase in astrocytes was synchronized with the appearance of neuronal anoxic depolarization. Furthermore, the blockade of gap junctional coupling resulted in a concurrent faster appearance of neuronal depolarizations, which remain synchronized with the sustained [Ca 2+ ] i increase in astrocytes. These results indicate that astrocytes delay the appearance of the pathological responses of astrocytes and neurons through their gap junction-mediated intercellular network under OGD. Thus, astrocytic gap junctional networks provide protection against tissue damage during the acute phase of ischemia

  8. Chemopreventive agents attenuate rapid inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication induced by environmental toxicants

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Babica, Pavel; Čtveráčková, Lucie; Lenčešová, Zuzana; Trosko, J. E.; Upham, B. L.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 68, č. 5 (2016), s. 827-837 ISSN 0163-5581 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LH12034 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : gap junctional intercellular communication * chemopreventive agents * environmental toxicants Subject RIV: FR - Pharmacology ; Medidal Chemistry Impact factor: 2.447, year: 2016

  9. Gap junction networks can generate both ripple-like and fast ripple-like oscillations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Anna; Traub, Roger D.; Vladimirov, Nikita; Jenkins, Alistair; Nicholson, Claire; Whittaker, Roger G.; Schofield, Ian; Clowry, Gavin J.; Cunningham, Mark O.; Whittington, Miles A.

    2014-01-01

    Fast ripples (FRs) are network oscillations, defined variously as having frequencies of > 150 to > 250 Hz, with a controversial mechanism. FRs appear to indicate a propensity of cortical tissue to originate seizures. Here, we demonstrate field oscillations, at up to 400 Hz, in spontaneously epileptic human cortical tissue in vitro, and present a network model that could explain FRs themselves, and their relation to ‘ordinary’ (slower) ripples. We performed network simulations with model pyramidal neurons, having axons electrically coupled. Ripples ( 250 Hz, were sustained or interrupted, and had little jitter in the firing of individual axons. The form of model FR was similar to spontaneously occurring FRs in excised human epileptic tissue. In vitro, FRs were suppressed by a gap junction blocker. Our data suggest that a given network can produce ripples, FRs, or both, via gap junctions, and that FRs are favored by clusters of axonal gap junctions. If axonal gap junctions indeed occur in epileptic tissue, and are mediated by connexin 26 (recently shown to mediate coupling between immature neocortical pyramidal cells), then this prediction is testable. PMID:24118191

  10. Homeostatic Plasticity Mediated by Rod-Cone Gap Junction Coupling in Retinal Degenerative Dystrophic RCS Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Baoke; Fu, Yan; Weng, Chuanhuang; Liu, Weiping; Zhao, Congjian; Yin, Zheng Qin

    2017-01-01

    Rod-cone gap junctions open at night to allow rod signals to pass to cones and activate the cone-bipolar pathway. This enhances the ability to detect large, dim objects at night. This electrical synaptic switch is governed by the circadian clock and represents a novel form of homeostatic plasticity that regulates retinal excitability according to network activity. We used tracer labeling and ERG recording in the retinae of control and retinal degenerative dystrophic RCS rats. We found that in the control animals, rod-cone gap junction coupling was regulated by the circadian clock via the modulation of the phosphorylation of the melatonin synthetic enzyme arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT). However, in dystrophic RCS rats, AANAT was constitutively phosphorylated, causing rod-cone gap junctions to remain open. A further b/a-wave ratio analysis revealed that dystrophic RCS rats had stronger synaptic strength between photoreceptors and bipolar cells, possibly because rod-cone gap junctions remained open. This was despite the fact that a decrease was observed in the amplitude of both a- and b-waves as a result of the progressive loss of rods during early degenerative stages. These results suggest that electric synaptic strength is increased during the day to allow cone signals to pass to the remaining rods and to be propagated to rod bipolar cells, thereby partially compensating for the weak visual input caused by the loss of rods. PMID:28473754

  11. Opposite effects of the gap junction blocker octanol on focal cerebral ischemia occluded for different durations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Wenting; Zhou, Lequan; Liu, Wei; Guan, Li; Li, Xiaoying; Liu, Haimei; Yan, Fuman; Xu, Jinwen; Zeng, Weiyong; Qiu, Min

    2014-06-01

    Protectants and executioners have been demonstrated to be used by gap junctions in focal cerebral ischemia. Certain researchers hypothesized that the opposite role of gap junctions may be associated with the injury extent, which has been demonstrated to be highly correlated with occlusion duration. In order to examine this hypothesis directly, the effects of octanol, a frequently used drug, were examined to investigate the role of gap junctions, in rats following middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) for 30 min/2 h and 24 h reperfusion, respectively. Octanol significantly reduced the infarct volume following 2 h of occlusion concomitant with lower neurological deficits, whereas it enlarged the infarct volume following 30 min of occlusion. Consistently, octanol attenuated the number of transferase dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) positive neurons in the hippocampal CA1 region following 2 h of occlusion, while opposite effects were observed for 30 min of occlusion. Further immunohistochemical studies demonstrated that the expression of B-cell leukemia-2 (Bcl-2, anti-apoptotic protein) was upregulated and that Bcl-2-associated X (Bax, proapoptotic protein) was downregulated following 2 h of occlusion in the octanol group compared with the ischemic group. Conversely, octanol downregulated the expression of the Bcl-2 protein concomitant with increased Bax protein following 30 min of occlusion. These results indicated that the gap junction blocker octanol can protect against ischemic injury following long-term occlusion, however, can aggravate ischemic injury following short-term occlusion.

  12. Gap junctions and hemichannels composed of connexins: potential therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hideyuki eTakeuchi

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Microglia are macrophage-like resident immune cells that contribute to the maintenance of homeostasis in the central nervous system (CNS. Abnormal activation of microglia can cause damage in the CNS, and accumulation of activated microglia is a characteristic pathological observation in neurologic conditions such as trauma, stroke, inflammation, epilepsy, and neurodegenerative diseases. Activated microglia secrete high levels of glutamate, which damages CNS cells and has been implicated as a major cause of neurodegeneration in these conditions. Glutamate-receptor blockers and microglia inhibitors (e.g. minocycline have been examined as therapeutic candidates for several neurodegenerative diseases; however, these compounds exerted little therapeutic benefit because they either perturbed physiological glutamate signals or suppressed the actions of protective microglia. The ideal therapeutic approach would hamper the deleterious roles of activated microglia without diminishing their protective effects. We recently found that abnormally activated microglia secrete glutamate via gap-junction hemichannels on the cell surface. Moreover, administration of gap-junction inhibitors significantly suppressed excessive microglial glutamate release and improved disease symptoms in animal models of neurologic conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. Recent evidence also suggests that neuronal and glial communication via gap junctions amplifies neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. Elucidation of the precise pathologic roles of gap junctions and hemichannels may lead to a novel therapeutic strategies that can slow and halt the progression of neurodegenerative diseases.

  13. Gap junctions suppress electrical but not [Ca(2+)] heterogeneity in resistance arteries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hald, Bjørn Olav; Welsh, Donald G; von Holstein-Rathlou, Niels-Henrik

    2014-01-01

    arises, a virtual arteriole was developed that introduces variation in the activities of ion-transport proteins between cells. By varying the level of heterogeneity and subpopulations of gap junctions (GJs), the resulting simulations shows that GJs suppress electrical variation but can only reduce...

  14. Sustained inhibition of rat myometrial gap junctions and contractions by lindane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grindatti Carmen M

    2003-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Gap junctions increase in size and abundance coincident with parturition, forming an intercellular communication network that permits the uterus to develop the forceful, coordinated contractions necessary for delivery of the fetus. Lindane, a pesticide used in the human and veterinary treatment of scabies and lice as well as in agricultural applications, inhibits uterine contractions in vitro, inhibits myometrial gap junctions, and has been associated with prolonged gestation length in rats. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether brief exposures to lindane would elicit sustained inhibition of rat uterine contractile activity and myometrial gap junction intercellular communication. Methods To examine effects on uterine contraction, longitudinal uterine strips isolated from late gestation (day 20 rats were exposed to lindane in muscle baths and monitored for changes in spontaneous phasic contractions during and after exposure to lindane. Lucifer yellow dye transfer between myometrial cells in culture was used to monitor gap junction intercellular communication. Results During a 1-h exposure, 10 micro M and 100 micro M lindane decreased peak force and frequency of uterine contraction but 1 micro M lindane did not. After removal of the exposure buffer, contraction force remained significantly depressed in uterine strips exposed to 100 micro M lindane, returning to less than 50% basal levels 5 h after cessation of lindane exposure. In cultured myometrial myocytes, significant sustained inhibition of Lucifer yellow dye transfer was observed 24 h after lindane exposures as brief as 10 min and as low as 0.1 micro M lindane. Conclusion Brief in vitro exposures to lindane have long-term effects on myometrial functions that are necessary for parturition, inhibiting spontaneous phasic contractions in late gestation rat uterus and gap junction intercellular communication in myometrial cell cultures.

  15. Nonlinear gap junctions enable long-distance propagation of pulsating calcium waves in astrocyte networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mati Goldberg

    Full Text Available A new paradigm has recently emerged in brain science whereby communications between glial cells and neuron-glia interactions should be considered together with neurons and their networks to understand higher brain functions. In particular, astrocytes, the main type of glial cells in the cortex, have been shown to communicate with neurons and with each other. They are thought to form a gap-junction-coupled syncytium supporting cell-cell communication via propagating Ca(2+ waves. An identified mode of propagation is based on cytoplasm-to-cytoplasm transport of inositol trisphosphate (IP(3 through gap junctions that locally trigger Ca(2+ pulses via IP(3-dependent Ca(2+-induced Ca(2+ release. It is, however, currently unknown whether this intracellular route is able to support the propagation of long-distance regenerative Ca(2+ waves or is restricted to short-distance signaling. Furthermore, the influence of the intracellular signaling dynamics on intercellular propagation remains to be understood. In this work, we propose a model of the gap-junctional route for intercellular Ca(2+ wave propagation in astrocytes. Our model yields two major predictions. First, we show that long-distance regenerative signaling requires nonlinear coupling in the gap junctions. Second, we show that even with nonlinear gap junctions, long-distance regenerative signaling is favored when the internal Ca(2+ dynamics implements frequency modulation-encoding oscillations with pulsating dynamics, while amplitude modulation-encoding dynamics tends to restrict the propagation range. As a result, spatially heterogeneous molecular properties and/or weak couplings are shown to give rise to rich spatiotemporal dynamics that support complex propagation behaviors. These results shed new light on the mechanisms implicated in the propagation of Ca(2+ waves across astrocytes and the precise conditions under which glial cells may participate in information processing in the brain.

  16. Connexin 26-mediated gap junctional intercellular communication suppresses paracellular permeability of human intestinal epithelial cell monolayers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morita, Hidekazu; Katsuno, Tatsuro; Hoshimoto, Aihiro; Hirano, Noriaki; Saito, Yasushi; Suzuki, Yasuo

    2004-01-01

    In some cell types, gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) is associated with tight junctions. The present study was performed to determine the roles of GJIC in regulation of the barrier function of tight junctions. Caco-2 human colonic cells were used as a monolayer model, and barrier function was monitored by measuring mannitol permeability and transepithelial electrical resistance (TER). The monolayers were chemically disrupted by treatment with oleic acid and taurocholic acid. Western blotting analyses were performed to evaluate the protein levels of connexins, which are components of gap junctional intercellular channels. Cx26 expression was detected in preconfluent Caco-2 cells, and its level increased gradually after the monolayer reached confluency. These results prompted us to examine whether overexpression of Cx26 affects barrier function. Monolayers of Caco-2 cells stably expressing Cx26 showed significantly lower mannitol permeability and higher TER than mock transfectants when the monolayers were chemically disrupted. The levels of claudin-4, an important component of tight junctions, were significantly increased in the stable Cx26 transfectant. These results suggest that Cx26-mediated GJIC may play a crucial role in enhancing the barrier function of Caco-2 cell monolayers

  17. A versatile optical junction using photonic band-gap guidance and self collimation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gupta, Man Mohan; Medhekar, Sarang, E-mail: smedhekarbit@gmail.com [Centre for Applied Physics, Central University of Jharkhand, Ranchi 835205 (India)

    2014-09-29

    We show that it is possible to design two photonic crystal (PC) structures such that an optical beam of desired wavelength gets guided within the line defect of the first structure (photonic band gap guidance) and the same beam gets guided in the second structure by self-collimation. Using two dimensional simulation of a design made of the combination of these two structures, we propose an optical junction that allows for crossing of two optical signals of same wavelength and same polarization with very low crosstalk. Moreover, the junction can be operated at number of frequencies in a wide range. Crossing of multiple beams with very low cross talk is also possible. The proposed junction should be important in future integrated photonic circuits.

  18. Effect of sound on gap-junction-based intercellular signaling: Calcium waves under acoustic irradiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deymier, P A; Swinteck, N; Runge, K; Deymier-Black, A; Hoying, J B

    2015-01-01

    We present a previously unrecognized effect of sound waves on gap-junction-based intercellular signaling such as in biological tissues composed of endothelial cells. We suggest that sound irradiation may, through temporal and spatial modulation of cell-to-cell conductance, create intercellular calcium waves with unidirectional signal propagation associated with nonconventional topologies. Nonreciprocity in calcium wave propagation induced by sound wave irradiation is demonstrated in the case of a linear and a nonlinear reaction-diffusion model. This demonstration should be applicable to other types of gap-junction-based intercellular signals, and it is thought that it should be of help in interpreting a broad range of biological phenomena associated with the beneficial therapeutic effects of sound irradiation and possibly the harmful effects of sound waves on health.

  19. Cut-loading: a useful tool for examining the extent of gap junction tracer coupling between retinal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Hee Joo; Ribelayga, Christophe P; Mangel, Stuart C

    2012-01-12

    In addition to chemical synaptic transmission, neurons that are connected by gap junctions can also communicate rapidly via electrical synaptic transmission. Increasing evidence indicates that gap junctions not only permit electrical current flow and synchronous activity between interconnected or coupled cells, but that the strength or effectiveness of electrical communication between coupled cells can be modulated to a great extent(1,2). In addition, the large internal diameter (~1.2 nm) of many gap junction channels permits not only electric current flow, but also the diffusion of intracellular signaling molecules and small metabolites between interconnected cells, so that gap junctions may also mediate metabolic and chemical communication. The strength of gap junctional communication between neurons and its modulation by neurotransmitters and other factors can be studied by simultaneously electrically recording from coupled cells and by determining the extent of diffusion of tracer molecules, which are gap junction permeable, but not membrane permeable, following iontophoretic injection into single cells. However, these procedures can be extremely difficult to perform on neurons with small somata in intact neural tissue. Numerous studies on electrical synapses and the modulation of electrical communication have been conducted in the vertebrate retina, since each of the five retinal neuron types is electrically connected by gap junctions(3,4). Increasing evidence has shown that the circadian (24-hour) clock in the retina and changes in light stimulation regulate gap junction coupling(3-8). For example, recent work has demonstrated that the retinal circadian clock decreases gap junction coupling between rod and cone photoreceptor cells during the day by increasing dopamine D2 receptor activation, and dramatically increases rod-cone coupling at night by reducing D2 receptor activation(7,8). However, not only are these studies extremely difficult to perform on

  20. Managing the complexity of communication: regulation of gap junctions by post-translational modification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Axelsen, Lene Nygaard; Callø, Kirstine; von Holstein-Rathlou, Niels-Henrik

    2013-01-01

    Gap junctions are comprised of connexins that form cell-to-cell channels which couple neighboring cells to accommodate the exchange of information. The need for communication does, however, change over time and therefore must be tightly controlled. Although the regulation of connexin protein...... probability, single channel conductance or selectivity. The most extensively investigated post translational modifications are phosphorylations, which have been documented in all mammalian connexins. Besides phosphorylations, some connexins are known to be ubiquitinated, SUMOylated, nitrosylated, hydroxylated...

  1. Gap-Junctional communication between developing Drosophila muscles is essential for their normal development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todman, M G; Baines, R A; Stebbings, L A; Davies, J A; Bacon, J P

    1999-01-01

    Recent experiments have demonstrated that a family of proteins, known as the innexins, are structural components of invertebrate gap junctions. The shaking-B (shak-B) locus of Drosophila encodes two members of this emerging family, Shak-B(lethal) and Shak-B(neural). This study focuses on the role of Shak-B gap junctions in the development of embryonic and larval muscle. During embryogenesis, shak-B transcripts are expressed in a subset of the somatic muscles; expression is strong in ventral oblique muscles (VO4-6) but only weak in ventral longitudinals (VL3 and 4). Carboxyfluorescein injected into VO4 of wild-type early stage 16 embryos spreads, via gap junctions, to label adjacent muscles, including VL3 and 4. In shak-B2 embryos (in which the shak-B(neural) function is disrupted), dye injected into VO4 fails to spread into other muscles. In the first instar larva, when dye coupling between muscles is no longer present, another effect of the shak-B2 mutation is revealed by whole-cell voltage clamp. In a calcium-free saline, only two voltage-activated potassium currents are present in wild-type muscles; a fast IA and a slow IK current. In shak-B2 larvae, these two currents are significantly reduced in magnitude in VO4 and 5, but remain normal in VL3. Expression of shak-B(neural) in a shak-B2 background fully rescues both dye coupling in embryonic muscle and whole-cell currents in first instar VO4 and 5. Our observations show that Shak-B(neural) is one of a set of embryonic gap-junction proteins, and that it is required for the normal temporal development of potassium currents in some larval muscles.

  2. In vitro study of stem cell communication via gap junctions for fibrocartilage regeneration at entheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nayak, Bibhukalyan Prasad; Goh, James Cho Hong; Toh, Siew Lok; Satpathy, Gyan Ranjan

    2010-03-01

    Entheses are fibrocartilaginous organs that bridge ligament with bone at their interface and add significant insertional strength. To replace a severely damaged ligament, a tissue-engineered graft preinstalled with interfacial fibrocartilage, which is being regenerated from stem cells, appears to be more promising than ligament-alone graft. Such a concept can be realized by a biomimetic approach of establishing a dynamic communication of stem cells with bone cells and/or ligament fibroblasts in vitro. The current study has two objectives. The first objective is to demonstrate functional coculture of bone marrow-derived stem cells (BMSCs) with mature bone cells/ligament fibroblasts as evidenced by gap-junctional communication in vitro. The second objective is to investigate the role of BMSCs in the regeneration of fibrocartilage within the coculture. Rabbit bone/ligament fibroblasts were dual-stained with DiI-Red and calcein (gap-junction permeable dye), and cocultured with unlabeled BMSCs at fixed ratio (1:10). The functional gap junction was demonstrated by the transfer of calcein from donor to recipient cells that was confirmed and quantified by flow cytometry. Type 2 collagen (cartilage extracellular matrix-specific protein) expressed by the mixed cell lines in the cocultures were estimated by real-time reverse transcription PCR and compared with that of the ligament-bone coculture (control). Significant transfer of calcein into BMSCs was observed and flow cytometry analyses showed a gradual increase in the percentage of BMSCs acquiring calcein with time. Cocultures that included BMSCs expressed significantly more type 2 collagen compared with the control. The current study, for the first time, reported the expression of gap-junctional communication of BMSCs with two adherent cell lines of musculoskeletal system in vitro and also confirmed that incorporation of stem cells augments fibrocartilage regeneration. The results open up a path to envisage a composite

  3. A unified framework for spiking and gap-junction interactions in distributed neuronal network simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan eHahne

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Contemporary simulators for networks of point and few-compartment model neurons come with a plethora of ready-to-use neuron and synapse models and support complex network topologies. Recent technological advancements have broadened the spectrum of application further to the efficient simulation of brain-scale networks on supercomputers. In distributed network simulations the amount of spike data that accrues per millisecond and process is typically low, such that a common optimization strategy is to communicate spikes at relatively long intervals, where the upper limit is given by the shortest synaptic transmission delay in the network. This approach is well-suited for simulations that employ only chemical synapses but it has so far impeded the incorporation of gap-junction models, which require instantaneous neuronal interactions. Here, we present a numerical algorithm based on a waveform-relaxation technique which allows for network simulations with gap junctions in a way that is compatible with the delayed communication strategy. Using a reference implementation in the NEST simulator, we demonstrate that the algorithm and the required data structures can be smoothly integrated with existing code such that they complement the infrastructure for spiking connections. To show that the unified framework for gap-junction and spiking interactions achieves high performance and delivers high accuracy...

  4. Cellular Interaction of Integrin α3β1 with Laminin 5 Promotes Gap Junctional Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lampe, Paul D.; Nguyen, Beth P.; Gil, Susana; Usui, Marcia; Olerud, John; Takada, Yoshikazu; Carter, William G.

    1998-01-01

    Wounding of skin activates epidermal cell migration over exposed dermal collagen and fibronectin and over laminin 5 secreted into the provisional basement membrane. Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) has been proposed to integrate the individual motile cells into a synchronized colony. We found that outgrowths of human keratinocytes in wounds or epibole cultures display parallel changes in the expression of laminin 5, integrin α3β1, E-cadherin, and the gap junctional protein connexin 43. Adhesion of keratinocytes on laminin 5, collagen, and fibronectin was found to differentially regulate GJIC. When keratinocytes were adhered on laminin 5, both structural (assembly of connexin 43 in gap junctions) and functional (dye transfer) assays showed a two- to threefold increase compared with collagen and five- to eightfold over fibronectin. Based on studies with immobilized integrin antibody and integrin-transfected Chinese hamster ovary cells, the interaction of integrin α3β1 with laminin 5 was sufficient to promote GJIC. Mapping of intermediate steps in the pathway linking α3β1–laminin 5 interactions to GJIC indicated that protein trafficking and Rho signaling were both required. We suggest that adhesion of epithelial cells to laminin 5 in the basement membrane via α3β1 promotes GJIC that integrates individual cells into synchronized epiboles. PMID:9852164

  5. Phylogenetic and bioinformatic analysis of gap junction-related proteins, innexins, pannexins and connexins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fushiki, Daisuke; Hamada, Yasuo; Yoshimura, Ryoichi; Endo, Yasuhisa

    2010-04-01

    All multi-cellular animals, including hydra, insects and vertebrates, develop gap junctions, which communicate directly with neighboring cells. Gap junctions consist of protein families called connexins in vertebrates and innexins in invertebrates. Connexins and innexins have no homology in their amino acid sequence, but both are thought to have some similar characteristics, such as a tetra-membrane-spanning structure, formation of a channel by hexamer, and transmission of small molecules (e.g. ions) to neighboring cells. Pannexins were recently identified as a homolog of innexins in vertebrate genomes. Although pannexins are thought to share the function of intercellular communication with connexins and innexins, there is little information about the relationship among these three protein families of gap junctions. We phylgenetically and bioinformatically examined these protein families and other tetra-membrane-spanning proteins using a database and three analytical softwares. The clades formed by pannexin families do not belong to the species classification but do to paralogs of each member of pannexins. Amino acid sequences of pannexins are closely related to those of innexins but less to those of connexins. These data suggest that innexins and pannexins have a common origin, but the relationship between innexins/pannexins and connexins is as slight as that of other tetra-membrane-spanning members.

  6. Chemical Synaptic and Gap Junctional Interactions Between Principal Neurons: Partners in Epileptogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traub, Roger D.; Cunningham, Mark O.; Whittington, Miles A.

    2010-01-01

    Field potential signals, corresponding to electrographic seizures in cortical structures, often contain two components, which sometimes appear to be separable and other times to be superimposed. The first component consists of low-amplitude very fast oscillations (VFO, > 70–80 Hz); the second component consists of larger amplitude transients, lasting tens to hundreds of ms, and variously called population spikes, EEG spikes, or bursts – terms chosen in part because of the cellular correlates of the field events. To first approximation, the two components arise because of distinctive types of cellular interactions: gap junctions for VFO (a model of which is reviewed in the following), and recurrent synaptic excitation and/or inhibition for the transients. With in vitro studies of epileptic human neocortical tissue, it is possible to elicit VFO alone, or VFO superimposed on a large transient, but not a large transient without the VFO. If such observations prove to be general, they would imply that gap junction-mediated interactions are the primary factor in epileptogenesis. It appears to be the case then, that in the setting of seizure initiation (but not necessarily under physiological conditions), the gain of gap junction-mediated circuits can actually be larger than the gain in excitatory synaptic circuits. PMID:21168305

  7. Methylmercury inhibits gap junctional intercellular communication in primary cultures of rat proximal tubular cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoshida, Minoru; Sumi, Yawara [Department of Chemistry, St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Kawasagi (Japan); Kujiraoka, Toru [Department of Physiology, St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Kawasagi (Japan); Hara, Masayuki [Department of Anatomy, St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Kawasagi (Japan); Nakazawa, Hirokazu [Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, Meisei University (Japan)

    1998-03-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) causes renal injury in addition to central and peripheral neuropathy. To clarify the mechanism of nephrotoxicity by MeHg, we investigated the effect of this compound on intercellular communication through gap junction channels in primary cultures of rat renal proximal tubular cells. Twenty minutes after exposure to 30 {mu}M MeHg, gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC), which was assessed by dye coupling, was markedly inhibited before appearance of cytotoxicity. When the medium containing MeHg was exchanged with MeHg-free medium, dye coupling recovered abruptly. However, the dye-coupling was abolished again 30 min after replacement with control medium, and the cells were damaged. Intracellular calcium concentration, [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i}, which modulates the function of gap junctions, significantly increased following exposure of the cells to 30 {mu}M MeHg and returned to control level following replacement with MeHg-free medium. These results suggest that the inhibiting effect of MeHg on GJIC is related to the change in [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i}, and may be involved in the pathogenesis of renal dysfunction. (orig.) With 5 figs., 23 refs.

  8. Inhibition of dye-coupling in Patella (mollusca) embryos by microinjection of antiserum against Nephrops (arthropoda) gap junctions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Serras, F.; Buultjens, T.E.J.; Finbow, M.E.

    1988-01-01

    Antiserum raised against Nephrops gap junctions was injected into single cells of the 2-, 4-, 8-, 16-, and 32-cell stage of the Patella vulgata embryos. The pattern of junctional communication by iontophoresis of Lucifer Yellow CH was tested at the 32-cell stage. The results show that the normal

  9. Dose-related ethanol intake, Cx43 and Nav1.5 remodeling: Exploring insights of altered ventricular conduction and QRS fragmentation in excessive alcohol users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hung, Chung-Lieh; Lai, Yu-Jun; Chi, Po-Ching; Chen, Liang-Chia; Tseng, Ya-Ming; Kuo, Jen-Yuan; Lin, Cheng-I; Chen, Yao-Chang; Lin, Shing-Jong; Yeh, Hung-I

    2018-01-01

    Chronic, excessive ethanol intake has been linked with various electrical instabilities, conduction disturbances, and even sudden cardiac death, but the underlying cause for the latter is insufficiently delineated. We studied surface electrocardiography (ECG) in a community-dwelling cohort with moderate-to-heavy daily alcohol intake (grouped as >90g/day, ≤90g/day, and nonintake). Compared with nonintake, heavier alcohol users showed markedly widened QRS duration and higher prevalence of QRS fragmentation (64.3%, 50.9%, and 33.7%, respectively, χ 2 12.0, both pchronically given a 4% or 6% alcohol diet and showed dose-related slower action potential upstroke, reduced resting membrane potential, and disorganized or decreased intraventricular conduction (all pChronic excessive alcohol ingestion is associated with dose-related phenotypic intraventricular conduction disturbances and QRS fragmentation that can be recapitulated in mice. The mechanisms may involve suppressed gap junction and sodium channel functions, together with enhanced cardiac fibrosis that may contribute to arrhythmogenesis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Costimulation of N-methyl-d-aspartate and muscarinic neuronal receptors modulates gap junctional communication in striatal astrocytes

    OpenAIRE

    Rouach, N.; Tencé, M.; Glowinski, J.; Giaume, C.

    2002-01-01

    Cocultures of neurons and astrocytes from the rat striatum were used to determine whether the stimulation of neuronal receptors could affect the level of intercellular communication mediated by gap junctions in astrocytes. The costimulation of N-methyl-D-asparte (NMDA) and muscarinic receptors led to a prominent reduction of astrocyte gap junctional communication (GJC) in coculture. This treatment was not effective in astrocyte cultures, these cells being devoid of NMDA receptors. Both types ...

  11. Gap junctions and memory: an investigation using a single trial discrimination avoidance task for the neonate chick.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verwey, L J; Edwards, T M

    2010-02-01

    Gap junctions are important to how the brain functions but are relatively under-investigated with respect to their contribution towards behaviour. In the present study a single trial discrimination avoidance task was used to investigate the effect of the gap junction inhibitor 18-alpha-glycyrrhetinic acid (alphaGA) on retention. Past studies within our research group have implied a potential role for gap junctions during the short-term memory (STM) stage which decays by 15 min post-training. A retention function study comparing 10 microM alphaGA and vehicle given immediately post-training demonstrated a significant main effect for drug with retention loss at all times of test (10-180 min post-training). Given that the most common gap junction in the brain is that forming the astrocytic network it is reasonable to conclude that alphaGA was acting upon these. To confirm this finding and interpretation two additional investigations were undertaken using endothelin-1 (ET-1) and ET-1+tolbutamide. Importantly, a retention function study using 10nM ET-1 replicated the retention loss observed for alphaGA. In order to confirm that ET-1 was acting on astrocytic gap junctions the amnestic action of ET-1 was effectively challenged with increasing concentrations of tolbutamide. The present findings suggest that astrocytic gap junctions are important for memory processing. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Entrainment, retention, and transport of freely swimming fish in junction gaps between commercial barges operating on the Illinois Waterway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Jeremiah J.; Jackson, P. Ryan; Engel, Frank; LeRoy, Jessica Z.; Neeley, Rebecca N.; Finney, Samuel T.; Murphy, Elizabeth A.

    2016-01-01

    Large Electric Dispersal Barriers were constructed in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC) to prevent the transfer of invasive fish species between the Mississippi River Basin and the Great Lakes Basin while simultaneously allowing the passage of commercial barge traffic. We investigated the potential for entrainment, retention, and transport of freely swimming fish within large gaps (> 50 m3) created at junction points between barges. Modified mark and capture trials were employed to assess fish entrainment, retention, and transport by barge tows. A multi-beam sonar system enabled estimation of fish abundance within barge junction gaps. Barges were also instrumented with acoustic Doppler velocity meters to map the velocity distribution in the water surrounding the barge and in the gap formed at the junction of two barges. Results indicate that the water inside the gap can move upstream with a barge tow at speeds near the barge tow travel speed. Water within 1 m to the side of the barge junction gaps was observed to move upstream with the barge tow. Observed transverse and vertical water velocities suggest pathways by which fish may potentially be entrained into barge junction gaps. Results of mark and capture trials provide direct evidence that small fish can become entrained by barges, retained within junction gaps, and transported over distances of at least 15.5 km. Fish entrained within the barge junction gap were retained in that space as the barge tow transited through locks and the Electric Dispersal Barriers, which would be expected to impede fish movement upstream.

  13. Long-range gap junctional signaling controls oncogene-mediated tumorigenesis in Xenopus laevis embryos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brook T Chernet

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In addition to the immediate microenvironment, long-range signaling may be an important component of cancer. Molecular-genetic analyses have implicated gap junctions – key mediators of cell-cell communication – in carcinogenesis. We recently showed that the resting voltage potential of distant cell groups is a key determinant of metastatic transformation and tumor induction. Here, we show in the Xenopus laevis model that gap junctional communication (GJC is a modulator of the long-range bioelectric signaling that regulates tumor formation. Genetic disruption of GJC taking place within tumors, within remote host tissues, or between the host and tumors – significantly lowers the incidence of tumors induced by KRAS mutations. The most pronounced suppression of tumor incidence was observed upon GJC disruption taking place farther away from oncogene-expressing cells, revealing a role for GJC in distant cells in the control of tumor growth. In contrast, enhanced GJC communication through the overexpression of wild-type connexin Cx26 increased tumor incidence. Our data confirm a role for GJC in tumorigenesis, and reveal that this effect is non-local. Based on these results and on published data on movement of ions through GJs, we present a quantitative model linking the GJC coupling and bioelectrical state of cells to the ability of oncogenes to initiate tumorigenesis. When integrated with data on endogenous bioelectric signaling during left-right patterning, the model predicts differential tumor incidence outcomes depending on the spatial configurations of gap junction paths relative to tumor location and major anatomical body axes. Testing these predictions, we found that the strongest influence of GJ modulation on tumor suppression by hyperpolarization occurred along the embryonic left-right axis. Together, these data reveal new, long-range aspects of cancer control by the host’s physiological parameters.

  14. Intracerebroventricular Injection of Lipopolysaccharide Increases Gene Expression of Connexin32 Gap Junction in Rat Hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Abbasian

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Gap junctions are intercellular membrane channels that provide direct cytoplasmic continuity between adjacent cells. This communication can be affected by changes in expression of gap junctional subunits called Connexins (Cx. Changes in the expression and function of connexins are associated with number of brain neurodegenerative diseases. Neuroinflammation is a hallmark of various central nervous system (CNS diseases, like multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy. Neuroinflammation causes change in Connexins expression. Hippocampus, one of the main brain regions with a wide network of Gap junctions between different neural cell types, has particular vulnerability to damage and consequent inflammation. Cx32 – among Connexins– is expressed in hippocampal Olygodandrocytes and some neural subpopulations. Although multiple lines of evidence indicate that there is an association between neuroinflammation and the expression of connexin, the direct effect of neuroinflammation on the expression of connexins has not been well studied. In the present study, the effect of neuroinflammation induced by the Lipopolysaccharide (LPS on Cx32 gene and protein expressions in rat hippocampus is evaluated. Methods: LPS (2.5μg/rat was infused into the rat cerebral ventricles for 14 days. Cx32 mRNA and protein levels were measured by Real Time PCR and Western Blot after 1st, 7th and 14th injection of LPS in the hippocampus. Results: Significant increase in Cx32 mRNA expression was observed after 7th injection of LPS (P<0.001. However, no significant change was observed in Cx32 protein level. Conclusion: LPS seems to modify Cx32 GJ communication in the hippocampus at transcription level but not at translation or post-translation level. In order to have a full view concerning modification of Cx32 GJ communication, effect of LPS on Cx32 channel gating should also be determined.

  15. Quantification of gap junctional intercellular communication based on digital image analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hofgaard, Johannes P; Mollerup, Sarah; Holstein-Rathlou, Niels-Henrik

    2009-01-01

    Intercellular communication via gap junction channels can be quantified by several methods based on diffusion of fluorescent dyes or metabolites. Given the variation in intercellular coupling of cells, even under untreated control conditions, it is of essence to quantify the coupling between...... and in cells receiving dye by intercellular diffusion. The analysis performed is semiautomatic, and comparison with traditional cell counting shows that this method reliably determines the effect of uncoupling by several interventions. This new method of analysis yields a rapid and objective quantification...

  16. Gap junctions at the dendritic cell-T cell interface are key elements for antigen-dependent T cell activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elgueta, Raul; Tobar, Jaime A; Shoji, Kenji F; De Calisto, Jaime; Kalergis, Alexis M; Bono, Maria R; Rosemblatt, Mario; Sáez, Juan C

    2009-07-01

    The acquired immune response begins with Ag presentation by dendritic cells (DCs) to naive T cells in a heterocellular cell-cell contact-dependent process. Although both DCs and T cells are known to express connexin43, a gap junction protein subunit, the role of connexin43 on the initiation of T cell responses remains to be elucidated. In the present work, we report the formation of gap junctions between DCs and T cells and their role on T cell activation during Ag presentation by DCs. In cocultures of DCs and T cells, Lucifer yellow microinjected into DCs is transferred to adjacent transgenic CD4(+) T cells, only if the specific antigenic peptide was present at least during the first 24 h of cocultures. This dye transfer was sensitive to gap junction blockers, such as oleamide, and small peptides containing the extracellular loop sequences of conexin. Furthermore, in this system, gap junction blockers drastically reduced T cell activation as reflected by lower proliferation, CD69 expression, and IL-2 secretion. This lower T cell activation produced by gap junction blockers was not due to a lower expression of CD80, CD86, CD40, and MHC-II on DCs. Furthermore, gap junction blocker did not affect polyclonal activation of T cell induced with anti-CD3 plus anti-CD28 Abs in the absence of DCs. These results strongly suggest that functional gap junctions assemble at the interface between DCs and T cells during Ag presentation and that they play an essential role in T cell activation.

  17. Fractional Josephson vortices in two-gap superconductor long Josephson junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ju

    2014-03-01

    We investigated the phase dynamics of long Josephson junctions (LJJ) with two-gap superconductors in the broken time reversal symmetry state. In this LJJ, spatial phase textures (i-solitons) can be excited due to the presence of two condensates and the interband Joesphson effect between them. The presence of a spatial phase texture in each superconductor layer leads to a spatial variation of the critical current density between the superconductor layers. We find that this spatial dependence of the crtitical current density can self-generate magnetic flux in the insulator layer, resulting in Josephson vortices with fractional flux quanta. Similar to the situation in a YBa2 Cu3O7 - x superconductor film grain boundary, the fractionalization of a Josephson vortex arises as a response to either periodic or random excitation of i-solitions. This suggests that magnetic flux measurements may be used to probe i-soliton excitations in multi-gap superconductor LJJs.

  18. Two-dimensional macroscopic quantum tunneling in multi-gap superconductor Josephson junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asai, Hidehiro; Kawabata, Shiro; Ota, Yukihiro; Machida, Masahiko

    2014-01-01

    Low-temperature characters of superconducting devices yield definite probes for different superconducting phenomena. We study the macroscopic quantum tunneling (MQT) in a Josephson junction, composed of a single-gap superconductor and a two-gap superconductor. Since this junction has two kinds to the superconducting phase differences, calculating the MQT escape rate requires the analysis of quantum tunneling in a multi-dimensional configuration space. Our approach is the semi-classical approximation along a 1D curve in a 2D potential- energy landscape, connecting two adjacent potential (local) minimums through a saddle point. We find that this system has two plausible tunneling paths; an in-phase path and an out-of-phase path. The former is characterized by the Josephson-plasma frequency, whereas the latter is by the frequency of the characteristic collective mode in a two-band superconductor, Josephson- Leggett mode. Depending on external bias current and inter-band Josephson-coupling energy, one of them mainly contributes to the MQT. Our numerical calculations show that the difference between the in-phase path and the out-of-phase path is manifest, with respect to the bias- current-dependence of the MQT escape rate. This result suggests that our MQT setting be an indicator of the Josephson-Leggett mode

  19. Non-genotoxic carcinogens: early effects on gap junctions, cell proliferation and apoptosis in the rat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mally, Angela; Chipman, James Kevin

    2002-01-01

    Non-genotoxic carcinogens are thought to induce tumour formation by disturbing the balance between cell growth and cell death. Gap junctions (GJ) contribute to the maintenance of tissue homeostasis by allowing the intercellular exchange of growth regulatory signals and potential inhibition of GJ intercellular communication through loss of connexin (Cx) plaques has been shown to be involved in the cancer process. We have investigated the time- and dose-dependent effects of the non-genotoxic hepatocarcinogens Wy-14,643, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, methapyrilene and hexachlorobenzene and the male rat kidney carcinogens chloroform, p-dichlorobenzene and d-limonene on gap junction plaque expression in relation to proliferation and apoptosis. With the exception of limonene, all non-genotoxic carcinogens significantly reduced the expression of GJ plaques containing Cx32 in their respective target tissue. No dose-dependent, significant effects were seen in non-target organs. Although alteration of Cx32 expression did not appear to correlate with induction of cell proliferation, out data suggest that the interaction of both processes--interference of GJ coupled with a proliferative stimulus (at the carcinogenic dose)--may be important in non-genotoxic carcinogenesis and provide a potential alert for non-genotoxic carcinogens in short-term toxicity tests

  20. GABA and Gap Junctions in the Development of Synchronized Activity in Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neural Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meeri Eeva-Liisa Mäkinen

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The electrical activity of the brain arises from single neurons communicating with each other. However, how single neurons interact during early development to give rise to neural network activity remains poorly understood. We studied the emergence of synchronous neural activity in human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC-derived neural networks simultaneously on a single-neuron level and network level. The contribution of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA and gap junctions to the development of synchronous activity in hPSC-derived neural networks was studied with GABA agonist and antagonist and by blocking gap junctional communication, respectively. We characterized the dynamics of the network-wide synchrony in hPSC-derived neural networks with high spatial resolution (calcium imaging and temporal resolution microelectrode array (MEA. We found that the emergence of synchrony correlates with a decrease in very strong GABA excitation. However, the synchronous network was found to consist of a heterogeneous mixture of synchronously active cells with variable responses to GABA, GABA agonists and gap junction blockers. Furthermore, we show how single-cell distributions give rise to the network effect of GABA, GABA agonists and gap junction blockers. Finally, based on our observations, we suggest that the earliest form of synchronous neuronal activity depends on gap junctions and a decrease in GABA induced depolarization but not on GABAA mediated signaling.

  1. Functional roles of the amino terminal domain in determining biophysical properties of Cx50 gap junction channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li eXin

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Communication through gap junction channels is essential for synchronized and coordinated cellular activities. The gap junction channel pore size, its switch control for opening/closing, and the modulations by chemicals can be different depending on the connexin subtypes that compose the channel. Recent structural and functional studies provide compelling evidence that the amino terminal (NT domains of several connexins line the pore of gap junction channels and play an important role in single channel conductance (γj and transjunctional voltage-dependent gating (Vj-gating. This article reviews recent studies conducted on a series of mutations/chimeras in the NT domain of connexin50 (Cx50. Functional examination of the gap junction channels formed by these mutants/chimeras shows the net charge number at the NT domain to be an important factor in γj and in Vj-gating. Furthermore, with an increase in the net negative charge at the NT domain, we observed an increase in the γj, as well as changes in the parameters of the Boltzmann fit of the normalized steady-state conductance and Vj relationship. Our data are consistent with a structural model where the NT domain of Cx50 lines the gap junction pore and plays an important role in sensing Vj and in the subsequent conformational changes leading to gating, as well as in limiting the rate of ion permeation.

  2. GABA and Gap Junctions in the Development of Synchronized Activity in Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neural Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mäkinen, Meeri Eeva-Liisa; Ylä-Outinen, Laura; Narkilahti, Susanna

    2018-01-01

    The electrical activity of the brain arises from single neurons communicating with each other. However, how single neurons interact during early development to give rise to neural network activity remains poorly understood. We studied the emergence of synchronous neural activity in human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived neural networks simultaneously on a single-neuron level and network level. The contribution of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and gap junctions to the development of synchronous activity in hPSC-derived neural networks was studied with GABA agonist and antagonist and by blocking gap junctional communication, respectively. We characterized the dynamics of the network-wide synchrony in hPSC-derived neural networks with high spatial resolution (calcium imaging) and temporal resolution microelectrode array (MEA). We found that the emergence of synchrony correlates with a decrease in very strong GABA excitation. However, the synchronous network was found to consist of a heterogeneous mixture of synchronously active cells with variable responses to GABA, GABA agonists and gap junction blockers. Furthermore, we show how single-cell distributions give rise to the network effect of GABA, GABA agonists and gap junction blockers. Finally, based on our observations, we suggest that the earliest form of synchronous neuronal activity depends on gap junctions and a decrease in GABA induced depolarization but not on GABAA mediated signaling. PMID:29559893

  3. Perfect GMR effect in gapped graphene-based ferromagnetic normal ferromagnetic junctions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hossein Karbaschi; Gholam Reza Rashedi

    2015-01-01

    We investigate the quantum transport property in gapped graphene-based ferromagnetic/normal/ferromagnetic (FG/NG/FG) junctions by using the Dirac–Bogoliubov–de Gennes equation. The graphene is fabricated on SiC and BN substrates separately, so carriers in FG/NG/FG structures are considered as massive relativistic particles. Transmission prob-ability, charge, and spin conductances are studied as a function of exchange energy of ferromagnets (h), size of graphene gap, and thickness of normal graphene region (L) respectively. Using the experimental values of Fermi energy in the normal graphene part (EFN∼400 meV) and energy gap in graphene (260 meV for SiC and 50 meV for BN substrate), it is shown that this structure can be used for both spin-up and spin-down polarized current. The latter case has different behavior of gapped FG/NG/FG from that of gapless FG/NG/FG structures. Also perfect charge giant magnetoresistance is observed in a range of EFN−mv2F

  4. Functional assessment of gap junctions in monolayer and three-dimensional cultures of human tendon cells using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching

    OpenAIRE

    Kuzma-Kuzniarska, Maria; Yapp, Clarence; Pearson-Jones, Thomas W.; Jones, Andrew K.; Hulley, Philippa A.

    2014-01-01

    Gap junction-mediated intercellular communication influences a variety of cellular activities. In tendons, gap junctions modulate collagen production, are involved in strain-induced cell death, and are involved in the response to mechanical stimulation. The aim of the present study was to investigate gap junction-mediated intercellular communication in healthy human tendon-derived cells using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP). The FRAP is a noninvasive technique that allows qu...

  5. ZP123 increases gap junctional conductance and prevents reentrant ventricular tachycardia during myocardial ischemia in open chest dogs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xing, Dezhi; Kjølbye, Anne Louise; Nielsen, Morten S

    2003-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to determine if the stable antiarrhythmic peptide (AAP) analogue ZP123 increases gap junctional intercellular conductance and prevents reentrant ventricular tachycardia (VT) during coronary artery occlusion. METHODS AND RESULTS: Voltage clamp experiments...... demonstrated that 10 nM ZP123 improved gap junctional intercellular conductance by 69% +/- 20% in pairs of guinea pig ventricular myocytes. VT was induced by programmed stimulation in alpha-chloralose anaesthetized open chest dogs 1 to 4 hours after coronary artery occlusion. Three-dimensional activation...... AAP analogue ZP123 increased gap junctional intercellular conductance and specifically prevented the induction of reentrant VT during ischemia in a broad dose range without proarrhythmic or hemodynamic side effects. ZP123 is a promising candidate for use in preventing ischemia-induced VT....

  6. The beneficial effects of cumulus cells and oocyte-cumulus cell gap junctions depends on oocyte maturation and fertilization methods in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng-Jie Zhou

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Cumulus cells are a group of closely associated granulosa cells that surround and nourish oocytes. Previous studies have shown that cumulus cells contribute to oocyte maturation and fertilization through gap junction communication. However, it is not known how this gap junction signaling affects in vivo versus in vitro maturation of oocytes, and their subsequent fertilization and embryonic development following insemination. Therefore, in our study, we performed mouse oocyte maturation and insemination using in vivo- or in vitro-matured oocyte-cumulus complexes (OCCs, which retain gap junctions between the cumulus cells and the oocytes, in vitro-matured, denuded oocytes co-cultured with cumulus cells (DCs, which lack gap junctions between the cumulus cells and the oocytes, and in vitro-matured, denuded oocytes without cumulus cells (DOs. Using these models, we were able to analyze the effects of gap junction signaling on oocyte maturation, fertilization, and early embryo development. We found that gap junctions were necessary for both in vivo and in vitro oocyte maturation. In addition, for oocytes matured in vivo, the presence of cumulus cells during insemination improved fertilization and blastocyst formation, and this improvement was strengthened by gap junctions. Moreover, for oocytes matured in vitro, the presence of cumulus cells during insemination improved fertilization, but not blastocyst formation, and this improvement was independent of gap junctions. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, that the beneficial effect of gap junction signaling from cumulus cells depends on oocyte maturation and fertilization methods.

  7. Interaction between fractional Josephson vortices in multi-gap superconductor tunnel junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ju H.

    In a long Josephson junction (LJJ) with two-band superconductors, fractionalization of Josephson vortices (fluxons) can occur in the broken time reversal symmetry state when spatial phase textures (i-solitons) are excited. Excitation of i-solitons in each superconductor layer of the junction, arising due to the presence of two condensates and the interband Josephson effect, leads to spatial variation of the critical current density between the superconductor layers. Similar to the situation in a YBa2 Cu3O7 - x superconductor film grain boundary, this spatial dependence of the crtitical current density can self-generate magnetic flux in the insulator layer, resulting in fractional fluxons with large and small fraction of flux quantum. Similar to fluxons in one-band superconductor LJJ, these fractional fluxons are found to interact with each other. The interaction between large and small fractional fluxons determines the size of a fluxon which includes two (one large and one small) fractional fluxons. We discuss the nature of interaction between fractional fluxons and suggest that i-soliton excitations in multi-gap superconductor LJJs may be probed by using magnetic flux measurements.

  8. Intercellular signaling via cyclic GMP diffusion through gap junctions restarts meiosis in mouse ovarian follicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shuhaibar, Leia C; Egbert, Jeremy R; Norris, Rachael P; Lampe, Paul D; Nikolaev, Viacheslav O; Thunemann, Martin; Wen, Lai; Feil, Robert; Jaffe, Laurinda A

    2015-04-28

    Meiosis in mammalian oocytes is paused until luteinizing hormone (LH) activates receptors in the mural granulosa cells of the ovarian follicle. Prior work has established the central role of cyclic GMP (cGMP) from the granulosa cells in maintaining meiotic arrest, but it is not clear how binding of LH to receptors that are located up to 10 cell layers away from the oocyte lowers oocyte cGMP and restarts meiosis. Here, by visualizing intercellular trafficking of cGMP in real-time in live follicles from mice expressing a FRET sensor, we show that diffusion of cGMP through gap junctions is responsible not only for maintaining meiotic arrest, but also for rapid transmission of the signal that reinitiates meiosis from the follicle surface to the oocyte. Before LH exposure, the cGMP concentration throughout the follicle is at a uniformly high level of ∼2-4 μM. Then, within 1 min of LH application, cGMP begins to decrease in the peripheral granulosa cells. As a consequence, cGMP from the oocyte diffuses into the sink provided by the large granulosa cell volume, such that by 20 min the cGMP concentration in the follicle is uniformly low, ∼100 nM. The decrease in cGMP in the oocyte relieves the inhibition of the meiotic cell cycle. This direct demonstration that a physiological signal initiated by a stimulus in one region of an intact tissue can travel across many layers of cells via cyclic nucleotide diffusion through gap junctions could provide a general mechanism for diverse cellular processes.

  9. Connexin domains relevant to the chemical gating of gap junction channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Peracchia

    1997-05-01

    Full Text Available Most cells exchange ions and small metabolites via gap junction channels. These channels are made of two hemichannels (connexons, each formed by the radial arrangement of six connexin (Cx proteins. Connexins span the bilayer four times (M1-M4 and have both amino- and carboxy-termini (NT, CT at the cytoplasmic side of the membrane, forming two extracellular loops (E1, E2 and one inner (IL loop. The channels are regulated by gates that close with cytosolic acidification (e.g., CO2 treatment or increased calcium concentration, possibly via calmodulin activation. Although gap junction regulation is still unclear, connexin domains involved in gating are being defined. We have recently focused on the CO2 gating sensitivity of Cx32, Cx38 and various mutants and chimeras expressed in Xenopus oocytes and studied by double voltage clamp. Cx32 is weakly sensitive to CO2, whereas Cx38 is highly sensitive. A Cx32 chimera containing the second half of the inner loop (IL2 of Cx38 was as sensitive to CO2 as Cx38, indicating that this domain plays an important role. Deletion of CT by 84% did not affect CO2 sensitivity, but replacement of 5 arginines (R with sparagines (N at the beginning of CT (C1 greatly enhanced the CO2 sensitivity of Cx32. This suggests that whereas most of CT is irrelevant, positive charges of C1 maintain the CO2 sensitivity of Cx32 low. As a hypothesis we have proposed a model that involves charge interaction between negative residues of the beginning of IL1 and positive residues of either C1 or IL2. Open and closed channels would result from IL1-C1 and IL1-IL2 interactions, respectively

  10. Pannexin-1 channels show distinct morphology and no gap junction characteristics in mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckmann, Anja; Grissmer, Alexander; Krause, Elmar; Tschernig, Thomas; Meier, Carola

    2016-03-01

    Pannexins (Panx) are proteins with a similar membrane topology to connexins, the integral membrane protein of gap junctions. Panx1 channels are generally of major importance in a large number of system and cellular processes and their function has been thoroughly characterized. In contrast, little is known about channel structure and subcellular distribution. We therefore determine the subcellular localization of Panx1 channels in cultured cells and aim at the identification of channel morphology in vitro. Using freeze-fracture replica immunolabeling on EYFP-Panx1-overexpressing HEK 293 cells, large particles were identified in plasma membranes, which were immunogold-labeled using either GFP or Panx1 antibodies. There was no labeling or particles in the nuclear membranes of these cells, pointing to plasma membrane localization of Panx1-EYFP channels. The assembly of particles was irregular, this being in contrast to the regular pattern of gap junctions. The fact that no counterparts were identified on apposing cells, which would have been indicative of intercellular signaling, supported the idea of Panx1 channels within one membrane. Control cells (transfected with EYFP only, non-transfected) were devoid of both particles and immunogold labeling. Altogether, this study provides the first demonstration of Panx1 channel morphology and assembly in intact cells. The identification of Panx1 channels as large particles within the plasma membrane provides the knowledge required to enable recognition of Panx1 channels in tissues in future studies. Thus, these results open up new avenues for the detailed analysis of the subcellular localization of Panx1 and of its nearest neighbors such as purinergic receptors in vivo.

  11. Influence of drugs on gap junctions in glioma cell lines and primary astrocytes in vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zahra eMoinfar

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Gap junctions (GJs are hemichannels on cell membrane. Once they are intercellulary connected to the neighboring cells, they build a functional syncytium which allows rapid transfer of ions and molecules between cells. This characteristic makes GJs a potential modulator in proliferation, migration and development of the cells. So far, several types of GJs are recognized on different brain cells as well as in glioma. Astrocytes, as one of the major cells that maintain neuronal homeostasis, express different types of GJs that let them communicate with neurons, oligodendrocytes and endothelial cells of the blood brain barrier; however, the main GJ in astrocytes is connexin 43. There are different cerebral diseases in which astrocyte GJs might play a role. Several drugs have been reported to modulate gap junctional communication in the brain which can consequently have beneficial or detrimental effects on the course of treatment in certain diseases. However, the exact cellular mechanism behind those pharmaceutical efficacies on GJs is not well-understood. Accordingly, how specific drugs would affect GJs and what some consequent specific brain diseases would be are the interests of the authors of this chapter. We would focus on pharmaceutical effects on GJs on astrocytes in specific diseases where GJs could possibly play a role including: 1 migraine and a novel therapy for migraine with aura, 2 neuroautoimmune diseases and immunomodulatory drugs in the treatment of demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system such as multiple sclerosis, 3 glioma and antineoplastic and anti-inflammatory agents that are used in treating brain tumors and 4 epilepsy and anticonvulsants that are widely used for seizures therapy. All of the above-mentioned therapeutic categories can possibly affect GJs expression of astrocytes and the role is discussed in the upcoming chapter.

  12. Gap junctions are selectively associated with interlocking ball-and-sockets but not protrusions in the lens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswas, Sondip K; Lee, Jai Eun; Brako, Lawrence; Jiang, Jean X; Lo, Woo-Kuen

    2010-11-09

    Ball-and-sockets and protrusions are specialized interlocking membrane domains between lens fibers of all species studied. Ball-and-sockets and protrusions are similar in their shape, size, and surface morphology, and are traditionally believed to play a key role in maintaining fiber-to-fiber stability. Here, we evaluate the hypothesis that ball-and-sockets and protrusions possess important structural and functional differences during fiber cell differentiation and maturation. Intact lenses of leghorn chickens (E7 days to P62 weeks old) and rhesus monkeys (1.5-20 years old) were studied with SEM, freeze-fracture TEM, freeze-fracture immunogold labeling (FRIL), and filipin cytochemistry for membrane cholesterol detection. SEM showed that ball-and-sockets were distributed along the long and short sides of hexagonal fiber cells, whereas protrusions were located along the cell corners, from superficial to deep cortical regions in both chicken and monkey lenses. Importantly, by freeze-fracture TEM, we discovered the selective association of gap junctions with all ball-and-sockets examined, but not with protrusions, in both species. In the embryonic chicken lens (E18), the abundant distribution of ball-and-socket gap junctions was regularly found in an approximate zone extending at least 300 μm deep from the equatorial surface of the superficial cortical fibers. Many ball-and-socket gap junctions often protruded deeply into neighboring cells. However, in the mature fibers of monkey lenses, several ball-and-sockets exhibited only partial occupancy of gap junctions with disorganized connexons, possibly due to degradation of gap junctions during fiber maturation and aging. FRIL analysis confirmed that both connexin46 (Cx46) and connexin50 (Cx50) antibodies specifically labeled ball-and-socket gap junctions, but not protrusions. Furthermore, filipin cytochemistry revealed that the ball-and-socket gap junctions contained different amounts of cholesterol (i.e., cholesterol

  13. Relative Roles of Gap Junction Channels and Cytoplasm in Cell-to-Cell Diffusion of Fluorescent Tracers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safranyos, Richard G. A.; Caveney, Stanley; Miller, James G.; Petersen, Nils O.

    1987-04-01

    Intercellular (tissue) diffusion of molecules requires cytoplasmic diffusion and diffusion through gap junctional (or cell-to-cell) channels. The rates of tissue and cytoplasmic diffusion of fluorescent tracers, expressed as an effective diffusion coefficient, De, and a cytoplasmic diffusion coefficient, Dcyt, have been measured among the developing epidermal cells of a larval beetle, Tenebrio molitor L., to determine the contribution of the junctional channels to intercellular diffusion. Tracer diffusion was measured by injecting fluorescent tracers into cells and quantitating the rate of subsequent spread into adjacent cells. Cytoplasmic diffusion was determined by fluorescence photobleaching. These experiments show that gap junctional channels constitute approximately 70-80% of the total cell-to-cell resistance to the diffusion of organic tracers at high concentrations in this tissue. At low concentrations, however, the binding of tracer to cytoplasm slows down the cytoplasmic diffusion, which may limit intercellular diffusion.

  14. First-principles spin-transfer torque in CuMnAs |GaP |CuMnAs junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamenova, Maria; Mohebbi, Razie; Seyed-Yazdi, Jamileh; Rungger, Ivan; Sanvito, Stefano

    2017-02-01

    We demonstrate that an all-antiferromagnetic tunnel junction with current perpendicular to the plane geometry can be used as an efficient spintronic device with potential high-frequency operation. By using state-of-the-art density functional theory combined with quantum transport, we show that the Néel vector of the electrodes can be manipulated by spin-transfer torque. This is staggered over the two different magnetic sublattices and can generate dynamics and switching. At the same time the different magnetization states of the junction can be read by standard tunneling magnetoresistance. Calculations are performed for CuMnAs |GaP |CuMnAs junctions with different surface terminations between the antiferromagnetic CuMnAs electrodes and the insulating GaP spacer. We find that the torque remains staggered regardless of the termination, while the magnetoresistance depends on the microscopic details of the interface.

  15. Dynamic trafficking and delivery of connexons to the plasma membrane and accretion to gap junctions in living cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lauf, Undine; Giepmans, Ben N G; Lopez, Patricia; Braconnot, Sebastien; Chen, Shu-Chih; Falk, Matthias M

    2002-01-01

    Certain membrane channels including acetylcholine receptors, gap junction (GJ) channels, and aquaporins arrange into large clusters in the plasma membrane (PM). However, how these channels are recruited to the clusters is unknown. To address this question, we have investigated delivery of GJ channel

  16. Effect of Mefloquine, a Gap Junction Blocker, on Circadian Period2 Gene Oscillation in the Mouse Suprachiasmatic Nucleus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinmi Koo

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available BackgroundIn mammals, the master circadian pacemaker is localized in an area of the ventral hypothalamus known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN. Previous studies have shown that pacemaker neurons in the SCN are highly coupled to one another, and this coupling is crucial for intrinsic self-sustainability of the SCN central clock, which is distinguished from peripheral oscillators. One plausible mechanism underlying the intercellular communication may involve direct electrical connections mediated by gap junctions.MethodsWe examined the effect of mefloquine, a neuronal gap junction blocker, on circadian Period 2 (Per2 gene oscillation in SCN slice cultures prepared from Per2::luciferase (PER2::LUC knock-in mice using a real-time bioluminescence measurement system.ResultsAdministration of mefloquine causes instability in the pulse period and a slight reduction of amplitude in cyclic PER2::LUC expression. Blockade of gap junctions uncouples PER2::LUC-expressing cells, in terms of phase transition, which weakens synchrony among individual cellular rhythms.ConclusionThese findings suggest that neuronal gap junctions play an important role in synchronizing the central pacemaker neurons and contribute to the distinct self-sustainability of the SCN master clock.

  17. Gap junctional communication modulates gene transcription by altering the recruitment of Sp1 and Sp3 to connexin-response elements in osteoblast promoters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stains, Joseph P.; Lecanda, Fernando; Screen, Joanne; Towler, Dwight A.; Civitelli, Roberto

    2003-01-01

    Loss-of-function mutations of gap junction proteins, connexins, represent a mechanism of disease in a variety of tissues. We have shown that recessive (gene deletion) or dominant (connexin45 overexpression) disruption of connexin43 function results in osteoblast dysfunction and abnormal expression of osteoblast genes, including down-regulation of osteocalcin transcription. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms of gap junction-sensitive transcriptional regulation, we systematically analyzed the rat osteocalcin promoter for sensitivity to gap junctional intercellular communication. We identified an Sp1/Sp3 containing complex that assembles on a minimal element in the -70 to -57 region of the osteocalcin promoter in a gap junction-dependent manner. This CT-rich connexin-response element is necessary and sufficient to confer gap junction sensitivity to the osteocalcin proximal promoter. Repression of osteocalcin transcription occurs as a result of displacement of the stimulatory Sp1 by the inhibitory Sp3 on the promoter when gap junctional communication is perturbed. Modulation of Sp1/Sp3 recruitment also occurs on the collagen Ialpha1 promoter and translates into gap junction-sensitive transcriptional control of collagen Ialpha1 gene expression. Thus, regulation of Sp1/Sp3 recruitment to the promoter may represent a potential general mechanism for transcriptional control of target genes by signals passing through gap junctions.

  18. Lens intracellular hydrostatic pressure is generated by the circulation of sodium and modulated by gap junction coupling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Junyuan; Sun, Xiurong; Moore, Leon C.; White, Thomas W.; Brink, Peter R.

    2011-01-01

    We recently modeled fluid flow through gap junction channels coupling the pigmented and nonpigmented layers of the ciliary body. The model suggested the channels could transport the secretion of aqueous humor, but flow would be driven by hydrostatic pressure rather than osmosis. The pressure required to drive fluid through a single layer of gap junctions might be just a few mmHg and difficult to measure. In the lens, however, there is a circulation of Na+ that may be coupled to intracellular fluid flow. Based on this hypothesis, the fluid would cross hundreds of layers of gap junctions, and this might require a large hydrostatic gradient. Therefore, we measured hydrostatic pressure as a function of distance from the center of the lens using an intracellular microelectrode-based pressure-sensing system. In wild-type mouse lenses, intracellular pressure varied from ∼330 mmHg at the center to zero at the surface. We have several knockout/knock-in mouse models with differing levels of expression of gap junction channels coupling lens fiber cells. Intracellular hydrostatic pressure in lenses from these mouse models varied inversely with the number of channels. When the lens’ circulation of Na+ was either blocked or reduced, intracellular hydrostatic pressure in central fiber cells was either eliminated or reduced proportionally. These data are consistent with our hypotheses: fluid circulates through the lens; the intracellular leg of fluid circulation is through gap junction channels and is driven by hydrostatic pressure; and the fluid flow is generated by membrane transport of sodium. PMID:21624945

  19. PI3K/Akt signaling is involved in the disruption of gap junctional communication caused by v-Src and TNF-α.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Satoko; Hyodo, Toshinori; Hasegawa, Hitoki; Yuan, Hong; Hamaguchi, Michinari; Senga, Takeshi

    2010-09-17

    Gap junctional communication, which is mediated by the connexin protein family, is essential for the maintenance of normal tissue function and homeostasis. Loss of intercellular communication results in a failure to coordinately regulate cellular functions, and it can facilitate tumorigenesis. Expression of oncogenes and stimulation with cytokines has been shown to suppress intercellular communication; however, the exact mechanism by which intercellular communication is disrupted by these factors remains uncertain. In this report, we show that Akt is essential for the disruption of gap junctional communication in v-Src-transformed cells. In addition, inhibition of Akt restores gap junctional communication after it is suppressed by TNF-α signaling. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the expression of a constitutively active form of Akt1, but not of Akt2 or Akt3, is sufficient to suppress gap junctional communication. Our results clearly define Akt1 as one of the critical regulators of gap junctional communication. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. The antiarrhythmic peptide analog rotigaptide (ZP123) stimulates gap junction intercellular communication in human osteoblasts and prevents decrease in femoral trabecular bone strength in ovariectomized rats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Niklas Rye; Teilmann, Stefan Cuoni; Henriksen, Zanne

    2005-01-01

    Gap junctions play an important role in bone development and function, but the lack of pharmacological tools has hampered the gap junction research. The antiarrhythmic peptides stimulate gap junction communication between cardiomyocytes, but effects in noncardiac tissue are unknown. The purpose...... of this study was to examine whether antiarrhythmic peptides, which are small peptides increasing gap junctional conductivity, show specific binding to osteoblasts and investigate the effect of the stable analog rotigaptide (ZP123) on gap junctional intercellular communication in vitro and on bone mass...... and strength in vivo. Cell coupling and calcium signaling were assessed in vitro on human, primary, osteoblastic cells. In vivo effects of rotigaptide on bone strength and density were determined 4 wk after ovariectomy in rats treated with either vehicle, sc injection twice daily (300 nmol per kilogram body...

  1. Modulation of Connexin-36 Gap Junction Channels by Intracellular pH and Magnesium Ions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rimkute, Lina; Kraujalis, Tadas; Snipas, Mindaugas; Palacios-Prado, Nicolas; Jotautis, Vaidas; Skeberdis, Vytenis A; Bukauskas, Feliksas F

    2018-01-01

    Connexin-36 (Cx36) protein forms gap junction (GJ) channels in pancreatic beta cells and is also the main Cx isoform forming electrical synapses in the adult mammalian brain. Cx36 GJs can be regulated by intracellular pH (pH i ) and cytosolic magnesium ion concentration ([Mg 2+ ] i ), which can vary significantly under various physiological and pathological conditions. However, the combined effect and relationship of these two factors over Cx36-dependent coupling have not been previously studied in detail. Our experimental results in HeLa cells expressing Cx36 show that changes in both pH i and [Mg 2+ ] i affect junctional conductance (g j ) in an interdependent manner; in other words, intracellular acidification cause increase or decay in g j depending on whether [Mg 2+ ] i is high or low, respectively, and intracellular alkalization cause reduction in g j independently of [Mg 2+ ] i . Our experimental and modelling data support the hypothesis that Cx36 GJ channels contain two separate gating mechanisms, and both are differentially sensitive to changes in pH i and [Mg 2+ ] i . Using recombinant Cx36 we found that two glutamate residues in the N-terminus could be partly responsible for the observed interrelated effect of pH i and [Mg 2+ ] i . Mutation of glutamate at position 8 attenuated the stimulatory effect of intracellular acidification at high [Mg 2+ ] i , while mutation at position 12 and double mutation at both positions reversed stimulatory effect to inhibition. Moreover, Cx36 * E8Q lost the initial increase of g j at low [Mg 2+ ] i and double mutation lost the sensitivity to high [Mg 2+ ] i . These results suggest that E8 and E12 are involved in regulation of Cx36 GJ channels by Mg 2+ and H + ions.

  2. Jump in current at the gap voltage in a superconducting junction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coombes, J.M.; Carbotte, J.P.

    1986-01-01

    For many materials not previously considered, we have calculated the jump, at the gap voltage, in the quasiparticle current of a tunnel junction. An empirical relationship between the jump and the effective electron-phonon coupling λ-μ/sup */ previously established is confirmed. Further, a new and equally as accurate correlation is found with the strong coupling index T/sub c//ω/sub ln/, where T/sub c/ is the critical temperature and ω/sub ln/ a specific characteristic phonon energy. A simple formula for the jump which includes a strong-coupling correction is derived and found to fit the observed correlation well. Finally, we study the effect on the jump of unusual values of Coulomb pseudopotential μ/sup */. Also a δ-function electron-phonon spectral density α 2 F(ω) is used to help in the understanding of the range of values that is possible for the jump when α 2 F(ω) is not restricted to realistic shapes

  3. Extract from the Zooxanthellate Jellyfish Cotylorhiza tuberculata Modulates Gap Junction Intercellular Communication in Human Cell Cultures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Piraino

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available On a global scale, jellyfish populations in coastal marine ecosystems exhibit increasing trends of abundance. High-density outbreaks may directly or indirectly affect human economical and recreational activities, as well as public health. As the interest in biology of marine jellyfish grows, a number of jellyfish metabolites with healthy potential, such as anticancer or antioxidant activities, is increasingly reported. In this study, the Mediterranean “fried egg jellyfish” Cotylorhiza tuberculata (Macri, 1778 has been targeted in the search forputative valuable bioactive compounds. A medusa extract was obtained, fractionated, characterized by HPLC, GC-MS and SDS-PAGE and assayed for its biological activity on breast cancer cells (MCF-7 and human epidermal keratinocytes (HEKa. The composition of the jellyfish extract included photosynthetic pigments, valuable ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acids, and polypeptides derived either from jellyfish tissues and their algal symbionts. Extract fractions showed antioxidant activity and the ability to affect cell viability and intercellular communication mediated by gap junctions (GJIC differentially in MCF-7and HEKa cells. A significantly higher cytotoxicity and GJIC enhancement in MCF-7 compared to HEKa cells was recorded. A putative action mechanism for the anticancer bioactivity through the modulation of GJIC has been hypothesized and its nutraceutical and pharmaceutical potential was discussed.

  4. Bipolar cell gap junctions serve major signaling pathways in the human retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kántor, Orsolya; Varga, Alexandra; Nitschke, Roland; Naumann, Angela; Énzsöly, Anna; Lukáts, Ákos; Szabó, Arnold; Németh, János; Völgyi, Béla

    2017-08-01

    Connexin36 (Cx36) constituent gap junctions (GJ) throughout the brain connect neurons into functional syncytia. In the retina they underlie the transmission, averaging and correlation of signals prior conveying visual information to the brain. This is the first study that describes retinal bipolar cell (BC) GJs in the human inner retina, whose function is enigmatic even in the examined animal models. Furthermore, a number of unique features (e.g. fovea, trichromacy, midget system) necessitate a reexamination of the animal model results in the human retina. Well-preserved postmortem human samples of this study are allowed to identify Cx36 expressing BCs neurochemically. Results reveal that both rod and cone pathway interneurons display strong Cx36 expression. Rod BC inputs to AII amacrine cells (AC) appear in juxtaposition to AII GJs, thus suggesting a strategic AII cell targeting by rod BCs. Cone BCs serving midget, parasol or koniocellular signaling pathways display a wealth of Cx36 expression to form homologously coupled arrays. In addition, they also establish heterologous GJ contacts to serve an exchange of information between parallel signaling streams. Interestingly, a prominent Cx36 expression was exhibited by midget system BCs that appear to maintain intimate contacts with bistratified BCs serving other pathways. These findings suggest that BC GJs in parallel signaling streams serve both an intra- and inter-pathway exchange of signals in the human retina.

  5. Targeting neuronal gap junctions in mouse retina offers neuroprotection in glaucoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Sandeep; Ramakrishnan, Hariharasubramanian; Roy, Kaushambi; Viswanathan, Suresh; Bloomfield, Stewart A.

    2017-01-01

    The progressive death of retinal ganglion cells and resulting visual deficits are hallmarks of glaucoma, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In many neurodegenerative diseases, cell death induced by primary insult is followed by a wave of secondary loss. Gap junctions (GJs), intercellular channels composed of subunit connexins, can play a major role in secondary cell death by forming conduits through which toxic molecules from dying cells pass to and injure coupled neighbors. Here we have shown that pharmacological blockade of GJs or genetic ablation of connexin 36 (Cx36) subunits, which are highly expressed by retinal neurons, markedly reduced loss of neurons and optic nerve axons in a mouse model of glaucoma. Further, functional parameters that are negatively affected in glaucoma, including the electroretinogram, visual evoked potential, visual spatial acuity, and contrast sensitivity, were maintained at control levels when Cx36 was ablated. Neuronal GJs may thus represent potential therapeutic targets to prevent the progressive neurodegeneration and visual impairment associated with glaucoma. PMID:28604388

  6. Barreloid Borders and Neuronal Activity Shape Panglial Gap Junction-Coupled Networks in the Mouse Thalamus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claus, Lena; Philippot, Camille; Griemsmann, Stephanie; Timmermann, Aline; Jabs, Ronald; Henneberger, Christian; Kettenmann, Helmut; Steinhäuser, Christian

    2018-01-01

    The ventral posterior nucleus of the thalamus plays an important role in somatosensory information processing. It contains elongated cellular domains called barreloids, which are the structural basis for the somatotopic organization of vibrissae representation. So far, the organization of glial networks in these barreloid structures and its modulation by neuronal activity has not been studied. We have developed a method to visualize thalamic barreloid fields in acute slices. Combining electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry, and electroporation in transgenic mice with cell type-specific fluorescence labeling, we provide the first structure-function analyses of barreloidal glial gap junction networks. We observed coupled networks, which comprised both astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. The spread of tracers or a fluorescent glucose derivative through these networks was dependent on neuronal activity and limited by the barreloid borders, which were formed by uncoupled or weakly coupled oligodendrocytes. Neuronal somata were distributed homogeneously across barreloid fields with their processes running in parallel to the barreloid borders. Many astrocytes and oligodendrocytes were not part of the panglial networks. Thus, oligodendrocytes are the cellular elements limiting the communicating panglial network to a single barreloid, which might be important to ensure proper metabolic support to active neurons located within a particular vibrissae signaling pathway. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Astrocytes protect glioma cells from chemotherapy and upregulate survival genes via gap junctional communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Qingtang; Liu, Zhao; Ling, Feng; Xu, Geng

    2016-02-01

    Gliomas are the most common type of primary brain tumor. Using current standard treatment regimens, the prognosis of patients with gliomas remains poor, which is predominantly due to the resistance of glioma cells to chemotherapy. The organ microenvironment has been implicated in the pathogenesis and survival of tumor cells. Thus, the aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that astrocytes (the housekeeping cells of the brain microenvironment) may protect glioma cells from chemotherapy and to investigate the underlying mechanism. Immunofluorescent and scanning electron microscopy demonstrated that glioma cells were surrounded and infiltrated by activated astrocytes. In vitro co-culture of glioma cells with astrocytes significantly reduced the cytotoxic effects on glioma cells caused by various chemotherapeutic agents, as demonstrated by fluorescein isothiocyanate-propidium iodide flow cytometry. Transwell experiments indicated that this protective effect was dependent on physical contact and the gap junctional communication (GJC) between astrocytes and glioma cells. Microarray expression profiling further revealed that astrocytes upregulated the expression levels of various critical survival genes in the glioma cells via GJC. The results of the present study indicated that the organ microenvironment may affect the biological behavior of tumor cells and suggest a novel mechanism of resistance in glioma cells, which may be of therapeutic relevance clinically.

  8. Progressive age-dependence and frequency difference in the effect of gap junctions on active cochlear amplification and hearing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zong, Liang; Chen, Jin; Zhu, Yan; Zhao, Hong-Bo

    2017-07-22

    Mutations of Connexin 26 (Cx26, GJB2), which is a predominant gap junction isoform in the cochlea, can induce high incidence of nonsyndromic hearing loss. We previously found that targeted-deletion of Cx26 in supporting Deiters cells and outer pillar cells in the cochlea can influence outer hair cell (OHC) electromotility and reduce active cochlear amplification leading to hearing loss, even though there are no gap junction connexin expressions in the auditory sensory hair cells. Here, we further report that hearing loss and the reduction of active amplification in the Cx26 targeted-deletion mice are progressive and different at high and low frequency regions, first occurring in the high frequency region and then progressively extending to the middle and low frequency regions with mouse age increased. The speed of hearing loss extending was fast in the basal high frequency region and slow in the apical low frequency region, showing a logarithmic function with mouse age. Before postnatal day 25, there were no significant hearing loss and the reduction of active cochlear amplification in the low frequency region. Hearing loss and the reduction of active cochlear amplification also had frequency difference, severe and large in the high frequency regions. These new data indicate that the effect of gap junction on active cochlear amplification is progressive, but, consistent with our previous report, exists in both high and low frequency regions in adulthood. These new data also suggest that cochlear gap junctions may have an important role in age-related hearing loss. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Gap junctions composed of connexins 41.8 and 39.4 are essential for colour pattern formation in zebrafish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irion, Uwe; Frohnhöfer, Hans Georg; Krauss, Jana; Çolak Champollion, Tuǧba; Maischein, Hans-Martin; Geiger-Rudolph, Silke; Weiler, Christian; Nüsslein-Volhard, Christiane

    2014-01-01

    Interactions between all three pigment cell types are required to form the stripe pattern of adult zebrafish (Danio rerio), but their molecular nature is poorly understood. Mutations in leopard (leo), encoding Connexin 41.8 (Cx41.8), a gap junction subunit, cause a phenotypic series of spotted patterns. A new dominant allele, leotK3, leads to a complete loss of the pattern, suggesting a dominant negative impact on another component of gap junctions. In a genetic screen, we identified this component as Cx39.4 (luchs). Loss-of-function alleles demonstrate that luchs is required for stripe formation in zebrafish; however, the fins are almost not affected. Double mutants and chimeras, which show that leo and luchs are only required in xanthophores and melanophores, but not in iridophores, suggest that both connexins form heteromeric gap junctions. The phenotypes indicate that these promote homotypic interactions between melanophores and xanthophores, respectively, and those cells instruct the patterning of the iridophores. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05125.001 PMID:25535837

  10. Role of Non-Myocyte Gap Junctions and Connexin Hemichannels in Cardiovascular Health and Disease: Novel Therapeutic Targets?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Robert D; Camelliti, Patrizia

    2018-03-15

    The heart is a complex organ composed of multiple cell types, including cardiomyocytes and different non-myocyte populations, all working closely together to determine the hearts properties and maintain normal cardiac function. Connexins are abundantly expressed proteins that form plasma membrane hemichannels and gap junctions between cells. Gap junctions are intracellular channels that allow for communication between cells, and in the heart they play a crucial role in cardiac conduction by coupling adjacent cardiomyocytes. Connexins are expressed in both cardiomyocytes and non-myocytes, including cardiac fibroblasts, endothelial cells, and macrophages. Non-myocytes are the largest population of cells in the heart, and therefore it is important to consider what roles connexins, hemichannels, and gap junctions play in these cell types. The aim of this review is to provide insight into connexin-based signalling in non-myocytes during health and disease, and highlight how targeting these proteins could lead to the development of novel therapies. We conclude that connexins in non-myocytes contribute to arrhythmias and adverse ventricular remodelling following myocardial infarction, and are associated with the initiation and development of atherosclerosis. Therefore, therapeutic interventions targeting these connexins represent an exciting new research avenue with great potential.

  11. Association of connexin43 with a receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giepmans, Ben N G; Feiken, Elles; Gebbink, Martijn F B G; Moolenaar, Wouter H

    2003-01-01

    Connexin-43(Cx43)-based gap junctional communication is transiently inhibited by certain G protein-coupled receptor agonists, including lysophosphatidic acid, endothelin and thrombin. Our previous studies have implicated the c-Src protein tyrosine kinase in mediating closure of Cx43 based gap

  12. Thalamic gap junctions control local neuronal synchrony and influence macroscopic oscillation amplitude during EEG alpha rhythms

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    Stuart eHughes

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Although EEG alpha ( (8-13 Hz rhythms are often considered to reflect an ‘idling’ brain state, numerous studies indicate that they are also related to many aspects of perception. Recently, we outlined a potential cellular substrate by which such aspects of perception might be linked to basic  rhythm mechanisms. This scheme relies on a specialized subset of rhythmically bursting thalamocortical (TC neurons (high-threshold bursting cells in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN which are interconnected by gap junctions (GJs. By engaging GABAergic interneurons, that in turn inhibit conventional relay-mode TC neurons, these cells can lead to an effective temporal framing of thalamic relay-mode output. Although the role of GJs is pivotal in this scheme, evidence for their involvement in thalamic  rhythms has thus far mainly derived from experiments in in vitro slice preparations. In addition, direct anatomical evidence of neuronal GJs in the LGN is currently lacking. To address the first of these issues we tested the effects of the GJ inhibitors, carbenoxolone (CBX and 18-glycyrrhetinic acid (18-GA, given directly to the LGN via reverse microdialysis, on spontaneous LGN and EEG  rhythms in behaving cats. We also examined the effect of CBX on  rhythm-related LGN unit activity. Indicative of a role for thalamic GJs in these activities, 18-GA and CBX reversibly suppressed both LGN and EEG  rhythms, with CBX also decreasing neuronal synchrony. To address the second point, we used electron microscopy to obtain definitive ultrastructural evidence for the presence of GJs between neurons in the cat LGN. As interneurons show no phenotypic evidence of GJ coupling (i.e. dye-coupling and spikelets we conclude that these GJs must belong to TC neurons. The potential significance of these findings for relating macroscopic changes in  rhythms to basic cellular processes is discussed.

  13. Estrogenic compounds inhibit gap junctional intercellular communication in mouse Leydig TM3 cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iwase, Yumiko; Fukata, Hideki; Mori, Chisato

    2006-01-01

    Some estrogenic compounds are reported to cause testicular disorders in humans and/or experimental animals by direct action on Leydig cells. In carcinogenesis and normal development, gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) plays an essential role in maintaining homeostasis. In this study, we examine the effects of diethylstilbestrol (DES, a synthetic estrogen), 17β-estradiol (E 2 , a natural estrogen), and genistein (GEN, a phytoestrogen) on GJIC between mouse Leydig TM3 cells using Lucifer yellow microinjection. The three compounds tested produced GJIC inhibition in the TM3 cells after 24 h. Gradually, 10 μM DES began to inhibit GJIC for 24 h and this effect was observed until 72 h. On the other hand, both 20 μM E 2 and 25 μM GEN rapidly inhibited GJIC in 6 h and 2 h, respectively. The effects continued until 24 h, but weakened by 72 h. Furthermore, a combined effect at μM level between DES and E 2 on GJIC inhibition was observed, but not between GEN and E 2 . DES and E 2 showed GJIC inhibition at low dose levels (nearly physiological estrogen levels) after 72 h, but GEN did not. DES-induced GJIC inhibition at 10 pM and 10 μM was completely counteracted by ICI 182,780 (ICl), an estrogen receptor antagonist. On the other hand, the inhibitory effects on GJIC with E 2 (10 pM and 20 μM) and GEN (25 μM) were partially blocked by ICI or calphostin C, a protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor, and were completely blocked by the combination of ICI and calphostin C. These results demonstrate that DES inhibits GJIC between Leydig cells via the estrogen receptor (ER), and that E 2 and GEN inhibit GJIC via ER and PKC. These estrogenic compounds may have different individual nongenotoxic mechanism including PKC pathway on testicular carcinogenesis or development

  14. Gap junction mediated intercellular metabolite transfer in the cochlea is compromised in connexin30 null mice.

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    Qing Chang

    Full Text Available Connexin26 (Cx26 and connexin30 (Cx30 are two major protein subunits that co-assemble to form gap junctions (GJs in the cochlea. Mutations in either one of them are the major cause of non-syndromic prelingual deafness in humans. Because the mechanisms of cochlear pathogenesis caused by Cx mutations are unclear, we investigated effects of Cx30 null mutation on GJ-mediated ionic and metabolic coupling in the cochlea of mice. A novel flattened cochlear preparation was used to directly assess intercellular coupling in the sensory epithelium of the cochlea. Double-electrode patch clamp recordings revealed that the absence of Cx30 did not significantly change GJ conductance among the cochlear supporting cells. The preserved electrical coupling is consistent with immunolabeling data showing extensive Cx26 GJs in the cochlea of the mutant mice. In contrast, dye diffusion assays showed that the rate and extent of intercellular transfer of multiple fluorescent dyes (including a non-metabolizable D-glucose analogue, 2-NBDG among cochlear supporting cells were severely reduced in Cx30 null mice. Since the sensory epithelium in the cochlea is an avascular organ, GJ-facilitated intercellular transfer of nutrient and signaling molecules may play essential roles in cellular homeostasis. To test this possibility, NBDG was used as a tracer to study the contribution of GJs in transporting glucose into the cochlear sensory epithelium when delivered systemically. NBDG uptake in cochlear supporting cells was significantly reduced in Cx30 null mice. The decrease was also observed with GJ blockers or glucose competition, supporting the specificity of our tests. These data indicate that GJs facilitate efficient uptake of glucose in the supporting cells. This study provides the first direct experimental evidence showing that the transfer of metabolically-important molecules in cochlear supporting cells is dependent on the normal function of GJs, thereby suggesting a

  15. Stat3 is a positive regulator of gap junctional intercellular communication in cultured, human lung carcinoma cells

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    Geletu Mulu

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neoplastic transformation of cultured cells by a number of oncogenes such as src suppresses gap junctional, intercellular communication (GJIC; however, the role of Src and its effector Signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (Stat3 upon GJIC in non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC has not been defined. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed high Src activity in NSCLC biopsy samples compared to normal tissues. Here we explored the potential effect of Src and Stat3 upon GJIC, by assessing the levels of tyr418-phosphorylated Src and tyr705-phosphorylated Stat3, respectively, in a panel of NSCLC cell lines. Methods Gap junctional communication was examined by electroporating the fluorescent dye Lucifer yellow into cells grown on a transparent electrode, followed by observation of the migration of the dye to the adjacent, non-electroporated cells under fluorescence illumination. Results An inverse relationship between Src activity levels and GJIC was noted; in five lines with high Src activity GJIC was absent, while two lines with extensive GJIC (QU-DB and SK-LuCi6 had low Src levels, similar to a non-transformed, immortalised lung epithelial cell line. Interestingly, examination of the mechanism indicated that Stat3 inhibition in any of the NSCLC lines expressing high endogenous Src activity levels, or in cells where Src was exogenously transduced, did not restore GJIC. On the contrary, Stat3 downregulation in immortalised lung epithelial cells or in the NSCLC lines displaying extensive GJIC actually suppressed junctional permeability. Conclusions Our findings demonstrate that although Stat3 is generally growth promoting and in an activated form it can act as an oncogene, it is actually required for gap junctional communication both in nontransformed lung epithelial cells and in certain lung cancer lines that retain extensive GJIC.

  16. INHIBITION OF GAP JUNCTIONAL INTERCELLULAR COMMUNICATION BY PERFLUORINATED COMPOUNDS IN RAT LIVER AND DOLPHIN KIDNEY EPITHELIAL CELL LINES IN VITRO AND SPRAGUE-DAWLEY RATS IN VIVO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abstract Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication (GJIC) is the major pathway of intercellular signal transduction, and is, thus, important for normal cell growth and function. Recent studies have revealed a global distribution of some perfluorinated organic compounds e...

  17. High performance as-grown and annealed high band gap tunnel junctions: Te behavior at the interface

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bedair, S. M., E-mail: bedair@ncsu.edu; Harmon, Jeffrey L.; Carlin, C. Zachary; Hashem Sayed, Islam E.; Colter, P. C. [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695 (United States)

    2016-05-16

    The performance of n{sup +}-InGaP(Te)/p{sup +}-AlGaAs(C) high band gap tunnel junctions (TJ) is critical for achieving high efficiency in multijunction photovoltaics. Several limitations for as grown and annealed TJ can be attributed to the Te doping of InGaP and its behavior at the junction interface. Te atoms in InGaP tend to get attached at step edges, resulting in a Te memory effect. In this work, we use the peak tunneling current (J{sub pk}) in this TJ as a diagnostic tool to study the behavior of the Te dopant at the TJ interface. Additionally, we used our understanding of Te behavior at the interface, guided by device modeling, to modify the Te source shut-off procedure and the growth rate. These modifications lead to a record performance for both the as-grown (2000 A/cm{sup 2}) and annealed (1000 A/cm{sup 2}) high band gap tunnel junction.

  18. Role of gap junctional coupling in astrocytic networks in the determination of global ischaemia-induced oxidative stress and hippocampal damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez Velazquez, Jose L; Kokarovtseva, Larisa; Sarbaziha, Raheleh; Jeyapalan, Zina; Leshchenko, Yevgen

    2006-01-01

    While there is evidence that gap junctions play important roles in the determination of cell injuries, there is not much known about mechanisms by which gap junctional communication may exert these functions. Using a global model of transient ischaemia in rats, we found that pretreatment with the gap junctional blockers carbenoxolone, 18alpha-glycyrrhetinic acid and endothelin, applied via cannulae implanted into the hippocampus in one hemisphere, resulted in decreased numbers of TUNEL-positive neurons, as compared with the contralateral hippocampus that received saline injection. Post-treatment with carbenoxolone for up to 30 min after the stroke injury still resulted in decreased cell death, but post-treatment at 90 min after the ischaemic insult did not result in differences in cell death. However, quinine, an inhibitor of Cx36-mediated gap junctional coupling, did not result in appreciable neuroprotection. Searching for a possible mechanism for the observed protective effects, possible actions of the gap junctional blockers in the electrical activity of the hippocampus during the ischaemic insult were assessed using intracerebral recordings, with no differences observed between the saline-injected and the contralateral drug-injected hippocampus. However, a significant reduction in lipid peroxides, a measure of free radical formation, in the hippocampus treated with carbenoxolone, revealed that the actions of gap junctional coupling during injuries may be causally related to oxidative stress. These observations suggest that coupling in glial networks may be functionally important in determining neuronal vulnerability to oxidative injuries.

  19. Astrocytic Gap Junctional Communication is Reduced in Amyloid-β-Treated Cultured Astrocytes, but not in Alzheimer's Disease Transgenic Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nancy F Cruz

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease is characterized by accumulation of amyloid deposits in brain, progressive cognitive deficits and reduced glucose utilization. Many consequences of the disease are attributed to neuronal dysfunction, but roles of astrocytes in its pathogenesis are not well understood. Astrocytes are extensively coupled via gap junctions, and abnormal trafficking of metabolites and signalling molecules within astrocytic syncytia could alter functional interactions among cells comprising the neurovascular unit. To evaluate the influence of amyloid-β on astrocyte gap junctional communication, cultured astrocytes were treated with monomerized amyloid-β1-40 (1 μmol/l for intervals ranging from 2 h to 5 days, and the areas labelled by test compounds were determined by impaling a single astrocyte with a micropipette and diffusion of material into coupled cells. Amyloid-β-treated astrocytes had rapid, sustained 50-70% reductions in the area labelled by Lucifer Yellow, anionic Alexa Fluor® dyes and energy-related compounds, 6-NBDG (a fluorescent glucose analogue, NADH and NADPH. Amyloid-β treatment also caused a transient increase in oxidative stress. In striking contrast with these results, spreading of Lucifer Yellow within astrocytic networks in brain slices from three regions of 8.5-14-month-old control and transgenic Alzheimer's model mice was variable, labelling 10-2000 cells; there were no statistically significant differences in the number of dye-labelled cells among the groups or with age. Thus amyloid-induced dysfunction of gap junctional communication in cultured astrocytes does not reflect the maintenance of dye transfer through astrocytic syncytial networks in transgenic mice; the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease is not appropriately represented by the cell culture system.

  20. Astrocytic gap junctional communication is reduced in amyloid-β-treated cultured astrocytes, but not in Alzheimer's disease transgenic mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Nancy F; Ball, Kelly K; Dienel, Gerald A

    2010-08-17

    Alzheimer's disease is characterized by accumulation of amyloid deposits in brain, progressive cognitive deficits and reduced glucose utilization. Many consequences of the disease are attributed to neuronal dysfunction, but roles of astrocytes in its pathogenesis are not well understood. Astrocytes are extensively coupled via gap junctions, and abnormal trafficking of metabolites and signalling molecules within astrocytic syncytia could alter functional interactions among cells comprising the neurovascular unit. To evaluate the influence of amyloid-beta on astrocyte gap junctional communication, cultured astrocytes were treated with monomerized amyloid-β(1-40) (1 μmol/l) for intervals ranging from 2 h to 5 days, and the areas labelled by test compounds were determined by impaling a single astrocyte with a micropipette and diffusion of material into coupled cells. Amyloid-β-treated astrocytes had rapid, sustained 50-70% reductions in the area labelled by Lucifer Yellow, anionic Alexa Fluor® dyes and energy-related compounds, 6-NBDG (a fluorescent glucose analogue), NADH and NADPH. Amyloid-β treatment also caused a transient increase in oxidative stress. In striking contrast with these results, spreading of Lucifer Yellow within astrocytic networks in brain slices from three regions of 8.5-14-month-old control and transgenic Alzheimer's model mice was variable, labelling 10-2000 cells; there were no statistically significant differences in the number of dye-labelled cells among the groups or with age. Thus amyloid-induced dysfunction of gap junctional communication in cultured astrocytes does not reflect the maintenance of dye transfer through astrocytic syncytial networks in transgenic mice; the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease is not appropriately represented by the cell culture system.

  1. Gap junctions mediate large-scale Turing structures in a mean-field cortex driven by subcortical noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steyn-Ross, Moira L.; Steyn-Ross, D. A.; Wilson, M. T.; Sleigh, J. W.

    2007-07-01

    One of the grand puzzles in neuroscience is establishing the link between cognition and the disparate patterns of spontaneous and task-induced brain activity that can be measured clinically using a wide range of detection modalities such as scalp electrodes and imaging tomography. High-level brain function is not a single-neuron property, yet emerges as a cooperative phenomenon of multiply-interacting populations of neurons. Therefore a fruitful modeling approach is to picture the cerebral cortex as a continuum characterized by parameters that have been averaged over a small volume of cortical tissue. Such mean-field cortical models have been used to investigate gross patterns of brain behavior such as anesthesia, the cycles of natural sleep, memory and erasure in slow-wave sleep, and epilepsy. There is persuasive and accumulating evidence that direct gap-junction connections between inhibitory neurons promote synchronous oscillatory behavior both locally and across distances of some centimeters, but, to date, continuum models have ignored gap-junction connectivity. In this paper we employ simple mean-field arguments to derive an expression for D2 , the diffusive coupling strength arising from gap-junction connections between inhibitory neurons. Using recent neurophysiological measurements reported by Fukuda [J. Neurosci. 26, 3434 (2006)], we estimate an upper limit of D2≈0.6cm2 . We apply a linear stability analysis to a standard mean-field cortical model, augmented with gap-junction diffusion, and find this value for the diffusive coupling strength to be close to the critical value required to destabilize the homogeneous steady state. Computer simulations demonstrate that larger values of D2 cause the noise-driven model cortex to spontaneously crystalize into random mazelike Turing structures: centimeter-scale spatial patterns in which regions of high-firing activity are intermixed with regions of low-firing activity. These structures are consistent with the

  2. Gap features of layered iron-selenium-tellurium compound below and above the superconducting transition temperature by break-junction spectroscopy combined with STS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekino, T.; Sugimoto, A.; Gabovich, A. M.

    2018-05-01

    We studied correlations between the superconducting gap features of Te-substituted FeSe observed by scanning tunnelling spectroscopy (STS) and break-junction tunnelling spectroscopy (BJTS). At bias voltages outside the superconducting gap-energy range, the broad gap structure exists, which becomes the normal-state gap above the critical temperature, T c. Such behaviour is consistent with the model of the partially gapped density-wave superconductor involving both superconducting gaps and pseudogaps, which has been applied by us earlier to high-Tc cuprates. The similarity suggests that the parent electronic spectrum features should have much in common for these classes of materials.

  3. Connexin-43 interactions with ZO-1 and alpha- and beta-tubulin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giepmans, B N; Verlaan, I; Moolenaar, W H

    2001-01-01

    Gap junctions are composed of connexins that form transmembrane channels between adjacent cells. The C-terminal tail of connexin-43 (Cx43), the most widely expressed connexin member, has been implicated in the regulation of Cx43 channel gating. Interestingly, channel-independent processes regulated

  4. Connexin43 orthologues in vertebrates: phylogeny from fish to man

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Heyden, Marcel A. G.; van Eijk, Marleen; Wilders, Ronald; de Bakker, Jacques M. T.; Opthof, Tobias

    2004-01-01

    The gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43) is widely expressed in all vertebrate species; however, in ventricular myocardium, Cx43 expression is restricted to mammalian species only, where it provides the molecular correlate for both electrical conduction and synchronization of the repolarization

  5. Calmodulin/CaMKII inhibition improves intercellular communication and impulse propagation in the heart and is antiarrhythmic under conditions when fibrosis is absent

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Takanari, Hiroki; Bourgonje, Vincent J A; Fontes, Magda S C; Raaijmakers, Antonia J A; Driessen, Helen; Jansen, John A.; Van Der Nagel, Roel; Kok, Bart; Van Stuijvenberg, Leonie; Boulaksil, Mohamed; Takemoto, Yoshio; Yamazaki, Masatoshi; Tsuji, Yukiomi; Honjo, Haruo; Kamiya, Kaichiro; Kodama, Itsuo; Anderson, Mark E.; Van Der Heyden, Marcel A G; Van Rijen, Harold V M; van Veen, AAB; Vos, Marc A.

    2016-01-01

    Aim In healthy hearts, ventricular gap junctions are mainly composed by connexin43 (Cx43) and localize in the intercalated disc, enabling appropriate electrical coupling. In diseased hearts, Cx43 is heterogeneously down-regulated, whereas activity of calmodulin/calcium-calmodulin protein kinase II

  6. Calmodulin/CaMKII inhibition improves intercellular communication and impulse propagation in the heart and is antiarrhythmic under conditions when fibrosis is absent

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Takanari, H.; Bourgonje, V.J.; Fontes, M.S.; Raaijmakers, A.J.; Driessen, H.; Jansen, JA; Nagel, R. van der; Kok, B; Stuijvenberg, L. van; Boulaksil, M.; Takemoto, Y.; Yamazaki, M.; Tsuji, Y.; Honjo, H.; Kamiya, K.; Kodama, I.; Anderson, M.E.; Heyden, M.A. van der; Rijen, H.V. van; Veen, T.A. van; Vos, M.A.

    2016-01-01

    AIM: In healthy hearts, ventricular gap junctions are mainly composed by connexin43 (Cx43) and localize in the intercalated disc, enabling appropriate electrical coupling. In diseased hearts, Cx43 is heterogeneously down-regulated, whereas activity of calmodulin/calcium-calmodulin protein kinase II

  7. Gold nanoparticle-mediated (GNOME) laser perforation: a new method for a high-throughput analysis of gap junction intercellular coupling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Begandt, Daniela; Bader, Almke; Antonopoulos, Georgios C; Schomaker, Markus; Kalies, Stefan; Meyer, Heiko; Ripken, Tammo; Ngezahayo, Anaclet

    2015-10-01

    The present report evaluates the advantages of using the gold nanoparticle-mediated laser perforation (GNOME LP) technique as a computer-controlled cell optoperforation to introduce Lucifer yellow (LY) into cells in order to analyze the gap junction coupling in cell monolayers. To permeabilize GM-7373 endothelial cells grown in a 24 multiwell plate with GNOME LP, a laser beam of 88 μm in diameter was applied in the presence of gold nanoparticles and LY. After 10 min to allow dye uptake and diffusion through gap junctions, we observed a LY-positive cell band of 179 ± 8 μm width. The presence of the gap junction channel blocker carbenoxolone during the optoperforation reduced the LY-positive band to 95 ± 6 μm. Additionally, a forskolin-related enhancement of gap junction coupling, recently found using the scrape loading technique, was also observed using GNOME LP. Further, an automatic cell imaging and a subsequent semi-automatic quantification of the images using a java-based ImageJ-plugin were performed in a high-throughput sequence. Moreover, the GNOME LP was used on cells such as RBE4 rat brain endothelial cells, which cannot be mechanically scraped as well as on three-dimensionally cultivated cells, opening the possibility to implement the GNOME LP technique for analysis of gap junction coupling in tissues. We conclude that the GNOME LP technique allows a high-throughput automated analysis of gap junction coupling in cells. Moreover this non-invasive technique could be used on monolayers that do not support mechanical scraping as well as on cells in tissue allowing an in vivo/ex vivo analysis of gap junction coupling.

  8. Transparent Semiconductor-Superconductor Interface and Induced Gap in an Epitaxial Heterostructure Josephson Junction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kjaergaard, M.; Suominen, H. J.; Nowak, M.P.; Akhmerov, A.R.; Shabani, J.; Palmstrøm, C. J.; Nichele, F.; Marcus, C.M.

    2017-01-01

    Measurement of multiple Andreev Reflection (MAR) in a Josephson junction made from an InAs quantum well heterostructure with epitaxial aluminum is used to quantify a highly transparent effective semiconductor-superconductor interface with near-unity transmission. The observed temperature

  9. Different mechanisms of modulation of gap junction communication by non-genotoxic carcinogens in rat liver in vivo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cowles, C.; Mally, A.; Chipman, J.K.

    2007-01-01

    This is a comparative study of the mechanisms by which three different rodent non-genotoxic carcinogens modulate connexin-mediated gap junction intercellular communication in male rat liver in vivo. In the case of the peroxisome proliferating agent Wy-14,643, a non-hepatotoxic dose of 50 mg/kg led to a marked loss of inter-hepatocyte dye transfer associated with a loss of both Cx32 and Cx26 protein expression. In contrast, p,p'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) at a non-hepatotoxic dose (25 mg/kg) was not found to alter Cx32 or Cx26 expression or to produce a measurable Cx32 serine phosphorylation but did give a small, significant reduction of cell communication. Carbon tetrachloride (CCl 4 ) did not affect cell communication (despite a small significant reduction of Cx32 content) at a non-hepatotoxic dose. Both loss of communication and Cx32 expression was observed only at a dose that caused hepatocyte toxicity as evidenced by increased serum alanine aminotransferase activity. Overall, the findings emphasise that loss of gap junctional communication in vivo can contribute to carcinogenesis by non-genotoxic carcinogens through different primary mechanism. In contrast to Wy-14,643 and DDT, the results with CCl 4 are consistent with a requirement for hepatotoxicity in its carcinogenic action

  10. HDAC inhibition amplifies gap junction communication in neural progenitors: Potential for cell-mediated enzyme prodrug therapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, Zahidul; Akhtar, Monira; Asklund, Thomas; Juliusson, Bengt; Almqvist, Per M.; Ekstroem, Tomas J.

    2007-01-01

    Enzyme prodrug therapy using neural progenitor cells (NPCs) as delivery vehicles has been applied in animal models of gliomas and relies on gap junction communication (GJC) between delivery and target cells. This study investigated the effects of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors on GJC for the purpose of facilitating transfer of therapeutic molecules from recombinant NPCs. We studied a novel immortalized midbrain cell line, NGC-407 of embryonic human origin having neural precursor characteristics, as a potential delivery vehicle. The expression of gap junction protein connexin 43 (C x 43) was analyzed by western blot and immunocytochemistry. While C x 43 levels were decreased in untreated differentiating NGC-407 cells, the HDAC inhibitor 4-phenylbutyrate (4-PB) increased C x 43 expression along with increased membranous deposition in both proliferating and differentiating cells. Simultaneously, Ser 279/282-phosphorylated form of C x 43 was declined in both culture conditions by 4-PB. The 4-PB effect in NGC-407 cells was verified by using HNSC.100 human neural progenitors and Trichostatin A. Improved functional GJC is of imperative importance for therapeutic strategies involving intercellular transport of low molecular-weight compounds. We show here an enhancement by 4-PB, of the functional GJC among NGC-407 cells, as well as between NGC-407 and human glioma cells, as indicated by increased fluorescent dye transfer

  11. Fluxes of lactate into, from, and among gap junction-coupled astrocytes and their interaction with noradrenaline

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leif eHertz

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Lactate is a versatile metabolite with important roles in modulation of brain glucose utilization rate (CMRglc, diagnosis of brain-injured patients, redox- and receptor-mediated signaling, memory, and alteration of gene transcription. Neurons and astrocytes release and accumulate lactate using equilibrative monocarboxylate transporters that carry out net transmembrane transport of lactate only until intra- and extracellular levels reach equilibrium. Astrocytes have much faster lactate uptake than neurons and shuttle more lactate among gap junction-coupled astrocytes than to nearby neurons. Lactate diffusion within syncytia can provide precursors for oxidative metabolism and glutamate synthesis and facilitate its release from endfeet to perivascular space to stimulate blood flow. Lactate efflux from brain during activation underlies the large underestimation of CMRglc with labeled glucose and fall in CMRO2/CMRglc ratio. Receptor-mediated effects of lactate on locus coeruleus neurons include noradrenaline release in cerebral cortex and c-AMP-mediated stimulation of astrocytic gap junctional coupling, thereby enhancing its dispersal and release from brain. Lactate transport is essential for its multifunctional roles.

  12. Effect of low and staggered gap quantum wells inserted in GaAs tunnel junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louarn, K.; Claveau, Y.; Marigo-Lombart, L.; Fontaine, C.; Arnoult, A.; Piquemal, F.; Bounouh, A.; Cavassilas, N.; Almuneau, G.

    2018-04-01

    In this article, we investigate the impact of the insertion of either a type I InGaAs or a type II InGaAs/GaAsSb quantum well on the performances of MBE-grown GaAs tunnel junctions (TJs). The devices are designed and simulated using a quantum transport model based on the non-equilibrium Green’s function formalism and a 6-band k.p Hamiltonian. We experimentally observe significant improvements of the peak tunneling current density on both heterostructures with a 460-fold increase for a moderately doped GaAs TJ when the InGaAs QW is inserted at the junction interface, and a 3-fold improvement on a highly doped GaAs TJ integrating a type II InGaAs/GaAsSb QW. Thus, the simple insertion of staggered band lineup heterostructures enables us to reach a tunneling current well above the kA cm‑2 range, equivalent to the best achieved results for Si-doped GaAs TJs, implying very interesting potential for TJ-based components, such as multi-junction solar cells, vertical cavity surface emitting lasers and tunnel-field effect transistors.

  13. Inhibition of GSK-3β Rescues the Impairments in Bone Formation and Mechanical Properties Associated with Fracture Healing in Osteoblast Selective Connexin 43 Deficient Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loiselle, Alayna E.; Lloyd, Shane A. J.; Paul, Emmanuel M.; Lewis, Gregory S.; Donahue, Henry J.

    2013-01-01

    Connexin 43 (Cx43) is the most abundant gap junction protein in bone and is required for osteoblastic differentiation and bone homeostasis. During fracture healing, Cx43 is abundantly expressed in osteoblasts and osteocytes, while Cx43 deficiency impairs bone formation and healing. In the present study we selectively deleted Cx43 in the osteoblastic lineage from immature osteoblasts through osteocytes and tested the hypothesis that Cx43 deficiency results in delayed osteoblastic differentiation and impaired restoration of biomechanical properties due to attenuated β-catenin expression relative to wild type littermates. Here we show that Cx43 deficiency results in alterations in the mineralization and remodeling phases of healing. In Cx43 deficient fractures the mineralization phase is marked by delayed expression of osteogenic genes. Additionally, the decrease in the RankL/ Opg ratio, osteoclast number and osteoclast size suggest decreased osteoclast bone resorption and remodeling. These changes in healing result in functional deficits as shown by a decrease in ultimate torque at failure. Consistent with these impairments in healing, β-catenin expression is attenuated in Cx43 deficient fractures at 14 and 21 days, while Sclerostin (Sost) expression, a negative regulator of bone formation is increased in Cx43cKO fractures at 21 days, as is GSK-3β, a key component of the β-catenin proteasomal degradation complex. Furthermore, we show that alterations in healing in Cx43 deficient fractures can be rescued by inhibiting GSK-3β activity using Lithium Chloride (LiCl). Treatment of Cx43 deficient mice with LiCl restores both normal bone formation and mechanical properties relative to LiCl treated WT fractures. This study suggests that Cx43 is a potential therapeutic target to enhance fracture healing and identifies a previously unknown role for Cx43 in regulating β-catenin expression and thus bone formation during fracture repair. PMID:24260576

  14. Integrating evolutionary game theory into an agent-based model of ductal carcinoma in situ: Role of gap junctions in cancer progression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malekian, Negin; Habibi, Jafar; Zangooei, Mohammad Hossein; Aghakhani, Hojjat

    2016-11-01

    There are many cells with various phenotypic behaviors in cancer interacting with each other. For example, an apoptotic cell may induce apoptosis in adjacent cells. A living cell can also protect cells from undergoing apoptosis and necrosis. These survival and death signals are propagated through interaction pathways between adjacent cells called gap junctions. The function of these signals depends on the cellular context of the cell receiving them. For instance, a receiver cell experiencing a low level of oxygen may interpret a received survival signal as an apoptosis signal. In this study, we examine the effect of these signals on tumor growth. We make an evolutionary game theory component in order to model the signal propagation through gap junctions. The game payoffs are defined as a function of cellular context. Then, the game theory component is integrated into an agent-based model of tumor growth. After that, the integrated model is applied to ductal carcinoma in situ, a type of early stage breast cancer. Different scenarios are explored to observe the impact of the gap junction communication and parameters of the game theory component on cancer progression. We compare these scenarios by using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test succeeds in proving a significant difference between the tumor growth of the model before and after considering the gap junction communication. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test also proves that the tumor growth significantly depends on the oxygen threshold of turning survival signals into apoptosis. In this study, the gap junction communication is modeled by using evolutionary game theory to illustrate its role at early stage cancers such as ductal carcinoma in situ. This work indicates that the gap junction communication and the oxygen threshold of turning survival signals into apoptosis can notably affect cancer progression. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Application of Stochastic Automata Networks for Creation of Continuous Time Markov Chain Models of Voltage Gating of Gap Junction Channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mindaugas Snipas

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The primary goal of this work was to study advantages of numerical methods used for the creation of continuous time Markov chain models (CTMC of voltage gating of gap junction (GJ channels composed of connexin protein. This task was accomplished by describing gating of GJs using the formalism of the stochastic automata networks (SANs, which allowed for very efficient building and storing of infinitesimal generator of the CTMC that allowed to produce matrices of the models containing a distinct block structure. All of that allowed us to develop efficient numerical methods for a steady-state solution of CTMC models. This allowed us to accelerate CPU time, which is necessary to solve CTMC models, ∼20 times.

  16. Application of Stochastic Automata Networks for Creation of Continuous Time Markov Chain Models of Voltage Gating of Gap Junction Channels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pranevicius, Henrikas; Pranevicius, Mindaugas; Pranevicius, Osvaldas; Bukauskas, Feliksas F.

    2015-01-01

    The primary goal of this work was to study advantages of numerical methods used for the creation of continuous time Markov chain models (CTMC) of voltage gating of gap junction (GJ) channels composed of connexin protein. This task was accomplished by describing gating of GJs using the formalism of the stochastic automata networks (SANs), which allowed for very efficient building and storing of infinitesimal generator of the CTMC that allowed to produce matrices of the models containing a distinct block structure. All of that allowed us to develop efficient numerical methods for a steady-state solution of CTMC models. This allowed us to accelerate CPU time, which is necessary to solve CTMC models, ∼20 times. PMID:25705700

  17. Critical role of gap junction communication, calcium and nitric oxide signaling in bystander responses to focal photodynamic injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calì, Bianca; Ceolin, Stefano; Ceriani, Federico; Bortolozzi, Mario; Agnellini, Andrielly H R; Zorzi, Veronica; Predonzani, Andrea; Bronte, Vincenzo; Molon, Barbara; Mammano, Fabio

    2015-04-30

    Ionizing and nonionizing radiation affect not only directly targeted cells but also surrounding "bystander" cells. The underlying mechanisms and therapeutic role of bystander responses remain incompletely defined. Here we show that photosentizer activation in a single cell triggers apoptosis in bystander cancer cells, which are electrically coupled by gap junction channels and support the propagation of a Ca2+ wave initiated in the irradiated cell. The latter also acts as source of nitric oxide (NO) that diffuses to bystander cells, in which NO levels are further increased by a mechanism compatible with Ca(2+)-dependent enzymatic production. We detected similar signals in tumors grown in dorsal skinfold chambers applied to live mice. Pharmacological blockade of connexin channels significantly reduced the extent of apoptosis in bystander cells, consistent with a critical role played by intercellular communication, Ca2+ and NO in the bystander effects triggered by photodynamic therapy.

  18. S-diclofenac Protects against Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiomyopathy in Mice via Ameliorating Cardiac Gap Junction Remodeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Huili; Zhang, Alian; Guo, Changfa; Shi, Chunzhi; Zhang, Yang; Liu, Qing; Sparatore, Anna; Wang, Changqian

    2011-01-01

    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), as a novel gaseous mediator, plays important roles in mammalian cardiovascular tissues. In the present study, we investigated the cardioprotective effect of S-diclofenac (2-[(2,6-dichlorophenyl)amino] benzeneacetic acid 4-(3H-1,2,dithiol-3-thione-5-yl)phenyl ester), a novel H2S-releasing derivative of diclofenac, in a murine model of doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy. After a single dose injection of doxorubicin (15 mg/kg, i.p.), male C57BL/6J mice were given daily treatment of S-diclofenac (25 and 50 µmol/kg, i.p.), diclofenac (25 and 50 µmol/kg, i.p.), NaHS (50 µmol/kg, i.p.), or same volume of vehicle. The cardioprotective effect of S-diclofenac was observed after 14 days. It showed that S-diclofenac, but not diclofenac, dose-dependently inhibited the doxorubicin-induced downregulation of cardiac gap junction proteins (connexin 43 and connexin 45) and thus reversed the remodeling of gap junctions in hearts. It also dose-dependently suppressed doxorubicin-induced activation of JNK in hearts. Furthermore, S-diclofenac produced a dose-dependent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effect in this model. As a result, S-diclofenac significantly attenuated doxorubicin-related cardiac injury and cardiac dysfunction, and improved the survival rate of mice with doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy. These effects of S-diclofenac were mimicked in large part by NaHS. Therefore, we propose that H2S released from S-diclofenac in vivo contributes to the protective effect in doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy. These data also provide evidence for a critical role of H2S in the pathogenesis of doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy. PMID:22039489

  19. Sphingosine-1-Phosphate reduces ischemia/reperfusion injury by phosphorylating the gap junction protein Connexin43

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Morel, Sandrine; Christoffersen, Christina; Axelsen, Lene N

    2016-01-01

    recruitment seems only indirectly affected. Importantly, short-term S1P treatment at the onset of reperfusion was sufficient to reduce ischemia/reperfusion injury in isolated perfused hearts. Mechanistic in vitro and ex vivo studies revealed that 5 min of S1P treatment induced phosphorylation of the gap...

  20. Phosphatidylcholine Specific PLC-Induced Dysregulation of Gap Junctions, a Robust Cellular Response to Environmental Toxicants, and Prevention by Resveratrol in a Rat Liver Cell Model

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Sovadinová, I.; Babica, Pavel; Böke, H.; Kumar, E.; Wilke, A.; Park, J.-S.; Trosko, J. E.; Upham, B. L.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 10, 5 no.e0124454 (2015), s. 1-16 E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LH12034 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : gap junctional intercellular communication * resveratrol * phosphatidylcholine-specific phospholipase C Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.057, year: 2015

  1. On the universality of the ''smile''-gap in the density of states of a chaotic Josephson junction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reutlinger, Johannes; Belzig, Wolfgang [University of Konstanz, Department of Physics (Germany); Nazarov, Yuli [Kavli Institute of Nanoscience Delft, Delft University of Technology, Delft (Netherlands); Glazman, Leonid [Department of Physics, Yale University, New Haven, CT (United States)

    2015-07-01

    The superconducting proximity effect strongly modifies the local density of states in chaotic Josephson junctions. Recently we found that besides the well-known minigap a secondary gap appears just below the superconducting gap edge Δ in the limit of a large Thouless energy E{sub Th} >or similar Δ. To check the universality of this novel gap phenomenon we study the effect of nonideal contacts and show that the ''smile''-gap crucially depends on the transmission eigenvalue distribution. In a next step we use the random matrix method to investigate the ''smile''-gap. This allows us to approach the statistics of Andreev levels, going beyond the quasiclassical Greens function method. It turns out that the hard gap edge softens similar to what is already known from the minigap.

  2. A novel role of dendritic gap junction and mechanisms underlying its interaction with thalamocortical conductance in fast spiking inhibitory neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sun Qian-Quan

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Little is known about the roles of dendritic gap junctions (GJs of inhibitory interneurons in modulating temporal properties of sensory induced responses in sensory cortices. Electrophysiological dual patch-clamp recording and computational simulation methods were used in combination to examine a novel role of GJs in sensory mediated feed-forward inhibitory responses in barrel cortex layer IV and its underlying mechanisms. Results Under physiological conditions, excitatory post-junctional potentials (EPJPs interact with thalamocortical (TC inputs within an unprecedented few milliseconds (i.e. over 200 Hz to enhance the firing probability and synchrony of coupled fast-spiking (FS cells. Dendritic GJ coupling allows fourfold increase in synchrony and a significant enhancement in spike transmission efficacy in excitatory spiny stellate cells. The model revealed the following novel mechanisms: 1 rapid capacitive current (Icap underlies the activation of voltage-gated sodium channels; 2 there was less than 2 milliseconds in which the Icap underlying TC input and EPJP was coupled effectively; 3 cells with dendritic GJs had larger input conductance and smaller membrane response to weaker inputs; 4 synchrony in inhibitory networks by GJ coupling leads to reduced sporadic lateral inhibition and increased TC transmission efficacy. Conclusion Dendritic GJs of neocortical inhibitory networks can have very powerful effects in modulating the strength and the temporal properties of sensory induced feed-forward inhibitory and excitatory responses at a very high frequency band (>200 Hz. Rapid capacitive currents are identified as main mechanisms underlying interaction between two transient synaptic conductances.

  3. Effect of enhanced expression of connexin 43 on sunitinib-induced cytotoxicity in mesothelioma cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miaki Uzu

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Connexin (Cx makes up a type of intercellular channel called gap junction (GJ. GJ plays a regulatory role in cellular physiology. The Cx expression level is often decreased in cancer cells compared to that in healthy ones, and the restoration of its expression has been shown to exert antiproliferative effects. This work aims to evaluate the effect of the restoration of connexin 43 (Cx43 (the most ubiquitous Cx subtype expression on sunitinib (SU-induced cytotoxicity in malignant mesothelioma (MM cells. Increased Cx43 expression in an MM cell line (H28 improved the ability of SU to inhibit receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK signaling. Moreover, higher Cx43 expression promoted SU-induced apoptosis. The cell viability test revealed that Cx43 enhanced the cytotoxic effect of SU in a GJ-independent manner. The effect of Cx43 on a proapoptotic factor, Bax, was then investigated. The interaction between Cx43 and Bax was confirmed by immunoprecipitation. Furthermore, higher Cx43 expression increased the production of a cleaved (active form of Bax during SU-induced apoptosis with no alteration in total Bax expression. These findings indicate that Cx43 most likely increases sensitivity to SU in H28 through direct interaction with Bax. In conclusion, we found that Cx43 overcame the chemoresistance of MM cells.

  4. Analysis of trafficking, stability and function of human connexin 26 gap junction channels with deafness-causing mutations in the fourth transmembrane helix.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cinzia Ambrosi

    Full Text Available Human Connexin26 gene mutations cause hearing loss. These hereditary mutations are the leading cause of childhood deafness worldwide. Mutations in gap junction proteins (connexins can impair intercellular communication by eliminating protein synthesis, mis-trafficking, or inducing channels that fail to dock or have aberrant function. We previously identified a new class of mutants that form non-functional gap junction channels and hemichannels (connexons by disrupting packing and inter-helix interactions. Here we analyzed fourteen point mutations in the fourth transmembrane helix of connexin26 (Cx26 that cause non-syndromic hearing loss. Eight mutations caused mis-trafficking (K188R, F191L, V198M, S199F, G200R, I203K, L205P, T208P. Of the remaining six that formed gap junctions in mammalian cells, M195T and A197S formed stable hemichannels after isolation with a baculovirus/Sf9 protein purification system, while C202F, I203T, L205V and N206S formed hemichannels with varying degrees of instability. The function of all six gap junction-forming mutants was further assessed through measurement of dye coupling in mammalian cells and junctional conductance in paired Xenopus oocytes. Dye coupling between cell pairs was reduced by varying degrees for all six mutants. In homotypic oocyte pairings, only A197S induced measurable conductance. In heterotypic pairings with wild-type Cx26, five of the six mutants formed functional gap junction channels, albeit with reduced efficiency. None of the mutants displayed significant alterations in sensitivity to transjunctional voltage or induced conductive hemichannels in single oocytes. Intra-hemichannel interactions between mutant and wild-type proteins were assessed in rescue experiments using baculovirus expression in Sf9 insect cells. Of the four unstable mutations (C202F, I203T, L205V, N206S only C202F and N206S formed stable hemichannels when co-expressed with wild-type Cx26. Stable M195T hemichannels

  5. Cell motility in models of wounded human skin is improved by Gap27 despite raised glucose, insulin and IGFBP-5

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, Catherine S.; Berends, Rebecca F. [Department of Life Sciences, School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, 70 Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BA (United Kingdom); Flint, David J. [Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, 161 Cathedral Street, Glasgow G4 0RE (United Kingdom); Martin, Patricia E.M., E-mail: Patricia.Martin@gcu.ac.uk [Department of Life Sciences, School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, 70 Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BA (United Kingdom)

    2013-02-15

    Reducing Cx43 expression stimulates skin wound healing. This is mimicked in models when Cx43 function is blocked by the connexin mimetic peptide Gap27. IGF-I also stimulates wound healing with IGFBP-5 attenuating its actions. Further, the IGF-I to IGFBP-5 ratio is altered in diabetic skin, where wound closure is impaired. We investigated whether Gap27 remains effective in augmenting scrape-wound closure in human skin wound models simulating diabetes-induced changes, using culture conditions with raised glucose, insulin and IGFBP-5. Gap27 increased scrape-wound closure in normal glucose and insulin (NGI) and to a lesser extent in high glucose and insulin (HGI). IGF-I enhanced scrape-wound closure in keratinocytes whereas IGFBP-5 inhibited this response. Gap27 overcame the inhibitory effects of IGFBP-5 on IGF-I activity. Connexin-mediated communication (CMC) was reduced in HGI, despite raised Cx43, and Gap27 significantly decreased CMC in NGI and HGI. IGF-I and IGFBP-5 did not affect CMC. IGF-I increased keratinocyte proliferation in NGI, and Gap27 increased proliferation in NGI to a greater extent than in HGI. We conclude that IGF-I and Gap27 stimulate scrape-wound closure by independent mechanisms with Gap27 inhibiting Cx43 function. Gap27 can enhance wound closure in diabetic conditions, irrespective of the IGF-I:IGFBP-5 balance. - Highlights: ► Human organotypic and keratinocyte ‘diabetic’ skin models were used to demonstrate the ability of Gap27 to improve scrape-wound closure. ► Gap27 enhanced scrape-wound closure by reducing Cx43-mediated communication, whereas IGFBP-5 retarded cell migration. ► IGF-I and IGFBP-5 did not affect connexin-mediated pathways. ► Gap27 can override altered glucose, insulin, IGF-I, and IGFBP-5 in ‘diabetic’ skin models and thus has therapeutic potential.

  6. Bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2 and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1 alter connexin 43 phosphorylation in MC3T3-E1 Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rudkin George H

    2001-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs and transforming growth factor-βs (TGF-βs are important regulators of bone repair and regeneration. BMP-2 and TGF-β1 have been shown to inhibit gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC in MC3T3-E1 cells. Connexin 43 (Cx43 has been shown to mediate GJIC in osteoblasts and it is the predominant gap junctional protein expressed in these murine osteoblast-like cells. We examined the expression, phosphorylation, and subcellular localization of Cx43 after treatment with BMP-2 or TGF-β1 to investigate a possible mechanism for the inhibition of GJIC. Results Northern blot analysis revealed no detectable change in the expression of Cx43 mRNA. Western blot analysis demonstrated no significant change in the expression of total Cx43 protein. However, significantly higher ratios of unphosphorylated vs. phosphorylated forms of Cx43 were detected after BMP-2 or TGF-β1 treatment. Immunofluorescence and cell protein fractionation revealed no detectable change in the localization of Cx43 between the cytosol and plasma membrane. Conclusions BMP-2 and TGF-β1 do not alter expression of Cx43 at the mRNA or protein level. BMP-2 and TGF-β1 may inhibit GJIC by decreasing the phosphorylated form of Cx43 in MC3T3-E1 cells.

  7. Evaluation of Connexin 43 Redistribution and Endocytosis in Astrocytes Subjected to Ischemia/Reperfusion or Oxygen-Glucose Deprivation and Reoxygenation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongyan Xie

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Connexin 43 (Cx43 is the major component protein in astrocytic gap junction communication. Recent studies have shown the cellular processes of gap junction internalization and degradation, but many details remain unknown. This study investigated the distribution of Cx43 and its mechanism after ischemic insult. Astrocyte culture system and a model of ischemia/reperfusion (IR or oxygen-glucose deprivation and reoxygenation (OGDR were established. Cx43 distribution was observed by laser scanning confocal microscopy under different cultivation conditions. Western blot and RT-PCR assays were applied to quantify Cx43 and MAPRE1 (microtubule-associated protein RP/EB family member 1 expression at different time points. The total number of Cx43 was unchanged in the normal and IR/OGDR groups, but Cx43 particles in the cytoplasm of the IR/OGDR group were significantly greater than that of the normal group. Particles in the cytoplasm were significantly fewer after endocytosis was blocked by dynasore. There was no difference among the groups at each time point regarding protein or gene expression of MAPRE1. We concluded that internalization of Cx43 into the cytoplasm occurred during ischemia, which was partially mediated through endocytosis, not by the change of Cx43 quantity. Moreover, internalization was not related to microtubule transport.

  8. Heavy-ion-induced bystander killing of human lung cancer cells. Role of gap junctional intercellular communication

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harada, Kosaku; Nonaka, Tetsuo; Hamada, Nobuyuki; Sakurai, Hideyuki; Hasegawa, Masatoshi; Kobayashi, Yasuhiko; Nakano, Takashi; Funayama, Tomoo; Kakizaki, Takehiko

    2009-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to clarify the mechanisms of cell death induced by heavy-ion irradiation focusing on the bystander effect in human lung cancer A549 cells. In microbeam irradiation, each of 1, 5, and 25 cells under confluent cell conditions was irradiated with 1, 5, or 10 particles of carbon ions (220 MeV), and then the surviving fraction of the population was measured by a clonogenic assay in order to investigate the bystander effect of heavy-ions. In this experiment, the limited number of cells (0.0001-0.002%, 5-25 cells) under confluent cell conditions irradiated with 5 or 10 carbon ions resulted in an exaggerated 8-14% increase in cell death by clonogenic assay. However, these overshooting responses were not observed under exponentially growing cell conditions. Furthermore, these responses were inhibited in cells treated with an inhibitor of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC), whereas they were markedly enhanced by the addition of a stimulator of GJIC. The present results suggest that bystander cell killing by heavy-ions was induced mainly by direct cell-to-cell communication, such as GJIC, which might play important roles in bystander responses. (author)

  9. Firing patterns and synchronization in nonsynaptic epileptiform activity: the effect of gap junctions modulated by potassium accumulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santos, D O C; Dickman, R; Rodrigues, A M; De Almeida, A C G

    2009-01-01

    Several lines of evidence point to the modification of firing patterns and of synchronization due to gap junctions (GJs) as having a role in the establishment of epileptiform activity (EA). However, previous studies consider GJs as ohmic resistors, ignoring the effects of intense variations in ionic concentration known to occur during seizures. In addition to GJs, extracellular potassium is regarded as a further important factor involved in seizure initiation and sustainment. To analyze how these two mechanisms act together to shape firing and synchronization, we use a detailed computational model for in vitro high-K + and low-Ca 2+ nonsynaptic EA. The model permits us to explore the modulation of electrotonic interactions under ionic concentration changes caused by electrodiffusion in the extracellular space, altered by tortuosity. In addition, we investigate the special case of null GJ current. Increased electrotonic interaction alters bursts and action potential frequencies, favoring synchronization. The particularities of pattern changes depend on the tortuosity and array size. Extracellular potassium accumulation alone modifies firing and synchronization when the GJ coupling is null

  10. Segmental Bayesian estimation of gap-junctional and inhibitory conductance of inferior olive neurons from spike trains with complicated dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huu eHoang

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The inverse problem for estimating model parameters from brain spike data is an ill-posed problem because of a huge mismatch in the system complexity between the model and the brain as well as its non-stationary dynamics, and needs a stochastic approach that finds the most likely solution among many possible solutions. In the present study, we developed a segmental Bayesian method to estimate the two parameters of interest, the gap-junctional (gc and inhibitory conductance (gi from inferior olive spike data. Feature vectors were estimated for the spike data in a segment-wise fashion to compensate for the non-stationary firing dynamics. Hierarchical Bayesian estimation was conducted to estimate the gc and gi for every spike segment using a forward model constructed in the principal component analysis (PCA space of the feature vectors, and to merge the segmental estimates into single estimates for every neuron. The segmental Bayesian estimation gave smaller fitting errors than the conventional Bayesian inference, which finds the estimates once across the entire spike data, or the minimum error method, which directly finds the closest match in the PCA space. The segmental Bayesian inference has the potential to overcome the problem of non-stationary dynamics and resolve the ill-posedness of the inverse problem because of the mismatch between the model and the brain under the constraints based, and it is a useful tool to evaluate parameters of interest for neuroscience from experimental spike train data.

  11. Possible Mechanisms of Mercury Toxicity and Cancer Promotion: Involvement of Gap Junction Intercellular Communications and Inflammatory Cytokines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Zefferino

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available A number of observations indicate that heavy metals are able to alter cellular metabolic pathways through induction of a prooxidative state. Nevertheless, the outcome of heavy metal-mediated effects in the development of human diseases is debated and needs further insights. Cancer is a well-established DNA mutation-linked disease; however, epigenetic events are perhaps more important and harmful than genetic alterations. Unfortunately, we do not have reliable screening methods to assess/validate the epigenetic (promoter effects of a physical or a chemical agent. We propose a mechanism of action whereby mercury acts as a possible promoter carcinogen. In the present contribution, we resume our previous studies on mercury tested at concentrations comparable with its occurrence as environmental pollutant. It is shown that Hg(II elicits a prooxidative state in keratinocytes linked to inhibition of gap junction-mediated intercellular communication and proinflammatory cytokine production. These combined effects may on one hand isolate cells from tissue-specific homeostasis promoting their proliferation and on the other hand tamper the immune system defense/surveillance checkmating the whole organism. Since Hg(II is not a mutagenic/genotoxic compound directly affecting gene expression, in a broader sense, mercury might be an example of an epigenetic tumor promoter or, further expanding this concept, a “metagenetic” effector.

  12. Sample preconcentration utilizing nanofractures generated by junction gap breakdown assisted by self-assembled monolayer of gold nanoparticles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun-Ping Jen

    Full Text Available The preconcentration of proteins with low concentrations can be used to increase the sensitivity and accuracy of detection. A nonlinear electrokinetic flow is induced in a nanofluidic channel due to the overlap of electrical double layers, resulting in the fast accumulation of proteins, referred to as the exclusion-enrichment effect. The proposed chip for protein preconcentration was fabricated using simple standard soft lithography with a polydimethylsiloxane replica. This study extends our previous paper, in which gold nanoparticles were manually deposited onto the surface of a protein preconcentrator. In the present work, nanofractures were formed by utilizing the self-assembly of gold-nanoparticle-assisted electric breakdown. This reliable method for nanofracture formation, involving self-assembled monolayers of nanoparticles at the junction gap between microchannels, also decreases the required electric breakdown voltage. The experimental results reveal that a high concentration factor of 1.5×10(4 for a protein sample with an extremely low concentration of 1 nM was achieved in 30 min by using the proposed chip, which is faster than our previously proposed chip at the same conditions. Moreover, an immunoassay of bovine serum albumin (BSA and anti-BSA was carried out to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed chip.

  13. Complex role of connexin 43 in astrocytic tumors and possible promotion of glioma‑associated epileptic discharge (Review).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Hui; Zhou, Xing-Wang; Wang, Xiang; Yang, Yuan; Luo, Jie-Wen; Liu, Yan-Hui; Mao, Qing

    2017-12-01

    Connexin (Cx)43 is a multifunction protein which forms gap junction channels and hemi‑channels. It also contains abundant binding domains which possess the ability to interact with certain Cx43‑associated proteins and therefore serve a fundamental role in various physiological and pathological functions. However, the understanding of the association between cancer and Cx43 along with Cx43gap junctions (GJ) remains unclear. All available data illustrate that Cx43 and its associated GJ serve important functions in cancers. The expression levels of Cx43 demonstrate a downward trend and an increase in the levels of malignancy, particularly in astrocytomas. The GJ intercellular communication activity in glioma cells can be adjusted via Cx43 phosphorylation and through the combination of Cx43 and its associated protein. Available evidence reveals Cx43 as a tumor‑inhibiting factor that suppresses glioma growth and proliferation. However, its mechanism is also regarded as complicated and ambiguous. Furthermore, it is apparent that Cx43‑GJ and the carboxyl tail may contribute to glioma growth and proliferation too. However, this valuable role could be weakened by its effects on migration and invasiveness. The detailed mechanism remains unclear and full of controversies. Cx43 can enhance the motor ability and invasiveness of astrocytic glioma cells. It is also able to influence glioma cells to detach from the tumor core to the peritumoral neocortex. This peritumoral region has recently been regarded as the basic focus of glioma‑associated seizure. Thus, Cx43 may take part in the onset and development of glioma‑associated epileptic discharge. In addition, change and increase of Cx43 expression in GJs has been observed in seizure perilesional tissue, which is associated with brain tumors. Cx43 or GJ/hemi‑channels exert enduring effects in the promotion of glioma‑associated epileptic release through direct mass effects and change of the tumor microenvironment

  14. Diverse pattern of gap junction beta-2 and gap junction beta-4 genes mutations and lack of contribution of DFNB21, DFNB24, DFNB29, and DFNB42 loci in autosomal recessive nonsyndromic hearing loss patients in Hormozgan, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masoud Akbarzadeh Laleh

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: We aimed to determine the contribution of four DFNB loci and mutation analysis of gap junction beta-2 (GJB2 and GJB4 genes in autosomal recessive nonsyndromic hearing loss (ARNSHL in South of Iran. Materials and Methods: A total of 36 large ARNSHL pedigrees with at least two affected subjects were enrolled in the current study. The GJB2 and GJB4 genes mutations were screened using direct sequencing method. The GJB2 and GJB4 negative families were analyzed for the linkage to DFNB21, DFNB24, DFNB29, and DFNB42 loci by genotyping the corresponding STR markers using polymerase chain reaction-PAGE method. Results: We found a homozygous nonsense mutation W77X and a homozygous missense mutation C169W in 5.55% of studied families in GJB2 and GJB4 genes, respectively. Five heterozygous mutations including V63G, A78T, and R127H in GJB2 gene, and R103C and R227W in GJB4 gene were detected. We identified two novel variations V63G in GJB2 and R227W in GJB4. In silico analysis predicted that both novel variations are deleterious mutations. We did not unveil any linkage between DFNB21, DFNB24, DFNB29, and DFNB42 loci and ARNSHL among studied families. Conclusion: This is the first report of GJB2 and GJB4 mutations from Hormozgan population. According to the previous publications regarding GJB2 and GJB4 mutations, the distribution of the mutations is different from other parts of Iran that should be considered in primary health-care programs. Further investigations are needed to evaluate the contribution of other loci in ARNSHL subjects in South of Iran.

  15. Inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication by noncoplanar polychlorinated biphenyls: Inhibitory potencies and screening for potential mode(s) of action

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Machala, M.; Bláha, L.; Vondráček, Jan; Trosko, J. E.; Scott, J.; Upham, B. L.

    2003-01-01

    Roč. 76, č. 1 (2003), s. 102-111 ISSN 1096-6080 R&D Projects: GA MZe QC0194; GA ČR GA525/00/D101 Grant - others:National Institute of Health(US) P42 ES04911-07 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5004920 Keywords : WB-F344 cell line * gap junction * PCB congeners Subject RIV: BO - Biophysics Impact factor: 3.067, year: 2003

  16. Role of gap junctions and protein kinase A during the development of oocyte maturational competence in Ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Y.; Yoshizaki, G.; Takeuchi, T.; Soyano, K.; Patino, R.

    2008-01-01

    Meiotic resumption in teleost oocytes is induced by a maturation-inducing hormone (MIH). The sensitivity of oocytes to MIH, also known as oocyte maturational competence (OMC), is induced by LH via mechanisms that are not fully understood. A previous study of Ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis) showed the presence of functional heterologous gap junctions (GJs) between oocytes and their surrounding granulosa cells. The objectives of this study were to determine the role of ovarian GJs and of protein kinase A (PKA) during the acquisition of OMC. We examined the effects of the specific GJ inhibitor carbenoxolone (CBX) and 18??-glycyrrhetinic acid (??-GA) on the LH-(hCG)-dependent acquisition of OMC and on MIH-(17,20??-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one)-dependent meiotic resumption; measured the cAMP content of ovarian follicles during the hCG-dependent acquisition of OMC; and determined the effects of PK activators and inhibitors on hCG-dependent OMC. Production of follicular cAMP increased during the hCG-dependent acquisition of OMC. Both GJ inhibitors and the PKA inhibitor H8-dihydrochloride, but not the PKC inhibitor GF109203X, suppressed the hCG-dependent acquisition of OMC in a dose-dependent manner. The PKA activator forskolin induced OMC with a similar potency to hCG. Unlike previous observations with teleosts where disruption of heterologous GJ either blocks or stimulates meiotic resumption, treatment with GJ inhibitors did not affect MIH-dependent meiotic resumption in maturationally competent follicles of Ayu. These observations suggest that ovarian GJs are essential for LH-dependent acquisition of OMC but not for MIH-dependent meiotic resumption, and that the stimulation of OMC by LH is mediated by cAMP-dependent PKA. They are also consistent with the view that a precise balance between GJ-mediated signals (positive or negative) and oocyte maturational readiness is required for hormonally regulated meiotic resumption. ?? 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Oxaliplatin-induced neurotoxicity is mediated through gap junction channels and hemichannels and can be prevented by octanol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kagiava, Alexia; Theophilidis, George; Sargiannidou, Irene; Kyriacou, Kyriacos; Kleopa, Kleopas A

    2015-10-01

    Oxaliplatin-induced neurotoxicity (OIN) is a common complication of chemotherapy without effective treatment. In order to clarify the mechanisms of both acute and chronic OIN, we used an ex-vivo mouse sciatic nerve model. Exposure to 25 μM oxaliplatin caused a marked prolongation in the duration of the nerve evoked compound action potential (CAP) by nearly 1200% within 300 min while amplitude remained constant for over 20 h. This oxaliplatin effect was almost completely reversed by the gap junction (GJ) inhibitor octanol in a concentration-dependent manner. Further GJ blockers showed similar effects although with a narrower therapeutic window. To clarify the target molecule we studied sciatic nerves from connexin32 (Cx32) and Cx29 knockout (KO) mice. The oxaliplatin effect and neuroprotection by octanol partially persisted in Cx29 better than in Cx32 KO nerves, suggesting that oxaliplatin affects both, but Cx32 GJ channels more than Cx29 hemichannels. Oxaliplatin also accelerated neurobiotin uptake in HeLa cells expressing the human ortholog of Cx29, Cx31.3, as well as dye transfer between cells expressing the human Cx32, and this effect was blocked by octanol. Oxaliplatin caused no morphological changes initially (up to 3 h of exposure), but prolonged nerve exposure caused juxtaparonodal axonal edema, which was prevented by octanol. Our study indicates that oxaliplatin causes forced opening of Cx32 channels and Cx29 hemichannels in peripheral myelinated fibers leading to disruption of axonal K(+) homeostasis. The GJ blocker octanol prevents OIN at very low concentrations and should be further studied as a neuroprotectant. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Effects of maturation-inducing hormone on heterologous gap junctional coupling in ovarian follicles of Atlantic croaker

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshizaki, G.; Patino, R.; Thomas, P.; Bolamba, D.; Chang, Xiaotian

    2001-01-01

    A previous ultrastructural study of heterologous (granulosa cell-oocyte) gap junction (GJ) contacts in ovarian follicles of Atlantic croaker suggested that these contacts disappear late during the process of resumption of oocyte meiosis. This observation suggested that, unlike scenarios proposed for a number of other species, uncoupling of GJ is not necessary for the onset of meiotic resumption in croaker follicles. However, the functionality of heterologous GJ contacts and the temporal association between maturation-inducing hormone (MIH)-induced changes in heterologous coupling and resumption of oocyte meiosis have not been examined in Atlantic croaker. These questions were addressed with a cell-cell coupling assay that is based on the transfer of a GJ marker, Lucifer Yellow, from oocytes to granulosa cells. Follicle-enclosed oocytes injected with Lucifer Yellow allowed transfer of the dye into the follicle cell layer, thus confirming that there is functional heterologous coupling between the oocyte and the granulosa cells. Dye transfer was observed in vitellogenic, full-grown/maturation-incompetent, and full-grown /maturation-competent follicles. Treatment of maturation-competent follicles with MIH caused a time-dependent decline in the number of follicles transferring dye. However, although GJ uncoupling in some of the follicles was observed before germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD, index of meiotic resumption), about 50% of the follicles maintained the ability to transfer dye even after GVBD had occurred. Further, a known GJ inhibitor (phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate) blocked heterologous GJ within a time frame similar to that seen with MIH but without inducing any of the morphological changes (including GVBD) associated with follicular maturation. In conclusion, uncoupling of heterologous GJ seems insufficient and unnecessary for the onset of meiotic resumption in ovarian follicles of Atlantic croaker. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science.

  19. Competitive behavior of photons contributing to junction voltage jump in narrow band-gap semiconductor multi-quantum-well laser diodes at lasing threshold

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Feng, Liefeng, E-mail: fengliefeng@tju.edu.cn, E-mail: lihongru@nankai.edu.cn; Yang, Xiufang; Wang, Cunda; Yao, Dongsheng [Tianjin Key Laboratory of Low Dimensional Materials Physics and Preparing Technology, Faculty of Science, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072 (China); Li, Yang [Business and Vocational College of Hainan, Haikou 570203 (China); Li, Ding; Hu, Xiaodong [Research Center for Wide Band Gap Semiconductors, State Key Laboratory for Artificial Microstructure and Mesoscopic Physics, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (China); Li, Hongru, E-mail: fengliefeng@tju.edu.cn, E-mail: lihongru@nankai.edu.cn [State Key Laboratory for Medicinal Chemistry and Biology, College of Pharmacy, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071 (China)

    2015-04-15

    The junction behavior of different narrow band-gap multi-quantum-well (MQW) laser diodes (LDs) confirmed that the jump in the junction voltage in the threshold region is a general characteristic of narrow band-gap LDs. The relative change in the 1310 nm LD is the most obvious. To analyze this sudden voltage change, the threshold region is divided into three stages by I{sub th}{sup l} and I{sub th}{sup u}, as shown in Fig. 2; I{sub th}{sup l} is the conventional threshold, and as long as the current is higher than this threshold, lasing exists and the IdV/dI-I plot drops suddenly; I{sub th}{sup u} is the steady lasing point, at which the separation of the quasi-Fermi levels of electron and holes across the active region (V{sub j}) is suddenly pinned. Based on the evolutionary model of dissipative structure theory, the rate equations of the photons in a single-mode LD were deduced in detail at I{sub th}{sup l} and I{sub th}{sup u}. The results proved that the observed behavior of stimulated emission suddenly substituting for spontaneous emission, in a manner similar to biological evolution, must lead to a sudden increase in the injection carriers in the threshold region, which then causes the sudden increase in the junction voltage in this region.

  20. Competitive behavior of photons contributing to junction voltage jump in narrow band-gap semiconductor multi-quantum-well laser diodes at lasing threshold

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feng, Liefeng; Yang, Xiufang; Wang, Cunda; Yao, Dongsheng; Li, Yang; Li, Ding; Hu, Xiaodong; Li, Hongru

    2015-01-01

    The junction behavior of different narrow band-gap multi-quantum-well (MQW) laser diodes (LDs) confirmed that the jump in the junction voltage in the threshold region is a general characteristic of narrow band-gap LDs. The relative change in the 1310 nm LD is the most obvious. To analyze this sudden voltage change, the threshold region is divided into three stages by I th l and I th u , as shown in Fig. 2; I th l is the conventional threshold, and as long as the current is higher than this threshold, lasing exists and the IdV/dI-I plot drops suddenly; I th u is the steady lasing point, at which the separation of the quasi-Fermi levels of electron and holes across the active region (V j ) is suddenly pinned. Based on the evolutionary model of dissipative structure theory, the rate equations of the photons in a single-mode LD were deduced in detail at I th l and I th u . The results proved that the observed behavior of stimulated emission suddenly substituting for spontaneous emission, in a manner similar to biological evolution, must lead to a sudden increase in the injection carriers in the threshold region, which then causes the sudden increase in the junction voltage in this region

  1. On Biophysical Properties and Sensitivity to Gap Junction Blockers of Connexin 39 Hemichannels Expressed in HeLa Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas, Anibal A.; Cisterna, Bruno A.; Saavedra-Leiva, Fujiko; Urrutia, Carolina; Cea, Luis A.; Vielma, Alex H.; Gutierrez-Maldonado, Sebastian E.; Martin, Alberto J. M.; Pareja-Barrueto, Claudia; Escalona, Yerko; Schmachtenberg, Oliver; Lagos, Carlos F.; Perez-Acle, Tomas; Sáez, Juan C.

    2017-01-01

    Although connexins (Cxs) are broadly expressed by cells of mammalian organisms, Cx39 has a very restricted pattern of expression and the biophysical properties of Cx39-based channels [hemichannels (HCs) and gap junction channels (GJCs)] remain largely unknown. Here, we used HeLa cells transfected with Cx39 (HeLa-Cx39 cells) in which intercellular electrical coupling was not detected, indicating the absence of GJCs. However, functional HCs were found on the surface of cells exposed to conditions known to increase the open probability of other Cx HCs (e.g., extracellular divalent cationic-free solution (DCFS), extracellular alkaline pH, mechanical stimulus and depolarization to positive membrane potentials). Cx39 HCs were blocked by some traditional Cx HC blockers, but not by others or a pannexin1 channel blocker. HeLa-Cx39 cells showed similar resting membrane potentials (RMPs) to those of parental cells, and exposure to DCFS reduced RMPs in Cx39 transfectants, but not in parental cells. Under these conditions, unitary events of ~75 pS were frequent in HeLa-Cx39 cells and absent in parental cells. Real-time cellular uptake experiments of dyes with different physicochemical features, as well as the application of a machine-learning approach revealed that Cx39 HCs are preferentially permeable to molecules characterized by six categories of descriptors, namely: (1) electronegativity, (2) ionization potential, (3) polarizability, (4) size and geometry, (5) topological flexibility and (6) valence. However, Cx39 HCs opened by mechanical stimulation or alkaline pH were impermeable to Ca2+. Molecular modeling of Cx39-based channels suggest that a constriction present at the intracellular portion of the para helix region co-localizes with an electronegative patch, imposing an energetic and steric barrier, which in the case of GJCs may hinder channel function. Results reported here demonstrate that Cx39 form HCs and add to our understanding of the functional roles of Cx39 HCs

  2. Different domains are critical for oligomerization compatibility of different connexins

    Science.gov (United States)

    MARTÍNEZ, Agustín D.; MARIPILLÁN, Jaime; ACUÑA, Rodrigo; MINOGUE, Peter J.; BERTHOUD, Viviana M.; BEYER, Eric C.

    2011-01-01

    Oligomerization of connexins is a critical step in gap junction channel formation. Some members of the connexin family can oligomerize with other members and form functional heteromeric hemichannels [e.g. Cx43 (connexin 43) and Cx45], but others are incompatible (e.g. Cx43 and Cx26). To find connexin domains important for oligomerization, we constructed chimaeras between Cx43 and Cx26 and studied their ability to oligomerize with wild-type Cx43, Cx45 or Cx26. HeLa cells co-expressing Cx43, Cx45 or Cx26 and individual chimaeric constructs were analysed for interactions between the chimaeras and the wild-type connexins using cell biological (subcellular localization by immunofluorescence), functional (intercellular diffusion of microinjected Lucifer yellow) and biochemical (sedimentation velocity through sucrose gradients) assays. All of the chimaeras containing the third transmembrane domain of Cx43 interacted with wild-type Cx43 on the basis of co-localization, dominant-negative inhibition of intercellular communication, and altered sedimentation velocity. The same chimaeras also interacted with co-expressed Cx45. In contrast, immunofluorescence and intracellular diffusion of tracer suggested that other domains influenced oligomerization compatibility when chimaeras were co-expressed with Cx26. Taken together, these results suggest that amino acids in the third transmembrane domain are critical for oligomerization with Cx43 and Cx45. However, motifs in different domains may determine oligomerization compatibility in members of different connexin subfamilies. PMID:21348854

  3. Influence of the spatially inhomogeneous gap distribution on the quasiparticle current in c-axis junctions involving d-wave superconductors with charge density waves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekino, T; Gabovich, A M; Suan Li, Mai; Szymczak, H; Voitenko, A I

    2016-11-09

    The quasiparticle tunnel current J(V) between the superconducting ab-planes along the c-axis and the corresponding conductance [Formula: see text] were calculated for symmetric junctions composed of disordered d-wave layered superconductors partially gapped by charge density waves (CDWs). Here, V is the voltage. Both the checkerboard and unidirectional CDWs were considered. It was shown that the spatial spread of the CDW-pairing strength substantially smears the peculiarities of G(V) appropriate to uniform superconductors. The resulting curves G(V) become very similar to those observed for a number of cuprates in intrinsic junctions, e.g. mesas. In particular, the influence of CDWs may explain the peak-dip-hump structures frequently found for high-T c oxides.

  4. Connexin 43 expression in human and mouse testes with impaired spermatogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Kotula-Balak

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Connexin 43 (Cx43 belongs to a family of proteins that form gap junction channels. The aim of this study was to examine the expression of Cx43 in the testis of a patient with Klinefelter’s syndrome and of mice with the mosaic mutation and a partial deletion in the long arm of the Y chromosome. These genetic disorders are characterized by the presence of numerous degenerated seminiferous tubules and impaired spermatogenesis. In mouse testes, the expression and presence of Cx43 were detected by means of immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis, respectively. In testes of Klinefelter’s patient only immunoexpression of Cx43 was detected. Regardless of the species Cx43 protein was ubiquitously distributed in testes of reproductively normal males, whereas in those with testicular disorders either a weak intensity of staining or no staining within the seminiferous tubules was observed. Moderate to strong or very strong staining was confined to the interstitial tissue. In an immunoblot analysis of testicular homogenates Cx43 appeared as one major band of approximately 43 kDa. Our study adds three more examples of pathological gonads in which the absence or apparent decrease of Cx43 expression within the seminiferous tubules was found. A positive correlation between severe spermatogenic impairment and loss of Cx43 immunoreactivity observed in this study supports previous data that gap junctions play a crucial role in spermatogenesis. Strong Cx43 expression detected mostly in the interstitial tissue of the Klinefelter’s patient may presumably be of importance in sustaining Leydig cell metabolic activity. However, the role of gap junction communication in the control of Leydig cell function seems to be more complex than originally thought.

  5. The oligodendroglial precursor cell line Oli-neu represents a cell culture system to examine functional expression of the mouse gap junction gene connexin29 (Cx29

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goran Christoph Söhl

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The potential gap junction forming mouse connexin29 (Cx29 protein is concomitantly expressed with connexin32 (Cx32 in peripheral myelin forming Schwann cells and together with both Cx32 and connexin47 (Cx47 in oligodendrocytes of the CNS. To study the genomic structure and functional expression of Cx29, either primary cells or cell culture systems might be selected, from which the latter are easier to cultivate. Both structure and expression of Cx29 is still not fully understood. In the mouse sciatic nerve, brain and the oligodendroglial precursor cell line Oli-neu the Cx29 gene is processed in two transcript isoforms both harbouring a unique reading frame. In contrast to Cx32 and Cx47, only Cx29 protein is abundantly expressed in undifferentiated as well as differentiated Oli-neu cells but the absence of Etbr dye transfer after microinjection concealed the function of Cx29 mediated gap junction communication between those cells. Although HeLa cells stably transfected with Cx29 or Cx29-eGFP neither demonstrated any permeability for Lucifer yellow nor for neurobiotin, blocking of Etbr uptake from the media by gap junction blockers does suppose a role of Cx29 in hemi-channel function. Thus, we conclude that, due to its high abundance of Cx29 expression and its reproducible culture conditions, the oligodendroglial precursor cell line Oli-neu might constitute an appropriate cell culture system to study molecular mechanisms or putative extracellular stimuli to functionally open Cx29 channels or hemi-channels.

  6. Dysfunction in gap junction intercellular communication induces aberrant behavior of the inner cell mass and frequent collapses of expanded blastocysts in mouse embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Togashi, Kazue; Kumagai, Jin; Sato, Emiko; Shirasawa, Hiromitsu; Shimoda, Yuki; Makino, Kenichi; Sato, Wataru; Kumazawa, Yukiyo; Omori, Yasufumi; Terada, Yukihiro

    2015-06-01

    We investigated the role of gap junctions (GJs) in embryological differentiation, and observed the morphological behavior of the inner cell mass (ICM) by time-lapse movie observation (TLM) with gap junction inhibitors (GJis). ICR mouse embryos were exposed to two types of GJis in CZB medium: oleamide (0 to 50 μM) and 1-heptanol (0 to 10 mM). We compared the rate of blastocyst formation at embryonic day 4.5 (E4.5) with E5.5. We also observed and evaluated the times from the second cleavage to each embryonic developing stage by TLM. We investigated embryonic distribution of DNA, Nanog protein, and Connexin 43 protein with immunofluorescent staining. In the comparison of E4.5 with E5.5, inhibition of gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) delayed embryonic blastocyst formation. The times from the second cleavage to blastocyst formation were significantly extended in the GJi-treated embryos (control vs with oleamide, 2224 ± 179 min vs 2354 ± 278 min, p = 0.013). Morphological differences were traced in control versus GJi-treated embryos until the hatching stage. Oleamide induced frequent severe collapses of expanded blastocysts (77.4 % versus 26.3 %, p = 0.0001) and aberrant ICM divisions connected to sticky strands (74.3 % versus 5.3 %, p = 0.0001). Immunofluorescent staining indicated Nanog-positive cells were distributed in each divided ICM. GJIC plays an important role in blastocyst formation, collapses of expanded blastocysts, and the ICM construction in mouse embryos.

  7. Star junctions and watermelons of pure or random quantum Ising chains: finite-size properties of the energy gap at criticality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monthus, Cécile

    2015-06-01

    We consider M  ⩾  2 pure or random quantum Ising chains of N spins when they are coupled via a single star junction at their origins or when they are coupled via two star junctions at the their two ends leading to the watermelon geometry. The energy gap is studied via a sequential self-dual real-space renormalization procedure that can be explicitly solved in terms of Kesten variables containing the initial couplings and and the initial transverse fields. In the pure case at criticality, the gap is found to decay as a power-law {ΔM}\\propto {{N}-z(M)} with the dynamical exponent z(M)=\\frac{M}{2} for the single star junction (the case M   =   2 corresponds to z   =   1 for a single chain with free boundary conditions) and z(M)   =   M  -  1 for the watermelon (the case M   =   2 corresponds to z   =   1 for a single chain with periodic boundary conditions). In the random case at criticality, the gap follows the Infinite Disorder Fixed Point scaling \\ln {ΔM}=-{{N}\\psi}g with the same activated exponent \\psi =\\frac{1}{2} as the single chain corresponding to M   =   2, and where g is an O(1) random positive variable, whose distribution depends upon the number M of chains and upon the geometry (star or watermelon).

  8. The dynamics of connexin expression, degradation and localisation are regulated by gonadotropins during the early stages of in vitro maturation of swine oocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Santiquet

    Full Text Available Gap junctional communication (GJC plays a primordial role in oocyte maturation and meiotic resumption in mammals by directing the transfer of numerous molecules between cumulus cells and the oocyte. Gap junctions are made of connexins (Cx, proteins that regulate GJC in numerous ways. Understanding the dynamic regulation of connexin arrangements during in vitro maturation (IVM could provide a powerful tool for controlling meiotic resumption and consequently in vitro development of fully competent oocytes. However, physiological events happening during the early hours of IVM may still be elucidated. The present study reports the dynamic regulation of connexin expression, degradation and localization during this stage. Cx43, Cx45 and Cx60 were identified as the main connexins expressed in swine COC. Cx43 and Cx45 transcripts were judged too static to be a regulator of GJC, while Cx43 protein expression was highly responsive to gonadotropins, suggesting that it might be the principal regulator of GJC. In addition, the degradation of Cx43 expressed after 4.5 h of IVM in response to equine chorionic gonadotropin appeared to involve the proteasomal complex. Cx43 localisation appeared to be associated with GJC. Taken together, these results show for the first time that gonadotropins regulate Cx43 protein expression, degradation and localisation in porcine COC during the first several hours of IVM. Regulation of Cx43 may in turn, via GJC, participate in the development of fully competent oocytes.

  9. The role of engineered materials in superconducting tunnel junction X-ray detectors - Suppression of quasiparticle recombination losses via a phononic band gap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rippert, Edward D.; Ketterson, John B.; Chen, Jun; Song, Shenian; Lomatch, Susanne; Maglic, Stevan R.; Thomas, Christopher; Cheida, M. A.; Ulmer, Melville P.

    1992-01-01

    An engineered structure is proposed that can alleviate quasi-particle recombination losses via the existence of a phononic band gap that overlaps the 2-Delta energy of phonons produced during recombination of quasi-particles. Attention is given to a 1D Kronig-Penny model for phonons normally incident to the layers of a multilayered superconducting tunnel junction as an idealized example. A device with a high density of Bragg resonances is identified as desirable; both Nb/Si and NbN/SiN superlattices have been produced, with the latter having generally superior performance.

  10. Evolution of Microbial Quorum Sensing to Human Global Quorum Sensing: An Insight into How Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication Might Be Linked to the Global Metabolic Disease Crisis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trosko, James E

    2016-06-15

    The first anaerobic organism extracted energy for survival and reproduction from its source of nutrients, with the genetic means to ensure protection of its individual genome but also its species survival. While it had a means to communicate with its community via simple secreted molecules ("quorum sensing"), the eventual shift to an aerobic environment led to multi-cellular metazoan organisms, with evolutionary-selected genes to form extracellular matrices, stem cells, stem cell niches, and a family of gap junction or "connexin" genes. These germinal and somatic stem cells responded to extracellular signals that triggered intra-cellular signaling to regulate specific genes out of the total genome. These extra-cellular induced intra-cellular signals also modulated gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) in order to regulate the new cellular functions of symmetrical and asymmetrical cell division, cell differentiation, modes of cell death, and senescence. Within the hierarchical and cybernetic concepts, differentiated by neurons organized in the brain of the Homo sapiens, the conscious mind led to language, abstract ideas, technology, myth-making, scientific reasoning, and moral decision-making, i.e., the creation of culture. Over thousands of years, this has created the current collision between biological and cultural evolution, leading to the global "metabolic disease" crisis.

  11. Evolution of Microbial Quorum Sensing to Human Global Quorum Sensing: An Insight into How Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication Might Be Linked to the Global Metabolic Disease Crisis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James E. Trosko

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The first anaerobic organism extracted energy for survival and reproduction from its source of nutrients, with the genetic means to ensure protection of its individual genome but also its species survival. While it had a means to communicate with its community via simple secreted molecules (“quorum sensing”, the eventual shift to an aerobic environment led to multi-cellular metazoan organisms, with evolutionary-selected genes to form extracellular matrices, stem cells, stem cell niches, and a family of gap junction or “connexin” genes. These germinal and somatic stem cells responded to extracellular signals that triggered intra-cellular signaling to regulate specific genes out of the total genome. These extra-cellular induced intra-cellular signals also modulated gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC in order to regulate the new cellular functions of symmetrical and asymmetrical cell division, cell differentiation, modes of cell death, and senescence. Within the hierarchical and cybernetic concepts, differentiated by neurons organized in the brain of the Homo sapiens, the conscious mind led to language, abstract ideas, technology, myth-making, scientific reasoning, and moral decision–making, i.e., the creation of culture. Over thousands of years, this has created the current collision between biological and cultural evolution, leading to the global “metabolic disease” crisis.

  12. Rescue of Notch signaling in cells incapable of GDP-L-fucose synthesis by gap junction transfer of GDP-L-fucose in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayukawa, Tomonori; Matsumoto, Kenjiroo; Ishikawa, Hiroyuki O; Ishio, Akira; Yamakawa, Tomoko; Aoyama, Naoki; Suzuki, Takuya; Matsuno, Kenji

    2012-09-18

    Notch (N) is a transmembrane receptor that mediates cell-cell interactions to determine many cell-fate decisions. N contains EGF-like repeats, many of which have an O-fucose glycan modification that regulates N-ligand binding. This modification requires GDP-L-fucose as a donor of fucose. The GDP-L-fucose biosynthetic pathways are well understood, including the de novo pathway, which depends on GDP-mannose 4,6 dehydratase (Gmd) and GDP-4-keto-6-deoxy-D-mannose 3,5-epimerase/4-reductase (Gmer). However, the potential for intercellularly supplied GDP-L-fucose and the molecular basis of such transportation have not been explored in depth. To address these points, we studied the genetic effects of mutating Gmd and Gmer on fucose modifications in Drosophila. We found that these mutants functioned cell-nonautonomously, and that GDP-L-fucose was supplied intercellularly through gap junctions composed of Innexin-2. GDP-L-fucose was not supplied through body fluids from different isolated organs, indicating that the intercellular distribution of GDP-L-fucose is restricted within a given organ. Moreover, the gap junction-mediated supply of GDP-L-fucose was sufficient to support the fucosylation of N-glycans and the O-fucosylation of the N EGF-like repeats. Our results indicate that intercellular delivery is a metabolic pathway for nucleotide sugars in live animals under certain circumstances.

  13. Context dependent reversion of tumor phenotype by connexin-43 expression in MDA-MB231 cells and MCF-7 cells: Role of β-catenin/connexin43 association

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Talhouk, Rabih S.; Fares, Mohamed-Bilal; Rahme, Gilbert J.; Hariri, Hanaa H.; Rayess, Tina; Dbouk, Hashem A.; Bazzoun, Dana; Al-Labban, Dania; El-Sabban, Marwan E.

    2013-01-01

    Connexins (Cx), gap junction (GJ) proteins, are regarded as tumor suppressors, and Cx43 expression is often down regulated in breast tumors. We assessed the effect of Cx43 over-expression in 2D and 3D cultures of two breast adenocarcinoma cell lines: MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231. While Cx43 over-expression decreased proliferation of 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 by 56% and 80% respectively, MDA-MB-231 growth was not altered in 2D cultures, but exhibited 35% reduction in 3D cultures. C-terminus truncated Cx43 did not alter proliferation. Untransfected MCF-7 cells formed spherical aggregates in 3D cultures, and MDA-MB-231 cells formed stellar aggregates. However, MCF-7 cells over-expressing Cx43 formed smaller sized clusters and Cx43 expressing MDA-MB-231 cells lost their stellar morphology. Extravasation ability of both MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells was reduced by 60% and 30% respectively. On the other hand, silencing Cx43 in MCF10A cells, nonneoplastic human mammary cell line, increased proliferation in both 2D and 3D cultures, and disrupted acinar morphology. Although Cx43 over-expression did not affect total levels of β-catenin, α-catenin and ZO-2, it decreased nuclear levels of β-catenin in 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 cells, and in 3D cultures of MDA-MB-231 cells. Cx43 associated at the membrane with α-catenin, β-catenin and ZO-2 in 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 cells, and only in 3D conditions in MDA-MB-231 cells. This study suggests that Cx43 exerts tumor suppressive effects in a context-dependent manner where GJ assembly with α-catenin, β-catenin and ZO-2 may be implicated in reducing growth rate, invasiveness, and, malignant phenotype of 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 cells, and 3D cultures of MDA-MB-231 cells, by sequestering β-catenin away from nucleus. - Highlights: • Cx43 over-expressing MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 were grown in 2D and 3D cultures. • Proliferation and growth morphology were affected in a context dependent manner. • Extravasation ability of both MCF

  14. Context dependent reversion of tumor phenotype by connexin-43 expression in MDA-MB231 cells and MCF-7 cells: Role of β-catenin/connexin43 association

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Talhouk, Rabih S., E-mail: rtalhouk@aub.edu.lb [Department of Biology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, American University of Beirut, P.O. Box 11-0236, Beirut (Lebanon); Fares, Mohamed-Bilal; Rahme, Gilbert J.; Hariri, Hanaa H.; Rayess, Tina; Dbouk, Hashem A.; Bazzoun, Dana; Al-Labban, Dania [Department of Biology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, American University of Beirut, P.O. Box 11-0236, Beirut (Lebanon); El-Sabban, Marwan E., E-mail: me00@aub.edu.lb [Department of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, P.O. Box 11-0236, Beirut (Lebanon)

    2013-12-10

    Connexins (Cx), gap junction (GJ) proteins, are regarded as tumor suppressors, and Cx43 expression is often down regulated in breast tumors. We assessed the effect of Cx43 over-expression in 2D and 3D cultures of two breast adenocarcinoma cell lines: MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231. While Cx43 over-expression decreased proliferation of 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 by 56% and 80% respectively, MDA-MB-231 growth was not altered in 2D cultures, but exhibited 35% reduction in 3D cultures. C-terminus truncated Cx43 did not alter proliferation. Untransfected MCF-7 cells formed spherical aggregates in 3D cultures, and MDA-MB-231 cells formed stellar aggregates. However, MCF-7 cells over-expressing Cx43 formed smaller sized clusters and Cx43 expressing MDA-MB-231 cells lost their stellar morphology. Extravasation ability of both MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells was reduced by 60% and 30% respectively. On the other hand, silencing Cx43 in MCF10A cells, nonneoplastic human mammary cell line, increased proliferation in both 2D and 3D cultures, and disrupted acinar morphology. Although Cx43 over-expression did not affect total levels of β-catenin, α-catenin and ZO-2, it decreased nuclear levels of β-catenin in 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 cells, and in 3D cultures of MDA-MB-231 cells. Cx43 associated at the membrane with α-catenin, β-catenin and ZO-2 in 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 cells, and only in 3D conditions in MDA-MB-231 cells. This study suggests that Cx43 exerts tumor suppressive effects in a context-dependent manner where GJ assembly with α-catenin, β-catenin and ZO-2 may be implicated in reducing growth rate, invasiveness, and, malignant phenotype of 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 cells, and 3D cultures of MDA-MB-231 cells, by sequestering β-catenin away from nucleus. - Highlights: • Cx43 over-expressing MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 were grown in 2D and 3D cultures. • Proliferation and growth morphology were affected in a context dependent manner. • Extravasation ability of both MCF

  15. Cellular uptake of lead in the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier: Novel roles of Connexin 43 hemichannel and its down-regulations via Erk phosphorylation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Song, Han; Zheng, Gang; Liu, Yang; Shen, Xue-Feng; Zhao, Zai-Hua [Department of Occupational and Environmental Health and the Ministry-of-Education' s Key Laboratory of Hazard Assessment and Control in Special Operational Environment, School of Public Health, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi' an 710032 (China); Aschner, Michael [Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461 (United States); Luo, Wen-Jing, E-mail: luowenj@fmmu.edu.cn [Department of Occupational and Environmental Health and the Ministry-of-Education' s Key Laboratory of Hazard Assessment and Control in Special Operational Environment, School of Public Health, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi' an 710032 (China); Chen, Jing-Yuan, E-mail: jy_chen@fmmu.edu.cn [Department of Occupational and Environmental Health and the Ministry-of-Education' s Key Laboratory of Hazard Assessment and Control in Special Operational Environment, School of Public Health, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi' an 710032 (China)

    2016-04-15

    As the structural basis of blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCB), epithelial cells in the choroid plexus (CP) are targets for lead (Pb). Pb is known to accumulate in the CP; however, the mechanism of Pb uptake in the choroidal epithelial cells remains unknown. Recently, hemichannels of Connexin 43 (Cx43), the most ubiquitously expressed gap junction proteins in the CP, were found to be important pathways for many substances. This study was designed to investigate the roles of Cx43 in Pb uptake in the epithelial cells. Autometallography was used to outline Pb's subcellular location, and the characteristics of Pb transport into CP cells, including concentration- and time-dependence were analyzed by atomic absorption spectroscopy. Knockdown/overexpression of Cx43 with transient siRNA/plasmids transfections before Pb exposure diminished/increased the Pb accumulation. In the Z310 cell-based doxycycline-inducible Cx43 expression cell line (iZCx43), doxycycline induced a significant increase (3-fold) in Pb uptake, corresponding to the increased Cx43 levels. Activation of Cx43 hemichannels by reduced serum conditions caused an increase of Pb concentrations. Cx43-induced Pb uptake was attenuated after blockage of Cx43 hemichannels with its inhibitor, carbenoxolone. Additionally, down-regulation of Cx43 protein levels by Pb exposure paralleled cellular Pb concentrations in the time study. Concomitantly, expressions of phosphor-Src and phosphor-Erk were both significantly increased by Pb. However, inactivation of Erk, not Src pathway, reversed Pb-induced downregulation of Cx43. Taken together, these data establish that Pb can accumulate in the BCB and validate the role of Cx43 hemichannel in Pb uptake and its regulations through Erk phosphorylation. - Highlights: • Pb is sequestrated in choroid plexus both in vivo and in vitro. • Cx43 knockdown/overexpression prevents/increases Pb accumulations. • Cx43 hemichannels are required for Pb uptake. • Pb-induced Erk

  16. Cellular uptake of lead in the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier: Novel roles of Connexin 43 hemichannel and its down-regulations via Erk phosphorylation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Song, Han; Zheng, Gang; Liu, Yang; Shen, Xue-Feng; Zhao, Zai-Hua; Aschner, Michael; Luo, Wen-Jing; Chen, Jing-Yuan

    2016-01-01

    As the structural basis of blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCB), epithelial cells in the choroid plexus (CP) are targets for lead (Pb). Pb is known to accumulate in the CP; however, the mechanism of Pb uptake in the choroidal epithelial cells remains unknown. Recently, hemichannels of Connexin 43 (Cx43), the most ubiquitously expressed gap junction proteins in the CP, were found to be important pathways for many substances. This study was designed to investigate the roles of Cx43 in Pb uptake in the epithelial cells. Autometallography was used to outline Pb's subcellular location, and the characteristics of Pb transport into CP cells, including concentration- and time-dependence were analyzed by atomic absorption spectroscopy. Knockdown/overexpression of Cx43 with transient siRNA/plasmids transfections before Pb exposure diminished/increased the Pb accumulation. In the Z310 cell-based doxycycline-inducible Cx43 expression cell line (iZCx43), doxycycline induced a significant increase (3-fold) in Pb uptake, corresponding to the increased Cx43 levels. Activation of Cx43 hemichannels by reduced serum conditions caused an increase of Pb concentrations. Cx43-induced Pb uptake was attenuated after blockage of Cx43 hemichannels with its inhibitor, carbenoxolone. Additionally, down-regulation of Cx43 protein levels by Pb exposure paralleled cellular Pb concentrations in the time study. Concomitantly, expressions of phosphor-Src and phosphor-Erk were both significantly increased by Pb. However, inactivation of Erk, not Src pathway, reversed Pb-induced downregulation of Cx43. Taken together, these data establish that Pb can accumulate in the BCB and validate the role of Cx43 hemichannel in Pb uptake and its regulations through Erk phosphorylation. - Highlights: • Pb is sequestrated in choroid plexus both in vivo and in vitro. • Cx43 knockdown/overexpression prevents/increases Pb accumulations. • Cx43 hemichannels are required for Pb uptake. • Pb-induced Erk

  17. Release of gliotransmitters through astroglial connexin 43 hemichannels is necessary for fear memory consolidation in the basolateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stehberg, Jimmy; Moraga-Amaro, Rodrigo; Salazar, Christian; Becerra, Alvaro; Echeverría, Cesar; Orellana, Juan A; Bultynck, Geert; Ponsaerts, Raf; Leybaert, Luc; Simon, Felipe; Sáez, Juan C; Retamal, Mauricio A

    2012-09-01

    Recent in vitro evidence indicates that astrocytes can modulate synaptic plasticity by releasing neuroactive substances (gliotransmitters). However, whether gliotransmitter release from astrocytes is necessary for higher brain function in vivo, particularly for memory, as well as the contribution of connexin (Cx) hemichannels to gliotransmitter release, remain elusive. Here, we microinfused into the rat basolateral amygdala (BLA) TAT-Cx43L2, a peptide that selectively inhibits Cx43-hemichannel opening while maintaining synaptic transmission or interastrocyte gap junctional communication. In vivo blockade of Cx43 hemichannels during memory consolidation induced amnesia for auditory fear conditioning, as assessed 24 h after training, without affecting short-term memory, locomotion, or shock reactivity. The amnesic effect was transitory, specific for memory consolidation, and was confirmed after microinfusion of Gap27, another Cx43-hemichannel blocker. Learning capacity was recovered after coinfusion of TAT-Cx43L2 and a mixture of putative gliotransmitters (glutamate, glutamine, lactate, d-serine, glycine, and ATP). We propose that gliotransmitter release from astrocytes through Cx43 hemichannels is necessary for fear memory consolidation at the BLA. Thus, the present study is the first to demonstrate a physiological role for astroglial Cx43 hemichannels in brain function, making these channels a novel pharmacological target for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder.

  18. Connexin 43 Communication Channels in Follicular Dendritic Cell Development and in Follicular Lymphomas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hajnalka Rajnai

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Follicular dendritic cells (FDC show homo- and heterocellular metabolic coupling through connexin 43 (Cx43 gap junctions and support B cell selection and maturation in germinal centers. In follicular lymphomas B cells escape apoptosis while FDC develop abnormally. Here we tested Cx43 channels in reactive FDC development and follicular lymphomas. In culture, the treatment of FDC-B cell clusters (resembling to “ex vivo” germinal centers with Gap27 peptide, mimicking the 2nd extracellular loop of Cx43 protein, significantly impaired FDC-B cell cluster formation and cell survival. In untreated cultures of intact clusters, cell proliferation showed a moderate reduction. In tissues, Cx43 protein levels run parallel with the density of FDC both in reactive germinal centers and in malformed follicles of follicular lymphomas and showed strong upregulation in newly generated and/or degrading bi-/multinuclear FDC of rudimentary processes. However, the inverse correlation between Cx43 expression and B cell proliferation seen in reactive germinal centers was not detected in follicular lymphomas. Furthermore, Cx43 levels were not associated with either lymphoma grade or bone marrow involvement. Our results suggest that Cx43 channels are critical in FDC and “ex vivo” germinal center development and in the persistence of FDC in follicular lymphomas but do not affect tumor progression.

  19. Tuning of optical and electrical properties of wide band gap Fe:SnO{sub 2}/Li:NiO p-n junctions using 80 MeV oxygen ion beam

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mistry, Bhaumik V.; Joshi, U.S. [Gujarat University, Department of Physics, School of Sciences, Ahmedabad (India); Avasthi, D.K. [Inter University Accelerator Centre, New Delhi (India)

    2016-12-15

    Electrical and optical properties of pristine and swift heavy ion (SHI) irradiated p-n junction diode have been investigated for advanced electronics application. Fe:SnO{sub 2}/Li:NiO p-n junction was fabricated by using pulsed laser deposition on c-sapphire substrate. The optical band gaps of Fe:SnO{sub 2} and Li:NiO films were obtained to be 3.88 and 3.37 eV, respectively. The current-voltage characteristics of the oxide-based p-n junction showed a rectifying behaviour with turn-on voltage of 0.95 V. The oxide-based p-n junction diode was irradiated to 80 MeV O{sup +6} ions with 1 x 10{sup 12} ions/cm{sup 2} fluence. Decrease in grain size due to SHI irradiation is confirmed by the grazing angle X-ray diffraction and atomic force microscopy. In comparison with the pristine p-n junction diode, O{sup +6} ion irradiated p-n junction diode shows the increase of surface roughness and decrease of percentage transmittance in visible region. For irradiated p-n junction diode, current-voltage curve has still rectifying behaviour but exhibits lower turn-on voltage than that of virgin p-n junction diode. (orig.)

  20. Ultrastructure and regulation of lateralized connexin43 in the failing heart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesketh, Geoffrey G; Shah, Manish H; Halperin, Victoria L; Cooke, Carol A; Akar, Fadi G; Yen, Timothy E; Kass, David A; Machamer, Carolyn E; Van Eyk, Jennifer E; Tomaselli, Gordon F

    2010-04-02

    Gap junctions mediate cell-to-cell electric coupling of cardiomyocytes. The primary gap junction protein in the working myocardium, connexin43 (Cx43), exhibits increased localization at the lateral membranes of cardiomyocytes in a variety of heart diseases, although the precise location and function of this population is unknown. To define the subcellular location of lateralized gap junctions at the light and electron microscopic level, and further characterize the biochemical regulation of gap junction turnover. By electron microscopy, we characterized gap junctions formed between cardiomyocyte lateral membranes in failing canine ventricular myocardium. These gap junctions were varied in structure and appeared to be extensively internalizing. Internalized gap junctions were incorporated into multilamellar membrane structures, with features characteristic of autophagosomes. Intracellular Cx43 extensively colocalized with the autophagosome marker GFP-LC3 when both proteins were exogenously expressed in HeLa cells, and endogenous Cx43 colocalized with GFP-LC3 in neonatal rat ventricular myocytes. Furthermore, a distinct phosphorylated form of Cx43, as well as the autophagosome-targeted form of LC3 (microtubule-associated protein light chain 3) targeted to lipid rafts in cardiac tissue, and both were increased in heart failure. Our data demonstrate a previously unrecognized pathway of gap junction internalization and degradation in the heart and identify a cellular pathway with potential therapeutic implications.

  1. The Complex Subtype-Dependent Role of Connexin 43 (GJA1 in Breast Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mélanie Busby

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Gap junction transmembrane channels allow the transfer of small molecules between the cytoplasm of adjacent cells. They are formed by proteins named connexins (Cxs that have long been considered as a tumor suppressor. This widespread view has been challenged by recent studies suggesting that the role of Connexin 43 (Cx43 in cancer is tissue- and stage-specific and can even promote tumor progression. High throughput profiling of invasive breast cancer has allowed for the construction of subtyping schemes that partition patients into at least four distinct intrinsic subtypes. This study characterizes Cx43 expression during cancer progression with each of the tumor subtypes using a compendium of publicly available gene expression data. In particular, we show that Cx43 expression depends greatly on intrinsic subtype. Tumor grade also co-varies with patient subtype, resulting in Cx43 co-expression with grade in a subtype-dependent manner. Better survival was associated with a high expression of Cx43 in unstratified and luminal tumors but with a low expression in Her2e subtype. A better understanding of Cx43 regulation in a subtype-dependent manner is needed to clarify the context in which Cx43 is associated with tumor suppression or cancer progression.

  2. The Complex Subtype-Dependent Role of Connexin 43 (GJA1) in Breast Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busby, Mélanie; Hallett, Michael T.; Plante, Isabelle

    2018-01-01

    Gap junction transmembrane channels allow the transfer of small molecules between the cytoplasm of adjacent cells. They are formed by proteins named connexins (Cxs) that have long been considered as a tumor suppressor. This widespread view has been challenged by recent studies suggesting that the role of Connexin 43 (Cx43) in cancer is tissue- and stage-specific and can even promote tumor progression. High throughput profiling of invasive breast cancer has allowed for the construction of subtyping schemes that partition patients into at least four distinct intrinsic subtypes. This study characterizes Cx43 expression during cancer progression with each of the tumor subtypes using a compendium of publicly available gene expression data. In particular, we show that Cx43 expression depends greatly on intrinsic subtype. Tumor grade also co-varies with patient subtype, resulting in Cx43 co-expression with grade in a subtype-dependent manner. Better survival was associated with a high expression of Cx43 in unstratified and luminal tumors but with a low expression in Her2e subtype. A better understanding of Cx43 regulation in a subtype-dependent manner is needed to clarify the context in which Cx43 is associated with tumor suppression or cancer progression. PMID:29495625

  3. Domain-Specific Partitioning of Uterine Artery Endothelial Connexin43 and Caveolin-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ampey, Bryan C; Morschauser, Timothy J; Ramadoss, Jayanth; Magness, Ronald R

    2016-10-01

    Uterine vascular adaptations facilitate rises in uterine blood flow during pregnancy, which are associated with gap junction connexin (Cx) proteins and endothelial nitric oxide synthase. In uterine artery endothelial cells (UAECs), ATP activates endothelial nitric oxide synthase in a pregnancy (P)-specific manner that is dependent on Cx43 function. Caveolar subcellular domain partitioning plays key roles in ATP-induced endothelial nitric oxide synthase activation and nitric oxide production. Little is known regarding the partitioning of Cx proteins to caveolar domains or their dynamics with ATP treatment. We observed that Cx43-mediated gap junction function with ATP stimulation is associated with Cx43 repartitioning between the noncaveolar and caveolar domains. Compared with UAECs from nonpregnant (NP) ewes, levels of ATP, PGI2, cAMP, NOx, and cGMP were 2-fold higher (PLucifer yellow dye transfer, a response abrogated by Gap27, but not Gap 26, indicating involvement of Cx43, but not Cx37. Confocal microscopy revealed domain partitioning of Cx43 and caveolin-1. In pregnant UAECs, LC/MS/MS analysis revealed only Cx43 in the caveolar domain. In contrast, Cx37 was located only in the noncaveolar pool. Western analysis revealed that ATP increased Cx43 distribution (1.7-fold; P=0.013) to the caveolar domain, but had no effect on Cx37. These data demonstrate rapid ATP-stimulated repartitioning of Cx43 to the caveolae, where endothelial nitric oxide synthase resides and plays an important role in nitric oxide-mediated increasing uterine blood flow during pregnancy. © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.

  4. Silver nanoparticles increase connexin43-mediated gap junctional intercellular communication in HaCaT cells through activation of reactive oxygen species and mitogen-activated protein kinase signal pathway

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Qin, Yu; Han, Limin; Yang, Di

    2018-01-01

    Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are widely used in health and consumer products that routinely contact skin. However, the biological effects and possible mechanisms of AgNPs on skin remain unclear. Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) plays a critical role in multicellular organisms to ...

  5. Phosphorylation of connexin43 on S279/282 may contribute to laminopathy-associated conduction defects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Steven C., E-mail: bug@uw.edu [Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), Public Health Sciences Division, 1100 Fairview Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98109 (United States); University of Washington Department of Biochemistry, 1959 NE Pacific St., Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Kennedy, Brian K., E-mail: bkennedy@buckinstitute.org [University of Washington Department of Biochemistry, 1959 NE Pacific St., Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Buck Institute for Research on Aging, 8001 Redwood Boulevard, Novato, CA 94945 (United States); Lampe, Paul D., E-mail: plampe@fhcrc.org [Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), Public Health Sciences Division, 1100 Fairview Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98109 (United States)

    2013-04-01

    An understanding of the molecular mechanism behind the arrhythmic phenotype associated with laminopathies has yet to emerge. A-type lamins have been shown to interact and sequester activated phospho-ERK1/2(pERK1/2) at the nucleus. The gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43) can be phosphorylated by pERK1/2 on S279/282 (pS279/282), inhibiting intercellular communication. We hypothesized that without A-type lamins, pS279/282 Cx43 will increase due to inappropriate phosphorylation by pERK1/2, resulting in decreased gap junction function. We observed a 1.6-fold increase in pS279/282 Cx43 levels in Lmna{sup −/−} mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) compared to Lmna{sup +/+}, and 1.8-fold more pERK1/2 co-precipitated from Lmna{sup −/−} MEFs with Cx43 antibodies. We found a 3-fold increase in the fraction of non-nuclear pERK1/2 and a concomitant 2-fold increase in the fraction of pS279/282 Cx43 in Lmna{sup −/−} MEFs by immunofluorescence. In an assay of gap junctional function, Lmna{sup −/−} MEFs transferred dye to 60% fewer partners compared to Lmna{sup +/+} controls. These results are mirrored in 5–6 week-old Lmna{sup −/−} mice compared to their Lmna{sup +/+} littermates as we detect increased pS279/282 Cx43 in gap junctions by immunofluorescence and 1.7-fold increased levels by immunoblot. We conclude that increased pS279/282 Cx43 in the Lmna{sup −/−} background results in decreased cell communication and may contribute to the arrhythmic pathology in vivo. - Highlights: ► Connexin43 phosphorylation plays a role in laminopathy-associated conduction defects. ► Loss of A-type lamin activity results in release of pERK1/2 from the nucleus. ► Increased cytoplasmic localization of pERK1/2 acts to phosphorylate S279/282 of Cx43. ► Phosphorylation of S279/282 on Cx43 decreases gap junction activity in cell culture. ► Mice lacking A-type lamins have increased phosphorylation on S279/282 of Cx43.

  6. TGF-beta induces connexin43 gene expression in normal murine mammary gland epithelial cells via activation of p38 and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tacheau, Charlotte; Fontaine, Juliette; Loy, Jennifer; Mauviel, Alain; Verrecchia, Franck

    2008-12-01

    One of the shared physiological roles between TGF-beta and connexin family members is to inhibit epithelial cell cycle progression and consequently, to provide protection against malignant transformation. Herein, we demonstrated that TGF-beta1 induces the expression of connexin43 (Cx43) in normal murine mammary gland (NMuMG) cell lines at the protein and mRNA levels, and transcriptionally. Using overexpression of a truncated dominant-negative form of Cx43, we determined that the modulation of gap junctional communication by TGF-beta1 plays a key role in the control of NMuMG cells proliferation by TGF-beta1. In addition, using overexpression of truncated dominant-negative forms of either Smad2 or Smad3, and MDA-MB-468 human breast carcinoma cells deficient for Smad4, we determined that the Smad cascade is not implicated in TGF-beta1 effect on Cx43 expression. Using specific pharmacologic inhibitors for JNK, ERK, p38, and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways, we demonstrated the cooperative role of p38 and PI3K/AKT signaling in TGF-beta1-induced Cx43 expression and gap junctional communication. Furthermore, transfection of a c-jun antisense expression vector significantly prevented TGF-beta1-induced Cx43 gene expression demonstrating the involvement of c-Jun/AP-1 pathway together with p38 and PI3K/AKT pathways in mediating TGF-beta1-induced Cx43 gene expression.

  7. GAP junctional intercellular communication confers an enhanced bystander effect as well as a protective effect in HSV-TK/gancyclovir mediated cytotoxicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wygoda, Marc R.; Rehemtulla, Alnawaz; Davis, Mary A.; Lawrence, Theodore S.

    1996-01-01

    Purpose/Objective: The 'Bystander Effect' is the phenomenon by which cells which are not transduced with the Herpes Simplex Virus - Thymidine Kinase (HSV-TK) gene are killed by the guanosine analog Gancyclovir (GCV) when they are nearby HSV-TK positive cells. Since currently available gene transfer technologies have a low efficiency (typically less than 10% of cells are transduced), a better understanding of the mechanism underlying the bystander effect is crucial for the success of the HSV-TK/GCV enzyme prodrug gene therapy approach. Gap junctions, which are specialized cell membrane channels allowing the passage of molecules < 1000 daltons in size directly from cell to cell, have been proposed as a possible mediator of the bystander effect. In particular, gap junctions could permit the transfer of toxic metabolites from the HSV-TK positive cells to the bystander cells. Our aim was to assess the role of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) in the bystander effect. Materials and Methods: Co-culture of an HSV-TK transduced rat liver epithelial cell line (WB-TK), with either its communication competent parental cell line (WB), or an isogenic cell line differing by its communication incompetence (aB1). The ratios of effector cells (WB-TK) to bystander cells (WB or aB1), were (100(0)), (50(50)), (5(95)), or(0(100)) . These various mixed populations were exposed for 24 hours to 10μM GCV and thereafter placed at clonal density into selective media, allowing for growth of either the bystander (TK negative) cells or the effector (TK-positive) cells. Results: 1) When the effector/bystander ratio was (50(50)) the surviving fraction of the bystander cells was 3.5% and 37% for the WB and aB1, respectively. When the effector/bystander ratio was (5(95)), the surviving fraction was 51% and 65% for the WB and aB1, respectively. Either cell line (WB or aB1) cultured alone was unaffected by GCV. These results demonstrate that the bystander effect is much higher when

  8. Estradiol Receptors Regulate Differential Connexin 43 Expression in F98 and C6 Glioma Cell Lines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zahra Moinfar

    Full Text Available Glioma is the most common malignant primary brain tumour with male preponderance and poor prognosis. Glioma cells express variable amounts of connexin 43 (Cx43 and estrogen receptors (ERs. Both, Cx43 and ERs, play important roles in cell proliferation and migration. Therefore, we investigated the effects of 17-ß estradiol (E2 on Cx43 expression in two glioma cell lines with variable native expression of Cx43.F98 and C6 rat glioma cells were cultured for 24 h in the presence of 10 nM or 100 nM E2, and the E2-antagonist, Fulvestrant. An MTT assay was performed to evaluate cell viability. ERα, ERβ and Cx43 protein expressions were analysed by western blotting and Cx43 mRNA expression was analysed by real-time polymerase chain reaction. To quantify cell migration, an exclusive zone migration assay was used. Functional coupling of cells via gap junctions was examined using whole-cell patch-clamp technique.E2 reduced Cx43 expression in C6 cells, but increased Cx43 expression in F98 cultures. These effects were mediated via ERs. Moreover, E2 promoted C6 cell migration, but it did not affect F98 cell migration. The expression level of ERα was found to be high in C6, but low in F98 cells. ERβ was exclusively expressed in C6 cells. In addition, E2 treatment induced a significant decrease of ERβ in C6 cultures, while it decreased ERα expression in F98 glioma cells.These findings show that E2 differentially modulates Cx43 expression in F98 and C6 glioma cells, likely due to the differential expression of ERs in each of these cell lines. Our findings point to the molecular mechanisms that might contribute to the gender-specific differences in the malignancy of glioma and could have implications for therapeutic strategies against glioma.

  9. Inhibition of gap-junctional intercellular communication and activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases by cyanobacterial extracts--indications of novel tumor-promoting cyanotoxins?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bláha, Ludĕk; Babica, Pavel; Hilscherová, Klára; Upham, Brad L

    2010-01-01

    Toxicity and liver tumor promotion of cyanotoxins microcystins have been extensively studied. However, recent studies document that other metabolites present in the complex cyanobacterial water blooms may also have adverse health effects. In this study we used rat liver epithelial stem-like cells (WB-F344) to examine the effects of cyanobacterial extracts on two established markers of tumor promotion, inhibition of gap-junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) and activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) - ERK1/2. Extracts of cyanobacteria (laboratory cultures of Microcystis aeruginosa and Aphanizomenon flos-aquae and water blooms dominated by these species) inhibited GJIC and activated MAPKs in a dose-dependent manner (effective concentrations ranging 0.5-5mgd.w./mL). Effects were independent of the microcystin content and the strongest responses were elicited by the extracts of Aphanizomenon sp. Neither pure microcystin-LR nor cylindrospermopsin inhibited GJIC or activated MAPKs. Modulations of GJIC and MAPKs appeared to be specific to cyanobacterial extracts since extracts from green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, heterotrophic bacterium Klebsiella terrigena, and isolated bacterial lipopolysaccharides had no comparable effects. Our study provides the first evidence on the existence of unknown cyanobacterial toxic metabolites that affect in vitro biomarkers of tumor promotion, i.e. inhibition of GJIC and activation of MAPKs.

  10. Point correlation dimension can reveal functional changes caused by gap junction blockers in the 4-aminopyridine in vivo rat epilepsy model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jardanhazy, Anett [Department of Neurology, University of Szeged, Semmelweis u. 6, Szeged H-6725 (Hungary); Molnar, Mark [Department of Psychophysiology, Institute for Psychology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 398, Budapest H-1394 (Hungary)], E-mail: molnar@cogpsyphy.hu; Jardanhazy, Tamas [Department of Neurology, University of Szeged, Semmelweis u. 6, Szeged H-6725 (Hungary)], E-mail: jt@nepsy.szote.u-szeged.hu

    2009-04-15

    The contribution of gap junction (GJ) blockers to seizure initiation was reexamined by means of an analysis on nonlinear dynamics with point correlation dimension (PD2i) at as well as around the primary focus, and mirror focus in an already active 4-aminopyridine-induced in vivo epilepsy model. From the data base of the ECoGs of anesthetized adult rats treated with quinine, a selective blocker of Cx36, and in combination with an additional broad-spectrum GJ blocker, carbenoxolone, 14 cases of each condition were reexamined with a stationarity insensitive nonlinear PD2i method. The blockade of the Cx36 channels decreased the usual drop of the point correlation dimension at the beginning of the seizures, and this was enhanced by the additional use of the global blocker carbenoxolone. The so-called characteristic DC shift just prior to seizure onset denotes a low dimensional seizure event and the recognizable seizures display very variable, rapidly changing dynamics, as revealed by the PD2i analysis. This nonlinear PD2i analysis demonstrated that the different GJ blockers in the already active epileptic model helped seizure initiation, but exerted inhibitory effects on the seizure onset itself, acting differently on the local components of the network organization generating seizure discharges, possibly changing the coupling strengths and time delays in the GJ-s.

  11. Point correlation dimension can reveal functional changes caused by gap junction blockers in the 4-aminopyridine in vivo rat epilepsy model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jardanhazy, Anett; Molnar, Mark; Jardanhazy, Tamas

    2009-01-01

    The contribution of gap junction (GJ) blockers to seizure initiation was reexamined by means of an analysis on nonlinear dynamics with point correlation dimension (PD2i) at as well as around the primary focus, and mirror focus in an already active 4-aminopyridine-induced in vivo epilepsy model. From the data base of the ECoGs of anesthetized adult rats treated with quinine, a selective blocker of Cx36, and in combination with an additional broad-spectrum GJ blocker, carbenoxolone, 14 cases of each condition were reexamined with a stationarity insensitive nonlinear PD2i method. The blockade of the Cx36 channels decreased the usual drop of the point correlation dimension at the beginning of the seizures, and this was enhanced by the additional use of the global blocker carbenoxolone. The so-called characteristic DC shift just prior to seizure onset denotes a low dimensional seizure event and the recognizable seizures display very variable, rapidly changing dynamics, as revealed by the PD2i analysis. This nonlinear PD2i analysis demonstrated that the different GJ blockers in the already active epileptic model helped seizure initiation, but exerted inhibitory effects on the seizure onset itself, acting differently on the local components of the network organization generating seizure discharges, possibly changing the coupling strengths and time delays in the GJ-s.

  12. Neuropeptide Y, substance P, and human bone morphogenetic protein 2 stimulate human osteoblast osteogenic activity by enhancing gap junction intercellular communication

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ma, W.H.; Liu, Y.J.; Wang, W.; Zhang, Y.Z.

    2015-01-01

    Bone homeostasis seems to be controlled by delicate and subtle “cross talk” between the nervous system and “osteo-neuromediators” that control bone remodeling. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of interactions between neuropeptides and human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (hBMP2) on human osteoblasts. We also investigated the effects of neuropeptides and hBMP2 on gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC). Osteoblasts were treated with neuropeptide Y (NPY), substance P (SP), or hBMP2 at three concentrations. At various intervals after treatment, cell viability was measured by the MTT assay. In addition, cellular alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and osteocalcin were determined by colorimetric assay and radioimmunoassay, respectively. The effects of NPY, SP and hBMP on GJIC were determined by laser scanning confocal microscopy. The viability of cells treated with neuropeptides and hBMP2 increased significantly in a time-dependent manner, but was inversely associated with the concentration of the treatments. ALP activity and osteocalcin were both reduced in osteoblasts exposed to the combination of neuropeptides and hBMP2. The GJIC of osteoblasts was significantly increased by the neuropeptides and hBMP2. These results suggest that osteoblast activity is increased by neuropeptides and hBMP2 through increased GJIC. Identification of the GJIC-mediated signal transduction capable of modulating the cellular activities of bone cells represents a novel approach to studying the biology of skeletal innervation

  13. Neuropeptide Y, substance P, and human bone morphogenetic protein 2 stimulate human osteoblast osteogenic activity by enhancing gap junction intercellular communication

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ma, W.H.; Liu, Y.J.; Wang, W.; Zhang, Y.Z. [The Third Hospital of Hebei Medical University, The Provincial Key Laboratory for Orthopedic Biomechanics of Hebei, Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province (China)

    2015-02-13

    Bone homeostasis seems to be controlled by delicate and subtle “cross talk” between the nervous system and “osteo-neuromediators” that control bone remodeling. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of interactions between neuropeptides and human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (hBMP2) on human osteoblasts. We also investigated the effects of neuropeptides and hBMP2 on gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC). Osteoblasts were treated with neuropeptide Y (NPY), substance P (SP), or hBMP2 at three concentrations. At various intervals after treatment, cell viability was measured by the MTT assay. In addition, cellular alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and osteocalcin were determined by colorimetric assay and radioimmunoassay, respectively. The effects of NPY, SP and hBMP on GJIC were determined by laser scanning confocal microscopy. The viability of cells treated with neuropeptides and hBMP2 increased significantly in a time-dependent manner, but was inversely associated with the concentration of the treatments. ALP activity and osteocalcin were both reduced in osteoblasts exposed to the combination of neuropeptides and hBMP2. The GJIC of osteoblasts was significantly increased by the neuropeptides and hBMP2. These results suggest that osteoblast activity is increased by neuropeptides and hBMP2 through increased GJIC. Identification of the GJIC-mediated signal transduction capable of modulating the cellular activities of bone cells represents a novel approach to studying the biology of skeletal innervation.

  14. Extending prematuration with cAMP modulators enhances the cumulus contribution to oocyte antioxidant defence and oocyte quality via gap junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, H J; Sutton-McDowall, M L; Wang, X; Sugimura, S; Thompson, J G; Gilchrist, R B

    2016-04-01

    Can bovine oocyte antioxidant defence and oocyte quality be improved by extending the duration of pre-in vitro maturation (IVM) with cyclic adenosine mono-phosphate (cAMP) modulators? Lengthening the duration of cAMP-modulated pre-IVM elevates intra-oocyte reduced glutathione (GSH) content and reduces hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) via increased cumulus cell-oocyte gap-junctional communication (GJC), associated with an improvement in subsequent embryo development and quality. Oocytes are susceptible to oxidative stress and the oocyte's most important antioxidant glutathione is supplied, at least in part, by cumulus cells. A temporary inhibition of spontaneous meiotic resumption in oocytes can be achieved by preventing a fall in cAMP, and cyclic AMP-modulated pre-IVM maintains cumulus-oocyte GJC and improves subsequent embryo development. This study consisted of a series of 10 experiments using bovine oocytes in vitro, each with multiple replicates. A range of pre-IVM durations were examined as the key study treatments which were compared with a control. The study was designed to examine if one of the oocyte's major antioxidant defences can be enhanced by pre-IVM with cAMP modulators, and to examine the contribution of cumulus-oocyte GJC on these processes. Immature bovine cumulus-oocyte complexes were treated in vitro without (control) or with the cAMP modulators; 100 µM forskolin (FSK) and 500 µM 3-isobutyl-1-methyxanthine (IBMX), for 0, 2, 4 or 6 h (pre-IVM phase) prior to IVM. Oocyte developmental competence was assessed by embryo development and quality post-IVM/IVF. Cumulus-oocyte GJC, intra-oocyte GSH and H2O2 were quantified at various time points during pre-IVM and IVM, in the presence and the absence of functional inhibitors: carbenoxolone (CBX) to block GJC and buthionine sulfoximide (BSO) to inhibit glutathione synthesis. Pre-IVM with FSK + IBMX increased subsequent blastocyst formation rate and quality compared with standard IVM (P gap junctions between

  15. Astrocyte sigma-1 receptors modulate connexin 43 expression leading to the induction of below-level mechanical allodynia in spinal cord injured mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Sheu-Ran; Roh, Dae-Hyun; Yoon, Seo-Yeon; Kwon, Soon-Gu; Choi, Hoon-Seong; Han, Ho-Jae; Beitz, Alvin J; Lee, Jang-Hern

    2016-12-01

    We have previously shown using a spinal cord injury (SCI) model that gap junctions contribute to the early spread of astrocyte activation in the lumbar spinal cord and that this astrocyte communication plays critical role in the induction of central neuropathic pain. Sigma-1 receptors (Sig-1Rs) have been implicated in spinal astrocyte activation and the development of peripheral neuropathic pain, yet their contribution to central neuropathic pain remains unknown. Thus, we investigated whether SCI upregulates spinal Sig-1Rs, which in turn increase the expression of the astrocytic gap junction protein, connexin 43 (Cx43) leading to the induction of central neuropathic pain. A thoracic spinal cord hemisection significantly increased both astrocyte activation and Cx43 expression in lumbar dorsal horn. Sig-1Rs were also increased in lumbar dorsal horn astrocytes, but not neurons or microglia. Intrathecal injection of an astrocyte metabolic inhibitor (fluorocitrate); a gap junction/hemichannel blocker (carbenoxolone); or a Cx43 mimetic peptide ( 43 Gap26) significantly reduced SCI-induced bilateral below-level mechanical allodynia. Blockade of Sig-1Rs with BD1047 during the induction phase of pain significantly suppressed the SCI-induced development of mechanical allodynia, astrocyte activation, increased expression of Cx43 in both total and membrane levels, and increased association of Cx43 with Sig-1R. However, SCI did not change the expression of oligodendrocyte (Cx32) or neuronal (Cx36) gap junction proteins. These findings demonstrate that SCI activates astrocyte Sig-1Rs leading to increases in the expression of the gap junction protein, Cx43 and astrocyte activation in the lumbar dorsal horn, and ultimately contribute to the induction of bilateral below-level mechanical allodynia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Changes in homologous and heterologous gap junction contacts during maturation-inducing hormone-dependent meiotic resumption in ovarian follicles of Atlantic croaker

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolamba, D.; Patino, R.; Yoshizaki, G.; Thomas, P.

    2003-01-01

    Homologous (granulosa cell-granulosa cell) gap junction (GJ) contacts increase in ovarian follicles of Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulatus) during the early (first) stage of maturation, but their profile during the second stage [i.e., during maturation-inducing hormone (MIH)-mediated meiotic resumption] is unknown. The profile of homologous GJ contacts during the second stage of maturation in croaker follicles was examined in this study and compared to that of heterologous (granulosa cell-oocyte) GJ, for which changes have been previously documented. Follicles were incubated with human chorionic gonadotropin to induce maturational competence (first stage), and then with MIH to induce meiotic resumption. The follicles were collected for examination immediately before and after different durations of MIH exposure until the oocyte had reached the stage of germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD; index of meiotic resumption). Ultrathin sections were observed by transmission electron microscopy, and homologous and heterologous GJ contacts were quantified along a 100-??m segment of granulosa cell-zona radiata complex per follicle (three follicles/time/fish, n=3 fish). Relatively high numbers of both types of GJ were observed before and after the first few hours of MIH exposure (up to the stage of oil droplet coalescence). GJ numbers declined during partial yolk globule coalescence (at or near GVBD) and were just under 50% of starting values after the completion of GVBD (P<0.05). These results confirm earlier observations that GVBD temporally correlates with declining heterologous GJ contacts, and for the first time in teleosts show that there is a parallel decline in homologous GJ. The significance of the changes in homologous and heterologous GJ is uncertain and deserves further study. ?? 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.

  17. Intraoperative inspection of the ureteropelvic junction during pyeloplasty is not sufficient to distinguish between extrinsic and intrinsic causes of obstruction: Correlation with histological analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mut, Tuna; Acar, Ömer; Oktar, Tayfun; Kılıçaslan, Işın; Esen, Tarık; Ander, Haluk; Ziylan, Orhan

    2016-08-01

    Based on current knowledge, it is possible to have an initial diagnosis of intrinsic or extrinsic ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJO) based solely on clinical and imaging findings. However, it may not be possible to strictly discriminate an intrinsic case with an additional extrinsic component from a primarily intrinsic stenosis because of lower pole aberrant vessels. These two disorders may coexist or trigger each other. Herein, we aimed to compare the histological changes observed in intrinsic and extrinsic types of UPJO. Our hypothesis is that inspecting the UPJ during pyeloplasty may not be a sufficient way to delineate the underlying cause of obstruction in every individual. We retrospectively reviewed the data of 56 patients who had dismembered pyeloplasty. The intrinsic and extrinsic groups consisted of 38 and 18 patients, respectively. Masson's trichrome stain, CD117, and connexin 43 (Cx43) antibody were used in histopathology and immunochemistry. Statistical calculations were done with chi-square and Mann-Whitney U tests. Connexin 43 staining pattern, CD117 positive cell count, and the extent of fibrosis did not differ significantly between extrinsic and intrinsic cases. However, the difference with regard to the degree of muscular hypertrophy was close to statistical significance. The exact pathophysiological mechanism underlying UPJO has yet to be elucidated. A study directly comparing both groups histologically is indeed rare. Our study showed that there are no significant differences between the intrinsic and extrinsic groups in terms of the pacemaker activity, gap junctional communication, and extent of fibrosis. Muscular hypertrophy, which was marginally higher in our extrinsic group, may persist despite successful relocation of the obstructing vessel. The main drawbacks of our study are; the absence of a control group and the retrospective study design with its inherent selection biases. Immunohistochemical profiles of intrinsic and extrinsic

  18. A new singularity in the coherent coupling in Al/GaAs/Al SNS junctions at the bias voltage corresponding to the superconducting energy gap

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Taboryski, Rafael Jozef; Kutchinsky, Jonatan; Kuhn, Oliver

    1998-01-01

    Particularly high transmittivity superconductor-semiconductor barriers formed by MBE growth have been used to form short Josephson planar type Superconductor-Normal-metal-Superconductor (SNS) Josephson junctions with lengths down to 1 mu m. In these junctions the quasiparticles move diffusively...... across the normal region and carry along the phase information given to them by Andreev reflections at both SN boundaries. In order to probe the importance of the coherent transport of quasiparticles in the normal region, we formed one of the superconducting electrodes of the junction as an open loop i...

  19. Differential Connexin Function Enhances Self-Renewal in Glioblastoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masahiro Hitomi

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The coordination of complex tumor processes requires cells to rapidly modify their phenotype and is achieved by direct cell-cell communication through gap junction channels composed of connexins. Previous reports have suggested that gap junctions are tumor suppressive based on connexin 43 (Cx43, but this does not take into account differences in connexin-mediated ion selectivity and intercellular communication rate that drive gap junction diversity. We find that glioblastoma cancer stem cells (CSCs possess functional gap junctions that can be targeted using clinically relevant compounds to reduce self-renewal and tumor growth. Our analysis reveals that CSCs express Cx46, while Cx43 is predominantly expressed in non-CSCs. During differentiation, Cx46 is reduced, while Cx43 is increased, and targeting Cx46 compromises CSC maintenance. The difference between Cx46 and Cx43 is reflected in elevated cell-cell communication and reduced resting membrane potential in CSCs. Our data demonstrate a pro-tumorigenic role for gap junctions that is dependent on connexin expression.

  20. Identification of ischemia-regulated phosphorylation sites in connexin43: A possible target for the antiarrhythmic peptide analogue rotigaptide (ZP123)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Axelsen, Lene Nygaard; Stahlhut, Martin; Mohammed, Shabaz

    2006-01-01

    Previous studies suggest that dephosphorylation of connexin43 (Cx43) is related to uncoupling of gap junction communication, which plays an important role in the genesis of ischemia-induced ventricular tachycardia. We studied changes in Cx43 phosphorylation during global ischemia in the absence...... and presence of the antiarrhythmic peptide analogue rotigaptide (formerly known as ZP123). Phosphorylation analysis was performed on Cx43 purified from isolated perfused rat hearts using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography electrospray ionization tandem mass...... of ischemia, the critical time interval where gap junction uncoupling occurs, Ser297 and Ser368 also became fully dephosphorylated. During the same time period, all untreated hearts developed asystole. Treatment with rotigaptide significantly increased the time to ischemia-induced asystole and suppressed...

  1. Connexin 43-mediated modulation of polarized cell movement and the directional migration of cardiac neural crest cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xin; Francis, Richard; Wei, Chih Jen; Linask, Kaari L; Lo, Cecilia W

    2006-09-01

    Connexin 43 knockout (Cx43alpha1KO) mice have conotruncal heart defects that are associated with a reduction in the abundance of cardiac neural crest cells (CNCs) targeted to the heart. In this study, we show CNCs can respond to changing fibronectin matrix density by adjusting their migratory behavior, with directionality increasing and speed decreasing with increasing fibronectin density. However, compared with wild-type CNCs, Cx43alpha1KO CNCs show reduced directionality and speed, while CNCs overexpressing Cx43alpha1 from the CMV43 transgenic mice show increased directionality and speed. Altered integrin signaling was indicated by changes in the distribution of vinculin containing focal contacts, and altered temporal response of Cx43alpha1KO and CMV43 CNCs to beta1 integrin function blocking antibody treatment. High resolution motion analysis showed Cx43alpha1KO CNCs have increased cell protrusive activity accompanied by the loss of polarized cell movement. They exhibited an unusual polygonal arrangement of actin stress fibers that indicated a profound change in cytoskeletal organization. Semaphorin 3A, a chemorepellent known to inhibit integrin activation, was found to inhibit CNC motility, but in the Cx43alpha1KO and CMV43 CNCs, cell processes failed to retract with semaphorin 3A treatment. Immunohistochemical and biochemical analyses suggested close interactions between Cx43alpha1, vinculin and other actin-binding proteins. However, dye coupling analysis showed no correlation between gap junction communication level and fibronectin plating density. Overall, these findings indicate Cx43alpha1 may have a novel function in mediating crosstalk with cell signaling pathways that regulate polarized cell movement essential for the directional migration of CNCs.

  2. Connexin 43 Channels are Essential for Normal Bone Structure and Osteocyte Viability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Huiyun; Gu, Sumin; Riquelme, Manuel A.; Burra, Sirisha; Callaway, Danielle; Cheng, Hongyun; Guda, Teja; Schmitz, James; Fajardo, Roberto J.; Werner, Sherry L.; Zhao, Hong; Shang, Peng; Johnson, Mark L.; Bonewald, Lynda F.; Jiang, Jean X.

    2014-01-01

    Connexin (Cx) 43 serves important roles in bone function and development. Targeted deletion of Cx43 in osteoblasts or osteocytes leads to increased osteocyte apoptosis, osteoclast recruitment, and reduced biomechanical properties. Cx43 forms both gap junction channels and hemichannels, which mediate the communication between adjacent cells or between cell and extracellular environments, respectively. Two transgenic mouse models driven by a DMP1 promoter with the overexpression of dominant negative Cx43 mutants were generated to dissect the functional contribution of Cx43 gap junction channels and hemichannels in osteocytes. The R76W mutant blocks gap junction channel, but not hemichannel function, and the Δ130-136 mutant inhibits activity of both types of channels. Δ130-136 mice showed a significant increase in bone mineral density compared to WT and R76W mice. MicroCT analyses revealed a significant increase in total tissue and bone area in midshaft cortical bone of Δ130-136 mice. The bone marrow cavity was expanded, whereas the cortical thickness was increased and associated with increased bone formation along the periosteal area. However, there is no significant alteration in the structure of trabecular bone. Histologic sections of the midshaft showed increased apoptotic osteocytes in Δ130-136, but not in WT and R76W, mice which correlated with altered biomechanical and estimated bone material properties. Osteoclasts were increased along the endocortical surface in both transgenic mice with a greater effect in Δ130-136 mice which likely contributed to the increased marrow cavity. Interestingly, the overall expression of serum bone formation and resorption markers were higher in R76W mice. These findings suggest that osteocytic Cx43 channels play distinctive roles in the bone; hemichannels play a dominant role in regulating osteocyte survival, endocortical bone resorption and periosteal apposition, and gap junction communication is involved in the process of

  3. Down-regulation of Connexin43 expression reveals the involvement of caveolin-1 containing lipid rafts in human U251 glioblastoma cell invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strale, Pierre-Olivier; Clarhaut, Jonathan; Lamiche, Coralie; Cronier, Laurent; Mesnil, Marc; Defamie, Norah

    2012-11-01

    Glioblastoma cells are characterized by high proliferation and invasive capacities. Tumor development has been associated with a decrease of gap-junctional intercellular communication, but the concrete involvement of gap junction proteins, connexins, remains elusive since they are also suspected to promote cell invasion. In order to better understand how connexins control the glioma cell phenotype, we studied the consequences of inhibiting the intrinsic expression of the major astrocytic connexin, Connexin43, in human U251 glioblastoma cells by the shRNA strategy. The induced down-regulation of Cx43 expression has various effects on the U251 cells such as increased clonogenicity, angiogenesis and decreased adhesion on specific extracellular matrix proteins. We demonstrate that the invasion capacity measured in vitro and ex vivo correlates with Cx43 expression level. For the first time in a cancer cell context, our work demonstrates that Cx43 cofractionates, colocalizes and coimmunoprecipitates with a lipid raft marker, caveolin-1 and that this interaction is inversely correlated to the level of Cx43. This localization of Cx43 in these lipid raft microdomains regulates both homo- and heterocellular gap junctional communications (respectively between U251 cells, or between U251 cells and astrocytes). Moreover, the adhesive and invasive capacities are not dependent, in our model, on Cav-1 expression level. Our results tend to show that heterocellular gap junctional communication between cancer and stroma cells may affect the behavior of the tumor cells. Altogether, our data demonstrate that Cx43 controls the tumor phenotype of glioblastoma U251 cells and in particular, invasion capacity, through its localization in lipid rafts containing Cav-1. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Hexavalent chromium at low concentration alters Sertoli cell barrier and connexin 43 gap junction but not claudin-11 and N-cadherin in the rat seminiferous tubule culture model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carette, Diane [INSERM U 1065, Team 5 “Physiopathology of Germ Cell Control: Genomic and Non Genomic Mechanisms” C3M, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Nice (France); UMR S775, University Paris Descartes, 45 rue des Saints Pères, 75006, Paris (France); Perrard, Marie-Hélène, E-mail: marie-helene.durand@ens-lyon.fr [Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle de Lyon, Université de Lyon, Université Lyon I, CNRS, INRA, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Lyon (France); Prisant, Nadia [University of Versailles/St Quentin-en-Yvelines (France); UMR S775, University Paris Descartes, 45 rue des Saints Pères, 75006, Paris (France); Gilleron, Jérome; Pointis, Georges [INSERM U 1065, Team 5 “Physiopathology of Germ Cell Control: Genomic and Non Genomic Mechanisms” C3M, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Nice (France); Segretain, Dominique [University of Versailles/St Quentin-en-Yvelines (France); UMR S775, University Paris Descartes, 45 rue des Saints Pères, 75006, Paris (France); Durand, Philippe [Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle de Lyon, Université de Lyon, Université Lyon I, CNRS, INRA, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Lyon (France); Kallistem SAS Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Lyon (France)

    2013-04-01

    Exposure to toxic metals, specifically those belonging to the nonessential group leads to human health defects and among them reprotoxic effects. The mechanisms by which these metals produce their negative effects on spermatogenesis have not been fully elucidated. By using the Durand's validated seminiferous tubule culture model, which mimics the in vivo situation, we recently reported that concentrations of hexavalent chromium, reported in the literature to be closed to that found in the blood circulation of men, increase the number of germ cell cytogenetic abnormalities. Since this metal is also known to affect cellular junctions, we investigated, in the present study, its potential influence on the Sertoli cell barrier and on junctional proteins present at this level such as connexin 43, claudin-11 and N-cadherin. Cultured seminiferous tubules in bicameral chambers expressed the three junctional proteins and ZO-1 for at least 12 days. Exposure to low concentrations of chromium (10 μg/l) increased the trans-epithelial resistance without major changes of claudin-11 and N-cadherin expressions but strongly delocalized the gap junction protein connexin 43 from the membrane to the cytoplasm of Sertoli cells. The possibility that the hexavalent chromium-induced alteration of connexin 43 indirectly mediates the effect of the toxic metal on the blood–testis barrier dynamic is postulated. - Highlights: ► Influence of Cr(VI) on the Sertoli cell barrier and on junctional proteins ► Use of cultured seminiferous tubules in bicameral chambers ► Low concentrations of Cr(VI) (10 μg/l) altered the trans-epithelial resistance. ► Cr(VI) did not alter claudin-11 and N-cadherin. ► Cr(VI) delocalized connexin 43 from the membrane to the cytoplasm of Sertoli cells.

  5. Connexin 43 astrocytopathy linked to rapidly progressive multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katsuhisa Masaki

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Multiple sclerosis (MS and neuromyelitis optica (NMO occasionally have an extremely aggressive and debilitating disease course; however, its molecular basis is unknown. This study aimed to determine a relationship between connexin (Cx pathology and disease aggressiveness in Asian patients with MS and NMO. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Samples included 11 autopsied cases with NMO and NMO spectrum disorder (NMOSD, six with MS, and 20 with other neurological diseases (OND. Methods of analysis included immunohistochemical expression of astrocytic Cx43/Cx30, oligodendrocytic Cx47/Cx32 relative to AQP4 and other astrocytic and oligodendrocytic proteins, extent of demyelination, the vasculocentric deposition of complement and immunoglobulin, and lesion staging by CD68 staining for macrophages. Lesions were classified as actively demyelinating (n=59, chronic active (n=58 and chronic inactive (n=23. Sera from 120 subjects including 30 MS, 30 NMO, 40 OND and 20 healthy controls were examined for anti-Cx43 antibody by cell-based assay. Six NMO/NMOSD and three MS cases showed preferential loss of astrocytic Cx43 beyond the demyelinated areas in actively demyelinating and chronic active lesions, where heterotypic Cx43/Cx47 astrocyte oligodendrocyte gap junctions were extensively lost. Cx43 loss was significantly associated with a rapidly progressive disease course as six of nine cases with Cx43 loss, but none of eight cases without Cx43 loss regardless of disease phenotype, died within two years after disease onset (66.7% vs. 0%, P=0.0090. Overall, five of nine cases with Cx43 loss and none of eight cases without Cx43 loss had distal oligodendrogliopathy characterized by selective myelin associated glycoprotein loss (55.6% vs. 0.0%, P=0.0296. Loss of oligodendrocytic Cx32 and Cx47 expression was observed in most active and chronic lesions from all MS and NMO/NMOSD cases. Cx43-specific antibodies were absent in NMO/NMOSD and MS patients. CONCLUSIONS

  6. Inhibition of connexin43 hemichannels impairs spatial short-term memory without affecting spatial working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Walrave

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes are active players in higher brain function as they can release gliotransmitters, which are essential for synaptic plasticity. Various mechanisms have been proposed for gliotransmission, including vesicular mechanisms as well as non-vesicular ones, for example by passive diffusion via connexin hemichannels (HCs. We here investigated whether interfering with connexin43 (Cx43 HCs influenced hippocampal spatial memory. We made use of the peptide Gap19 that blocks HCs but not gap junction channels and is specific for Cx43. To this end, we microinfused transactivator of transcription linked Gap19 (TAT-Gap19 into the brain ventricle of male NMRI mice and assessed spatial memory in a Y maze. We found that the in vivo blockade of Cx43 HCs did not affect the locomotor activity or spatial working memory in a spontaneous alternation Y maze task. Cx43 blockade did however significantly impair the spatial short-term memory in a delayed spontaneous alternation Y maze task. These results indicate that Cx43 HCs play a role in spatial short-term memory.

  7. Msx1 and Msx2 are functional interacting partners of T-box factors in the regulation of Connexin43

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boogerd, Kees-Jan; Wong, L. Y. Elaine; Christoffels, Vincent M.; Klarenbeek, Meinke; Ruijter, Jan M.; Moorman, Antoon F. M.; Barnett, Phil

    2008-01-01

    AIMS: T-box factors Tbx2 and Tbx3 play key roles in the development of the cardiac conduction system, atrioventricular canal, and outflow tract of the heart. They regulate the gap-junction-encoding gene Connexin43 (Cx43) and other genes critical for heart development and function. Discovering

  8. Regeneration of glycocalyx by heparan sulfate and sphingosine 1-phosphate restores inter-endothelial communication.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Solomon A Mensah

    Full Text Available Vasculoprotective endothelium glycocalyx (GCX shedding plays a critical role in vascular disease. Previous work demonstrated that GCX degradation disrupts endothelial cell (EC gap junction connexin (Cx proteins, likely blocking interendothelial molecular transport that maintains EC and vascular tissue homeostasis to resist disease. Here, we focused on GCX regeneration and tested the hypothesis that vasculoprotective EC function can be stimulated via replacement of GCX when it is shed. We used EC with [i] intact heparan sulfate (HS, the most abundant GCX component; [ii] degraded HS; or [iii] HS that was restored after enzyme degradation, by cellular self-recovery or artificially. Artificial HS restoration was achieved via treatment with exogenous HS, with or without the GCX regenerator and protector sphingosine 1- phosphate (S1P. In these cells we immunocytochemically examined expression of Cx isotype 43 (Cx43 at EC borders and characterized Cx-containing gap junction activity by measuring interendothelial spread of gap junction permeable Lucifer Yellow dye. With intact HS, 60% of EC borders expressed Cx43 and dye spread to 2.88 ± 0.09 neighboring cells. HS degradation decreased Cx43 expression to 30% and reduced dye spread to 1.87± 0.06 cells. Cellular self-recovery of HS restored baseline levels of Cx43 and dye transfer. Artificial HS recovery with exogenous HS partially restored Cx43 expression to 46% and yielded dye spread to only 1.03 ± 0.07 cells. Treatment with both HS and S1P, recovered HS and restored Cx43 to 56% with significant dye transfer to 3.96 ± 0.23 cells. This is the first evidence of GCX regeneration in a manner that effectively restores vasculoprotective EC communication.

  9. Resonance Transport of Graphene Nanoribbon T-Shaped Junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xiao-Lan, Kong; Yong-Jian, Xiong

    2010-01-01

    We investigate the transport properties of T-shaped junctions composed of armchair graphene nanoribbons of different widths. Three types of junction geometries are considered. The junction conductance strongly depends on the atomic features of the junction geometry. When the shoulders of the junction have zigzag type edges, sharp conductance resonances usually appear in the low energy region around the Dirac point, and a conductance gap emerges. When the shoulders of the junction have armchair type edges, the conductance resonance behavior is weakened significantly, and the metal-metal-metal junction structures show semimetallic behaviors. The contact resistance also changes notably due to the various interface geometries of the junction

  10. Flexible 2D layered material junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balabai, R.; Solomenko, A.

    2018-03-01

    Within the framework of the methods of the electron density functional and the ab initio pseudopotential, we have obtained the valence electron density spatial distribution, the densities of electron states, the widths of band gaps, the charges on combined regions, and the Coulomb potentials for graphene-based flexible 2D layered junctions, using author program complex. It is determined that the bending of the 2D layered junctions on the angle α leads to changes in the electronic properties of these junctions. In the graphene/graphane junction, there is clear charge redistribution with different signs in the regions of junctions. The presence in the heterojunctions of charge regions with different signs leads to the formation of potential barriers. The greatest potential jump is in the graphene/fluorographene junction. The greatest value of the band gap width is in the graphene/graphane junction.

  11. Control of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Growth by Connexin 43

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    Chintamani eJoshi

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Connexin 43 (Cx43, the principal gap junction protein in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs, regulates movement of ions and other signaling molecules through gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC and plays important roles in maintaining normal vessel function; however, many of the signaling mechanisms controlling Cx43 in VSMCs are not clearly described. The goal of this study was to investigate mechanisms of Cx43 regulation with respect to VSMC proliferation. Treatment of rat primary VSMCs with the cAMP analog 8Br-cAMP, the soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC stimulator BAY 41-2272 (BAY, or the Cx inducer diallyl disulfide (DADS significantly reduced proliferation after 72 h compared to vehicle controls. Bromodeoxyuridine uptake revealed reduction (p<.001 in DNA synthesis after 6 h and flow cytometry showed reduced (40% S phase cell numbers after 16 h in DADS-treated cells compared to controls. Cx43 expression significantly increased after 270 min treatment with 8Br-cAMP, 8Br-cGMP, BAY or DADS. Inhibition of PKA, PKG or PKC reversed 8Br-cAMP-stimulated increases in Cx43 expression, whereas only PKG or PKC inhibition reversed 8Br-cGMP- and BAY-stimulated increases in total Cx43. Interestingly, stimulation of Cx43 expression by DADS was not dependent on PKA, PKG or PKC. Using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, only 8Br-cAMP or DADS increased GJIC with 8Br-cAMP mediated by PKC and DADS mediated by PKG. Further, DADS significantly increased phosphorylation at the MAPK-sensitive serine (Ser255 and Ser279, the cell cycle regulatory kinase-sensitive Ser262 and the PKC-sensitive Ser368 after 30 min while 8Br-cAMP significantly increased phosphorylation only at Ser279 compared to controls. This study demonstrates that 8Br-cAMP- and DADS-enhanced GJIC rather than Cx43 expression and/or phosphorylation plays an important role in regulation of VSMC proliferation and provides new insights into the growth-regulatory capacities of Cx43 in VSMCs.

  12. Connexins in the early development of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis (Amphibia: The role of the connexin43 carboxyl terminal tail in the establishment of the dorso-ventral axis

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    Jaime Cofre

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Connexins are a family of related proteins identified in vertebrate forming gap junctions, which mediate cell-to-cell communication in early embryos, with an important role in establishing embryonic asymmetry and ‘communication compartments’. By in situ hybridization, immunocytochemistry, reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR and western blotting we show that a Cx43-like molecule is present in oocytes and embryos of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis, with specific localization in the animal-vegetal axis. This specific distribution is suggestive for an important role for this protein in the establishment of the dorso-ventral axis. Antisense RNA and antibodies directed against rat carboxyl terminal tail of the Cx43 (CT-Cx43 and injected in 1-cell stage Xenopus embryos, induced pronounced alterations in nervous system development, with a severe ventralization phenotype. Coherently, the overexpression of CT-Cx43 produced a dorsalization of the embryos. In antisense treated embryos, the expression of the beta-catenin gene is eliminated from the Nieuwkoop center, the pattern expression of the Chordin, Xnot and Xbra is modified, with no effect in expression of the Goosecoid gene. In CT-Cx43 mRNA treated embryos the pattern of expression of the beta-catenin, Chordin, Goosecoid, Xnot and engrailed-2 genes is modified. The expression of beta-catenin is increased in the Nieuwkoop center, the expression pattern of Chordin and Goosecoid is expanded to the posterior neural plate and engrailed-2 presents ectopic expression in the ventral region. Taken together our data suggest a role for CT-Cx43 as a maternal determinant with a critical function in the formation of the dorso-ventral axis in Xenopus laevis. The Cx43 may be one of the earliest markers of the dorso-ventral axis in these embryos and could possibly be acting through regionalization of factors responsible for the establishment of this axis.

  13. Regulatory effect of connexin 43 on basal Ca2+ signaling in rat ventricular myocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen Li

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: It has been found that gap junction-associated intracellular Ca(2+ [Ca(2+](i disturbance contributes to the arrhythmogenesis and hyperconstriction in diseased heart. However, whether functional gaps are also involved in the regulation of normal Ca(2+ signaling, in particular the basal [Ca(2+](i activities, is unclear. METHODS AND RESULTS: Global and local Ca(2+ signaling and gap permeability were monitored in cultured neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVMs and freshly isolated mouse ventricular myocytes by Fluo4/AM and Lucifer yellow (LY, respectively. The results showed that inhibition of gap communication by heptanol, Gap 27 and flufenamic acid or interference of connexin 43 (Cx43 with siRNA led to a significant suppression of LY uptake and, importantly, attenuations of global Ca(2+ transients and local Ca(2+ sparks in monolayer NRVMs and Ca(2+ sparks in adult ventricular myocytes. In contrast, overexpression of rat-Cx43 in NRVMs induced enhancements in the above measurements, and so did in HEK293 cells expressing rat Cx43. Additionally, membrane-permeable inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP(3 butyryloxymethyl ester and phenylephrine, an agonist of adrenergic receptor, could relieve the inhibited Ca(2+ signal and LY uptake by gap uncouplers, whereas blockade of IP(3 receptor with xestospongin C or 2-aminoethoxydiphenylborate mimicked the effects of gap inhibitors. More importantly, all these gap-associated effects on Ca(2+ signaling were also found in single NRVMs that only have hemichannels instead of gap junctions. Further immunostaining/immunoblotting single myocytes with antibody against Cx43 demonstrated apparent increases in membrane labeling of Cx43 and non-junctional Cx43 in overexpressed cells, suggesting functional hemichannels exist and also contribute to the Ca(2+ signaling regulation in cardiomyocytes. CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate that Cx43-associated gap coupling plays a role in the regulation of resting Ca(2

  14. c-Jun N-terminal kinase mediates AML1-ETO protein-induced connexin-43 expression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao Fenghou; Wang Qiong; Wu Yingli; Li Xi; Zhao Kewen; Chen Guoqiang

    2007-01-01

    AML1-ETO fusion protein, a product of leukemia-related chromosomal translocation t(8;21), was reported to upregulate expression of connexin-43 (Cx43), a member of gap junction-constituted connexin family. However, its mechanism(s) remains unclear. By bioinformatic analysis, here we showed that there are two putative AML1-binding consensus sequences followed by two activated protein (AP)1 sites in the 5'-flanking region upstream to Cx43 gene. AML1-ETO could directly bind to these two AML1-binding sites in electrophoretic mobility shift assay, but luciferase reporter assay revealed that the AML1 binding sites were not indispensable for Cx43 induction by AML1-ETO protein. Conversely, AP1 sites exerted an important role in this event. In agreement, AML1-ETO overexpression in leukemic U937 cells activated c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), while its specific inhibitor SP600125 effectively abrogated AML1-ETO-induced Cx43 expression, indicating that JNK signaling pathway contributes to AML1-ETO induced Cx43 expression. These results would shed new insights for understanding mechanisms of AML1-ETO-associated leukemogenesis

  15. Connexin 43 reboots meiosis and reseals blood-testis barrier following toxicant-mediated aspermatogenesis and barrier disruption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Nan; Mruk, Dolores D; Mok, Ka-Wai; Li, Michelle W M; Wong, Chris K C; Lee, Will M; Han, Daishu; Silvestrini, Bruno; Cheng, C Yan

    2016-04-01

    Earlier studies have shown that rats treated with an acute dose of 1-(2,4-dichlorobenzyl)-1H-indazole-3-carbohydrazide (adjudin, a male contraceptive under development) causes permanent infertility due to irreversible blood-testis barrier (BTB) disruption even though the population of undifferentiated spermatogonia remains similar to normal rat testes, because spermatogonia fail to differentiate into spermatocytes to enter meiosis. Since other studies have illustrated the significance of connexin 43 (Cx43)-based gap junction in maintaining the homeostasis of BTB in the rat testis and the phenotypes of Sertoli cell-conditional Cx43 knockout mice share many of the similarities of the adjudin-treated rats, we sought to examine if overexpression of Cx43 in these adjudin-treated rats would reseal the disrupted BTB and reinitiate spermatogenesis. A full-length Cx43 cloned into mammalian expression vector pCI-neo was used to transfect testes of adjudin-treated ratsversusempty vector. It was found that overexpression of Cx43 indeed resealed the Sertoli cell tight junction-permeability barrier based on a functionalin vivoassay in tubules displaying signs of meiosis as noted by the presence of round spermatids. Thus, these findings suggest that overexpression of Cx43 reinitiated spermatogenesis at least through the steps of meiosis to generate round spermatids in testes of rats treated with an acute dose of adjudin that led to aspermatogenesis. It was also noted that the round spermatids underwent eventual degeneration with the formation of multinucleated cells following Cx43 overexpression due to the failure of spermiogenesis because no elongating/elongated spermatids were detected in any of the tubules examined. The mechanism by which overexpression of Cx43 reboots meiosis and rescues BTB function was also examined. In summary, overexpression of Cx43 in the testis with aspermatogenesis reboots meiosis and reseals toxicant-induced BTB disruption, even though it fails to

  16. Congestive Heart Failure Leads to Prolongation of the PR Interval and Atrioventricular Junction Enlargement and Ion Channel Remodelling in the Rabbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolaidou, Theodora; Cai, Xue J.; Stephenson, Robert S.; Yanni, Joseph; Lowe, Tristan; Atkinson, Andrew J.; Jones, Caroline B.; Sardar, Rida; Corno, Antonio F.; Dobrzynski, Halina; Withers, Philip J.; Jarvis, Jonathan C.; Hart, George; Boyett, Mark R.

    2015-01-01

    Heart failure is a major killer worldwide. Atrioventricular conduction block is common in heart failure; it is associated with worse outcomes and can lead to syncope and bradycardic death. We examine the effect of heart failure on anatomical and ion channel remodelling in the rabbit atrioventricular junction (AVJ). Heart failure was induced in New Zealand rabbits by disruption of the aortic valve and banding of the abdominal aorta resulting in volume and pressure overload. Laser micro-dissection and real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were employed to investigate the effects of heart failure on ion channel remodelling in four regions of the rabbit AVJ and in septal tissues. Investigation of the AVJ anatomy was performed using micro-computed tomography (micro-CT). Heart failure animals developed first degree heart block. Heart failure caused ventricular myocardial volume increase with a 35% elongation of the AVJ. There was downregulation of HCN1 and Cx43 mRNA transcripts across all regions and downregulation of Cav1.3 in the transitional tissue. Cx40 mRNA was significantly downregulated in the atrial septum and AVJ tissues but not in the ventricular septum. mRNA abundance for ANP, CLCN2 and Navβ1 was increased with heart failure; Nav1.1 was increased in the inferior nodal extension/compact node area. Heart failure in the rabbit leads to prolongation of the PR interval and this is accompanied by downregulation of HCN1, Cav1.3, Cx40 and Cx43 mRNAs and anatomical enlargement of the entire heart and AVJ. PMID:26509807

  17. Congestive Heart Failure Leads to Prolongation of the PR Interval and Atrioventricular Junction Enlargement and Ion Channel Remodelling in the Rabbit.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theodora Nikolaidou

    Full Text Available Heart failure is a major killer worldwide. Atrioventricular conduction block is common in heart failure; it is associated with worse outcomes and can lead to syncope and bradycardic death. We examine the effect of heart failure on anatomical and ion channel remodelling in the rabbit atrioventricular junction (AVJ. Heart failure was induced in New Zealand rabbits by disruption of the aortic valve and banding of the abdominal aorta resulting in volume and pressure overload. Laser micro-dissection and real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR were employed to investigate the effects of heart failure on ion channel remodelling in four regions of the rabbit AVJ and in septal tissues. Investigation of the AVJ anatomy was performed using micro-computed tomography (micro-CT. Heart failure animals developed first degree heart block. Heart failure caused ventricular myocardial volume increase with a 35% elongation of the AVJ. There was downregulation of HCN1 and Cx43 mRNA transcripts across all regions and downregulation of Cav1.3 in the transitional tissue. Cx40 mRNA was significantly downregulated in the atrial septum and AVJ tissues but not in the ventricular septum. mRNA abundance for ANP, CLCN2 and Navβ1 was increased with heart failure; Nav1.1 was increased in the inferior nodal extension/compact node area. Heart failure in the rabbit leads to prolongation of the PR interval and this is accompanied by downregulation of HCN1, Cav1.3, Cx40 and Cx43 mRNAs and anatomical enlargement of the entire heart and AVJ.

  18. Detailed regulatory mechanism of the interaction between ZO-1 PDZ2 and connexin43 revealed by MD simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fei Xiao

    Full Text Available The gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43 binds to the second PDZ domain of Zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1 through its C-terminal tail, mediating the regulation of gap junction plaque size and dynamics. Biochemical study demonstrated that the very C-terminal 12 residues of Cx43 are necessary and sufficient for ZO-1 PDZ2 binding and phosphorylation at residues Ser (-9 and Ser (-10 of the peptide can disrupt the association. However, only a crystal structure of ZO-1 PDZ2 in complex with a shorter 9 aa peptide of connexin43 was solved experimentally. Here, the interactions between ZO-1 PDZ2 and the short, long and phosphorylated Cx43 peptides were studied using molecular dynamics (MD simulations and free energy calculation. The short peptide bound to PDZ2 exhibits large structural variations, while the extension of three upstream residues stabilizes the peptide conformation and enhanced the interaction. Phosphorylation at Ser(-9 significantly weakens the binding and results in conformational flexibility of the peptide. Glu210 of ZO-1 PDZ2 was found to be a key regulatory point in Cx43 binding and phosphorylation induced dissociation.

  19. Astrocyte and Oligodendrocyte Connexins of the Glial Syncytium in Relation to Astrocyte Anatomical Domains and Spatial Buffering

    OpenAIRE

    NAGY, JAMES I.; RASH, JOHN E.

    2003-01-01

    Astroctyes express a set of three connexins (Cx26, Cx30, and Cx43) that are contained in astrocyte-to-astrocyte (A/A) gap junctions; oligodendrocytes express a different set of three connexins (Cx29, Cx32, and Cx47) that are contained in the oligodendrocyte side of necessarily heterotypic astrocyte-to-oligodendrocyte (A/O) gap junctions, and there is little ultrastructural evidence for gap junction formation between individual oligodendrocytes. In addition, primarily Cx29 and Cx32 are contain...

  20. NbN tunnel junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Villegier, J.C.; Vieux-Rochaz, L.; Goniche, M.; Renard, P.; Vabre, M.

    1984-09-01

    All-niobium nitride Josephon junctions have been prepared successfully using a new processing called SNOP: Selective Niobium (nitride) Overlap Process. Such a process involves the ''trilayer'' deposition on the whole wafer before selective patterning of the electrodes by optically controlled dry reactive ion etching. Only two photomask levels are need to define an ''overlap'' or a ''cross-type'' junction with a good accuracy. The properties of the niobium nitride films deposited by DC-magnetron sputtering and the surface oxide growth are analysed. The most critical point to obtain high quality and high gap value junctions resides in the early stage of the NbN counterelectrode growth. Some possibilities to overcome such a handicap exist even if the fabrication needs substrate temperatures below 250 0 C

  1. impairs gap junction function causing congenital cataract

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Navya

    2017-03-24

    Mar 24, 2017 ... ... applied to analyze the expression and subcellular localization of recombinant ... Cx46. The fluorescent localization assay revealed the plaque formation ... composed of six trans-membrane protein subunits called connexins ...

  2. Dynamic changes in connexin expression following engraftment of neural stem cells to striatal tissue

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaederstad, Johan; Jaederstad, Linda Maria; Herlenius, Eric

    2011-01-01

    Gap-junctional intercellular communication between grafted neural stem cells (NSCs) and host cells seem to be essential for many of the beneficial effects associated with NSC engraftment. Utilizing murine NSCs (mNSCs) grafted into an organotypic ex vivo model system for striatal tissue we examined the prerequisites for formation of gap-junctional couplings between graft and host cells at different time points following implantation. We utilized flow cytometry (to quantify the proportion of connexin (Cx) 26 and 43 expressing cells), immunohistochemistry (for localization of the gap-junctional proteins in graft and host cells), dye-transfer studies with and without pharmacological gap-junctional blockers (assaying the functionality of the formed gap-junctional couplings), and proliferation assays (to estimate the role of gap junctions for NSC well-being) to this end. Immunohistochemical staining and dye-transfer studies revealed that the NSCs already form functional gap junctions prior to engraftment, thereby creating a substrate for subsequent graft and host communication. The expression of Cx43 by grafted NSCs was decreased by neurotrophin-3 overexpression in NSCs and culturing of grafted tissue in serum-free Neurobasal B27 medium. Cx43 expression in NSC-derived cells also changed significantly following engraftment. In host cells the expression of Cx43 peaked following traumatic stimulation and then declined within two weeks, suggesting a window of opportunity for successful host cell rescue by NSC engraftment. Further investigation of the dynamic changes in gap junction expression in graft and host cells and the associated variations in intercellular communication between implanted and endogenous cells might help to understand and control the early positive and negative effects evident following neural stem cell transplantation and thereby optimize the outcome of future clinical NSC transplantation therapies.

  3. Visualizing the effect of dynamin inhibition on annular gap vesicle formation and fission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nickel, Beth; Boller, Marie; Schneider, Kimberly; Shakespeare, Teresa; Gay, Vernon; Murray, Sandra A

    2013-06-15

    Although gap junction plaque assembly has been extensively studied, mechanisms involved in plaque disassembly are not well understood. Disassembly involves an internalization process in which annular gap junction vesicles are formed. These vesicles undergo fission, but the molecular machinery needed for these fissions has not been described. The mechanoenzyme dynamin has been previously demonstrated to play a role in gap junction plaque internalization. To investigate the role of dynamin in annular gap junction vesicle fission, immunocytochemical, time-lapse and transmission electron microscopy were used to analyze SW-13 adrenocortical cells in culture. Dynamin was demonstrated to colocalize with gap junction plaques and vesicles. Dynamin inhibition, by siRNA knockdown or treatment with the dynamin GTPase inhibitor dynasore, increased the number and size of gap junction 'buds' suspended from the gap junction plaques. Buds, in control populations, were frequently released to form annular gap junction vesicles. In dynamin-inhibited populations, the buds were larger and infrequently released and thus fewer annular gap junction vesicles were formed. In addition, the number of annular gap junction vesicle fissions per hour was reduced in the dynamin-inhibited populations. We believe this to be the first report addressing the details of annular gap junction vesicle fissions and demonstrating a role of dynamin in this process. This information is crucial for elucidating the relationship between gap junctions, membrane regulation and cell behavior.

  4. Arrhythmogenesis in the remodeled heart : the role of spatially dispersed Cx43 expression

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boulaksil, M.

    2010-01-01

    The heart is able to adapt to new, often pathologic, conditions, so-called cardiac remodeling. Although initially adequate, these adaptations could can become maladaptive over time. One of the adaptations of the heart during pathology is ventricular hypertrophy, which may go hand in hand with an

  5. Cx43, ZO-1, alpha-catenin and beta-catenin in cataractous lens ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2012-10-17

    Oct 17, 2012 ... physical association between neighboring cells and hold them together (Meng ..... radiation (Zigman et al. 1979), diabetes and vascular dis- .... JO 2003 Decreased caspase-3 activity in human lens epithelium from posterior ...

  6. Cx43, ZO-1, alpha-catenin and beta-catenin in cataractous lens

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Specimens of the anterior lens capsule with an attached monolayer of lens epithelial cells (LECs) were obtained from patients (=52) undergoing cataract surgery. Specimens were divided into three groups based on the type of cataract: nuclear cataract, cortical cataract and posterior subcapsular cataract (PSC).

  7. Effect of pinocembrin pre-treatment on expressions of Cx43 protein ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    admin

    isoenzyme (CK-MB) and troponin I (cTnI) were measured by enzyme-linked ... unstable electrical activity in the heart, as well as ... by ischemia and myocardial cell damage, leading ..... E, Heuts N. Cardiac atrial appendage stem cells engraft.

  8. Molecular Diffusion through Cyanobacterial Septal Junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nieves-Morión, Mercedes; Mullineaux, Conrad W; Flores, Enrique

    2017-01-03

    Heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria grow as filaments in which intercellular molecular exchange takes place. During the differentiation of N 2 -fixing heterocysts, regulators are transferred between cells. In the diazotrophic filament, vegetative cells that fix CO 2 through oxygenic photosynthesis provide the heterocysts with reduced carbon and heterocysts provide the vegetative cells with fixed nitrogen. Intercellular molecular transfer has been traced with fluorescent markers, including calcein, 5-carboxyfluorescein, and the sucrose analogue esculin, which are observed to move down their concentration gradient. In this work, we used fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) assays in the model heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 to measure the temperature dependence of intercellular transfer of fluorescent markers. We find that the transfer rate constants are directly proportional to the absolute temperature. This indicates that the "septal junctions" (formerly known as "microplasmodesmata") linking the cells in the filament allow molecular exchange by simple diffusion, without any activated intermediate state. This constitutes a novel mechanism for molecular transfer across the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane, in addition to previously characterized mechanisms for active transport and facilitated diffusion. Cyanobacterial septal junctions are functionally analogous to the gap junctions of metazoans. Although bacteria are frequently considered just as unicellular organisms, there are bacteria that behave as true multicellular organisms. The heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria grow as filaments in which cells communicate. Intercellular molecular exchange is thought to be mediated by septal junctions. Here, we show that intercellular transfer of fluorescent markers in the cyanobacterial filament has the physical properties of simple diffusion. Thus, cyanobacterial septal junctions are functionally analogous to metazoan gap junctions

  9. Molecular electronic junction transport

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solomon, Gemma C.; Herrmann, Carmen; Ratner, Mark

    2012-01-01

    Whenasinglemolecule,oracollectionofmolecules,isplacedbetween two electrodes and voltage is applied, one has a molecular transport junction. We discuss such junctions, their properties, their description, and some of their applications. The discussion is qualitative rather than quantitative, and f...

  10. Electron optics with ballistic graphene junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shaowen

    Electrons transmitted across a ballistic semiconductor junction undergo refraction, analogous to light rays across an optical boundary. A pn junction theoretically provides the equivalent of a negative index medium, enabling novel electron optics such as negative refraction and perfect (Veselago) lensing. In graphene, the linear dispersion and zero-gap bandstructure admit highly transparent pn junctions by simple electrostatic gating, which cannot be achieved in conventional semiconductors. Robust demonstration of these effects, however, has not been forthcoming. Here we employ transverse magnetic focusing to probe propagation across an electrostatically defined graphene junction. We find perfect agreement with the predicted Snell's law for electrons, including observation of both positive and negative refraction. Resonant transmission across the pn junction provides a direct measurement of the angle dependent transmission coefficient, and we demonstrate good agreement with theory. Comparing experimental data with simulation reveals the crucial role played by the effective junction width, providing guidance for future device design. Efforts toward sharper pn junction and possibility of zero field Veselago lensing will also be discussed. This work is supported by the Semiconductor Research Corporations NRI Center for Institute for Nanoelectronics Discovery and Exploration (INDEX).

  11. GAP Analysis Program (GAP)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Kansas Data Access and Support Center — The Kansas GAP Analysis Land Cover database depicts 43 land cover classes for the state of Kansas. The database was generated using a two-stage hybrid classification...

  12. Msx1 and Msx2 are functional interacting partners of T-box factors in the regulation of Connexin43.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boogerd, Kees-Jan; Wong, L Y Elaine; Christoffels, Vincent M; Klarenbeek, Meinke; Ruijter, Jan M; Moorman, Antoon F M; Barnett, Phil

    2008-06-01

    T-box factors Tbx2 and Tbx3 play key roles in the development of the cardiac conduction system, atrioventricular canal, and outflow tract of the heart. They regulate the gap-junction-encoding gene Connexin43 (Cx43) and other genes critical for heart development and function. Discovering protein partners of Tbx2 and Tbx3 will shed light on the mechanisms by which these factors regulate these gene programs. Employing an yeast 2-hybrid screen and subsequent in vitro pull-down experiments we demonstrate that muscle segment homeobox genes Msx1 and Msx2 are able to bind the cardiac T-box proteins Tbx2, Tbx3, and Tbx5. This interaction, as that of the related Nkx2.5 protein, is supported by the T-box and homeodomain alone. Overlapping spatiotemporal expression patterns of Msx1 and Msx2 together with the T-box genes during cardiac development in mouse and chicken underscore the biological significance of this interaction. We demonstrate that Msx proteins together with Tbx2 and Tbx3 suppress Cx43 promoter activity and down regulate Cx43 gene activity in a rat heart-derived cell line. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis we demonstrate that Msx1 can bind the Cx43 promoter at a conserved binding site located in close proximity to a previously defined T-box binding site, and that the activity of Msx proteins on this promoter appears dependent in the presence of Tbx3. Msx1 and Msx2 can function in concert with the T-box proteins to suppress Cx43 and other working myocardial genes.

  13. Distinct moieties underlie biphasic H+ gating of connexin43 channels, producing a pH optimum for intercellular communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garciarena, Carolina D.; Malik, Akif; Swietach, Pawel; Moreno, Alonso P.; Vaughan-Jones, Richard D.

    2018-01-01

    Most mammalian cells can intercommunicate via connexin-assembled, gap-junctional channels. To regulate signal transmission, connexin (Cx) channel permeability must respond dynamically to physiological and pathophysiological stimuli. One key stimulus is intracellular pH (pHi), which is modulated by a tissue’s metabolic and perfusion status. Our understanding of the molecular mechanism of H+ gating of Cx43 channels—the major isoform in the heart and brain—is incomplete. To interrogate the effects of acidic and alkaline pHi on Cx43 channels, we combined voltage-clamp electrophysiology with pHi imaging and photolytic H+ uncaging, performed over a range of pHi values. We demonstrate that Cx43 channels expressed in HeLa or N2a cell pairs are gated biphasically by pHi via a process that consists of activation by H+ ions at alkaline pHi and inhibition at more acidic pHi. For Cx43 channel–mediated solute/ion transmission, the ensemble of these effects produces a pHi optimum, near resting pHi. By using Cx43 mutants, we demonstrate that alkaline gating involves cysteine residues of the C terminus and is independent of motifs previously implicated in acidic gating. Thus, we present a molecular mechanism by which cytoplasmic acid–base chemistry fine tunes intercellular communication and establishes conditions for the optimal transmission of solutes and signals in tissues, such as the heart and brain.—Garciarena, C. D., Malik, A., Swietach, P., Moreno, A. P., Vaughan-Jones, R. D. Distinct moieties underlie biphasic H+ gating of connexin43 channels, producing a pH optimum for intercellular communication. PMID:29183963

  14. Junction and circuit fabrication

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jackel, L.D.

    1980-01-01

    Great strides have been made in Josephson junction fabrication in the four years since the first IC SQUID meeting. Advances in lithography have allowed the production of devices with planar dimensions as small as a few hundred angstroms. Improved technology has provided ultra-high sensitivity SQUIDS, high-efficiency low-noise mixers, and complex integrated circuits. This review highlights some of the new fabrication procedures. The review consists of three parts. Part 1 is a short summary of the requirements on junctions for various applications. Part 2 reviews intergrated circuit fabrication, including tunnel junction logic circuits made at IBM and Bell Labs, and microbridge radiation sources made at SUNY at Stony Brook. Part 3 describes new junction fabrication techniques, the major emphasis of this review. This part includes a discussion of small oxide-barrier tunnel junctions, semiconductor barrier junctions, and microbridge junctions. Part 3 concludes by considering very fine lithography and limitations to miniaturization. (orig.)

  15. Closing the gap between glia and neuroblast proliferation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limmer, Stefanie; Klämbt, Christian

    2014-08-11

    Reporting in this issue of Developmental Cell, Spéder and Brand (2014) show that gap junctions are required in blood-brain barrier glial cells to reactivate proliferation of quiescent neuroblasts. Gap junctions allow synchronous Ca(2+) waves and control insulin-like protein Dipl6 expression and secretion to trigger neuroblast division. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Scattering theory of superconductive tunneling in quantum junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shumeiko, V.S.; Bratus', E.N.

    1997-01-01

    A consistent theory of superconductive tunneling in single-mode junctions within a scattering formulation of Bogolyubov-de Gennes quantum mechanics is presented. The dc Josephson effect and dc quasiparticle transport in the voltage-biased junctions are considered. Elastic quasiparticle scattering by the junction determines the equilibrium Josephson current. The origin of Andreev bound states in tunnel junctions and their role in equilibrium Josephson transport are discussed. In contrast, quasiparticle tunneling in voltage-biased junctions is determined by inelastic scattering. A general expression for inelastic scattering amplitudes is derived and the quasiparticle current is calculated at all voltages with emphasis on a discussion of the properties of sub gap tunnel current and the nature of subharmonic gap structure

  17. Glial and neuronal connexin expression patterns in the rat spinal cord during development and following injury

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lee, I. Hui; Lindqvist, Eva; Kiehn, Ole

    2005-01-01

    Spinal cord injury induces a complex cascade of degenerative and remodeling events evolving over time. The possible roles of changed intercellular communication via gap junctions after spinal cord injury (SCI) have remained relatively unexplored. We investigated the temporospatial expression...... patterns of gap junctional genes and proteins, connexin 43 (Cx43), Cx36, and Cx32, by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry in the rat neonatal, adult normal, and adult injured spinal cord. Cx36 was strongly expressed in immature neurons, and levels declined markedly during development, whereas Cx...

  18. Na,K-ATPase regulates intercellular communication in the vascular wall via cSrc kinase dependent connexin43 phosphorylation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hangaard, Lise; Bouzinova, Elena; Stæhr, Christian Albeck

    2017-01-01

    Communication between vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) is dependent on gap junctions and is regulated by the Na-K-ATPase. The Na-K-ATPase is therefore important for synchronized VSMC oscillatory activity, i.e., vasomotion. The signaling between the Na-K-ATPase and gap junctions is unknown. We...... coupling in rat mesenteric small arteries in vitro. Phosphorylation of cSrc kinase and connexin43 (Cx43) were semiquantified by Western blotting. Micromole concentration of ouabain reduced the amplitude of norepinephrine-induced vasomotion and desynchronized Ca2+ transients in VSMC in the arterial wall...

  19. Disruption of gap junctional intercellular communication by antibiotic gentamicin is associated with aberrant localization of occludin, N-cadherin, connexin 43, and vimentin in SerW3 Sertoli cells in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bekheet, Souad H M; Stahlmann, Ralf

    2009-09-01

    Spermatogenesis is a very complex process by which male germ cells differentiate into mature spermatozoa. The sophisticated communication network that controls spermatogenesis can be derailed so that dysfunction of one cell type propagates to all types as a cascade. This accounts for the particular vulnerability of the testis to environmental factors such as drugs and xenobiotics. Sertoli cells play an important role in protecting developing germ cells by forming a physiological barrier, limiting exposure to potentially toxic substrates, or conversely, facilitating uptake of xenobiotics within the testis. In this study, cells from the rat Sertoli line (SerW3) were incubated for 3, 6 and 9 subsequent days in serum free DMEM (SFDM) composed of DMEM supplemented with three different concentrations of antibiotic gentamicin (10, 30, and 100 μg). The effect of the three different concentrations of this antibiotic was determined on Sertoli cell-cell interaction through impaired expression of their constitutive tight junction proteins as early targets for different toxicants in vitro by immunochemistry analysis. The Sertoli SerW3 cell line illustrated the cytotoxicity of GS, as the intercellular junction proteins such as occludin, N-cadherin, connexin 43, and vimentin were delocalized from the membrane to the cytoplasmic compartment during exposure to the antibiotic. This study underlines the potential deleterious effects of the routine use of antibiotics during continuous cell culture.

  20. Josephson junction arrays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bindslev Hansen, J.; Lindelof, P.E.

    1985-01-01

    In this review we intend to cover recent work involving arrays of Josephson junctions. The work on such arrays falls naturally into three main areas of interest: 1. Technical applications of Josephson junction arrays for high-frequency devices. 2. Experimental studies of 2-D model systems (Kosterlitz-Thouless phase transition, commensurate-incommensurate transition in frustrated (flux) lattices). 3. Investigations of phenomena associated with non-equilibrium superconductivity in and around Josephson junctions (with high current density). (orig./BUD)

  1. Equivalent Josephson junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boyadzhiev, T.L.; ); Semerdzhieva, E.G.; Shukrinov, Yu.M.; Fiziko-Tekhnicheskij Inst., Dushanbe

    2008-01-01

    The magnetic field dependences of critical current are numerically constructed for a long Josephson junction with a shunt- or resistor-type microscopic inhomogeneities and compared to the critical curve of a junction with exponentially varying width. The numerical results show that it is possible to replace the distributed inhomogeneity of a long Josephson junction by an inhomogeneity localized at one of its ends, which has certain technological advantages. It is also shown that the critical curves of junctions with exponentially varying width and inhomogeneities localized at the ends are unaffected by the mixed fluxon-antifluxon distributions of the magnetic flux [ru

  2. Interactive effects of inflammatory cytokine and abundant low-molecular-weight PAHs on inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication, disruption of cell proliferation control, and the AhR-dependent transcription

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kabátková, Markéta; Svobodová, Jana; Pěnčíková, K.; Mohatad, D.S.; Šmerdová, Lenka; Kozubík, Alois; Machala, M.; Vondráček, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 232, č. 1 (2015), s. 113-121 ISSN 0378-4274 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP503/11/1227; GA ČR(CZ) GA13-07711S Institutional support: RVO:68081707 Keywords : PAHs * Inflammation * Cell proliferation Subject RIV: BO - Biophysics Impact factor: 3.522, year: 2015

  3. Supramolecular tunneling junctions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wimbush, K.S.

    2012-01-01

    In this study a variety of supramolecular tunneling junctions were created. The basis of these junctions was a self-assembled monolayer of heptathioether functionalized ß-cyclodextrin (ßCD) formed on an ultra-flat Au surface, i.e., the bottom electrode. This gave a well-defined hexagonally packed

  4. Cardiomyopathy-Associated Gene 1-Sensitive PKC-Dependent Connexin 43 Expression and Phosphorylation in Left Ventricular Noncompaction Cardiomyopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuanyuan Xie

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Cardiomyopathy-associated gene 1 (CMYA1 plays an important role in embryonic cardiac development, postnatal cardiac remodeling and myocardial injury repair. Abnormal CMYA1 expression may be involved in cardiac dysplasia and primary cardiomyopathy. Our study aims to establish the relationship between CMYA1 and Left ventricular noncompaction cardiomyopathy (LVNC pathogenesis. Methods: We explored the effects of CMYA1 on connexins (Cx, which contribute to gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC, and the underlying signaling pathway in human normal tissues, LVNC myocardial tissues and HL1 cells by means of western blotting, RT-qPCR, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, co-immunoprecipitation and scrape loading-dye transfer. Results: CMYA1 expression was inversely associated with Cx43 and Cx40 expression, as determined by gap junction PCR array analysis. An increased expression and disordered distribution of CMYA1 at the intercalated discs in LVNC myocardial tissue was also observed. CMYA1 and Cx43 are co-expressed and interact in myocardial cells. CMYA1 expression was positively correlated with p-Cx43 (S368 via the Protein kinase C (PKC signaling pathway in myocardial tissue and HL1 cells. The diffusion distance of Lucifer Yellow in the HL1 cells in which CMYA1 was over-expressed or knocked down was significantly less or more than that of the control group, respectively. Conclusion: Abnormal CMYA1 expression affects the expression and phosphorylation of Cx43 through the PKC signaling pathway, which is involved in the regulation of GJIC. CMYA1 participates in the molecular mechanism of LVNC pathogenesis.

  5. Functional Molecular Junctions Derived from Double Self-Assembled Monolayers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Sohyeon; Hwang, Eunhee; Cho, Yunhee; Lee, Junghyun; Lee, Hyoyoung

    2017-09-25

    Information processing using molecular junctions is becoming more important as devices are miniaturized to the nanoscale. Herein, we report functional molecular junctions derived from double self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) intercalated between soft graphene electrodes. Newly assembled molecular junctions are fabricated by placing a molecular SAM/(top) electrode on another molecular SAM/(bottom) electrode by using a contact-assembly technique. Double SAMs can provide tunneling conjugation across the van der Waals gap between the terminals of each monolayer and exhibit new electrical functions. Robust contact-assembled molecular junctions can act as platforms for the development of equivalent contact molecular junctions between top and bottom electrodes, which can be applied independently to different kinds of molecules to enhance either the structural complexity or the assembly properties of molecules. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  6. Enhanced Andreev reflection in gapped graphene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majidi, Leyla; Zareyan, Malek

    2012-08-01

    We theoretically demonstrate unusual features of superconducting proximity effect in gapped graphene that presents a pseudospin symmetry-broken ferromagnet with a net pseudomagnetization. We find that the presence of a band gap makes the Andreev conductance of graphene superconductor/pseudoferromagnet (S/PF) junction to behave similar to that of a graphene ferromagnet-superconductor junction. The energy gap ΔN can enhance the pseudospin inverted Andreev conductance of S/PF junction to reach a limiting maximum value for ΔN≫μ, which depending on the bias voltage can be larger than the value for the corresponding junction with no energy gap. We further demonstrate a damped-oscillatory behavior for the local density of states of the PF region of S/PF junction and a long-range crossed Andreev reflection process in PF/S/PF structure with antiparallel alignment of pseudomagnetizations of PFs, which confirm that, in this respect, the gapped normal graphene behaves like a ferromagnetic graphene.

  7. Pentacene-based photodiode with Schottky junction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Jiyoul; Hwang, D.K.; Park, C.H.; Kim, S.S.; Im, Seongil

    2004-01-01

    We have fabricated a metal/organic semiconductor Schottky photodiode based on Al/pentacene junction. Since the energy band gap of thin solid pentacene was determined to be 1.82 eV, as characterized by direct absorption spectroscopy, we measured spectral photoresponses on our Schottky photodiode in the monochromatic light illumination range of 325-650 nm applying a reverse bias of -2 V. The main features of photo-response spectra were found to shift from those of direct absorption spectra toward higher photon energies. It is because the direct absorption spectra mainly show exciton level peaks rather than the true highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO)-lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) gaps while the photo-response spectra clearly represents the true HOMO-LUMO gap. Our photo-response spectra reveal 1.97 eV as the HOMO-LUMO gap

  8. Primary Tunnel Junction Thermometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pekola, Jukka P.; Holmqvist, Tommy; Meschke, Matthias

    2008-01-01

    We describe the concept and experimental demonstration of primary thermometry based on a four-probe measurement of a single tunnel junction embedded within four arrays of junctions. We show that in this configuration random sample specific and environment-related errors can be avoided. This method relates temperature directly to Boltzmann constant, which will form the basis of the definition of temperature and realization of official temperature scales in the future

  9. Quantum Junction Solar Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Tang, Jiang

    2012-09-12

    Colloidal quantum dot solids combine convenient solution-processing with quantum size effect tuning, offering avenues to high-efficiency multijunction cells based on a single materials synthesis and processing platform. The highest-performing colloidal quantum dot rectifying devices reported to date have relied on a junction between a quantum-tuned absorber and a bulk material (e.g., TiO 2); however, quantum tuning of the absorber then requires complete redesign of the bulk acceptor, compromising the benefits of facile quantum tuning. Here we report rectifying junctions constructed entirely using inherently band-aligned quantum-tuned materials. Realizing these quantum junction diodes relied upon the creation of an n-type quantum dot solid having a clean bandgap. We combine stable, chemically compatible, high-performance n-type and p-type materials to create the first quantum junction solar cells. We present a family of photovoltaic devices having widely tuned bandgaps of 0.6-1.6 eV that excel where conventional quantum-to-bulk devices fail to perform. Devices having optimal single-junction bandgaps exhibit certified AM1.5 solar power conversion efficiencies of 5.4%. Control over doping in quantum solids, and the successful integration of these materials to form stable quantum junctions, offers a powerful new degree of freedom to colloidal quantum dot optoelectronics. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

  10. Membrane junctions in xenopus eggs: their distribution suggests a role in calcium regulation

    OpenAIRE

    Gardiner, DM; Grey, RD

    1983-01-01

    We have observed the presence of membrane junctions formed between the plasma membrane and cortical endoplasmic reticulum of mature, unactivated eggs of xenopus laevis. The parallel, paired membranes of the junction are separated by a 10-mn gap within which electron-dense material is present. This material occurs in patches with an average center-to-center distance of approximately 30 nm. These junctions are rare in immature (but fully grown) oocytes (approximately 2 percent of the plasma mem...

  11. Four-junction superconducting circuit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Yueyin; Xiong, Wei; He, Xiao-Ling; Li, Tie-Fu; You, J. Q.

    2016-01-01

    We develop a theory for the quantum circuit consisting of a superconducting loop interrupted by four Josephson junctions and pierced by a magnetic flux (either static or time-dependent). In addition to the similarity with the typical three-junction flux qubit in the double-well regime, we demonstrate the difference of the four-junction circuit from its three-junction analogue, including its advantages over the latter. Moreover, the four-junction circuit in the single-well regime is also investigated. Our theory provides a tool to explore the physical properties of this four-junction superconducting circuit. PMID:27356619

  12. Tunable Nitride Josephson Junctions.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Missert, Nancy A. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Henry, Michael David [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Lewis, Rupert M. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Howell, Stephen W. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Wolfley, Steven L. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Brunke, Lyle Brent [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Wolak, Matthaeus [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2017-12-01

    We have developed an ambient temperature, SiO2/Si wafer - scale process for Josephson junctions based on Nb electrodes and Ta x N barriers with tunable electronic properties. The films are fabricated by magnetron sputtering. The electronic properties of the TaxN barriers are controlled by adjusting the nitrogen flow during sputtering. This technology offers a scalable alternative to the more traditional junctions based on AlOx barriers for low - power, high - performance computing.

  13. Knockdown of connexin43-mediated regulation of the zone of polarizing activity in the developing chick limb leads to digit truncation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, Lee Yong; Lin, Jun Sheng; Becker, David L; Green, Colin R

    2002-12-01

    In the developing chick wing, the use of antisense oligodeoxynucleotides to transiently knock down the expression of the gap junction protein, connexin43 (Cx43), results in limb patterning defects, including deletion of the anterior digits. To understand more about how such defects arise, the effects of transient Cx43 knockdown on the expression patterns of several genes known to play pivotal roles in limb formation were examined. Sonic hedgehog (Shh), which is normally expressed in the zone of polarizing activity (ZPA) and is required to maintain both the ZPA and the apical ectodermal ridge (AER), was found to be downregulated in treated limbs within 30 h. Bone morphogenetic protein-2 (Bmp-2), a gene downstream of Shh, was similarly downregulated. Fibroblast growth factor-8 expression, however, was unaltered 30 h after treatment but was greatly reduced at 48 h post-treatment, when the AER begins to regress. Expressions of Bmp-4 and Muscle segment homeobox-like gene (Msx-1) were not affected at any of the time points examined. Cx43 expression is therefore involved in some, but not all patterning cascades, and appears to play a role in the regulation of ZPA activity.

  14. Majorana splitting from critical currents in Josephson junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cayao, Jorge; San-Jose, Pablo; Black-Schaffer, Annica M.; Aguado, Ramón; Prada, Elsa

    2017-11-01

    A semiconducting nanowire with strong Rashba spin-orbit coupling and coupled to a superconductor can be tuned by an external Zeeman field into a topological phase with Majorana zero modes. Here we theoretically investigate how this exotic topological superconductor phase manifests in Josephson junctions based on such proximitized nanowires. In particular, we focus on critical currents in the short junction limit (LN≪ξ , where LN is the junction length and ξ is the superconducting coherence length) and show that they contain important information about nontrivial topology and Majoranas. This includes signatures of the gap inversion at the topological transition and a unique oscillatory pattern that originates from Majorana interference. Interestingly, this pattern can be modified by tuning the transmission across the junction, thus providing complementary evidence of Majoranas and their energy splittings beyond standard tunnel spectroscopy experiments, while offering further tunability by virtue of the Josephson effect.

  15. Niobium nitride Josephson tunnel junctions with magnesium oxide barriers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shoji, A.; Aoyagi, M.; Kosaka, S.; Shinoki, F.; Hayakawa, H.

    1985-01-01

    Niobium nitride-niobium nitride Josephson tunnel junctions have been fabricated using amorphous magnesium oxide (a-MgO) films as barriers. These junctions have excellent tunneling characteristics. For example, a large gap voltage (V/sub g/ = 5.1 mV), a large product of the maximum critical current and the normal tunneling resistance (I/sub c/R/sub n/ = 3.25 mV), and a small subgap leakage current (V/sub m/ = 45 mV, measured at 3 mV) have been obtained for a NbN/a-MgO/NbN junction. The critical current of this junction remains finite up to 14.5 K

  16. Resistance switch employing a simple metal nanogap junction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Naitoh, Yasuhisa; Horikawa, Masayo; Abe, Hidekazu; Shimizu, Tetsuo

    2006-01-01

    In recent years, several researchers have reported the occurrence of reversible resistance switching effects in simple metal nanogap junctions. A large negative resistance is observed in the I-V characteristics of such a junction when high-bias voltages are applied. This phenomenon is characteristic behaviour on the nanometre scale; it only occurs for gap widths slightly under 13 nm. Furthermore, such a junction exhibits a non-volatile resistance hysteresis when the bias voltage is reduced very rapidly from a high level to around 0 V, and when the bias voltage is reduced slowly. This non-volatile resistance change occurs as a result of changes in the gap width between the metal electrodes, brought about by the applied bias voltage

  17. Gap Resolution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2017-04-25

    Gap Resolution is a software package that was developed to improve Newbler genome assemblies by automating the closure of sequence gaps caused by repetitive regions in the DNA. This is done by performing the follow steps:1) Identify and distribute the data for each gap in sub-projects. 2) Assemble the data associated with each sub-project using a secondary assembler, such as Newbler or PGA. 3) Determine if any gaps are closed after reassembly, and either design fakes (consensus of closed gap) for those that closed or lab experiments for those that require additional data. The software requires as input a genome assembly produce by the Newbler assembler provided by Roche and 454 data containing paired-end reads.

  18. Quantum Junction Solar Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Tang, Jiang; Liu, Huan; Zhitomirsky, David; Hoogland, Sjoerd; Wang, Xihua; Furukawa, Melissa; Levina, Larissa; Sargent, Edward H.

    2012-01-01

    -performing colloidal quantum dot rectifying devices reported to date have relied on a junction between a quantum-tuned absorber and a bulk material (e.g., TiO 2); however, quantum tuning of the absorber then requires complete redesign of the bulk acceptor, compromising

  19. Multiband model for tunneling in MgB2 junctions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brinkman, Alexander; Golubov, Alexandre Avraamovitch; Rogalla, Horst; Dolgov, O.V.; Kortus, J.; Kong, Y.; Jepsen, O.; Andersen, O.K.

    2002-01-01

    A theoretical model for quasiparticle and Josephson tunneling in multiband superconductors is developed and applied to MgB2-based junctions. The gap functions in different bands in MgB2 are obtained from an extended Eliashberg formalism, using the results of band structure calculations. The

  20. Oncogenic Radiation Abscopal Effects In Vivo: Interrogating Mouse Skin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mancuso, Mariateresa, E-mail: mariateresa.mancuso@enea.it [Laboratory of Radiation Biology and Biomedicine, Agenzia Nazionale per le Nuove Tecnologie, l' Energia e lo Sviluppo Economico Sostenibile (ENEA), Casaccia Research Centre, Rome (Italy); Leonardi, Simona [Laboratory of Radiation Biology and Biomedicine, Agenzia Nazionale per le Nuove Tecnologie, l' Energia e lo Sviluppo Economico Sostenibile (ENEA), Casaccia Research Centre, Rome (Italy); Giardullo, Paola; Pasquali, Emanuela [Department of Radiation Physics, Guglielmo Marconi University, Rome (Italy); Tanori, Mirella [Laboratory of Radiation Biology and Biomedicine, Agenzia Nazionale per le Nuove Tecnologie, l' Energia e lo Sviluppo Economico Sostenibile (ENEA), Casaccia Research Centre, Rome (Italy); De Stefano, Ilaria [Department of Radiation Physics, Guglielmo Marconi University, Rome (Italy); Casciati, Arianna [Laboratory of Radiation Biology and Biomedicine, Agenzia Nazionale per le Nuove Tecnologie, l' Energia e lo Sviluppo Economico Sostenibile (ENEA), Casaccia Research Centre, Rome (Italy); Naus, Christian C. [Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences, The Life Sciences Institute, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada); Pazzaglia, Simonetta; Saran, Anna [Laboratory of Radiation Biology and Biomedicine, Agenzia Nazionale per le Nuove Tecnologie, l' Energia e lo Sviluppo Economico Sostenibile (ENEA), Casaccia Research Centre, Rome (Italy)

    2013-08-01

    Purpose: To investigate the tissue dependence in transmission of abscopal radiation signals and their oncogenic consequences in a radiosensitive mouse model and to explore the involvement of gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) in mediating radiation tumorigenesis in off-target mouse skin. Methods and Materials: Patched1 heterozygous (Ptch1{sup +/−}) mice were irradiated at postnatal day 2 (P2) with 10 Gy of x-rays. Individual lead cylinders were used to protect the anterior two-thirds of the body, whereas the hindmost part was directly exposed to radiation. To test the role of GJICs and their major constituent connexin43 (Cx43), crosses between Ptch1{sup +/−} and Cx43{sup +/−} mice were similarly irradiated. These mouse groups were monitored for their lifetime, and skin basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) were counted and recorded. Early responses to DNA damage - Double Strand Breaks (DSBs) and apoptosis - were also evaluated in shielded and directly irradiated skin areas. Results: We report abscopal tumor induction in the shielded skin of Ptch1{sup +/−} mice after partial-body irradiation. Endpoints were induction of early nodular BCC-like tumors and macroscopic infiltrative BCCs. Abscopal tumorigenesis was significantly modulated by Cx43 status, namely, Cx43 reduction was associated with decreased levels of DNA damage and oncogenesis in out-of-field skin, suggesting a key role of GJIC in transmission of oncogenic radiation signals to unhit skin. Conclusions: Our results further characterize the nature of abscopal responses and the implications they have on pathologic processes in different tissues, including their possible underlying mechanistic bases.

  1. Oncogenic Radiation Abscopal Effects In Vivo: Interrogating Mouse Skin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mancuso, Mariateresa; Leonardi, Simona; Giardullo, Paola; Pasquali, Emanuela; Tanori, Mirella; De Stefano, Ilaria; Casciati, Arianna; Naus, Christian C.; Pazzaglia, Simonetta; Saran, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: To investigate the tissue dependence in transmission of abscopal radiation signals and their oncogenic consequences in a radiosensitive mouse model and to explore the involvement of gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) in mediating radiation tumorigenesis in off-target mouse skin. Methods and Materials: Patched1 heterozygous (Ptch1 +/− ) mice were irradiated at postnatal day 2 (P2) with 10 Gy of x-rays. Individual lead cylinders were used to protect the anterior two-thirds of the body, whereas the hindmost part was directly exposed to radiation. To test the role of GJICs and their major constituent connexin43 (Cx43), crosses between Ptch1 +/− and Cx43 +/− mice were similarly irradiated. These mouse groups were monitored for their lifetime, and skin basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) were counted and recorded. Early responses to DNA damage - Double Strand Breaks (DSBs) and apoptosis - were also evaluated in shielded and directly irradiated skin areas. Results: We report abscopal tumor induction in the shielded skin of Ptch1 +/− mice after partial-body irradiation. Endpoints were induction of early nodular BCC-like tumors and macroscopic infiltrative BCCs. Abscopal tumorigenesis was significantly modulated by Cx43 status, namely, Cx43 reduction was associated with decreased levels of DNA damage and oncogenesis in out-of-field skin, suggesting a key role of GJIC in transmission of oncogenic radiation signals to unhit skin. Conclusions: Our results further characterize the nature of abscopal responses and the implications they have on pathologic processes in different tissues, including their possible underlying mechanistic bases

  2. TGF-β1 regulation of estrogen production in mature rat Leydig cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Man-Li Liu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Besides androgens, estrogens produced in Leydig cells are also crucial for mammalian germ cell differentiation. Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1 is now known to have multiple effects on regulation of Leydig cell function. The objective of the present study is to determine whether TGF-β1 regulates estradiol (E2 synthesis in adult rat Leydig cells and then to assess the impact of TGF-β1 on Cx43-based gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC between Leydig cells. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Primary cultured Leydig cells were incubated in the presence of recombinant TGF-β1 and the production of E2 as well as testosterone (T were measured by RIA. The activity of P450arom was addressed by the tritiated water release assay and the expression of Cyp19 gene was evaluated by Western blotting and real time RT-PCR. The expression of Cx43 and GJIC were investigated with immunofluorescence and fluorescence recovery after photo-bleaching (FRAP, respectively. Results from this study show that TGF-β1 down-regulates the level of E2 secretion and the activity of P450arom in a dose-dependent manner in adult Leydig cells. In addition, the expression of Cx43 and GJIC was closely related to the regulation of E2 and TGF-β1, and E2 treatment in turn restored the inhibition of TGF-β1 on GJIC. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate, for the first time in adult rat Leydig cells, that TGF-β1 suppresses P450arom activity, as well as the expression of the Cyp19 gene, and that depression of E2 secretion leads to down-regulation of Cx43-based GJIC between Leydig cells.

  3. Membrane junctions in Xenopus eggs: their distribution suggests a role in calcium regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardiner, D M; Grey, R D

    1983-04-01

    We have observed the presence of membrane junctions formed between the plasma membrane and cortical endoplasmic reticulum of mature, unactivated eggs of xenopus laevis. The parallel, paired membranes of the junction are separated by a 10-mn gap within which electron-dense material is present. This material occurs in patches with an average center-to-center distance of approximately 30 nm. These junctions are rare in immature (but fully grown) oocytes (approximately 2 percent of the plasma membrane is associated with junctions) and increase dramatically during progesterone-induced maturation. Junctions in the mature, unactivated egg are two to three times more abundant in the animal hemisphere (25-30 percent of the plasma membrane associated with junction) as compared with the vegetal hemisphere (10-15 percent). Junction density decreases rapidly to values characteristic of immature oocytes in response to egg activation. The plasma membrane-ER junctions of xenopus eggs are strikingly similar in structure to membrane junctions in muscle cells thought to be essential in the triggering of intracellular calcium release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. In addition, the junctions' distinctive, animal-vegetal polarity of distribution, their dramatic appearance during maturation, and their disapperance during activation are correlated with previously documented patterns of calcium-mediated events in anuran eggs. We discuss several lines of evidence supporting the hypothesis that these junctions in xenopus eggs are sites that transduce extracellular events into intracellular calcium release during fertilization and activation of development.

  4. The role of remote closure in the perception of occlusion at junctions and illusory contours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillam, Barbara J; Grove, Philip M; Layden, Jessica

    2010-01-01

    Abstract. Perceived occlusion at T-junctions or illusory contours at implicit T-junctions are often modelled by using edge information without surface context. We explored the effect of closure on perceived occlusion at T-junctions. Two vertical lines separated by a gap each had six abutting horizontal lines on opposite sides forming T-junctions. These lines were either closed or not closed into pairs at the stem ends of the Ts. In experiment 1, closed T-junction stems gave a much stronger sense of occlusion at the vertical lines than unclosed ones, even though closure information was remote from the putative occlusion and local T-junction information remained constant. When the outer two T-junctions were converted to L-junctions, perceived occlusion considerably diminished. The effect of closure on illusory-contour strength for stimuli like those of experiment 1 but with the vertical lines omitted was explored in experiment 2. The two sets of horizontal lines, separated by a gap, were either closed or not closed into pairs at their outer ends. Illusory-contour strength along the vertical alignments was much greater for closed pairs. Line terminations on both sides of the gap enhanced illusory-contour strength, but whether they were collinear or not had little effect.

  5. Mythic gaps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Hansen

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Different kinds of omissions sometimes occur, or are perceived to occur, in traditional narratives and in tradition-inspired literature. A familiar instance is when a narrator realizes that he or she does not fully remember the story that he or she has begun to tell, and so leaves out part of it, which for listeners may possibly result in an unintelligible narrative. But many instances of narrative gap are not so obvious. From straightforward, objective gaps one can distinguish less-obvious subjective gaps: in many cases narrators do not leave out anything crucial or truly relevant from their exposition, and yet readers perceive gaps and take steps to fill them. The present paper considers four examples of subjective gaps drawn from ancient Greek literature (the Pandora myth, ancient Roman literature (the Pygmalion legend, ancient Hebrew literature (the Joseph legend, and early Christian literature (the Jesus legend. I consider the quite varied ways in which interpreters expand the inherited texts of these stories, such as by devising names, manufacturing motives, creating backstories, and in general filling in biographical ellipses. Finally, I suggest an explanation for the phenomenon of subjective gaps, arguing that, despite their variety, they have a single cause.

  6. Josephson junctions array resonators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gargiulo, Oscar; Muppalla, Phani; Mirzaei, Iman; Kirchmair, Gerhard [Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, Innsbruck (Austria)

    2016-07-01

    We present an experimental analysis of the self- and cross-Kerr effect of extended plasma resonances in Josephson junction chains. The chain consists of 1600 individual junctions and we can measure quality factors in excess of 10000. The Kerr effect manifests itself as a frequency shift that depends linearly on the number of photons in a resonant mode. By changing the input power we are able to measure this frequency shift on a single mode (self-kerr). By changing the input power on another mode while measuring the same one, we are able to evaluate the cross-kerr effect. We can measure the cross-Kerr effect by probing the resonance frequency of one mode while exciting another mode of the array with a microwave drive.

  7. Curved Josephson junction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dobrowolski, Tomasz

    2012-01-01

    The constant curvature one and quasi-one dimensional Josephson junction is considered. On the base of Maxwell equations, the sine–Gordon equation that describes an influence of curvature on the kink motion was obtained. It is showed that the method of geometrical reduction of the sine–Gordon model from three to lower dimensional manifold leads to an identical form of the sine–Gordon equation. - Highlights: ► The research on dynamics of the phase in a curved Josephson junction is performed. ► The geometrical reduction is applied to the sine–Gordon model. ► The results of geometrical reduction and the fundamental research are compared.

  8. Tunneling Spectroscopy of the Energy Gap in MgB2 Under Magnetic Fields

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ekino, T.; Takasaki, T.; Fujii, H.; Muranaka, T.; Akimitsu, J.

    2003-01-01

    Effects of magnetic field on the multiple-gap structure in the superconductor MgB 2 have been studied by break junctions. With increasing the field, the gap value decreases with filling up of the states inside of the gap. The gap-closing field B c correlates with the gap size. The extrapolated B c value for the larger gap is almost consistent with the upper critical field of this compound. (author)

  9. Many-junction photovoltaic device performance under non-uniform high-concentration illumination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdivia, Christopher E.; Wilkins, Matthew M.; Chahal, Sanmeet S.; Proulx, Francine; Provost, Philippe-Olivier; Masson, Denis P.; Fafard, Simon; Hinzer, Karin

    2017-09-01

    A parameterized 3D distributed circuit model was developed to calculate the performance of III-V solar cells and photonic power converters (PPC) with a variable number of epitaxial vertically-stacked pn junctions. PPC devices are designed with many pn junctions to realize higher voltages and to operate under non-uniform illumination profiles from a laser or LED. Performance impacts of non-uniform illumination were greatly reduced with increasing number of junctions, with simulations comparing PPC devices with 3 to 20 junctions. Experimental results using Azastra Opto's 12- and 20-junction PPC illuminated by an 845 nm diode laser show high performance even with a small gap between the PPC and optical fiber output, until the local tunnel junction limit is reached.

  10. Intraepithelial lymphocytes express junctional molecules in murine small intestine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Inagaki-Ohara, Kyoko; Sawaguchi, Akira; Suganuma, Tatsuo; Matsuzaki, Goro; Nawa, Yukifumi

    2005-01-01

    Intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) that reside at basolateral site regulate the proliferation and differentiation of epithelial cells (EC) for providing a first line of host defense in intestine. However, it remains unknown how IEL interact and communicate with EC. Here, we show that IEL express junctional molecules like EC. We identified mRNA expression of the junctional molecules in IEL such as zonula occludens (ZO)-1, occludin and junctional adhesion molecule (JAM) (tight junction), β-catenin and E-cadherin (adherens junction), and connexin26 (gap junction). IEL constitutively expressed occludin and E-cadherin at protein level, while other T cells in the thymus, spleen, liver, mesenteric lymph node, and Peyer's patches did not. γδ IEL showed higher level of these expressions than αβ IEL. The expression of occludin was augmented by anti-CD3 Ab stimulation. These results suggest the possibility of a novel role of IEL concerning epithelial barrier and communication between IEL and EC

  11. Dynamics of fractional vortices in long Josephson junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaber, Tobias

    2007-01-01

    In this thesis static and dynamic properties of fractional vortices in long Josephson junctions are investigated. Fractional vortices are circulating supercurrents similar to the well-known Josephson fluxons. Yet, they show the distinguishing property of carrying only a fraction of the magnetic flux quantum. Fractional vortices are interesting non-linear objects. They spontaneously appear and are pinned at the phase discontinuity points of so called 0-κ junctions but can be bend or flipped by external forces like bias currents or magnetic fields. 0-κ junctions and fractional vortices are generalizations of the well-known 0-π junctions and semifluxons, where not only phase jumps of pi but arbitrary values denoted by kappa are considered. By using so-called artificial 0-κ junctions that are based on standard Nb-AlO x -Nb technology the classical dynamics of fractional vortices has been investigated experimentally for the very first time. Here, half-integer zero field steps could be observed. These voltage steps on the junction's current-voltage characteristics correspond to the periodic flipping/hopping of fractional vortices. In addition, the oscillatory eigenmodes of fractional vortices were investigated. In contrast to fluxons fractional vortices have an oscillatory eigenmode with a frequency within the plasma gap. Using resonance spectroscopy the dependence of the eigenmode frequency on the flux carried by the vortex and an applied bias current was determined. (orig.)

  12. Chaos synchronization of coupled neurons with gap junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Qingyun; Lu Qishao; Chen Guanrong; Guo Dinghui

    2006-01-01

    Based on the asymptotic stability theory of dynamical systems and matrix theory, a general criterion of synchronization stability of N coupled neurons with symmetric configurations is established in this Letter. Especially, three types of connection styles (that is, chain, ring and global connections) are considered. As an illustration, complete synchronization of four coupled identical chaotic Chay neurons is investigated. The maximal conditional Lyapunov exponent is calculated and used to determine complete synchronization. As a result, complete synchronization of four coupled identical chaotic Chay neurons can be achieved when the coupling strength is above a critical value, which is dependent on the specific connection style. Numerical simulation is in good agreement with the theoretical analysis

  13. Gap Junction Intercellular Communication in Bone Marrow Failure

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-01

    traits are responsible for the differences in the severity of these diseases and their relation to skeletal malformations in BMF syndromes. Using a...mesenchymal transition (19-29), and are crucial in the establishment of electrical synapses in the central nervous system, heart , immune system and...developmental defective osteogenesis resulting in craniofacial and skeletal anomalies and associated with heart defects and neurological defects. ODDD

  14. Do gap junctions regulate synchrony in the parkinsonian basal ganglia?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schwab, B.C.

    2016-01-01

    Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) typically suffer severely from different types of symptoms. Motor symptoms, restricting the patients’ ability to perform controlled movements in daily life, are of special clinical interest and have been related to neural activity in the basal ganglia.

  15. Conduction slowing by the gap junctional uncoupler carbenoxolone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Groot, [No Value; Veenstra, T; Verkerk, AO; Wilders, R; Smits, JPP; Wilms-Schopman, FJG; Wiegerinck, RF; Bourier, J; Belterman, CNW; Coronel, R; Verheijck, EE

    2003-01-01

    Background: Cellular electrical coupling is essential for normal propagation of the cardiac action potential, whereas reduced electrical coupling is associated with arrhythrmas. Known cellular uncoupling agents have severe side effects on membrane ionic currents. We investigated the effect of

  16. Josephson junction analog and quasiparticle-pair current

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Christen Kjeldahl; Pedersen, Niels Falsig

    1973-01-01

    A close analogy exists between a Josephson junction and a phase-locked loop. A new type of electrical analog based on this principle is presented. It is shown that the inclusion in this analog of a low-pass filter gives rise to a current of the same form as the Josephson quasiparticle-pair current....... A simple picture of the quasiparticle-pair current, which gives the right dependences, is obtained by assuming a junction cutoff frequency to be at the energy gap. ©1973 American Institute of Physics...

  17. Nonlinearity in superconductivity and Josephson junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lazarides, N.

    1995-01-01

    Within the framework of the Bardeen, Cooper and Schrieffers (BCS) theory, the influence of anisotropy on superconducting states are investigated. Crystal anisotropy exists in un-conventional low temperature superconductors as e.g. U 1-x Th x Be 13 and in high temperature superconductors. Starting from a phenomenological pairing interaction of the electrons or holes, the BCS approach is used to derive a set of coupled nonlinear algebraic equations for the momentum dependent gap parameter. The emphasis is put on bifurcation phenomena between s-, d-wave and mixed s- and d-wave symmetry and the influence on measurable quantities as the electron specific heat, spin susceptibility and Josephson tunnelling. Pitch-fork and perturbed pitch-fork bifurcations have been found separating s- and d-wave superconducting states from mixed s- and d-wave states. The additional superconducting states give rise to jumps in the electron specific heat below the transition temperature. These jumps are rounded in the case of perturbed pitch-fork bifurcations. An experiment to measure the sign of the interlayer interaction using dc SQUIDS is suggested. The Ambegaokar-Baratoff formalism has been used for calculating the quasiparticle current and the two phase coherent tunnelling currents in a Josephson junction made of anisotropic superconductors. It is shown that anisotropy can lead to a reduction in the product of the normal resistance and the critical current. For low voltages across the junction the usual resistively shunted Josephson model can be used. Finally, bunching in long circular Josephson junctions and suppression of chaos in point junctions have been investigated. (au) 113 refs

  18. Edge currents in frustrated Josephson junction ladders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marques, A. M.; Santos, F. D. R.; Dias, R. G.

    2016-09-01

    We present a numerical study of quasi-1D frustrated Josephson junction ladders with diagonal couplings and open boundary conditions, in the large capacitance limit. We derive a correspondence between the energy of this Josephson junction ladder and the expectation value of the Hamiltonian of an analogous tight-binding model, and show how the overall superconducting state of the chain is equivalent to the minimum energy state of the tight-binding model in the subspace of one-particle states with uniform density. To satisfy the constraint of uniform density, the superconducting state of the ladder is written as a linear combination of the allowed k-states of the tight-binding model with open boundaries. Above a critical value of the parameter t (ratio between the intra-rung and inter-rung Josephson couplings) the ladder spontaneously develops currents at the edges, which spread to the bulk as t is increased until complete coverage is reached. Above a certain value of t, which varies with ladder size (t = 1 for an infinite-sized ladder), the edge currents are destroyed. The value t = 1 corresponds, in the tight-binding model, to the opening of a gap between two bands. We argue that the disappearance of the edge currents with this gap opening is not coincidental, and that this points to a topological origin for these edge current states.

  19. The human myotendinous junction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, A B; Larsen, M; Mackey, Abigail

    2015-01-01

    The myotendinous junction (MTJ) is a specialized structure in the musculotendinous system, where force is transmitted from muscle to tendon. Animal models have shown that the MTJ takes form of tendon finger-like processes merging with muscle tissue. The human MTJ is largely unknown and has never...... been described in three dimensions (3D). The aim of this study was to describe the ultrastructure of the human MTJ and render 3D reconstructions. Fourteen subjects (age 25 ± 3 years) with isolated injury of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), scheduled for reconstruction with a semitendinosus...

  20. Tight junctions and human diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawada, Norimasa; Murata, Masaki; Kikuchi, Keisuke; Osanai, Makoto; Tobioka, Hirotoshi; Kojima, Takashi; Chiba, Hideki

    2003-09-01

    Tight junctions are intercellular junctions adjacent to the apical end of the lateral membrane surface. They have two functions, the barrier (or gate) function and the fence function. The barrier function of tight junctions regulates the passage of ions, water, and various macromolecules, even of cancer cells, through paracellular spaces. The barrier function is thus relevant to edema, jaundice, diarrhea, and blood-borne metastasis. On the other hand, the fence function maintains cell polarity. In other words, tight junctions work as a fence to prevent intermixing of molecules in the apical membrane with those in the lateral membrane. This function is deeply involved in cancer cell biology, in terms of loss of cell polarity. Of the proteins comprising tight junctions, integral membrane proteins occludin, claudins, and JAMs have been recently discovered. Of these molecules, claudins are exclusively responsible for the formation of tight-junction strands and are connected with the actin cytoskeleton mediated by ZO-1. Thus, both functions of tight junctions are dependent on the integrity of the actin cytoskeleton as well as ATP. Mutations in the claudin14 and the claudin16 genes result in hereditary deafness and hereditary hypomagnesemia, respectively. Some pathogenic bacteria and viruses target and affect the tight-junction function, leading to diseases. In this review, the relationship between tight junctions and human diseases is summarized.

  1. Genomic instability induced in distant progeny of bystander cells depends on the connexins expressed in the irradiated cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Toledo, Sonia M; Buonanno, Manuela; Harris, Andrew L; Azzam, Edouard I

    2017-10-01

    To examine the time window during which intercellular signaling though gap junctions mediates non-targeted (bystander) effects induced by moderate doses of ionizing radiation; and to investigate the impact of gap junction communication on genomic instability in distant progeny of bystander cells. A layered cell culture system was developed to investigate the propagation of harmful effects from irradiated normal or tumor cells that express specific connexins to contiguous bystander normal human fibroblasts. Irradiated cells were exposed to moderate mean absorbed doses from 3.7 MeV α particle, 1000 MeV/u iron ions, 600 MeV/u silicon ions, or 137 Cs γ rays. Following 5 h of co-culture, pure populations of bystander cells, unexposed to secondary radiation, were isolated and DNA damage and oxidative stress was assessed in them and in their distant progeny (20-25 population doublings). Increased frequency of micronucleus formation and enhanced oxidative changes were observed in bystander cells co-cultured with confluent cells exposed to either sparsely ionizing ( 137 Cs γ rays) or densely ionizing (α particles, energetic iron or silicon ions) radiations. The irradiated cells propagated signals leading to biological changes in bystander cells within 1 h of irradiation, and the effect required cellular coupling by gap junctions. Notably, the distant progeny of isolated bystander cells also exhibited increased levels of spontaneous micronuclei. This effect was dependent on the type of junctional channels that coupled the irradiated donor cells with the bystander cells. Previous work showed that gap junctions composed of connexin26 (Cx26) or connexin43 (Cx43) mediate toxic bystander effects within 5 h of co-culture, whereas gap junctions composed of connexin32 (Cx32) mediate protective effects. In contrast, the long-term progeny of bystander cells expressing Cx26 or Cx43 did not display elevated DNA damage, whereas those coupled by Cx32 had enhanced DNA

  2. A15 Nb-Sn tunnel junction fabrication and properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rudman, D.A.; Hellman, F.; Hammond, R.H.; Beasley, M.R.

    1984-01-01

    We have investigated the deposition conditions necessary to produce optimized films of A15 Nb-Sn (19--26 at. % Sn) by electron-beam codeposition. Reliable high-quality superconducting tunnel junctions can be made on this material by using an oxidized-amorphous silicon overlayer as the tunneling barrier and lead as the counter-electrode. These junctions have been used both as a tool for materials diagnosis and as a probe of the superconducting properties (critical temperature and gap) of the films. Careful control of the substrate temperature during the growth of the films has proved critical to obtain homogeneous samples. When the substrate temperature is properly stabilized, stoichiometric Nb 3 Sn is found to be relatively insensitive to the deposition temperature and conditions. In contrast, the properties of the off-stoichiometry (Sn-poor) material depend strongly on the deposition temperature. For this Sn-poor material the ratio 2Δ/kT/sub c/ at a given composition increases with increasing deposition temperature. This change appears to be due to an increase in the gap at the surface of the material (as measured by tunneling) relative to the critical temperature of the bulk. All the tunnel junctions exhibit some persistent nonidealities in their current-voltage characteristics that are qualitatively insensitive to composition or deposition conditions. In particular, the junctions show excess conduction below the sum of the energy gaps (with onset at the counter-electrode gap) and a broadened current rise at the sum gap. The detailed origins of these problems are not yet understood

  3. NbN-AlN-NbN Josephson junctions on different substrates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Merker, Michael; Bohn, Christian; Voellinger, Marvin; Ilin, Konstantin; Siegel, Michael [KIT, Karlsruhe (Germany)

    2016-07-01

    Josephson junction technology is important for the realization of high quality cryogenic devices such as SQUIDs, RSFQ or SIS-mixers. The material system based on NbN/AlN/NbN tri-layer has gained a lot of interest, because it offers higher gap voltages and critical current densities compared to the well-established Nb/Al-AlOx/Nb technology. However, the realization of high quality Josephson junctions is more challenging. We developed a technology of Josephson junctions on a variety of substrates such as Silicon, Sapphire and Magnesium oxide and compared the quality parameters of these junctions at 4.2 K. The gap voltages achieved a range from 4 mV (for the junctions on Si) to 5.8 mV (in case of MgO substrates) which is considerably higher than those obtained from Nb based Josephson junctions. Another key parameter is the ratio of the subgap resistance to the normal state resistance. This so-called subgap ratio corresponds to the losses in a Josephson junction which have to be minimized. So far, subgap ratios of 26 have been achieved. Further careful optimization of the deposition conditions is required to maximize this ratio, The details of the optimization of technology and of characterization of NbN/AlN/NbN junctions will be presented and discussed.

  4. Thin film hybrid Josephson junctions with Co doped Ba-122

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schmidt, Stefan; Doering, Sebastian; Schmidl, Frank; Tympel, Volker; Grosse, Veit; Seidel, Paul [Friedrich-Schiller-Universitaet Jena, Institut fuer Festkoerperphysik, Helmholtzweg 5, 07743 Jena (Germany); Haindl, Silvia; Iida, Kazumasa; Kurth, Fritz; Holzapfel, Bernhard [IFW Dresden, Institut fuer Metallische Werkstoffe, Helmholtzstrasse 20, 01069 Dresden (Germany); Moench, Ingolf [IFW Dresden, Institut fuer Integrative Nanowissenschaften, Helmholtzstrasse 20, 01069 Dresden (Germany)

    2011-07-01

    Josephson junctions are a strong tool to investigate fundamental superconducting properties, such as gap behaviour, dependencies from external fields and the order parameter symmetry. Finding secure values enables the possibility of theoretical descriptions to understand the physical processes within the new iron-based superconductors. Based on Co-doped BaFe{sub 2}As{sub 2} (Ba-122) layers produced via pulsed laser deposition (PLD) on (La,Sr)(Al,Ta)O{sub 3} substrates, we manufactured superconductor-normal conductor-superconductor (S-N-S) junctions structures by using photolithography, ion beam etching as well as insulating SiO{sub 2} layers. We present working Ba-122/Au/PbIn thin film Josephson junctions with different contact areas and barrier thicknesses, their temperature dependence and response to microwave irradiation. The calculated I{sub c}R{sub N} product is in the range of a couple of microvolts.

  5. Knowledge Gaps

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lyles, Marjorie; Pedersen, Torben; Petersen, Bent

    2003-01-01

    The study explores what factors influence the reduction of managers' perceivedknowledge gaps in the context of the environments of foreign markets. Potentialdeterminants are derived from traditional internationalization theory as well asorganizational learning theory, including the concept...... of absorptive capacity. Building onthese literature streams a conceptual model is developed and tested on a set of primarydata of Danish firms and their foreign market operations. The empirical study suggeststhat the factors that pertain to the absorptive capacity concept - capabilities ofrecognizing......, assimilating, and utilizing knowledge - are crucial determinants ofknowledge gap elimination. In contrast, the two factors deemed essential in traditionalinternationalization process theory - elapsed time of operations and experientiallearning - are found to have no or limited effect.Key words...

  6. dc properties of series-parallel arrays of Josephson junctions in an external magnetic field

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lewandowski, S.J.

    1991-01-01

    A detailed dc theory of superconducting multijunction interferometers has previously been developed by several authors for the case of parallel junction arrays. The theory is now extended to cover the case of a loop containing several junctions connected in series. The problem is closely associated with high-T c superconductors and their clusters of intrinsic Josephson junctions. These materials exhibit spontaneous interferometric effects, and there is no reason to assume that the intrinsic junctions form only parallel arrays. A simple formalism of phase states is developed in order to express the superconducting phase differences across the junctions forming a series array as functions of the phase difference across the weakest junction of the system, and to relate the differences in critical currents of the junctions to gaps in the allowed ranges of their phase functions. This formalism is used to investigate the energy states of the array, which in the case of different junctions are split and separated by energy barriers of height depending on the phase gaps. Modifications of the washboard model of a single junction are shown. Next a superconducting inductive loop containing a series array of two junctions is considered, and this model is used to demonstrate the transitions between phase states and the associated instabilities. Finally, the critical current of a parallel connection of two series arrays is analyzed and shown to be a multivalued function of the externally applied magnetic flux. The instabilities caused by the presence of intrinsic serial junctions in granular high-T c materials are pointed out as a potential source of additional noise

  7. Junction detection and pathway selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peck, Alex N.; Lim, Willie Y.; Breul, Harry T.

    1992-02-01

    The ability to detect junctions and make choices among the possible pathways is important for autonomous navigation. In our script-based navigation approach where a journey is specified as a script of high-level instructions, actions are frequently referenced to junctions, e.g., `turn left at the intersection.' In order for the robot to carry out these kind of instructions, it must be able (1) to detect an intersection (i.e., an intersection of pathways), (2) know that there are several possible pathways it can take, and (3) pick the pathway consistent with the high level instruction. In this paper we describe our implementation of the ability to detect junctions in an indoor environment, such as corners, T-junctions and intersections, using sonar. Our approach uses a combination of partial scan of the local environment and recognition of sonar signatures of certain features of the junctions. In the case where the environment is known, we use additional sensor information (such as compass bearings) to help recognize the specific junction. In general, once a junction is detected and its type known, the number of possible pathways can be deduced and the correct pathway selected. Then the appropriate behavior for negotiating the junction is activated.

  8. Mixing in T-junctions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kok, Jacobus B.W.; van der Wal, S.

    1996-01-01

    The transport processes that are involved in the mixing of two gases in a T-junction mixer are investigated. The turbulent flow field is calculated for the T-junction with the k- turbulence model by FLOW3D. In the mathematical model the transport of species is described with a mixture fraction

  9. Dynamics of Josephson junction arrays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hadley, P.

    1989-01-01

    The dynamics of Josephson junction arrays is a topic that lies at the intersection of the fields of nonlinear dynamics and Josephson junction technology. The series arrays considered here consist of several rapidly oscillating Josephson junctions where each junction is coupled equally to every other junction. The purpose of this study is to understand phaselocking and other cooperative dynamics of this system. Previously, little was known about high dimensional nonlinear systems of this sort. Numerical simulations are used to study the dynamics of these arrays. Three distinct types of periodic solutions to the array equations were observed as well as period doubled and chaotic solutions. One of the periodic solutions is the symmetric, in-phase solution where all of the junctions oscillate identically. The other two periodic solutions are symmetry-broken solutions where all of the junction do not oscillate identically. The symmetry-broken solutions are highly degenerate. As many as (N - 1) stable solutions can coexist for an array of N junctions. Understanding the stability of these several solutions and the transitions among them is vital to the design of useful devices

  10. Garlic (Allium sativum) feeding impairs Sertoli cell junctional proteins in male Wistar rat testis: microscopy study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammami, I; Nahdi, A; Atig, F; El May, A; El May, M V

    2016-12-01

    Sertoli cell junctions, such as adhesion junction (AJ), gap junction (GJ) and tight junction (TJ), are important for maintaining spermatogenesis. In previous studies, we showed the inhibitory effect of crude garlic (Allium sativum, As) on spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis. The aim of this work was to complete our investigation on the impact of this plant, especially on Sertoli cell junctional proteins (SCJPs). During 1 month, 24 male rats were divided into groups: group control (0% of As) and treated groups fed 5%, 10% and 15% of As. Light and electron microscopy observations were performed to localise junctional proteins: connexin-43, Zona Occluding-1 and N-cadherin (immunohistochemistry) and to describe junctions. We showed that the specific cells involved in the localisation of the SCJP were similar in both control and treated groups, but with different immunoreactivity intensity between them. The electron microscopy observation focused on TJs between Sertoli cells, constituting the blood-testis barrier, showed ultrastructural changes such as fragmentation of TJs between adjacent Sertoli cell membranes and dilatation of rough endoplasmic reticulum saccules giving an aspect of scale to these junctions. We concluded that crude garlic consumption during 1 month induces perturbations on Sertoli cell junctions. These alterations can explain apoptosis in testicular germ cells previously showed. © 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  11. Dielectric properties of biological tissues in which cells are connected by communicating junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asami, Koji

    2007-01-01

    The frequency dependence of the complex permittivity of biological tissues has been simulated using a simple model that is a cubic array of spherical cells in a parallel plate capacitor. The cells are connected by two types of communicating junctions: one is a membrane-lined channel for plasmodesmata in plant tissues, and the other is a conducting patch of adjoining plasma membranes for gap junctions in animal tissues. Both junctions provided similar effects on the dielectric properties of the tissue model. The model without junction showed a dielectric relaxation (called β-dispersion) that was expected from an interfacial polarization theory for a concentrated suspension of spherical cells. The dielectric relaxation was the same as that of the model in which neighbouring cells were connected by junctions perpendicular to the applied electric field. When neighbouring cells were connected by junctions parallel to the applied electric field or in all directions, a dielectric relaxation appeared at a lower frequency side in addition to the β-dispersion, corresponding to the so called α-dispersion. When junctions were randomly introduced at varied probabilities P j , the low-frequency (LF) relaxation curve became broader, especially at P j of 0.2-0.5, and its intensity was proportional to P j up to 0.7. The intensity and the characteristic frequency of the LF relaxation both decreased with decreasing junction conductance. The simulations indicate that communicating junctions are important for understanding the LF dielectric relaxation in tissues

  12. Dielectric properties of biological tissues in which cells are connected by communicating junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asami, Koji

    2007-06-01

    The frequency dependence of the complex permittivity of biological tissues has been simulated using a simple model that is a cubic array of spherical cells in a parallel plate capacitor. The cells are connected by two types of communicating junctions: one is a membrane-lined channel for plasmodesmata in plant tissues, and the other is a conducting patch of adjoining plasma membranes for gap junctions in animal tissues. Both junctions provided similar effects on the dielectric properties of the tissue model. The model without junction showed a dielectric relaxation (called β-dispersion) that was expected from an interfacial polarization theory for a concentrated suspension of spherical cells. The dielectric relaxation was the same as that of the model in which neighbouring cells were connected by junctions perpendicular to the applied electric field. When neighbouring cells were connected by junctions parallel to the applied electric field or in all directions, a dielectric relaxation appeared at a lower frequency side in addition to the β-dispersion, corresponding to the so called α-dispersion. When junctions were randomly introduced at varied probabilities Pj, the low-frequency (LF) relaxation curve became broader, especially at Pj of 0.2-0.5, and its intensity was proportional to Pj up to 0.7. The intensity and the characteristic frequency of the LF relaxation both decreased with decreasing junction conductance. The simulations indicate that communicating junctions are important for understanding the LF dielectric relaxation in tissues.

  13. Regulation of Endothelial Adherens Junctions by Tyrosine Phosphorylation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam, Alejandro Pablo

    2015-01-01

    Endothelial cells form a semipermeable, regulated barrier that limits the passage of fluid, small molecules, and leukocytes between the bloodstream and the surrounding tissues. The adherens junction, a major mechanism of intercellular adhesion, is comprised of transmembrane cadherins forming homotypic interactions between adjacent cells and associated cytoplasmic catenins linking the cadherins to the cytoskeleton. Inflammatory conditions promote the disassembly of the adherens junction and a loss of intercellular adhesion, creating openings or gaps in the endothelium through which small molecules diffuse and leukocytes transmigrate. Tyrosine kinase signaling has emerged as a central regulator of the inflammatory response, partly through direct phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of the adherens junction components. This review discusses the findings that support and those that argue against a direct effect of cadherin and catenin phosphorylation in the disassembly of the adherens junction. Recent findings indicate a complex interaction between kinases, phosphatases, and the adherens junction components that allow a fine regulation of the endothelial permeability to small molecules, leukocyte migration, and barrier resealing. PMID:26556953

  14. Mechanical tuning of conductance and thermopower in helicene molecular junctions

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vacek, Jaroslav; Vacek Chocholoušová, Jana; Stará, Irena G.; Starý, Ivo; Dubi, Y.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 19 (2015), s. 8793-8802 ISSN 2040-3364 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP207/10/2207 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : helicene molecular junctions * quantum interference * stereoselective syntheses * nonlinear optical properties Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 7.760, year: 2015 http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlepdf/2015/nr/c5nr01297j

  15. Genetically engineered excitable cardiac myofibroblasts coupled to cardiomyocytes rescue normal propagation and reduce arrhythmia complexity in heterocellular monolayers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luqia Hou

    Full Text Available The use of genetic engineering of unexcitable cells to enable expression of gap junctions and inward rectifier potassium channels has suggested that cell therapies aimed at establishing electrical coupling of unexcitable donor cells to host cardiomyocytes may be arrhythmogenic. Whether similar considerations apply when the donor cells are electrically excitable has not been investigated. Here we tested the hypothesis that adenoviral transfer of genes coding Kir2.1 (I(K1, Na(V1.5 (I(Na and connexin-43 (Cx43 proteins into neonatal rat ventricular myofibroblasts (NRVF will convert them into fully excitable cells, rescue rapid conduction velocity (CV and reduce the incidence of complex reentry arrhythmias in an in vitro model.We used adenoviral (Ad- constructs encoding Kir2.1, Na(V1.5 and Cx43 in NRVF. In single NRVF, Ad-Kir2.1 or Ad-Na(V1.5 infection enabled us to regulate the densities of I(K1 and I(Na, respectively. At varying MOI ratios of 10/10, 5/10 and 5/20, NRVF co-infected with Ad-Kir2.1+ Na(V1.5 were hyperpolarized and generated action potentials (APs with upstroke velocities >100 V/s. However, when forming monolayers only the addition of Ad-Cx43 made the excitable NRVF capable of conducting electrical impulses (CV = 20.71±0.79 cm/s. When genetically engineered excitable NRVF overexpressing Kir2.1, Na(V1.5 and Cx43 were used to replace normal NRVF in heterocellular monolayers that included neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVM, CV was significantly increased (27.59±0.76 cm/s vs. 21.18±0.65 cm/s, p<0.05, reaching values similar to those of pure myocytes monolayers (27.27±0.72 cm/s. Moreover, during reentry, propagation was faster and more organized, with a significantly lower number of wavebreaks in heterocellular monolayers formed by excitable compared with unexcitable NRVF.Viral transfer of genes coding Kir2.1, Na(V1.5 and Cx43 to cardiac myofibroblasts endows them with the ability to generate and propagate APs. The results

  16. Morphology of the cemento-enamel junction in premolar teeth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arambawatta, Kapila; Peiris, Roshan; Nanayakkara, Deepthi

    2009-12-01

    The present study attempted to describe the distribution of the mineralized tissues that compose the cemento-enamel junction, with respect to both the different types of permanent premolars of males and females and the various surfaces of individual teeth. The cervical region of ground sections of 67 premolars that had been extracted for orthodontic reasons were analyzed using transmitted light microscopy to identify which of the following tissue interrelationships was present at the cemento-enamel junction: cementum overlapping enamel; enamel overlapping cementum; edge-to-edge relationship between cementum and enamel; or the presence of gaps between the enamel and cementum with exposed dentin. An edge-to-edge interrelation between root cementum and enamel was predominant (55.1%). In approximately one-third of the sample, gaps between cementum and enamel with exposed dentin were observed. Cementum overlapping enamel was less prevalent than previously reported, and enamel overlapping cementum was seen in a very small proportion of the sample. In any one tooth, the distribution of mineralized tissues at the cemento-enamel junction was irregular and unpredictable. The frequency of gaps between enamel and cementum with exposure of dentin was higher than previously reported, which suggests that this region is fragile and strongly predisposed to pathological changes. Hence, this region should be protected and carefully managed during routine clinical procedures such as dental bleaching, orthodontic treatment, and placement of restorative materials.

  17. Molecular Diffusion through Cyanobacterial Septal Junctions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mercedes Nieves-Morión

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria grow as filaments in which intercellular molecular exchange takes place. During the differentiation of N2-fixing heterocysts, regulators are transferred between cells. In the diazotrophic filament, vegetative cells that fix CO2 through oxygenic photosynthesis provide the heterocysts with reduced carbon and heterocysts provide the vegetative cells with fixed nitrogen. Intercellular molecular transfer has been traced with fluorescent markers, including calcein, 5-carboxyfluorescein, and the sucrose analogue esculin, which are observed to move down their concentration gradient. In this work, we used fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP assays in the model heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 to measure the temperature dependence of intercellular transfer of fluorescent markers. We find that the transfer rate constants are directly proportional to the absolute temperature. This indicates that the “septal junctions” (formerly known as “microplasmodesmata” linking the cells in the filament allow molecular exchange by simple diffusion, without any activated intermediate state. This constitutes a novel mechanism for molecular transfer across the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane, in addition to previously characterized mechanisms for active transport and facilitated diffusion. Cyanobacterial septal junctions are functionally analogous to the gap junctions of metazoans.

  18. Quasiparticle dynamics in superconducting tunnel junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kozorezov, A.G.; Brammertz, G.; Hijmering, R.A.; Wigmore, J.K.; Peacock, A.; Martin, D.; Verhoeve, P.; Golubov, A.A.; Rogalla, H.

    2006-01-01

    Superconducting Tunnel Junctions (STJs) used as single photon detectors possess extreme sensitivity and excellent resolving power. However, like many other cryogenic detectors they operate under extremely non-equilibrium conditions. In order to understand the physics of the non-equilibrium, non-stationary state, to interpret experimental data adequately, and to optimize the STJs unique performance, it is necessary to use a fully kinetic approach. We have developed the detailed theory of interactions between quasiparticles (qps) and the two types of phonons, sub-gap and pair-breaking, in STJ photon detectors. We discuss the results of extensive sets of experiments to study the non-equilibrium state in Al-based STJs. For the first time we are capable of explaining all available data systematically using a single set of parameters determined from STJ diagnostics and independent experiments

  19. Instabilities in thin tunnel junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Konkin, M.K.; Adler, J.G.

    1978-01-01

    Tunnel junctions prepared for inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy are often plagued by instabilities in the 0-500-meV range. This paper relates the bias at which the instability occurs to the barrier thickness

  20. The Control of Junction Flows

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Smith, Charles

    1997-01-01

    An experimental study of the effects of spatially-limited (i.e. localized) surface suction on unsteady laminar and turbulent junction flows was performed using hydrogen bubble flow visualization and Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV...

  1. Josephson junctions with ferromagnetic interlayer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wild, Georg Hermann

    2012-01-01

    We report on the fabrication of superconductor/insulator/ferromagnetic metal/superconductor (Nb/AlO x /Pd 0.82 Ni 0.18 /Nb) Josephson junctions (SIFS JJs) with high critical current densities, large normal resistance times area products, and high quality factors. For these junctions, a transition from 0- to π-coupling is observed for a thickness d F =6 nm of the ferromagnetic Pd 0.82 Ni 0.18 interlayer. The magnetic field dependence of the critical current of the junctions demonstrates good spatial homogeneity of the tunneling barrier and ferromagnetic interlayer. Magnetic characterization shows that the Pd 0.82 Ni 0.18 has an out-of-plane anisotropy and large saturation magnetization indicating negligible dead layers at the interfaces. A careful analysis of Fiske modes up to about 400 GHz provides valuable information on the junction quality factor and the relevant damping mechanisms. Whereas losses due to quasiparticle tunneling dominate at low frequencies, at high frequencies the damping is explained by the finite surface resistance of the junction electrodes. High quality factors of up to 30 around 200 GHz have been achieved. They allow to study the junction dynamics, in particular the switching probability from the zero-voltage into the voltage state with and without microwave irradiation. The experiments with microwave irradiation are well explained within semi-classical models and numerical simulations. In contrast, at mK temperature the switching dynamics without applied microwaves clearly shows secondary quantum effects. Here, we could observe for the first time macroscopic quantum tunneling in Josephson junctions with a ferromagnetic interlayer. This observation excludes fluctuations of the critical current as a consequence of an unstable magnetic domain structure of the ferromagnetic interlayer and affirms the suitability of SIFS Josephson junctions for quantum information processing.

  2. Josephson junctions with ferromagnetic interlayer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wild, Georg Hermann

    2012-03-04

    We report on the fabrication of superconductor/insulator/ferromagnetic metal/superconductor (Nb/AlO{sub x}/Pd{sub 0.82}Ni{sub 0.18}/Nb) Josephson junctions (SIFS JJs) with high critical current densities, large normal resistance times area products, and high quality factors. For these junctions, a transition from 0- to {pi}-coupling is observed for a thickness d{sub F}=6 nm of the ferromagnetic Pd{sub 0.82}Ni{sub 0.18} interlayer. The magnetic field dependence of the critical current of the junctions demonstrates good spatial homogeneity of the tunneling barrier and ferromagnetic interlayer. Magnetic characterization shows that the Pd{sub 0.82}Ni{sub 0.18} has an out-of-plane anisotropy and large saturation magnetization indicating negligible dead layers at the interfaces. A careful analysis of Fiske modes up to about 400 GHz provides valuable information on the junction quality factor and the relevant damping mechanisms. Whereas losses due to quasiparticle tunneling dominate at low frequencies, at high frequencies the damping is explained by the finite surface resistance of the junction electrodes. High quality factors of up to 30 around 200 GHz have been achieved. They allow to study the junction dynamics, in particular the switching probability from the zero-voltage into the voltage state with and without microwave irradiation. The experiments with microwave irradiation are well explained within semi-classical models and numerical simulations. In contrast, at mK temperature the switching dynamics without applied microwaves clearly shows secondary quantum effects. Here, we could observe for the first time macroscopic quantum tunneling in Josephson junctions with a ferromagnetic interlayer. This observation excludes fluctuations of the critical current as a consequence of an unstable magnetic domain structure of the ferromagnetic interlayer and affirms the suitability of SIFS Josephson junctions for quantum information processing.

  3. Connexin Hemichannels in Astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Brian Skriver; Hansen, Daniel Bloch; Ransom, Bruce R.

    2017-01-01

    Astrocytes in the mammalian central nervous system are interconnected by gap junctions made from connexins of the subtypes Cx30 and Cx43. These proteins may exist as hemichannels in the plasma membrane in the absence of a ‘docked’ counterpart on the neighboring cell. A variety of stimuli are repo...... selectivity. We expect that some, or all, of the controversies discussed here will be resolved by future research and sincerely hope that this review serves to motivate such clarifying investigations.......Astrocytes in the mammalian central nervous system are interconnected by gap junctions made from connexins of the subtypes Cx30 and Cx43. These proteins may exist as hemichannels in the plasma membrane in the absence of a ‘docked’ counterpart on the neighboring cell. A variety of stimuli....... Published studies about astrocyte hemichannel behavior, however, have been highly variable and/or contradictory. The field of connexin hemichannel research has been complicated by great variability in the experimental preparations employed, a lack of highly specific pharmacological inhibitors...

  4. Electronic thermometry in tunable tunnel junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maksymovych, Petro

    2016-03-15

    A tunable tunnel junction thermometry circuit includes a variable width tunnel junction between a test object and a probe. The junction width is varied and a change in thermovoltage across the junction with respect to the change in distance across the junction is determined. Also, a change in biased current with respect to a change in distance across the junction is determined. A temperature gradient across the junction is determined based on a mathematical relationship between the temperature gradient, the change in thermovoltage with respect to distance and the change in biased current with respect to distance. Thermovoltage may be measured by nullifying a thermoelectric tunneling current with an applied voltage supply level. A piezoelectric actuator may modulate the probe, and thus the junction width, to vary thermovoltage and biased current across the junction. Lock-in amplifiers measure the derivatives of the thermovoltage and biased current modulated by varying junction width.

  5. Peltier cooling in molecular junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Longji; Miao, Ruijiao; Wang, Kun; Thompson, Dakotah; Zotti, Linda Angela; Cuevas, Juan Carlos; Meyhofer, Edgar; Reddy, Pramod

    2018-02-01

    The study of thermoelectricity in molecular junctions is of fundamental interest for the development of various technologies including cooling (refrigeration) and heat-to-electricity conversion1-4. Recent experimental progress in probing the thermopower (Seebeck effect) of molecular junctions5-9 has enabled studies of the relationship between thermoelectricity and molecular structure10,11. However, observations of Peltier cooling in molecular junctions—a critical step for establishing molecular-based refrigeration—have remained inaccessible. Here, we report direct experimental observations of Peltier cooling in molecular junctions. By integrating conducting-probe atomic force microscopy12,13 with custom-fabricated picowatt-resolution calorimetric microdevices, we created an experimental platform that enables the unified characterization of electrical, thermoelectric and energy dissipation characteristics of molecular junctions. Using this platform, we studied gold junctions with prototypical molecules (Au-biphenyl-4,4'-dithiol-Au, Au-terphenyl-4,4''-dithiol-Au and Au-4,4'-bipyridine-Au) and revealed the relationship between heating or cooling and charge transmission characteristics. Our experimental conclusions are supported by self-energy-corrected density functional theory calculations. We expect these advances to stimulate studies of both thermal and thermoelectric transport in molecular junctions where the possibility of extraordinarily efficient energy conversion has been theoretically predicted2-4,14.

  6. Characterization of the Tetraspan Junctional Complex (4JC) superfamily.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, Amy; Lee, Andre; Hendargo, Kevin J; Reddy, Vamsee S; Shlykov, Maksim A; Kuppusamykrishnan, Harikrishnan; Medrano-Soto, Arturo; Saier, Milton H

    2017-03-01

    Connexins or innexins form gap junctions, while claudins and occludins form tight junctions. In this study, statistical data, derived using novel software, indicate that these four junctional protein families and eleven other families of channel and channel auxiliary proteins are related by common descent and comprise the Tetraspan (4 TMS) Junctional Complex (4JC) Superfamily. These proteins all share similar 4 transmembrane α-helical (TMS) topologies. Evidence is presented that they arose via an intragenic duplication event, whereby a 2 TMS-encoding genetic element duplicated tandemly to give 4 TMS proteins. In cases where high resolution structural data were available, the conclusion of homology was supported by conducting structural comparisons. Phylogenetic trees reveal the probable relationships of these 15 families to each other. Long homologues containing fusions to other recognizable domains as well as internally duplicated or fused domains are reported. Large "fusion" proteins containing 4JC domains proved to fall predominantly into family-specific patterns as follows: (1) the 4JC domain was N-terminal; (2) the 4JC domain was C-terminal; (3) the 4JC domain was duplicated or occasionally triplicated and (4) mixed fusion types were present. Our observations provide insight into the evolutionary origins and subfunctions of these proteins as well as guides concerning their structural and functional relationships. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Design of thin InGaAsN(Sb) n-i-p junctions for use in four-junction concentrating photovoltaic devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkins, Matthew M.; Gupta, James; Jaouad, Abdelatif; Bouzazi, Boussairi; Fafard, Simon; Boucherif, Abderraouf; Valdivia, Christopher E.; Arès, Richard; Aimez, Vincent; Schriemer, Henry P.; Hinzer, Karin

    2017-04-01

    Four-junction solar cells for space and terrestrial applications require a junction with a band gap of ˜1 eV for optimal performance. InGaAsN or InGaAsN(Sb) dilute nitride junctions have been demonstrated for this purpose, but in achieving the 14 mA/cm2 short-circuit current needed to match typical GaInP and GaAs junctions, the open-circuit voltage (VOC) and fill factor of these junctions are compromised. In multijunction devices incorporating materials with short diffusion lengths, we study the use of thin junctions to minimize sensitivity to varying material quality and ensure adequate transmission into lower junctions. An n-i-p device with 0.65-μm absorber thickness has sufficient short-circuit current, however, it relies less heavily on field-aided collection than a device with a 1-μm absorber. Our standard cell fabrication process, which includes a rapid thermal anneal of the contacts, yields a significant improvement in diffusion length and device performance. By optimizing a four-junction cell around a smaller 1-sun short-circuit current of 12.5 mA/cm2, we produced an InGaAsN(Sb) junction with open-circuit voltage of 0.44 V at 1000 suns (1 sun=100 mW/cm2), diode ideality factor of 1.4, and sufficient light transmission to allow >12.5 mA/cm2 in all four subcells.

  8. Morphological and functional alterations in adult boar epididymis: Effects of prenatal and postnatal administration of flutamide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chojnacka Katarzyna

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The dynamic cross-talk between epididymal cells is hormonally regulated and, in part, through direct cell-to-cell interactions. To date, no information is available regarding possible impact of anti-androgens on the proteins involved in the gap junctional communication within the boar epididymis. Thus, a question arised whether prenatal or postnatal exposure to an anti-androgen flutamide alters the expression of gap junction protein - connexin43 (Cx43 and androgen receptor (AR expression in the caput, corpus and cauda epididymis and leads to delayed effects on morphology and function of adult pig epididymis. Methods First two experimental groups received flutamide prenatally on gestational days 20-28 and 80-88 (GD20 and GD80 and further two groups were exposed to flutamide postanatally on days 2-10 and 90-98 after birth (PD2 and PD90. Epididymides were collected from adult boars. Routine histology was performed using hematoxylin-eosin staining. The expression of Cx43 and AR were analyzed using immunohistochemistry and Western blotting. Both analyses were supported by quantitative approaches to demonstrate the variations of the expression levels following the treatment. Apoptotic cells were identified using TUNEL assay. Results Histological examination revealed differences in epididymal morphology of flutamide-exposed boars when compared to controls. Scarce spermatic content were seen within the corpus and cauda lumina of GD20, PD2 and PD90 groups. Concomitantly, frequency of epididymal cell apoptosis was significantly higher (p p p p Conclusions The region-specific alterations in the epididymis morphology and scarce spermatic content within the lumina of the corpus and cauda indicate that flutamide can induce delayed effects on the epididymal function of the adult boar by decrease in AR protein levels that results in altered androgen signaling. This may cause disturbances in androgen-dependent processes including Cx43

  9. Transport properties of molecular junctions

    CERN Document Server

    Zimbovskaya, Natalya A

    2013-01-01

    A comprehensive overview of the physical mechanisms that control electron transport and the characteristics of metal-molecule-metal (MMM) junctions is presented. As far as possible, methods and formalisms presented elsewhere to analyze electron transport through molecules are avoided. This title introduces basic concepts—a description of the electron transport through molecular junctions—and briefly describes relevant experimental methods. Theoretical methods commonly used to analyze the electron transport through molecules are presented. Various effects that manifest in the electron transport through MMMs, as well as the basics of density-functional theory and its applications to electronic structure calculations in molecules are presented. Nanoelectronic applications of molecular junctions and similar systems are discussed as well. Molecular electronics is a diverse and rapidly growing field. Transport Properties of Molecular Junctions presents an up-to-date survey of the field suitable for researchers ...

  10. Gravitation at the Josephson Junction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor Atanasov

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available A geometric potential from the kinetic term of a constrained to a curved hyperplane of space-time quantum superconducting condensate is derived. An energy conservation relation involving the geometric field at every material point in the superconductor is demonstrated. At a Josephson junction the energy conservation relation implies the possibility of transforming electric energy into geometric field energy, that is, curvature of space-time. Experimental procedures to verify that the Josephson junction can act as a voltage-to-curvature converter are discussed.

  11. Towards ferromagnet/superconductor junctions on graphene

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pakkayil, Shijin Babu

    2015-01-01

    Ever since A. Aspect et al. performed the famous 1982 experiment to prove the violation of Bell's inequality, there have been suggestions to conduct the same experiment in a solid state system. Some of those proposals involve superconductors as the source of entangled electron pair and spin depended interfaces as the optical analogue of polariser/filter. Semiconductors can serve as the best medium for such an experiment due to their long relaxation lengths. So far there are no reports on a ferromagnet/superconductor junctions on a semiconductor even though such junctions has been successfully realised in metallic systems. This thesis reports the successful fabrication of ferromagnet/superconductor junction along with characterising measurements in a perfectly two dimensional zero-gap semiconductor known as graphene. Since it's discovery in 2004, graphene has attracted prodigious interest from both academia and industry due to it's inimitable physical properties: very high mobility, high thermal and electrical conductivity, a high Young's modulus and impermeability. Graphene is also expected to have very long spin relaxation length and high spin life time because of it's low spin orbit coupling. For this reason and since researchers are always looking for novel materials and devices to comply with the high demands for better and faster data storage devices, graphene has emanated as a brand new material system for spin based devices. The very first spin injection and detection in graphene was realised in 2007 and ever since, the focal point of the research has been to improve the spin transport properties. A part of this thesis discusses a new fabrication recipe which has a high yield for successfully contacting graphene with a ferromagnet. A high starting yield for ferromagnetic contacts is a irremissible condition for combining superconducting contacts to the device to fabricate ferromagnet/superconductor junctions. Any fabrication recipe

  12. Towards ferromagnet/superconductor junctions on graphene

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pakkayil, Shijin Babu

    2015-07-01

    Ever since A. Aspect et al. performed the famous 1982 experiment to prove the violation of Bell's inequality, there have been suggestions to conduct the same experiment in a solid state system. Some of those proposals involve superconductors as the source of entangled electron pair and spin depended interfaces as the optical analogue of polariser/filter. Semiconductors can serve as the best medium for such an experiment due to their long relaxation lengths. So far there are no reports on a ferromagnet/superconductor junctions on a semiconductor even though such junctions has been successfully realised in metallic systems. This thesis reports the successful fabrication of ferromagnet/superconductor junction along with characterising measurements in a perfectly two dimensional zero-gap semiconductor known as graphene. Since it's discovery in 2004, graphene has attracted prodigious interest from both academia and industry due to it's inimitable physical properties: very high mobility, high thermal and electrical conductivity, a high Young's modulus and impermeability. Graphene is also expected to have very long spin relaxation length and high spin life time because of it's low spin orbit coupling. For this reason and since researchers are always looking for novel materials and devices to comply with the high demands for better and faster data storage devices, graphene has emanated as a brand new material system for spin based devices. The very first spin injection and detection in graphene was realised in 2007 and ever since, the focal point of the research has been to improve the spin transport properties. A part of this thesis discusses a new fabrication recipe which has a high yield for successfully contacting graphene with a ferromagnet. A high starting yield for ferromagnetic contacts is a irremissible condition for combining superconducting contacts to the device to fabricate ferromagnet/superconductor junctions. Any fabrication recipe

  13. Spin nutation effects in molecular nanomagnet–superconductor tunnel junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abouie, J; Abdollahipour, B; Rostami, A A

    2013-01-01

    We study the spin nutation effects of a molecular nanomagnet on the Josephson current through a superconductor|molecular nanomagnet|superconductor tunnel junction. We explicitly demonstrate that, due to the spin nutation of the molecular nanomagnet, two oscillatory terms emerge in the ac Josephson current in addition to the conventional ac Josephson current. Some resonances occur in the junction due to the interactions of the transported quasiparticles with the bias voltage and molecular nanomagnet spin dynamics. Their appearance indicates that the energy exchanged during these interactions is in the range of the superconducting energy gap. We also show that the spin nutation is able to convert the ac Josephson current to a dc current, which is interesting for applications. (paper)

  14. Characterizing the Molecular Pathology of Arrhythmogenic Cardiomyopathy in Patient Buccal Mucosa Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asimaki, Angeliki; Protonotarios, Alexandros; James, Cynthia A; Chelko, Stephen P; Tichnell, Crystal; Murray, Brittney; Tsatsopoulou, Adalena; Anastasakis, Aris; te Riele, Anneline; Kléber, André G; Judge, Daniel P; Calkins, Hugh; Saffitz, Jeffrey E

    2016-02-01

    Analysis of myocardium has revealed mechanistic insights into arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy but cardiac samples are difficult to obtain from probands and especially from family members. To identify a potential surrogate tissue, we characterized buccal mucosa cells. Buccal cells from patients, mutation carriers, and controls were immunostained and analyzed in a blinded fashion. In additional studies, buccal cells were grown in vitro and incubated with SB216763. Immunoreactive signals for the desmosomal protein plakoglobin and the major cardiac gap junction protein Cx43 were markedly diminished in buccal mucosa cells from arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy patients with known desmosomal mutations when compared with controls. Plakoglobin and Cx43 signals were also reduced in most family members who carried disease alleles but showed no evidence of heart disease. Signal for the desmosomal protein plakophilin-1 was reduced in buccal mucosa cells in patients with PKP2 mutations but not in those with mutations in other desmosomal genes. Signal for the desmosomal protein desmoplakin was reduced in buccal mucosa cells from patients with mutations in DSP, DSG2, or DSC2 but not in PKP2 or JUP. Abnormal protein distributions were reversed in cultured cells incubated with SB216763, a small molecule that rescues the disease phenotype in cardiac myocytes. Buccal mucosa cells from arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy patients exhibit changes in the distribution of cell junction proteins similar to those seen in the heart. These cells may prove useful in future studies of disease mechanisms and drug screens for effective therapies in arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy. © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.

  15. Mammalian enabled (Mena) is a critical regulator of cardiac function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, Frédérick; Belmonte, Stephen L; Ram, Rashmi; Noujaim, Sami F; Dunaevsky, Olga; Protack, Tricia L; Jalife, Jose; Todd Massey, H; Gertler, Frank B; Blaxall, Burns C

    2011-05-01

    Mammalian enabled (Mena) of the Drosophila enabled/vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein gene family is a cytoskeletal protein implicated in actin regulation and cell motility. Cardiac Mena expression is enriched in intercalated discs (ICD), the critical intercellular communication nexus between adjacent muscle cells. We previously identified Mena gene expression to be a key predictor of human and murine heart failure (HF). To determine the in vivo function of Mena in the heart, we assessed Mena protein expression in multiple HF models and characterized the effects of genetic Mena deletion on cardiac structure and function. Immunoblot analysis revealed significant upregulation of Mena protein expression in left ventricle tissue from patients with end-stage HF, calsequestrin-overexpressing mice, and isoproterenol-infused mice. Characterization of the baseline cardiac function of adult Mena knockout mice (Mena(-/-)) via echocardiography demonstrated persistent cardiac dysfunction, including a significant reduction in percent fractional shortening compared with wild-type littermates. Electrocardiogram PR and QRS intervals were significantly prolonged in Mena(-/-) mice, manifested by slowed conduction on optical mapping studies. Ultrastructural analysis of Mena(-/-) hearts revealed disrupted organization and widening of ICD structures, mislocalization of the gap junction protein connexin 43 (Cx43) to the lateral borders of cardiomyoycytes, and increased Cx43 expression. Furthermore, the expression of vinculin (an adherens junction protein) was significantly reduced in Mena(-/-) mice. We report for the first time that genetic ablation of Mena results in cardiac dysfunction, highlighted by diminished contractile performance, disrupted ICD structure, and slowed electrical conduction.

  16. Extended Majorana zero modes in a topological superconducting-normal T-junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spånslätt, Christian; Ardonne, Eddy

    2017-03-01

    We investigate the sub gap properties of a three terminal Josephson T-junction composed of topologically superconducting wires connected by a normal metal region. This system naturally hosts zero energy Andreev bound states which are of self-conjugate Majorana nature and we show that they are, in contrast to ordinary Majorana zero modes, spatially extended in the normal metal region. If the T-junction respects time-reversal symmetry, we show that a zero mode is distributed only in two out of three arms in the junction and tuning the superconducting phases allows for transfer of the mode between the junction arms. We further provide tunneling conductance calculations showing that these features can be detected in experiments. Our findings suggest an experimental platform for studying the nature of spatially extended Majorana zero modes.

  17. Note on Hartman effect in gapped graphene

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jahani, D.

    2013-01-01

    In this manuscript the effect of an opening gap on the dwell time corresponding to the electronic tunneling in graphene is explored. It is shown that tunneling time of quasiparticles in passing through junctions of gapped graphene as well as pure flakes is not independent of the barrier thickness and therefore Hartman effect is not observed due to tunneling of relativistic electrons with a finite effective mass in graphene. The numerical results also reveal that the traversal time in gapped graphene is equal to the traversal time in absence of the barrier for a broad range of incident energy. It is also found that the origin of the problem of Hartman effect could be explained in terms of an average-constant behavior of the probability density of the electronic wave under the barrier

  18. Electronic noise of superconducting tunnel junction detectors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jochum, J.; Kraus, H.; Gutsche, M.; Kemmather, B.; Feilitzsch, F. v.; Moessbauer, R.L.

    1994-01-01

    The optimal signal to noise ratio for detectors based on superconducting tunnel junctions is calculated and compared for the cases of a detector consisting of one single tunnel junction, as well as of series and of parallel connections of such tunnel junctions. The influence of 1 / f noise and its dependence on the dynamical resistance of tunnel junctions is discussed quantitatively. A single tunnel junction yields the minimum equivalent noise charge. Such a tunnel junction exhibits the best signal to noise ratio if the signal charge is independent of detector size. In case, signal charge increases with detector size, a parallel or a series connection of tunnel junctions would provide the optimum signal to noise ratio. The equivalent noise charge and the respective signal to noise ratio are deduced as functions of tunnel junction parameters such as tunneling time, quasiparticle lifetime, etc. (orig.)

  19. Effect of d-wave pairing symmetry in transport properties of silicene-based superconductor junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vosoughi-nia, S.; Rashedi, G.; hajati, Y.

    2018-06-01

    We theoretically study the tunneling conductance of a normal/d-wave superconductor silicene junction using Blonder-Tinkham-Klapwijk (BTK) formalism. We discuss how the conductance spectra are affected by changing the chemical potential (μN) in the normal silicene region. It is obtained that the amplitude of the spin/valley-dependent Andreev reflection (AR) and charge conductance (G) of the junction can be strongly modulated by the orientation angle of superconductive gap (β) and perpendicular electric field (Ez). We demonstrate that the charge conductance exhibits an oscillatory behavior as a function of β by a period of π/2. Remarkably, variation of μN strongly modifies the amplitude of the oscillations and periodically there are transport gaps in the G - β oscillations for a range of μN. These findings suggest that one may experimentally tune the transport properties of the junction through changing β, Ez and μN.

  20. Dynamic Tunneling Junctions at the Atomic Intersection of Two Twisted Graphene Edges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellunato, Amedeo; Vrbica, Sasha D; Sabater, Carlos; de Vos, Erik W; Fermin, Remko; Kanneworff, Kirsten N; Galli, Federica; van Ruitenbeek, Jan M; Schneider, Grégory F

    2018-04-11

    The investigation of the transport properties of single molecules by flowing tunneling currents across extremely narrow gaps is relevant for challenges as diverse as the development of molecular electronics and sequencing of DNA. The achievement of well-defined electrode architectures remains a technical challenge, especially due to the necessity of high precision fabrication processes and the chemical instability of most bulk metals. Here, we illustrate a continuously adjustable tunneling junction between the edges of two twisted graphene sheets. The unique property of the graphene electrodes is that the sheets are rigidly supported all the way to the atomic edge. By analyzing the tunneling current characteristics, we also demonstrate that the spacing across the gap junction can be controllably adjusted. Finally, we demonstrate the transition from the tunneling regime to contact and the formation of an atomic-sized junction between the two edges of graphene.

  1. Current noise in tunnel junctions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frey, Moritz; Grabert, Hermann [Physikalisches Institut, Universitaet Freiburg, Hermann-Herder-Strasse 3, 79104, Freiburg (Germany)

    2017-06-15

    We study current fluctuations in tunnel junctions driven by a voltage source. The voltage is applied to the tunneling element via an impedance providing an electromagnetic environment of the junction. We use circuit theory to relate the fluctuations of the current flowing in the leads of the junction with the voltage fluctuations generated by the environmental impedance and the fluctuations of the tunneling current. The spectrum of current fluctuations is found to consist of three parts: a term arising from the environmental Johnson-Nyquist noise, a term due to the shot noise of the tunneling current and a third term describing the cross-correlation between these two noise sources. Our phenomenological theory reproduces previous results based on the Hamiltonian model for the dynamical Coulomb blockade and provides a simple understanding of the current fluctuation spectrum in terms of circuit theory and properties of the average current. Specific results are given for a tunnel junction driven through a resonator. (copyright 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  2. Robustness of Majorana bound states in the short-junction limit

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sticlet, D.C.; Nijholt, B.; Akhmerov, A.R.

    2017-01-01

    We study the effects of strong coupling between a superconductor and a semiconductor nanowire on the creation of the Majorana bound states, when the quasiparticle dwell time in the normal part of the nanowire is much shorter than the inverse superconducting gap. This "short-junction" limit is

  3. Stability of large-area molecular junctions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Akkerman, Hylke B.; Kronemeijer, Auke J.; Harkema, Jan; van Hal, Paul A.; Smits, Edsger C. P.; de Leeuw, Dago M.; Blom, Paul W. M.

    The stability of molecular junctions is crucial for any application of molecular electronics. Degradation of molecular junctions when exposed to ambient conditions is regularly observed. In this report the stability of large-area molecular junctions under ambient conditions for more than two years

  4. Dynamics of pi-junction interferometer circuits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kornkev, V.K.; Mozhaev, P.B.; Borisenko, I.V.

    2002-01-01

    The pi-junction superconducting circuit dynamics was studied by means of numerical simulation technique. Parallel arrays consisting of Josephson junctions of both 0- and pi-type were studied as a model of high-T-c grain-boundary Josephson junction. The array dynamics and the critical current depe...

  5. An Efficient Solution-Processed Intermediate Layer for Facilitating Fabrication of Organic Multi-Junction Solar Cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ning Li; Baran, Derya; Forberich, Karen

    2013-01-01

    ):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) is demonstrated for series-connected multi-junction organic solar cells (OSCs). Drying at 80 °C in air is sufficient for this solution-processed IML to obtain excellent functionality and reliability, which allow the use of most of high performance donor materials in the tandem structure....... An open circuit voltage (Voc) of 0.56 V is obtained for single-junction OSCs based on a low band-gap polymer, while multi-junction OSCs based on the same absorber material deliver promising fill factor values along with fully additive Voc as the number of junctions increase. Optical and electrical...... simulations, which are reliable and promising guidelines for the design and investigation of multi-junction OSCs, are discussed. The outcome of optical and electrical simulations is in excellent agreement with the experimental data, indicating the outstanding efficiency and functionality of this solution...

  6. Ferromagnetic Josephson Junctions for Cryogenic Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niedzielski, Bethany M.; Gingrich, Eric C.; Khasawneh, Mazin A.; Loloee, Reza; Pratt, William P., Jr.; Birge, Norman O.

    2015-03-01

    Josephson junctions containing ferromagnetic materials are of interest for both scientific and technological purposes. In principle, either the amplitude of the critical current or superconducting phase shift across the junction can be controlled by the relative magnetization directions of the ferromagnetic layers in the junction. Our approach concentrates on phase control utilizing two junctions in a SQUID geometry. We will report on efforts to control the phase of junctions carrying either spin-singlet or spin-triplet supercurrent for cryogenic memory applications. Supported by Northorp Grumman Corporation and by IARPA under SPAWAR Contract N66001-12-C-2017.

  7. Method of manufacturing Josephson junction integrated circuits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jillie, D.W. Jr.; Smith, L.N.

    1985-01-01

    Josephson junction integrated circuits of the current injection type and magnetically controlled type utilize a superconductive layer that forms both Josephson junction electrode for the Josephson junction devices on the integrated circuit as well as a ground plane for the integrated circuit. Large area Josephson junctions are utilized for effecting contact to lower superconductive layers and islands are formed in superconductive layers to provide isolation between the groudplane function and the Josephson junction electrode function as well as to effect crossovers. A superconductor-barrier-superconductor trilayer patterned by local anodization is also utilized with additional layers formed thereover. Methods of manufacturing the embodiments of the invention are disclosed

  8. MgB2 energy gap determination by scanning tunnelling spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heitmann, T W; Bu, S D; Kim, D M; Choi, J H; Giencke, J; Eom, C B; Regan, K A; Rogado, N; Hayward, M A; He, T; Slusky, J S; Khalifah, P; Haas, M; Cava, R J; Larbalestier, D C; Rzchowski, M S

    2004-01-01

    We report scanning tunnelling spectroscopy (STS) measurements of the gap properties of both ceramic MgB 2 and c-axis oriented epitaxial MgB 2 thin films. Both show a temperature dependent zero bias conductance peak and evidence for two superconducting gaps. We report tunnelling spectroscopy of superconductor-insulator-superconductor (S-I-S) junctions formed in two ways in addition to normal metal-insulator-superconductor (N-I-S) junctions. We find a gap δ = 2.2-2.8 meV, with spectral features and temperature dependence that are consistent between S-I-S junction types. In addition, we observe evidence of a second, larger gap, δ 7.2 meV, consistent with a proposed two-band model

  9. Molecular series-tunneling junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Kung-Ching; Hsu, Liang-Yan; Bowers, Carleen M; Rabitz, Herschel; Whitesides, George M

    2015-05-13

    Charge transport through junctions consisting of insulating molecular units is a quantum phenomenon that cannot be described adequately by classical circuit laws. This paper explores tunneling current densities in self-assembled monolayer (SAM)-based junctions with the structure Ag(TS)/O2C-R1-R2-H//Ga2O3/EGaIn, where Ag(TS) is template-stripped silver and EGaIn is the eutectic alloy of gallium and indium; R1 and R2 refer to two classes of insulating molecular units-(CH2)n and (C6H4)m-that are connected in series and have different tunneling decay constants in the Simmons equation. These junctions can be analyzed as a form of series-tunneling junctions based on the observation that permuting the order of R1 and R2 in the junction does not alter the overall rate of charge transport. By using the Ag/O2C interface, this system decouples the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO, which is localized on the carboxylate group) from strong interactions with the R1 and R2 units. The differences in rates of tunneling are thus determined by the electronic structure of the groups R1 and R2; these differences are not influenced by the order of R1 and R2 in the SAM. In an electrical potential model that rationalizes this observation, R1 and R2 contribute independently to the height of the barrier. This model explicitly assumes that contributions to rates of tunneling from the Ag(TS)/O2C and H//Ga2O3 interfaces are constant across the series examined. The current density of these series-tunneling junctions can be described by J(V) = J0(V) exp(-β1d1 - β2d2), where J(V) is the current density (A/cm(2)) at applied voltage V and βi and di are the parameters describing the attenuation of the tunneling current through a rectangular tunneling barrier, with width d and a height related to the attenuation factor β.

  10. Josephson junctions and circle maps

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bak, P; Bohr, T; Jensen, M H; Christiansen, P V

    1984-01-01

    The return map of a differential equation for the current driven Josephson junction, or the damped driven pendulum, is shown numerically to be a circle map. Phase locking, noise and hysteresis, can thus be understood in a simple and coherent way. The transition to chaos is related to the development of a cubic inflection point. Recent theoretical results on universal behavior at the transition to chaos can readily be checked experimentally by studying I-V characteristics. 17 references, 1 figure.

  11. Morphometry of medial gaps of human brain artery branches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canham, Peter B; Finlay, Helen M

    2004-05-01

    The bifurcation regions of the major human cerebral arteries are vulnerable to the formation of saccular aneurysms. A consistent feature of these bifurcations is a discontinuity of the tunica media at the apex of the flow divider. The objective was to measure the 3-dimensional geometry of these medial gaps or "medial defects." Nineteen bifurcations and 2 junctions of human cerebral arteries branches (from 4 male and 2 female subjects) were formalin-fixed at physiological pressure and processed for longitudinal serial sectioning. The apex and adjacent regions were examined and measurements were made from high-magnification photomicrographs, or projection microscope images, of the gap dimensions at multiple levels through the bifurcation. Plots were made of the width of the media as a function of distance from the apex. The media at each edge of the medial gap widened over a short distance, reaching the full width of the media of the contiguous daughter vessel. Medial gap dimensions were compared with the planar angle of the bifurcation, and a strong negative correlation was found, ie, the acute angled branches have the more prominent medial gaps. A discontinuity of the media at the apex was seen in all the bifurcations examined and was also found in the junction regions of brain arteries. We determined that the gap width is continuous with well-defined dimensions throughout its length and average length-to-width ratio of 6.9. The gaps were generally centered on the prominence of the apical ridge.

  12. Nuclear radiation detection with superconducting tunnel junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kurakado, Masahiko

    1984-01-01

    Since the gap energy of superconductors is as small as 1 meV and 1/1000 of that of semiconductors, it is expected that the number of electron-hole pairs produced in superconductors by radiation is several thousands times as many as the pairs in semiconductors. Therefore, high sensitivity and high resolution radiation detectors may be manufactured by using superconductors. A computer simulation of the cascade excitation process of electrons was carried out. The experimental study was performed by using Sn junctions. The variation of transient voltage was measured by the constant current method. The alpha particles from Po-210 were measured, and the generation of quasi particles was confirmed. The relaxation time of signals was measured by using pulsed laser beam. It was found that the superconductors just after the incidence of radiation became nonequilibrium. The typical alpha spectra were obtained by cooling the superconductors to 0.32 K. The detector is still under development. The problem is leakage current. (Kato, T.)

  13. Squeezed States in Josephson Junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, X.; Nori, F.

    1996-03-01

    We have studied quantum fluctuation properties of Josephson junctions in the limit of large Josephson coupling energy and small charging energy, when the eigenstates of the system can be treated as being nearly localized. We have considered(X. Hu and F. Nori, preprints.) a Josephson junction in a variety of situations, e.g., coupled to one or several of the following elements: a capacitor, an inductor (in a superconducting ring), and an applied current source. By solving an effective Shrödinger equation, we have obtained squeezed vacuum (coherent) states as the ground states of a ``free-oscillating'' (linearly-driven) Josephson junction, and calculated the uncertainties of its canonical momentum, charge, and coordinate, phase. We have also shown that the excited states of the various systems we consider are similar to the number states of a simple harmonic oscillator but with different fluctuation properties. Furthermore, we have obtained the time-evolution operators for these systems. These operators can make it easier to calculate the time-dependence of the expectation values and fluctuations of various quantities starting from an arbitrary initial state.

  14. Superconducting tunnel-junction refrigerator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Melton, R.G.; Paterson, J.L.; Kaplan, S.B.

    1980-01-01

    The dc current through an S 1 -S 2 tunnel junction, with Δ 2 greater than Δ 1 , when biased with eV 1 +Δ 2 , will lower the energy in S 1 . This energy reduction will be shared by the phonons and electrons. This device is shown to be analogous to a thermoelectric refrigerator with an effective Peltier coefficient π* approx. Δ 1 /e. Tunneling calculations yield the cooling power P/sub c/, the electrical power P/sub e/ supplied by the bias supply, and the cooling efficiency eta=P/sub c//P/sub e/. The maximum cooling power is obtained for eV= +- (Δ 2 -Δ 1 ) and t 1 =T 1 /T/sub c/1 approx. 0.9. Estimates are made of the temperature difference T 2 -T 1 achievable in Al-Pb and Sn-Pb junctions with an Al 2 O 3 tunneling barrier. The performance of this device is shown to yield a maximum cooling efficiency eta approx. = Δ 1 /(Δ 2 -Δ 1 ) which can be compared with that available in an ideal Carnot refrigerator of eta=T 1 /(T 2 -T 1 ). The development of a useful tunnel-junction refrigerator requires a tunneling barrier with an effective thermal conductance per unit area several orders of magnitude less than that provided by the A1 2 O 3 barrier in the Al-Pb and Sn-Pb systems

  15. Valley and spin resonant tunneling current in ferromagnetic/nonmagnetic/ferromagnetic silicene junction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yaser Hajati

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available We study the transport properties in a ferromagnetic/nonmagnetic/ferromagnetic (FNF silicene junction in which an electrostatic gate potential, U, is attached to the nonmagnetic region. We show that the electrostatic gate potential U is a useful probe to control the band structure, quasi-bound states in the nonmagnetic barrier as well as the transport properties of the FNF silicene junction. In particular, by introducing the electrostatic gate potential, both the spin and valley conductances of the junction show an oscillatory behavior. The amplitude and frequency of such oscillations can be controlled by U. As an important result, we found that by increasing U, the second characteristic of the Klein tunneling is satisfied as a result of the quasiparticles chirality which can penetrate through a potential barrier. Moreover, it is found that for special values of U, the junction shows a gap in the spin and valley-resolve conductance and the amplitude of this gap is only controlled by the on-site potential difference, Δz. Our findings of high controllability of the spin and valley transport in such a FNF silicene junction may improve the performance of nano-electronics and spintronics devices.

  16. Epitaxial-graphene/graphene-oxide junction: an essential step towards epitaxial graphene electronics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiaosong; Sprinkle, Mike; Li, Xuebin; Ming, Fan; Berger, Claire; de Heer, Walt A

    2008-07-11

    Graphene-oxide (GO) flakes have been deposited to bridge the gap between two epitaxial-graphene electrodes to produce all-graphene devices. Electrical measurements indicate the presence of Schottky barriers at the graphene/graphene-oxide junctions, as a consequence of the band gap in GO. The barrier height is found to be about 0.7 eV, and is reduced after annealing at 180 degrees C, implying that the gap can be tuned by changing the degree of oxidation. A lower limit of the GO mobility was found to be 850 cm2/V s, rivaling silicon. In situ local oxidation of patterned epitaxial graphene has been achieved.

  17. Pulse-voltammetric glucose detection at gold junction electrodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rassaei, Liza; Marken, Frank

    2010-09-01

    A novel glucose sensing concept based on the localized change or "modulation" in pH within a symmetric gold-gold junction electrode is proposed. A paired gold-gold junction electrode (average gap size ca. 500 nm) is prepared by simultaneous bipotentiostatic electrodeposition of gold onto two closely spaced platinum disk electrodes. For glucose detection in neutral aqueous solution, the potential of the "pH-modulator" electrode is set to -1.5 V vs saturated calomel reference electrode (SCE) to locally increase the pH, and simultaneously, either cyclic voltammetry or square wave voltammetry experiments are conducted at the sensor electrode. A considerable improvement in the sensor electrode response is observed when a normal pulse voltammetry sequence is applied to the modulator electrode (to generate "hydroxide pulses") and the glucose sensor electrode is operated with fixed bias at +0.5 V vs SCE (to eliminate capacitive charging currents). Preliminary data suggest good linearity for the glucose response in the medically relevant 1-10 mM concentration range (corresponding to 0.18-1.8 g L(-1)). Future electroanalytical applications of multidimensional pulse voltammetry in junction electrodes are discussed.

  18. Magnetometry with Low-Resistance Proximity Josephson Junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jabdaraghi, R. N.; Peltonen, J. T.; Golubev, D. S.; Pekola, J. P.

    2018-06-01

    We characterize a niobium-based superconducting quantum interference proximity transistor (Nb-SQUIPT) and its key constituent formed by a Nb-Cu-Nb SNS weak link. The Nb-SQUIPT and SNS devices are fabricated simultaneously in two separate lithography and deposition steps, relying on Ar ion cleaning of the Nb contact surfaces. The quality of the Nb-Cu interface is characterized by measuring the temperature-dependent equilibrium critical supercurrent of the SNS junction. In the Nb-SQUIPT device, we observe a maximum flux-to-current transfer function value of about 55 nA/Φ_0 in the sub-gap regime of bias voltages. This results in suppression of power dissipation down to a few fW. Low-bias operation of the device with a relatively low probe junction resistance decreases the dissipation by up to two orders of magnitude compared to a conventional device based on an Al-Cu-Al SNS junction and an Al tunnel probe (Al-SQUIPT).

  19. The prototype GAPS (pGAPS) experiment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mognet, S.A.I., E-mail: mognet@astro.ucla.edu [University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States); Aramaki, T. [Columbia University, New York, NY 10027 (United States); Bando, N. [Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (ISAS/JAXA), Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-5210 (Japan); Boggs, S.E.; Doetinchem, P. von [Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Fuke, H. [Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (ISAS/JAXA), Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-5210 (Japan); Gahbauer, F.H.; Hailey, C.J.; Koglin, J.E.; Madden, N. [Columbia University, New York, NY 10027 (United States); Mori, K.; Okazaki, S. [Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (ISAS/JAXA), Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-5210 (Japan); Ong, R.A. [University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States); Perez, K.M.; Tajiri, G. [Columbia University, New York, NY 10027 (United States); Yoshida, T. [Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (ISAS/JAXA), Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-5210 (Japan); Zweerink, J. [University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States)

    2014-01-21

    The General Antiparticle Spectrometer (GAPS) experiment is a novel approach for the detection of cosmic ray antiparticles. A prototype GAPS (pGAPS) experiment was successfully flown on a high-altitude balloon in June of 2012. The goals of the pGAPS experiment were: to test the operation of lithium drifted silicon (Si(Li)) detectors at balloon altitudes, to validate the thermal model and cooling concept needed for engineering of a full-size GAPS instrument, and to characterize cosmic ray and X-ray backgrounds. The instrument was launched from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Taiki Aerospace Research Field in Hokkaido, Japan. The flight lasted a total of 6 h, with over 3 h at float altitude (∼33km). Over one million cosmic ray triggers were recorded and all flight goals were met or exceeded.

  20. The prototype GAPS (pGAPS) experiment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mognet, S.A.I.; Aramaki, T.; Bando, N.; Boggs, S.E.; Doetinchem, P. von; Fuke, H.; Gahbauer, F.H.; Hailey, C.J.; Koglin, J.E.; Madden, N.; Mori, K.; Okazaki, S.; Ong, R.A.; Perez, K.M.; Tajiri, G.; Yoshida, T.; Zweerink, J.

    2014-01-01

    The General Antiparticle Spectrometer (GAPS) experiment is a novel approach for the detection of cosmic ray antiparticles. A prototype GAPS (pGAPS) experiment was successfully flown on a high-altitude balloon in June of 2012. The goals of the pGAPS experiment were: to test the operation of lithium drifted silicon (Si(Li)) detectors at balloon altitudes, to validate the thermal model and cooling concept needed for engineering of a full-size GAPS instrument, and to characterize cosmic ray and X-ray backgrounds. The instrument was launched from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Taiki Aerospace Research Field in Hokkaido, Japan. The flight lasted a total of 6 h, with over 3 h at float altitude (∼33km). Over one million cosmic ray triggers were recorded and all flight goals were met or exceeded

  1. Dynamics of fractional vortices in long Josephson junctions; Dynamik fraktionaler Flusswirbel in langen Josephsonkontakten

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gaber, Tobias

    2007-07-01

    In this thesis static and dynamic properties of fractional vortices in long Josephson junctions are investigated. Fractional vortices are circulating supercurrents similar to the well-known Josephson fluxons. Yet, they show the distinguishing property of carrying only a fraction of the magnetic flux quantum. Fractional vortices are interesting non-linear objects. They spontaneously appear and are pinned at the phase discontinuity points of so called 0-{kappa} junctions but can be bend or flipped by external forces like bias currents or magnetic fields. 0-{kappa} junctions and fractional vortices are generalizations of the well-known 0-{pi} junctions and semifluxons, where not only phase jumps of pi but arbitrary values denoted by kappa are considered. By using so-called artificial 0-{kappa} junctions that are based on standard Nb-AlO{sub x}-Nb technology the classical dynamics of fractional vortices has been investigated experimentally for the very first time. Here, half-integer zero field steps could be observed. These voltage steps on the junction's current-voltage characteristics correspond to the periodic flipping/hopping of fractional vortices. In addition, the oscillatory eigenmodes of fractional vortices were investigated. In contrast to fluxons fractional vortices have an oscillatory eigenmode with a frequency within the plasma gap. Using resonance spectroscopy the dependence of the eigenmode frequency on the flux carried by the vortex and an applied bias current was determined. (orig.)

  2. Efficient density matrix renormalization group algorithm to study Y junctions with integer and half-integer spin

    KAUST Repository

    Kumar, Manoranjan

    2016-02-03

    An efficient density matrix renormalization group (DMRG) algorithm is presented and applied to Y junctions, systems with three arms of n sites that meet at a central site. The accuracy is comparable to DMRG of chains. As in chains, new sites are always bonded to the most recently added sites and the superblock Hamiltonian contains only new or once renormalized operators. Junctions of up to N=3n+1≈500 sites are studied with antiferromagnetic (AF) Heisenberg exchange J between nearest-neighbor spins S or electron transfer t between nearest neighbors in half-filled Hubbard models. Exchange or electron transfer is exclusively between sites in two sublattices with NA≠NB. The ground state (GS) and spin densities ρr=⟨Szr⟩ at site r are quite different for junctions with S=1/2, 1, 3/2, and 2. The GS has finite total spin SG=2S(S) for even (odd) N and for MG=SG in the SG spin manifold, ρr>0(<0) at sites of the larger (smaller) sublattice. S=1/2 junctions have delocalized states and decreasing spin densities with increasing N. S=1 junctions have four localized Sz=1/2 states at the end of each arm and centered on the junction, consistent with localized states in S=1 chains with finite Haldane gap. The GS of S=3/2 or 2 junctions of up to 500 spins is a spin density wave with increased amplitude at the ends of arms or near the junction. Quantum fluctuations completely suppress AF order in S=1/2 or 1 junctions, as well as in half-filled Hubbard junctions, but reduce rather than suppress AF order in S=3/2 or 2 junctions.

  3. Efficient density matrix renormalization group algorithm to study Y junctions with integer and half-integer spin

    KAUST Repository

    Kumar, Manoranjan; Parvej, Aslam; Thomas, Simil; Ramasesha, S.; Soos, Z. G.

    2016-01-01

    An efficient density matrix renormalization group (DMRG) algorithm is presented and applied to Y junctions, systems with three arms of n sites that meet at a central site. The accuracy is comparable to DMRG of chains. As in chains, new sites are always bonded to the most recently added sites and the superblock Hamiltonian contains only new or once renormalized operators. Junctions of up to N=3n+1≈500 sites are studied with antiferromagnetic (AF) Heisenberg exchange J between nearest-neighbor spins S or electron transfer t between nearest neighbors in half-filled Hubbard models. Exchange or electron transfer is exclusively between sites in two sublattices with NA≠NB. The ground state (GS) and spin densities ρr=⟨Szr⟩ at site r are quite different for junctions with S=1/2, 1, 3/2, and 2. The GS has finite total spin SG=2S(S) for even (odd) N and for MG=SG in the SG spin manifold, ρr>0(<0) at sites of the larger (smaller) sublattice. S=1/2 junctions have delocalized states and decreasing spin densities with increasing N. S=1 junctions have four localized Sz=1/2 states at the end of each arm and centered on the junction, consistent with localized states in S=1 chains with finite Haldane gap. The GS of S=3/2 or 2 junctions of up to 500 spins is a spin density wave with increased amplitude at the ends of arms or near the junction. Quantum fluctuations completely suppress AF order in S=1/2 or 1 junctions, as well as in half-filled Hubbard junctions, but reduce rather than suppress AF order in S=3/2 or 2 junctions.

  4. Mechanics of Fluid-Filled Interstitial Gaps. II. Gap Characteristics in Xenopus Embryonic Ectoderm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barua, Debanjan; Parent, Serge E; Winklbauer, Rudolf

    2017-08-22

    The ectoderm of the Xenopus embryo is permeated by a network of channels that appear in histological sections as interstitial gaps. We characterized this interstitial space by measuring gap sizes, angles formed between adjacent cells, and curvatures of cell surfaces at gaps. From these parameters, and from surface-tension values measured previously, we estimated the values of critical mechanical variables that determine gap sizes and shapes in the ectoderm, using a general model of interstitial gap mechanics. We concluded that gaps of 1-4 μm side length can be formed by the insertion of extracellular matrix fluid at three-cell junctions such that cell adhesion is locally disrupted and a tension difference between cell-cell contacts and the free cell surface at gaps of 0.003 mJ/m 2 is generated. Furthermore, a cell hydrostatic pressure of 16.8 ± 1.7 Pa and an interstitial pressure of 3.9 ± 3.6 Pa, relative to the central blastocoel cavity of the embryo, was found to be consistent with the observed gap size and shape distribution. Reduction of cell adhesion by the knockdown of C-cadherin increased gap volume while leaving intracellular and interstitial pressures essentially unchanged. In both normal and adhesion-reduced ectoderm, cortical tension of the free cell surfaces at gaps does not return to the high values characteristic of the free surface of the whole tissue. Copyright © 2017 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Cell-cell interactions of isolated and cultured oligodendrocytes: formation of linear occluding junctions and expression of peculiar intramembrane particles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massa, P T; Szuchet, S; Mugnaini, E

    1984-12-01

    Oligodendrocytes were isolated from lamb brain. Freshly isolated cells and cultured cells, either 1- to 4-day-old unattached or 1- to 5-week-old attached, were examined by thin section and freeze-fracture electron microscopy. Freeze-fracture of freshly isolated oligodendrocytes showed globular and elongated intramembrane particles similar to those previously described in oligodendrocytes in situ. Enrichment of these particles was seen at sites of inter-oligodendrocyte contact. Numerous gap junctions and scattered linear tight junctional arrays were apparent. Gap junctions were connected to blebs of astrocytic plasma membrane sheared off during isolation, whereas tight junctions were facing extracellular space or blebs of oligodendrocytic plasma membrane. Thin sections of cultured, unattached oligodendrocytes showed rounded cell bodies touching one another at points without forming specialized cell junctions. Cells plated on polylysine-coated aclar dishes attached, emanated numerous, pleomorphic processes, and expressed galactocerebroside and myelin basic protein, characteristic markers for oligodendrocytes. Thin sections showed typical oligodendrocyte ultrastructure but also intermediate filaments not present in unattached cultures. Freeze-fracture showed intramembrane particles similar to but more numerous, and with a different fracture face repartition, than those seen in oligodendrocytes, freshly isolated or in situ. Gap junctions were small and rare. Apposed oligodendrocyte plasma membrane formed linear tight junctions which became more numerous with time in culture. Thus, cultured oligodendrocytes isolated from ovine brains develop and maintain features characteristic of mature oligodendrocytes in situ and can be used to explore formation and maintenance of tight junctions and possibly other classes of cell-cell interactions important in the process of myelination.

  6. The Dissolution of Double Holliday Junctions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bizard, Anna H; Hickson, Ian D

    2014-01-01

    as "double Holliday junction dissolution." This reaction requires the cooperative action of a so-called "dissolvasome" comprising a Holliday junction branch migration enzyme (Sgs1/BLM RecQ helicase) and a type IA topoisomerase (Top3/TopoIIIα) in complex with its OB (oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide binding......Double Holliday junctions (dHJS) are important intermediates of homologous recombination. The separate junctions can each be cleaved by DNA structure-selective endonucleases known as Holliday junction resolvases. Alternatively, double Holliday junctions can be processed by a reaction known......) fold containing accessory factor (Rmi1). This review details our current knowledge of the dissolution process and the players involved in catalyzing this mechanistically complex means of completing homologous recombination reactions....

  7. Geodynamical simulation of the RRF triple junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Z.; Wei, D.; Liu, M.; Shi, Y.; Wang, S.

    2017-12-01

    Triple junction is the point at which three plate boundaries meet. Three plates at the triple junction form a complex geological tectonics, which is a natural laboratory to study the interactions of plates. This work studies a special triple junction, the oceanic transform fault intersects the collinear ridges with different-spreading rates, which is free of influence of ridge-transform faults and nearby hotspots. First, we build 3-D numerical model of this triple junction used to calculate the stead-state velocity and temperature fields resulting from advective and conductive heat transfer. We discuss in detail the influence of the velocity and temperature fields of the triple junction from viscosity, spreading rate of the ridge. The two sides of the oceanic transform fault are different sensitivities to the two factors. And, the influence of the velocity mainly occurs within 200km of the triple junction. Then, we modify the model by adding a ridge-transform fault to above model and directly use the velocity structure of the Macquarie triple junction. The simulation results show that the temperature at both sides of the oceanic transform fault decreases gradually from the triple junction, but the temperature difference between the two sides is a constant about 200°. And, there is little effect of upwelling velocity away from the triple junction 100km. The model results are compared with observational data. The heat flux and thermal topography along the oceanic transform fault of this model are consistent with the observed data of the Macquarie triple junction. The earthquakes are strike slip distributed along the oceanic transform fault. Their depths are also consistent with the zone of maximum shear stress. This work can help us to understand the interactions of plates of triple junctions and help us with the foundation for the future study of triple junctions.

  8. Hysteresis development in superconducting Josephson junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Refai, T.F.; Shehata, L.N.

    1988-09-01

    The resistively and capacitive shunted junction model is used to investigate hysteresis development in superconducting Josephson junctions. Two empirical formulas that relate the hysteresis width and the quasi-particle diffusion length in terms of the junctions electrical parameters, temperature and frequency are obtained. The obtained formulas provide a simple tool to investigate the full potentials of the hysteresis phenomena. (author). 9 refs, 3 figs

  9. Mechanics of Fluid-Filled Interstitial Gaps. I. Modeling Gaps in a Compact Tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parent, Serge E; Barua, Debanjan; Winklbauer, Rudolf

    2017-08-22

    Fluid-filled interstitial gaps are a common feature of compact tissues held together by cell-cell adhesion. Although such gaps can in principle be the result of weak, incomplete cell attachment, adhesion is usually too strong for this to occur. Using a mechanical model of tissue cohesion, we show that, instead, a combination of local prevention of cell adhesion at three-cell junctions by fluidlike extracellular material and a reduction of cortical tension at the gap surface are sufficient to generate stable gaps. The size and shape of these interstitial gaps depends on the mechanical tensions between cells and at gap surfaces, and on the difference between intracellular and interstitial pressures that is related to the volume of the interstitial fluid. As a consequence of the dependence on tension/tension ratios, the presence of gaps does not depend on the absolute strength of cell adhesion, and similar gaps are predicted to occur in tissues of widely differing cohesion. Tissue mechanical parameters can also vary within and between cells of a given tissue, generating asymmetrical gaps. Within limits, these can be approximated by symmetrical gaps. Copyright © 2017 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.