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Sample records for junction protein connexin

  1. 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 best-studied

  2. 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

  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 best-studied

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Role of connexin43-interacting proteins at gap junctions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giepmans, Ben N G

    2006-01-01

    Gap junctions are arrays of cell-to-cell channels that allow diffusion of small molecules between neighboring cells. The individual channels are formed by the four-transmembrane connexin (Cx) proteins. Recently, multiple proteins have been found to interact at the cytoplasmic site with the most abun

  7. Role of connexin43-interacting proteins at gap junctions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giepmans, Ben N G

    2006-01-01

    Gap junctions are arrays of cell-to-cell channels that allow diffusion of small molecules between neighboring cells. The individual channels are formed by the four-transmembrane connexin (Cx) proteins. Recently, multiple proteins have been found to interact at the cytoplasmic site with the most

  8. Expression of gap junction protein connexin 43 in bovine urinary bladder tumours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corteggio, A; Florio, J; Roperto, F; Borzacchiello, G

    2011-01-01

    The aetiopathogenesis of urinary bladder tumours in cattle involves prolonged ingestion of bracken fern and infection by bovine papillomavirus types 1 or 2 (BPV-1/2). The oncogenic activity of BPV is largely associated with the major oncoprotein E5. Gap junctions are the only communicating junctions found in animal tissues and are composed of proteins known as connexins. Alterations in connexin expression have been associated with oncogenesis. The present study investigated biochemically and immunohistochemically the expression of connexin 43 in samples of normal (n=2), dysplastic (n=3) and neoplastic (n=23) bovine urothelium. The tumours included 10 carcinomas in situ, five papillary urothelial carcinomas and eight invasive urothelial carcinomas. Normal and dysplastic urothelium had membrane expression of connexin 43, but this was reduced in samples of carcinoma in situ. Papillary urothelial carcinomas showed moderate cytoplasmic and membrane labelling, while invasive carcinoma showed loss of connexin 43 expression. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. 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

  10. The gap junction cellular internet: connexin hemichannels enter the signalling limelight

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Evans, W Howard; De Vuyst, Elke; Leybaert, Luc

    2006-01-01

    Cxs (connexins), the protein subunits forming gap junction intercellular communication channels, are transported to the plasma membrane after oligomerizing into hexameric assemblies called connexin hemichannels (CxHcs...

  11. Expression of gap junction proteins connexins 26, 30, and 43 in Dupuytren's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holzer, Lukas A; Cör, Andrej; Holzer, Gerold

    2014-02-01

    Dupuytren's disease (DD) is a benign fibroproliferative process of the palmar aponeurosis showing similarities to wound healing. Communication of cells involved in wound healing is mediated by the composition of gap junction (GJ) proteins. We investigated the expression of 3 GJ proteins, connexins 26, 30, and 43 (Cx26, Cx30, and Cx43) in DD. Fragments of Dupuytren's tissue from 31 patients (mean age 56 (30-76) years, 24 male) were analyzed immunohistochemically and compared to control tissue for expression of the GJ proteins Cx26, Cx30, and Cx43 and also alfa-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA). 14 of 31 samples could be attributed to the involutional phase (α-SMA positive) whereas 17 samples had to be considered cords in the residual phase (α-SMA negative). Expression of Cx26 and Cx43 was seen in 12 of the 14 samples from the involutional phase, and Cx30 was seen in 7 of these. Only 4 of the 17 samples from the residual phase showed any Cx, and there was none in the controls. The high expression of GJ proteins Cx26, Cx30, and Cx43 in α-SMA positive myofibroblast-rich nodules, which are characteristic of the active involutional phase of DD, suggests that connexins could be a novel treatment target for the treatment of DD.

  12. Microtubule-assisted altered trafficking of astrocytic gap junction protein connexin 43 is associated with depletion of connexin 47 during mouse hepatitis virus infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu, Rahul; Bose, Abhishek; Thomas, Deepthi; Das Sarma, Jayasri

    2017-09-08

    Gap junctions (GJs) are important for maintenance of CNS homeostasis. GJ proteins, connexin 43 (Cx43) and connexin 47 (Cx47), play a crucial role in production and maintenance of CNS myelin. Cx43 is mainly expressed by astrocytes in the CNS and forms gap junction intercellular communications between astrocytes-astrocytes (Cx43-Cx43) and between astrocytes-oligodendrocytes (Cx43-Cx47). Mutations of these connexin (Cx) proteins cause dysmyelinating diseases in humans. Previously, it has been shown that Cx43 localization and expression is altered due to mouse hepatitis virus (MHV)-A59 infection both in vivo and in vitro; however, its mechanism and association with loss of myelin protein was not elaborated. Thus, we explored potential mechanisms by which MHV-A59 infection alters Cx43 localization and examined the effects of viral infection on Cx47 expression and its association with loss of the myelin marker proteolipid protein. Immunofluorescence and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy confirmed that MHV-A59 used microtubules (MTs) as a conduit to reach the cell surface and restricted MT-mediated Cx43 delivery to the cell membrane. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated that Cx43-β-tubulin molecular interaction was depleted due to protein-protein interaction between viral particles and MTs. During acute MHV-A59 infection, oligodendrocytic Cx47, which is mainly stabilized by Cx43 in vivo, was down-regulated, and its characteristic staining remained disrupted even at chronic phase. The loss of Cx47 was associated with loss of proteolipid protein at the chronic stage of MHV-A59 infection. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  13. Dynamic changes of connexin-43, gap junctional protein, in outer layers of cumulus cells are regulated by PKC and PI 3-kinase during meiotic resumption in porcine oocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimada, M; Maeda, T; Terada, T

    2001-04-01

    Mammalian oocytes are surrounded by numerous layers of cumulus cells, and the loss of gap junctional communication in the outer layers of cumulus cells induces meiotic resumption in oocytes. In this study, we investigated the dynamic changes in the gap junctional protein connexin-43 in cumulus cells during the meiotic resumption of porcine oocytes. The amount of connexin-43 in all layers of cumulus cells recovered from cumulus-oocyte complexes was increased after 4-h cultivation. However, at 12-h cultivation, the positive signal for connexin-43 immunoreactivity was markedly reduced in the outer layers of cumulus cells. When these reductions of connexin-43 were blocked by protein kinase C (PKC) or phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase inhibitor, networks of filamentous bivalents (i.e., advanced chromosomal status) were undetectable in the germinal vesicle of the oocyte. After 28-h cultivation, when the majority of oocytes were reaching the metaphase I (MI) stage, the connexin-43 in the inner layers of cumulus cells was phosphorylated, regardless of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase activation. These results suggest that the initiation of meiotic resumption, namely, the formation of networks of filamentous bivalents in germinal vesicle, is associated with the reduction of gap junctional protein connexin-43 in the outer layers of cumulus cells via the PKC and/or PI 3-kinase pathway. Moreover, the connexin-43 in the inner layers of cumulus cells is phosphorylated during meiotic progression beyond the MI stage, regardless of MAP kinase activation in cumulus cells surrounding the oocyte.

  14. Connexin-47 and connexin-32 in gap junctions of oligodendrocyte somata, myelin sheaths, paranodal loops and Schmidt-Lanterman incisures: implications for ionic homeostasis and potassium siphoning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamasawa, N; Sik, A; Morita, M; Yasumura, T; Davidson, K G V; Nagy, J I; Rash, J E

    2005-01-01

    The subcellular distributions and co-associations of the gap junction-forming proteins connexin 47 and connexin 32 were investigated in oligodendrocytes of adult mouse and rat CNS. By confocal immunofluorescence light microscopy, abundant connexin 47 was co-localized with astrocytic connexin 43 on oligodendrocyte somata, and along myelinated fibers, whereas connexin 32 without connexin 47 was co-localized with contactin-associated protein (caspr) in paranodes. By thin-section transmission electron microscopy, connexin 47 immunolabeling was on the oligodendrocyte side of gap junctions between oligodendrocyte somata and astrocytes. By freeze-fracture replica immunogold labeling, large gap junctions between oligodendrocyte somata and astrocyte processes contained much more connexin 47 than connexin 32. Along surfaces of internodal myelin, connexin 47 was several times as abundant as connexin 32, and in the smallest gap junctions, often occurred without connexin 32. In contrast, connexin 32 was localized without connexin 47 in newly-described autologous gap junctions in Schmidt-Lanterman incisures and between paranodal loops bordering nodes of Ranvier. Thus, connexin 47 in adult rodent CNS is the most abundant connexin in most heterologous oligodendrocyte-to-astrocyte gap junctions, whereas connexin 32 is the predominant if not sole connexin in autologous ("reflexive") oligodendrocyte gap junctions. These results clarify the locations and connexin compositions of heterologous and autologous oligodendrocyte gap junctions, identify autologous gap junctions at paranodes as potential sites for modulating paranodal electrical properties, and reveal connexin 47-containing and connexin 32-containing gap junctions as conduits for long-distance intracellular and intercellular movement of ions and associated osmotic water. The autologous gap junctions may regulate paranodal electrical properties during saltatory conduction. Acting in series and in parallel, autologous and

  15. Ischaemia-induced autophagy leads to degradation of gap junction protein connexin43 in cardiomyocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins-Marques, Tania; Catarino, Steve; Zuzarte, Monica; Marques, Carla; Matafome, Paulo; Pereira, Paulo; Girão, Henrique

    2015-04-15

    GJIC (gap junction intercellular communication) between cardiomyocytes is essential for synchronous heart contraction and relies on Cx (connexin)-containing channels. Increased breakdown of Cx43 has been often associated with various cardiac diseases. However, the mechanisms whereby Cx43 is degraded in ischaemic heart remain unknown. The results obtained in the present study, using both HL-1 cells and organotypic heart cultures, show that simulated ischaemia induces degradation of Cx43 that can be prevented by chemical or genetic inhibitors of autophagy. Additionally, ischaemia-induced degradation of Cx43 results in GJIC impairment in HL-1 cells, which can be restored by autophagy inhibition. In cardiomyocytes, ubiquitin signals Cx43 for autophagic degradation, through the recruitment of the ubiquitin-binding proteins Eps15 (epidermal growth factor receptor substrate 15) and p62, that assist in Cx43 internalization and targeting to autophagic vesicles, via LC3 (light chain 3). Moreover, we establish that degradation of Cx43 in ischaemia or I/R (ischaemia/reperfusion) relies upon different molecular players. Indeed, degradation of Cx43 during early periods of ischaemia depends on AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase), whereas in late periods of ischaemia and I/R Beclin 1 is required. In the Langendorff-perfused heart, Cx43 is dephosphorylated in ischaemia and degraded during I/R, where Cx43 degradation correlates with autophagy activation. In summary, the results of the present study provide new evidence regarding the molecular mechanisms whereby Cx43 is degraded in ischaemia, which may contribute to the development of new strategies that aim to preserve GJIC and cardiac function in ischaemic heart.

  16. CONNEXIN-47 AND CONNEXIN-32 IN GAP JUNCTIONS OF OLIGODENDROCYTE SOMATA, MYELIN SHEATHS, PARANODAL LOOPS AND SCHMIDT-LANTERMAN INCISURES: IMPLICATIONS FOR IONIC HOMEOSTASIS AND POTASSIUM SIPHONING

    OpenAIRE

    KAMASAWA, N.; SIK, A.; Morita, M; Yasumura, T; Davidson, K. G. V.; Nagy, J.I.; RASH, J.E.

    2005-01-01

    The subcellular distributions and co-associations of the gap junction-forming proteins connexin47 and connexin32 were investigated in oligodendrocytes of adult mouse and rat CNS. By confocal immunofluorescence light microscopy, abundant connexin47 was co-localized with astrocytic connexin43 on oligodendrocyte somata, and along myelinated fibers, whereas connexin32 without connexin47 was co-localized with contactin-associated protein (caspr) in paranodes. By thin-section transmission electron ...

  17. The gene for human gap junction protein connexin37 (GJA4) maps to chromosome 1p35.1, in the vicinity of D1S195

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Camp, G.; Coucke, P.; Willems, P.J. [Univ. of Antwerp (Belgium)] [and others

    1995-11-20

    Gap junctions are plasma membrane structures containing channels that allow the exchange of small molecules between cells. Each hemichannel is an oligomer of six subunit proteins called connexins. The formation of intercellular channels is possible through interaction with connexins in the plasma membrane of adjacent cells. Gapjunction channels allow the passage of different molecules up to 1 kDa, such as ions, many second messengers, and small metabolites. Connexins are numbered according to their molecular mass in kilodaltons, calculated from the gene sequences. They are found in the vast majority of cell types and facilitate intercellular communication between cells. Connexins are encoded by a family of homologous genes with highly conserved extracellular and transmembrane domains, whereas the cytoplasmic regions are specific for each subtype. All connexin genes described up to now contain no introns in the coding region. 17 refs., 1 fig.

  18. Regulation of gap-junction protein connexin 43 by β-adrenergic receptor stimulation in rat cardiomyocytes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yi XIA; Kai-zheng GONG; Ming XU; You-yi ZHANG; Ji-hong GUO; Yao SONG; Ping ZHANG

    2009-01-01

    Aim:β-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) agonists are among the most potent factors regulating cardiac electrophysiological properties.Connexin 43 (Cx43),the predominant gap-junction protein in the heart,has an indispensable role in modulating cardiac electric activities by affecting gap-junction function.The present study investigates the effects of short-term stimulation of β-AR subtypes on Cx43 expression and gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) function.Methods:The level of Cx43 expression in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes (NRCM) was detected by a Western blotting assay.The GJIC function was evaluated by scrape loading/dye transfer assay.Results:Stimulation of β-AR by the agonist isoproterenol for 5 min induces the up-regulation of nonphosphorylated Cx43 protein level,but not total Cx43.Selective β2-AR inhibitor ICI 118551,but not β-AR inhibitor CGP20712,could fully abolish the effect.Moreover,pretreatment with both protein kinase A inhibitor H89 and G,protein inhibitor pertussis toxin also inhibited the isoproterenol-induced increase of nonphosphorylated Cx43 expression.Isoproterenol-induced up-regulation of nonphosphorylated Cx43 is accompanied with enhanced GJIC function.Conclusion:Taken together,β2-AR stimulation increases the expression of nonphosphorylated Cx43,thereby enhancing the gating function of gap junctions in cardiac myocytes in both a protein kinase A-and G1-dependent manner.

  19. 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.

  20. Effects of Angiotensin Ⅱ on Expression of the Gap Junction Channel Protein Connexin 43 in Neonatal Rat Ventricular Myocytes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jun Yang; Wei Wu

    2007-01-01

    To study the effects of angiotensin Ⅱ,as a mediator of cardiac hypertrophy,on expression of connexin 43 (Cx43) in cultured neonatal rat ventricular myocytes and correlation of expression of Cx43 and cardiomyocyte hypertrophy.Methods Cardiomyocytes were isolated from newborn SD rats.Angiotensin Ⅱ was added into the media to induce myocyte hypertrophy.Cultures were exposed to 10 ~6 mol/L angiotensin Ⅱ for 72 h,Cx43 expression was characterized by RT-PCR and Immunofluorescence methods.Results Immunofluorescence analysis revealed decreased Cx43 immunoreactivity in cells treated for 72 h with angiotensin Ⅱ.RT-PCR analysis demonstrated there was an obvious decrease of Cx43 mRNA level in cells exposed to angiotensin Ⅱ for 72 h.The changes of expression of connexin 43 were related to its entrance into S phase of the cell cycle.Cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes were exposed for 72 h to increase concentrations of angiotensin Ⅱ ( 1.0 × 10-9 ~ 1.0 × 10-6mol/L),resulting in significantly decreased Cx43 expression.Conclusions Angiotensin Ⅱ leads to a concentration-dependent decrease in Cx43 protein in cultured neonatal rat ventricular myocytes by decreasing Cx43 mRNA synthesis.Signal transduction pathways activated by angiotensin Ⅱ under pathophysiologic conditions of cardiac hypertrophy could initiate remodeling of gap junctions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 (1mg/kg; ip) for 14days and ovaries collected 3days thereafter. Cx43 and Cx45 mRNA and protein levels decreased (Pobese ovaries. Cx37 mRNA and antral follicle protein staining intensity were reduced (Pobesity while total CX37 protein was reduced (Pobese ovaries. Cx43 mRNA and total protein levels were decreased (Pobese ovaries while basal protein staining intensity was reduced (Pobese controls. Cx45 mRNA, total protein and protein staining intensity level were decreased (Pobesity. These data support that obesity temporally alters gap junction protein expression and that DMBA-induced ovotoxicity may involve reduced gap junction protein function. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. Human articular chondrocytes express multiple gap junction proteins: differential expression of connexins in normal and osteoarthritic cartilage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayan, Maria D; Carpintero-Fernandez, Paula; Gago-Fuentes, Raquel; Martinez-de-Ilarduya, Oskar; Wang, Hong-Zhang; Valiunas, Virginijus; Brink, Peter; Blanco, Francisco J

    2013-04-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disease and involves progressive degeneration of articular cartilage. The aim of this study was to investigate if chondrocytes from human articular cartilage express gap junction proteins called connexins (Cxs). We show that human chondrocytes in tissue express Cx43, Cx45, Cx32, and Cx46. We also find that primary chondrocytes from adults retain the capacity to form functional voltage-dependent gap junctions. Immunohistochemistry experiments in cartilage from OA patients revealed significantly elevated levels of Cx43 and Cx45 in the superficial zone and down through the next approximately 1000 μm of tissue. These zones corresponded with regions damaged in OA that also had high levels of proliferative cell nuclear antigen. An increased number of Cxs may help explain the increased proliferation of cells in clusters that finally lead to tissue homeostasis loss. Conversely, high levels of Cxs in OA cartilage reflect the increased number of adjacent cells in clusters that are able to interact directly by gap junctions as compared with hemichannels on single cells in normal cartilage. Our data provide strong evidence that OA patients have a loss of the usual ordered distribution of Cxs in the damaged zones and that the reductions in Cx43 levels are accompanied by the loss of correct Cx localization in the nondamaged areas. Copyright © 2013 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Interaction of c-Src with gap junction protein connexin-43. Role in the regulation of cell-cell communication

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giepmans, B N; Hengeveld, T; Postma, F R; Moolenaar, W H

    2001-01-01

    Cell-cell communication via connexin-43 (Cx43)-based gap junctions is transiently inhibited by certain mitogens, but the underlying regulatory mechanisms are incompletely understood. Our previous studies have implicated the c-Src tyrosine kinase in mediating transient closure of Cx43-based gap junct

  5. Glial connexins and gap junctions in CNS inflammation and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kielian, Tammy

    2008-08-01

    Gap junctions facilitate direct cytoplasmic communication between neighboring cells, facilitating the transfer of small molecular weight molecules involved in cell signaling and metabolism. Gap junction channels are formed by the joining of two hemichannels from adjacent cells, each composed of six oligomeric protein subunits called connexins. Of paramount importance to CNS homeostasis are astrocyte networks formed by gap junctions, which play a critical role in maintaining the homeostatic regulation of extracellular pH, K+, and glutamate levels. Inflammation is a hallmark of several diseases afflicting the CNS. Within the past several years, the number of publications reporting effects of cytokines and pathogenic stimuli on glial gap junction communication has increased dramatically. The purpose of this review is to discuss recent observations characterizing the consequences of inflammatory stimuli on homocellular gap junction coupling in astrocytes and microglia as well as changes in connexin expression during various CNS inflammatory conditions.

  6. Antofine-induced connexin43 gap junction disassembly in rat astrocytes involves protein kinase Cβ.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yu-Fang; Liao, Chih-Kai; Lin, Jau-Chen; Jow, Guey-Mei; Wang, Hwai-Shi; Wu, Jiahn-Chun

    2013-03-01

    Antofine, a phenanthroindolizidine alkaloid derived from Cryptocaryachinensis and Ficusseptica in the Asclepiadaceae milkweed family, is cytotoxic for various cancer cell lines. In this study, we demonstrated that treatment of rat primary astrocytes with antofine induced dose-dependent inhibition of gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC), as assessed by scrape-loading 6-carboxyfluorescein dye transfer. Levels of Cx43 protein were also decreased in a dose- and time-dependent manner following antofine treatment. Double-labeling immunofluorescence microscopy showed that antofine (10ng/ml) induced endocytosis of surface gap junctions into the cytoplasm, where Cx43 was co-localized with the early endosome marker EEA1. Inhibition of lysosomes or proteasomes by co-treatment with antofine and their respective specific inhibitors, NH4Cl or MG132, partially inhibited the antofine-induced decrease in Cx43 protein levels, but did not inhibit the antofine-induced inhibition of GJIC. After 30min of treatment, antofine induced a rapid increase in the intracellular Ca(2+) concentration and activation of protein kinase C (PKC)α/βII, which was maintained for at least 6h. Co-treatment of astrocytes with antofine and the intracellular Ca(2+) chelator BAPTA-AM prevented downregulation of Cx43 and inhibition of GJIC. Moreover, co-treatment with antofine and a specific PKCβ inhibitor prevented endocytosis of gap junctions, downregulation of Cx43, and inhibition of GJIC. Taken together, these findings indicate that antofine induces Cx43 gap junction disassembly by the PKCβ signaling pathway. Inhibition of GJIC by antofine may undermine the neuroprotective effect of astrocytes in CNS.

  7. Molecular cloning, functional expression, and tissue distribution of a novel human gap junction-forming protein, connexin-31.9. Interaction with zona occludens protein-1

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nielsen, Peter A; Beahm, Derek L; Giepmans, Ben N G; Baruch, Amos; Hall, James E; Kumar, Nalin M

    2002-01-01

    A novel human connexin gene (GJA11) was cloned from a genomic library. The open reading frame encoded a hypothetical protein of 294 amino acid residues with a predicted molecular mass of 31,933, hence referred to as connexin-31.9 (Cx31.9) or alpha 11 connexin. A clone in GenBank containing the Cx31.

  8. Molecular cloning, functional expression, and tissue distribution of a novel human gap junction-forming protein, connexin-31.9. Interaction with zona occludens protein-1

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nielsen, Peter A; Beahm, Derek L; Giepmans, Ben N G; Baruch, Amos; Hall, James E; Kumar, Nalin M

    2002-01-01

    A novel human connexin gene (GJA11) was cloned from a genomic library. The open reading frame encoded a hypothetical protein of 294 amino acid residues with a predicted molecular mass of 31,933, hence referred to as connexin-31.9 (Cx31.9) or alpha 11 connexin. A clone in GenBank containing the Cx31.

  9. Connexins: a myriad of functions extending beyond assembly of gap junction channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mroue Rana M

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Connexins constitute a large family of trans-membrane proteins that allow intercellular communication and the transfer of ions and small signaling molecules between cells. Recent studies have revealed complex translational and post-translational mechanisms that regulate connexin synthesis, maturation, membrane transport and degradation that in turn modulate gap junction intercellular communication. With the growing myriad of connexin interacting proteins, including cytoskeletal elements, junctional proteins, and enzymes, gap junctions are now perceived, not only as channels between neighboring cells, but as signaling complexes that regulate cell function and transformation. Connexins have also been shown to form functional hemichannels and have roles altogether independent of channel functions, where they exert their effects on proliferation and other aspects of life and death of the cell through mostly-undefined mechanisms. This review provides an updated overview of current knowledge of connexins and their interacting proteins, and it describes connexin modulation in disease and tumorigenesis.

  10. Connexins: a myriad of functions extending beyond assembly of gap junction channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dbouk, Hashem A; Mroue, Rana M; El-Sabban, Marwan E; Talhouk, Rabih S

    2009-03-12

    Connexins constitute a large family of trans-membrane proteins that allow intercellular communication and the transfer of ions and small signaling molecules between cells. Recent studies have revealed complex translational and post-translational mechanisms that regulate connexin synthesis, maturation, membrane transport and degradation that in turn modulate gap junction intercellular communication. With the growing myriad of connexin interacting proteins, including cytoskeletal elements, junctional proteins, and enzymes, gap junctions are now perceived, not only as channels between neighboring cells, but as signaling complexes that regulate cell function and transformation. Connexins have also been shown to form functional hemichannels and have roles altogether independent of channel functions, where they exert their effects on proliferation and other aspects of life and death of the cell through mostly-undefined mechanisms. This review provides an updated overview of current knowledge of connexins and their interacting proteins, and it describes connexin modulation in disease and tumorigenesis.

  11. 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

    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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  13. The connexin43 carboxyl terminus and cardiac gap junction organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palatinus, Joseph A; Rhett, J Matthew; Gourdie, Robert G

    2012-08-01

    The precise spatial order of gap junctions at intercalated disks in adult ventricular myocardium is thought vital for maintaining cardiac synchrony. Breakdown or remodeling of this order is a hallmark of arrhythmic disease of the heart. The principal component of gap junction channels between ventricular cardiomyocytes is connexin43 (Cx43). Protein-protein interactions and modifications of the carboxyl-terminus of Cx43 are key determinants of gap junction function, size, distribution and organization during normal development and in disease processes. Here, we review data on the role of proteins interacting with the Cx43 carboxyl-terminus in the regulation of cardiac gap junction organization, with particular emphasis on Zonula Occludens-1. The rapid progress in this area suggests that in coming years we are likely to develop a fuller understanding of the molecular mechanisms causing pathologic remodeling of gap junctions. With these advances come the promise of novel approach to the treatment of arrhythmia and the prevention of sudden cardiac death. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The Communicating junctions, composition, structure and characteristics. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Connexin composition in apposed gap junction hemiplaques revealed by matched double-replica freeze-fracture replica immunogold labeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rash, John E; Kamasawa, Naomi; Davidson, Kimberly G V; Yasumura, Thomas; Pereda, Alberto E; Nagy, James I

    2012-06-01

    Despite the combination of light-microscopic immunocytochemistry, histochemical mRNA detection techniques and protein reporter systems, progress in identifying the protein composition of neuronal versus glial gap junctions, determination of the differential localization of their constituent connexin proteins in two apposing membranes and understanding human neurological diseases caused by connexin mutations has been problematic due to ambiguities introduced in the cellular and subcellular assignment of connexins. Misassignments occurred primarily because membranes and their constituent proteins are below the limit of resolution of light microscopic imaging techniques. Currently, only serial thin-section transmission electron microscopy and freeze-fracture replica immunogold labeling have sufficient resolution to assign connexin proteins to either or both sides of gap junction plaques. However, freeze-fracture replica immunogold labeling has been limited because conventional freeze fracturing allows retrieval of only one of the two membrane fracture faces within a gap junction, making it difficult to identify connexin coupling partners in hemiplaques removed by fracturing. We now summarize progress in ascertaining the connexin composition of two coupled hemiplaques using matched double-replicas that are labeled simultaneously for multiple connexins. This approach allows unambiguous identification of connexins and determination of the membrane "sidedness" and the identities of connexin coupling partners in homotypic and heterotypic gap junctions of vertebrate neurons.

  15. Close the Gap : a study on the regulation of Connexin43 gap junctional communication

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zeijl, Leonie van

    2009-01-01

    Gap junctions are groups of transmembrane channels that connect the cytoplasms of adjacent cells to mediate the diffusion of small molecules, such as ions, metabolites, second messengers and small peptides. The building blocks of gap junctions are connexin proteins. The most ubiquitous and best stu

  16. Human cytomegalovirus immediate early proteins promote degradation of connexin 43 and disrupt gap junction communication: implications for a role in gliomagenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Zahidul; Yaiw, Koon-Chu; Wilhelmi, Vanessa; Lam, Hoyin; Rahbar, Afsar; Stragliotto, Giuseppe; Söderberg-Nauclér, Cecilia

    2014-01-01

    A lack of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) is common in cancer. Many oncogenic viruses have been shown to downregulate the junctional protein connexin 43 (Cx43) and reduce GJIC. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a ubiquitous, species-specific betaherpesvirus that establishes life-long latency after primary infection. It encodes two viral gene products, immediate early (IE) proteins IE1 and IE2, which are crucial in viral replication and pathogenesis of many diseases. Emerging evidence demonstrates that HCMV DNA and proteins are highly prevalent in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and in other tumors, but HCMV's role in tumorigenesis remains obscure. In the present study, we examined the effects of HCMV infection on Cx43 expression and GJIC as well as the viral mechanism mediating the effects in human GBM cells and tissue samples. We found that HCMV downregulated Cx43 protein, resulting in disruption of functional GJIC as assayed by fluorescent dye transfer assay. We show that both HCMV-IE72 and IE86 mediate downregulation of Cx43 by silencing RNA targeting either IE72 or IE86 coupled with ganciclovir. This finding was further validated by transfection with expression vectors encoding IE72 or IE86, and we show that viral-mediated Cx43 depletion involved proteasomal degradation. Importantly, we also observed that the Cx43 protein levels and IE staining correlated inversely in 10 human GBM tissue specimens. Thus, HCMV regulates Cx43 expression and GJIC, which may contribute to gliomagenesis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansour, Hussein; McColm, Janet R; Cole, Louise; Weible, Michael; Korlimbinis, Anastasia; Chan-Ling, Tailoi

    2013-01-01

    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 (Pgap 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.

  18. Interacting Network of the Gap Junction (GJ) Protein Connexin43 (Cx43) is Modulated by Ischemia and Reperfusion in the Heart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins-Marques, Tania; Anjo, Sandra Isabel; Pereira, Paulo; Manadas, Bruno; Girão, Henrique

    2015-11-01

    The coordinated and synchronized cardiac muscle contraction relies on an efficient gap junction-mediated intercellular communication (GJIC) between cardiomyocytes, which involves the rapid anisotropic impulse propagation through connexin (Cx)-containing channels, namely of Cx43, the most abundant Cx in the heart. Expectedly, disturbing mechanisms that affect channel activity, localization and turnover of Cx43 have been implicated in several cardiomyopathies, such as myocardial ischemia. Besides gap junction-mediated intercellular communication, Cx43 has been associated with channel-independent functions, including modulation of cell adhesion, differentiation, proliferation and gene transcription. It has been suggested that the role played by Cx43 is dictated by the nature of the proteins that interact with Cx43. Therefore, the characterization of the Cx43-interacting network and its dynamics is vital to understand not only the molecular mechanisms underlying pathological malfunction of gap junction-mediated intercellular communication, but also to unveil novel and unanticipated biological functions of Cx43. In the present report, we applied a quantitative SWATH-MS approach to characterize the Cx43 interactome in rat hearts subjected to ischemia and ischemia-reperfusion. Our results demonstrate that, in the heart, Cx43 interacts with proteins related with various biological processes such as metabolism, signaling and trafficking. The interaction of Cx43 with proteins involved in gene transcription strengthens the emerging concept that Cx43 has a role in gene expression regulation. Importantly, our data shows that the interactome of Cx43 (Connexome) is differentially modulated in diseased hearts. Overall, the characterization of Cx43-interacting network may contribute to the establishment of new therapeutic targets to modulate cardiac function in physiological and pathological conditions. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD002331.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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 juncti

  2. 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 4,5-bisphosp

  3. Nkx2.5 homeoprotein regulates expression of gap junction protein connexin 43 and sarcomere organization in postnatal cardiomyocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasahara, Hideko; Ueyama, Tomomi; Wakimoto, Hiroko; Liu, Margaret K; Maguire, Colin T; Converso, Kimber L; Kang, Peter M; Manning, Warren J; Lawitts, Joel; Paul, David L; Berul, Charles I; Izumo, Seigo

    2003-03-01

    Nkx2.5, an evolutionarily conserved homeodomain containing transcription factor, is one of the earliest cardiogenic markers. Although its expression continues through adulthood, its function in adult cardiomyocytes is not well understood. To examine the effect of Nkx2.5 in terminal differentiated postnatal cardiomyocytes, we generated transgenic mice expressing either wild-type Nkx2.5 (TG-wild), a putative transcriptionally active mutant (carboxyl-terminus deletion mutant: TG-DeltaC) or a DNA non-binding point mutant of Nkx2.5 (TG-I183P) under alpha-myosin heavy chain promoter. Most TG-wild and TG-DeltaC mice died before 4 months of age with heart failure associated with conduction abnormalities. Cardiomyocytes expressing wild-type Nkx2.5 or a putative transcriptionally active mutant (DeltaC) had dramatically reduced expression of connexin 43 and changed sarcomere structure. Wild-type Nkx2.5 adenovirus-infected adult cardiomyocytes demonstrated connexin 43 downregulation as early as 16 h after infection, indicating that connexin 43 downregulation is due to Nkx2.5 overexpression but not due to heart failure phenotype in vivo. These studies indicate that overexpression of Nkx2.5 in terminally differentiated cardiomyocytes dramatically alters cardiac cell structure and function.

  4. Gap Junction in the Teleost Fish Lineage: Duplicated Connexins May Contribute to Skin Pattern Formation and Body Shape Determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Masakatsu

    2017-01-01

    Gap junctions are intercellular channels that allow passage of ions and small molecules between adjacent cells. Gap junctions in vertebrates are composed of connexons, which are an assembly of six proteins, connexins. Docking of two connexons on the opposite cell surfaces forms a gap junction between the cytoplasm of two neighboring cells. Connexins compose a family of structurally related four-pass transmembrane proteins. In mammals, there are ~20 connexins, each of which contributes to unique permeability of gap junctions, and mutations of some connexin-encoding genes are associated with human diseases. Zebrafish has been predicted to contain 39 connexin-encoding genes; the high number can be attributed to gene duplication during fish evolution, which resulted in diversified functions of gap junctions in teleosts. The determination of body shapes and skin patterns in animal species is an intriguing question. Mathematical models suggest principle mechanisms explaining the diversification of animal morphology. Recent studies have revealed the involvement of gap junctions in fish morphological diversity, including skin pattern formation and body shape determination. This review focuses on connexins in teleosts, which are integrated in the mathematical models explaining morphological diversity of animal skin patterns and body shapes.

  5. Intracerebroventricular injection of lipopolysaccharide increases gene expression of connexin32 gap junction in rat hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbasian, Mohammad; Sayyah, Mohammad; Babapour, Vahab; Mahdian, Reza

    2013-01-01

    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. 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. 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. 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.

  6. Immunohistochemical localization of a gap junction protein (connexin43) in the muscularis externa of murine, canine, and human intestine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mikkelsen, H B; Huizinga, J D; Thuneberg, L

    1993-01-01

    Electron-microscopic studies have revealed a heterogeneous distribution of gap junctions in the muscularis externa of mammalian intestines. This heterogeneity is observed at four different levels: among species; between small and large intestines; between longitudinal and circular muscle layers; ...

  7. Connexin43 mutation causes heterogeneous gap junction loss and sudden infant death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Norstrand, David W; Asimaki, Angeliki; Rubinos, Clio; Dolmatova, Elena; Srinivas, Miduturu; Tester, David J; Saffitz, Jeffrey E; Duffy, Heather S; Ackerman, Michael J

    2012-01-24

    An estimated 10% to 15% of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) cases may stem from channelopathy-mediated lethal arrhythmias. Loss of the GJA1-encoded gap junction channel protein connexin43 is known to underlie formation of lethal arrhythmias. GJA1 mutations have been associated with cardiac diseases, including atrial fibrillation. Therefore, GJA1 is a plausible candidate gene for premature sudden death. GJA1 open reading frame mutational analysis was performed with polymerase chain reaction, denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography, and direct DNA sequencing on DNA from 292 SIDS cases. Immunofluorescence and dual whole-cell patch-clamp studies were performed to determine the functionality of mutant gap junctions. Immunostaining for gap junction proteins was performed on SIDS-associated paraffin-embedded cardiac tissue. Two rare, novel missense mutations, E42K and S272P, were detected in 2 of 292 SIDS cases, a 2-month-old white boy and a 3-month-old white girl, respectively. Analysis of the E42K victim's parental DNA demonstrated a de novo mutation. Both mutations involved highly conserved residues and were absent in >1000 ethnically matched reference alleles. Immunofluorescence demonstrated no trafficking abnormalities for either mutation, and S272P demonstrated wild-type junctional conductance. However, junctional conductance measurements for the E42K mutation demonstrated a loss of function not rescued by wild type. Moreover, the E42K victim's cardiac tissue demonstrated a mosaic immunostaining pattern for connexin43 protein. This study provides the first molecular and functional evidence implicating a GJA1 mutation as a novel pathogenic substrate for SIDS. E42K-connexin43 demonstrated a trafficking-independent reduction in junctional coupling in vitro and a mosaic pattern of mutational DNA distribution in deceased cardiac tissue, suggesting a novel mechanism of connexin43-associated sudden death.

  8. Global ischemia-induced increases in the gap junctional proteins connexin 32 (Cx32) and Cx36 in hippocampus and enhanced vulnerability of Cx32 knock-out mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oguro, K; Jover, T; Tanaka, H; Lin, Y; Kojima, T; Oguro, N; Grooms, S Y; Bennett, M V; Zukin, R S

    2001-10-01

    Gap junctions are conductive channels that connect the interiors of coupled cells. In the hippocampus, GABA-containing hippocampal interneurons are interconnected by gap junctions, which mediate electrical coupling and synchronous firing and thereby promote inhibitory transmission. The present study was undertaken to examine the hypothesis that the gap junctional proteins connexin 32 (Cx32; expressed by oligodendrocytes, interneurons, or both), Cx36 (expressed by interneurons), and Cx43 (expressed by astrocytes) play a role in defining cell-specific patterns of neuronal death in hippocampus after global ischemia in mice. Global ischemia did not significantly alter Cx32 and Cx36 mRNA expression and slightly increased Cx43 mRNA expression in the vulnerable CA1, as assessed by Northern blot analysis and in situ hybridization. Global ischemia induced a selective increase in Cx32 and Cx36 but not Cx43 protein abundance in CA1 before onset of neuronal death, as assessed by Western blot analysis. The increase in Cx32 and Cx36 expression was intense and specific to parvalbumin-positive inhibitory interneurons of CA1, as assessed by double immunofluorescence. Protein abundance was unchanged in CA3 and dentate gyrus. The finding of increase in connexin protein without increase in mRNA suggests regulation of Cx32 and Cx36 expression at the translational or post-translational level. Cx32(Y/-) null mice exhibited enhanced vulnerability to brief ischemic insults, consistent with a role for Cx32 gap junctions in neuronal survival. These findings suggest that Cx32 and Cx36 gap junctions may contribute to the survival and resistance of GABAergic interneurons, thereby defining cell-specific patterns of global ischemia-induced neuronal death.

  9. Connexin26 regulates assembly and maintenance of cochlear gap junction macromolecular complex for normal hearing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamiya, Kazusaku; Fukunaga, Ichiro; Hatakeyama, Kaori; Ikeda, Katsuhisa

    2015-12-01

    Hereditary deafness affects about 1 in 2000 children and GJB2 gene mutation is most frequent cause for this disease in the world. GJB2 encodes connexin26 (Cx26), a component in cochlear gap junction. Recently, we found macromolecular change of gap junction plaques with two different types of Cx26 mutation as major classification of clinical case, one is a model of dominant negative type, Cx26R75W+ and the other is conditional gene deficient mouse, Cx26f/fP0Cre as a model for insufficiency of gap junction protein [6]. Gap junction composed mainly of Cx26 and Cx30 in wild type mice formed large planar gap junction plaques (GJP). In contrast, Cx26R75W+ and Cx26f/fP0Cre showed fragmented small round GJPs around the cell border. In Cx26f/fP0Cre, some of the cells with Cx26 expression due to their cellular mosaicism showed normal large GJP with Cx26 and Cx30 only at the cell junction site between two Cx26 positive cells. These indicate that bilateral Cx26 expressions from both adjacent cells are essential for the formation of the cochlear linear GJP, and it is not compensated by other cochlear Connexins such as Connexin30. In the present study, we demonstrated a new molecular pathology in most common hereditary deafness with different types of Connexin26 mutations, and this machinery can be a new target for drag design of hereditary deafness.

  10. 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

  11. Gap junction and hemichannel-independent actions of connexins on cell and tissue functions--an update.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Jade Z; Jiang, Jean X

    2014-04-17

    Connexins, a family of transmembrane proteins, are components of both gap junction channels and hemichannels, which mediate the exchange of ions and small molecules between adjacent cells, and between the inside and outside of the cell, respectively. Substantial advancements have been made in the comprehension of the role of gap junctions and hemichannels in coordinating cellular events. In recent years, a plethora of studies demonstrate a role of connexin proteins in the regulation of tissue homeostasis that occurs independently of their channel activities. This is shown in the context of cell growth, adhesion, migration, apoptosis, and signaling. The major mechanisms of these channel-independent activities still remain to be discovered. In this review, we provide an updated overview on the current knowledge of gap junction- and hemichannel-independent functions of connexins, in particular, their effects on tumorigenesis, neurogenesis and disease development. Copyright © 2014 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Connexin 43 ubiquitination determines the fate of gap junctions: restrict to survive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro-Rodrigues, Teresa M; Catarino, Steve; Pinho, Maria J; Pereira, Paulo; Girao, Henrique

    2015-06-01

    Connexins (Cxs) are transmembrane proteins that form channels which allow direct intercellular communication (IC) between neighbouring cells via gap junctions. Mechanisms that modulate the amount of channels at the plasma membrane have emerged as important regulators of IC and their de-regulation has been associated with various diseases. Although Cx-mediated IC can be modulated by different mechanisms, ubiquitination has been described as one of the major post-translational modifications involved in Cx regulation and consequently IC. In this review, we focus on the role of ubiquitin and its effect on gap junction intercellular communication.

  13. A variant in the carboxyl-terminus of connexin 40 alters GAP junctions and increases risk for tetralogy of Fallot

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guida, V.; Ferese, R.; Rocchetti, M.; Bonetti, M.; Sarkozy, A.; Cecchetti, S.; Gelmetti, V.; Lepri, F.; Copetti, M.; Lamorte, G.; Cristina Digilio, M.; Marino, B.; Zaza, A.; den Hertog, J.; Dallapiccola, B.; De Luca, A.

    2013-01-01

    GJA5 gene (MIM no. 121013), localized at 1q21.1, encodes for the cardiac gap junction protein connexin 40. In humans, copy number variants of chromosome 1q21.1 have been associated with variable phenotypes comprising congenital heart disease (CHD), including isolated TOF. In mice, the deletion of Gj

  14. Identifying connexin expression and determining gap junction intercellular communication in rainbow trout cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooper, Joshua; Poynter, Sarah J; DeWitte-Orr, Stephanie J

    2017-05-01

    Gap junctions are groups of membrane-bound channels that allow the passage of small molecules and ions between cells, permitting cell-cell communication. Because of their importance in cell homeostasis, gap junction presence and function were characterized in three commonly studied rainbow trout cell lines, namely RTgill-W1, RTgutGC, and RTG-2. Firstly, gap junction presence was determined by screening for gap junction protein alpha 7 and alpha 1 (GJA7 and GJA1) presence at the transcript level and GJA7 at the protein level. GJA7 was successfully identified at both the transcript and protein levels, and GJA1 was detected at the transcript level in all three cell lines. This is the first report of a GJA7 full-length transcript sequence in rainbow trout cells. Gap junction function, as determined by gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC), was examined using Lucifer yellow dye migration with the scrape and load technique; visualized by fluorescence microscopy. Phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), a gap junction inhibitor, was used to confirm the presence of functional gap junctions. Effects of serum deprivation on GJIC were also monitored; 24-h serum deprivation resulted in greater dye migration compared with 30-min serum deprivation. Both RTG-2 and RTgill-W1 showed significant dye migration that was inhibited by PMA while RTgutGC did not. Human foreskin fibroblast (HFF-1) cells were used as a positive control for gap junction presence and function. Taken together, our study shows that rainbow trout cells express connexin transcripts and proteins, and RTG-2 and, to a lesser extent, RTgill-W1 cells are able to perform GJIC.

  15. Cataract-causing mutation of human connexin 46 impairs gap junction, but increases hemichannel function and cell death.

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    Qian Ren

    Full Text Available Connexin channels play a critical role in maintaining metabolic homeostasis and transparency of the lens. Mutations in connexin genes are linked to congenital cataracts in humans. The G143R missense mutation on connexin (Cx 46 was recently reported to be associated with congenital Coppock cataracts. Here, we showed that the G143R mutation decreased Cx46 gap junctional coupling in a dominant negative manner; however, it significantly increased gap junctional plaques. The G143R mutant also increased hemichannel activity, inversely correlated with the level of Cx46 protein on the cell surface. The interaction between cytoplasmic loop domain and C-terminus has been shown to be involved in gating of connexin channels. Interestingly, the G143R mutation enhanced the interaction between intracellular loop and Cx46. Furthermore, this mutation decreased cell viability and the resistance of the cells to oxidative stress, primarily due to the increased hemichannel function. Together, these results suggest that mutation of this highly conserved residue on the cytoplasmic loop domain of Cx46 enhances its interaction with the C-terminus, resulting in a reduction of gap junction channel function, but increased hemichannel function. This combination leads to the development of human congenital cataracts.

  16. Connexin26 Mutations Causing Palmoplantar Keratoderma and Deafness Interact with Connexin43, Modifying Gap Junction and Hemichannel Properties.

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    Shuja, Zunaira; Li, Leping; Gupta, Shashank; Meşe, Gülistan; White, Thomas W

    2016-01-01

    Mutations in GJB2 (connexin [Cx]26) cause either deafness or deafness associated with skin diseases. That different disorders can be caused by distinct mutations within the same gene suggests that unique channel activities are influenced by each class of mutation. We have examined the functional characteristics of two human mutations, Cx26-H73R and Cx26-S183F, causing palmoplantar keratoderma (PPK) and deafness. Both failed to form gap junction channels or hemichannels when expressed alone. Coexpression of the mutants with wild-type Cx43 showed a transdominant inhibition of Cx43 gap junction channels, without reductions in Cx43 protein synthesis. In addition, the presence of mutant Cx26 shifted Cx43 channel gating and kinetics toward a more Cx26-like behavior. Coimmunoprecipitation showed Cx43 being pulled down more efficiently with mutant Cx26 than wild-type, confirming the enhanced formation of heteromeric connexons. Finally, the formation of heteromeric connexons resulted in significantly increased Cx43 hemichannel activity in the presence of Cx26 mutants. These findings suggest a common mechanism whereby Cx26 mutations causing PPK and deafness transdominantly influence multiple functions of wild-type Cx43. They also implicate a role for aberrant hemichannel activity in the pathogenesis of PPK and further highlight an emerging role for Cx43 in genetic skin diseases.

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

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    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

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

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    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.

  19. Gap junction signalling mediated through connexin-43 is required for chick limb development.

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    Makarenkova, H; Patel, K

    1999-03-15

    During chick limb development the gap junction protein Connexin-43 (Cx43) is expressed in discrete spatially restricted domains in the apical ectodermal ridge (AER) and mesenchyme of the zone of polarising activity. Antisense oligonucleotides (ODNs) were used to investigate the role of Connexin-43 (Cx43) in the development of the chick limb bud. We have used unmodified ODNs in Pluronic F-127 gel, which is liquid at low temperature but sets at room temperature and so remains situated at the point of application. As a mild surfactant, the gel increases antisense ODN penetration and supplies ODNs to the embryo continually for 12-18 h. We have shown a strong decrease in Cx43 protein expression after application of specific antisense oligonucleotides but the abundance of a closely related protein, Connexin-32 (Cx32), was not affected. Application of antisense Cx43 ODNs at stages 8-15 HH before limb outgrowth resulted in dramatic limb phenotypes. About 40% of treated embryos exhibited defects such as truncation of the limb bud, fragmentation into two or more domains, or complete splitting of the limb bud into two or three branches. Molecular analysis of antisense treated embryos failed to detect Shh or Bmp-2 in anterior structures and suggested that extra lobes seen in nicked and split limbs were not a result of establishment of new signalling centres as found after the application of FGF to the flank. However, examination of markers for the AER showed a number of abnormalities. In severely truncated specimens we were unable to detect the expression of either Fgf-4 or Fgf-8. In both nicked and split limbs the expression of these genes was discontinuous. Down-regulation of Cx43 after the antisense application could be comparable to AER removal and results in distal truncation of the limb bud. Taken together these data suggest the existence of a feedback loop between the FGFs and signalling mediated by Cx43.

  20. Testing for a gap junction-mediated bystander effect in retinitis pigmentosa: secondary cone death is not altered by deletion of connexin36 from cones.

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    Kranz, Katharina; Paquet-Durand, François; Weiler, Reto; Janssen-Bienhold, Ulrike; Dedek, Karin

    2013-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) relates to a group of hereditary neurodegenerative diseases of the retina. On the cellular level, RP results in the primary death of rod photoreceptors, caused by rod-specific mutations, followed by a secondary degeneration of genetically normal cones. Different mechanisms may influence the spread of cell death from one photoreceptor type to the other. As one of these mechanisms a gap junction-mediated bystander effect was proposed, i.e., toxic molecules generated in dying rods and propagating through gap junctions induce the death of healthy cone photoreceptors. We investigated whether disruption of rod-cone coupling can prevent secondary cone death and reduce the spread of degeneration. We tested this hypothesis in two different mouse models for retinal degeneration (rhodopsin knockout and rd1) by crossbreeding them with connexin36-deficient mice as connexin36 represents the gap junction protein on the cone side and lack thereof most likely disrupts rod-cone coupling. Using immunohistochemistry, we compared the progress of cone degeneration between connexin36-deficient mouse mutants and their connexin36-expressing littermates at different ages and assessed the accompanied morphological changes during the onset (rhodopsin knockout) and later stages of secondary cone death (rd1 mutants). Connexin36-deficient mouse mutants showed the same time course of cone degeneration and the same morphological changes in second order neurons as their connexin36-expressing littermates. Thus, our results indicate that disruption of connexin36-mediated rod-cone coupling does not stop, delay or spatially restrict secondary cone degeneration and suggest that the gap junction-mediated bystander effect does not contribute to the progression of RP.

  1. Testing for a gap junction-mediated bystander effect in retinitis pigmentosa: secondary cone death is not altered by deletion of connexin36 from cones.

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    Katharina Kranz

    Full Text Available Retinitis pigmentosa (RP relates to a group of hereditary neurodegenerative diseases of the retina. On the cellular level, RP results in the primary death of rod photoreceptors, caused by rod-specific mutations, followed by a secondary degeneration of genetically normal cones. Different mechanisms may influence the spread of cell death from one photoreceptor type to the other. As one of these mechanisms a gap junction-mediated bystander effect was proposed, i.e., toxic molecules generated in dying rods and propagating through gap junctions induce the death of healthy cone photoreceptors. We investigated whether disruption of rod-cone coupling can prevent secondary cone death and reduce the spread of degeneration. We tested this hypothesis in two different mouse models for retinal degeneration (rhodopsin knockout and rd1 by crossbreeding them with connexin36-deficient mice as connexin36 represents the gap junction protein on the cone side and lack thereof most likely disrupts rod-cone coupling. Using immunohistochemistry, we compared the progress of cone degeneration between connexin36-deficient mouse mutants and their connexin36-expressing littermates at different ages and assessed the accompanied morphological changes during the onset (rhodopsin knockout and later stages of secondary cone death (rd1 mutants. Connexin36-deficient mouse mutants showed the same time course of cone degeneration and the same morphological changes in second order neurons as their connexin36-expressing littermates. Thus, our results indicate that disruption of connexin36-mediated rod-cone coupling does not stop, delay or spatially restrict secondary cone degeneration and suggest that the gap junction-mediated bystander effect does not contribute to the progression of RP.

  2. The Carboxyl Tail of Connexin32 Regulates Gap Junction Assembly in Human Prostate and Pancreatic Cancer Cells*

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    Katoch, Parul; Mitra, Shalini; Ray, Anuttoma; Kelsey, Linda; Roberts, Brett J.; Wahl, James K.; Johnson, Keith R.; Mehta, Parmender P.

    2015-01-01

    Connexins, the constituent proteins of gap junctions, are transmembrane proteins. A connexin (Cx) traverses the membrane four times and has one intracellular and two extracellular loops with the amino and carboxyl termini facing the cytoplasm. The transmembrane and the extracellular loop domains are highly conserved among different Cxs, whereas the carboxyl termini, often called the cytoplasmic tails, are highly divergent. We have explored the role of the cytoplasmic tail of Cx32, a Cx expressed in polarized and differentiated cells, in regulating gap junction assembly. Our results demonstrate that compared with the full-length Cx32, the cytoplasmic tail-deleted Cx32 is assembled into small gap junctions in human pancreatic and prostatic cancer cells. Our results further document that the expression of the full-length Cx32 in cells, which express the tail-deleted Cx32, increases the size of gap junctions, whereas the expression of the tail-deleted Cx32 in cells, which express the full-length Cx32, has the opposite effect. Moreover, we show that the tail is required for the clustering of cell-cell channels and that in cells expressing the tail-deleted Cx32, the expression of cell surface-targeted cytoplasmic tail alone is sufficient to enhance the size of gap junctions. Our live-cell imaging data further demonstrate that gap junctions formed of the tail-deleted Cx32 are highly mobile compared with those formed of full-length Cx32. Our results suggest that the cytoplasmic tail of Cx32 is not required to initiate the assembly of gap junctions but for their subsequent growth and stability. Our findings suggest that the cytoplasmic tail of Cx32 may be involved in regulating the permeability of gap junctions by regulating their size. PMID:25548281

  3. Lipid rafts prepared by different methods contain different connexin channels, but gap junctions are not lipid rafts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locke, Darren; Liu, Jade; Harris, Andrew L

    2005-10-04

    Cell extraction with cold nonionic detergents or alkaline carbonate prepares an insoluble membrane fraction whose buoyant density permits its flotation in discontinuous sucrose gradients. These lipid "rafts" are implicated in protein sorting and are attractive candidates as platforms that coordinate signal transduction pathways with intracellular substrates. Gap junctions form a direct molecular signaling pathway by end-to-end apposition of hemichannels containing one (homomeric) or more (heteromeric) connexin isoforms. Residency of channels composed of Cx26 and/or Cx32 in lipid rafts was assessed by membrane insolubility in alkaline carbonate or different concentrations of Triton X100, Nonidet P40 and Brij-58 nonionic detergents. Using Triton X100, insoluble raft membranes contained homomeric Cx32 channels, but Cx26-containing channels only when low detergent concentrations were used. Results were similar using Nonidet P40, except that Cx26-containing channels were excluded from raft membranes at all detergent concentrations. In contrast, homomeric Cx26 channels were enriched within Brij-58-insoluble rafts, whereas Cx32-containing channels partitioned between raft and nonraft membranes. Immunofluorescence microscopy showed prominent colocalization only of nonjunctional connexin channels with raft plasma membrane; junctional plaques were not lipid rafts. Rafts prepared by different extraction methods had considerable quantitative and qualitative differences in their lipid compositions. That functionally different nonjunctional connexin channels partition among rafts with distinct lipid compositions suggests that unpaired Cx26 and/or Cx32 channels exist in membrane domains of slightly different physicochemical character. Rafts may be involved in trafficking of plasma membrane connexin channels to gap junctions.

  4. Effect of thioridazine on gap junction intercellular communication in connexin 43-expressing cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matesic, D F; Abifadel, D N; Garcia, E L; Jann, M W

    2006-07-01

    Propagation of electrical activity between myocytes in the heart requires gap junction channels, which contribute to coordinated conduction of the heartbeat. Some antipsychotic drugs, such as thioridazine and its active metabolite, mesoridazine, have known cardiac conduction side-effects, which have resulted in fatal or nearly fatal clinical consequences in patients. The physiological mechanisms responsible for these cardiac side-effects are unknown. We tested the effect of thioridazine and mesoridazine on gap junction-mediated intercellular communication between cells that express the major cardiac gap junction subtype connexin 43. Micromolar concentrations of thioridazine and mesoridazine inhibited gap junction-mediated intercellular communication between WB-F344 epithelial cells in a dose-dependent manner, as measured by fluorescent dye transfer. Kinetic analyses demonstrated that inhibition by 10 micromol/L thioridazine occurred within 5 min, achieved its maximal effect within 1 h, and was maintained for at least 24 h. Inhibition was reversible within 1 h upon removal of the drug. Western blot analysis of connexin 43 in a membrane-enriched fraction of WB-F344 cells treated with thioridazine revealed decreased amounts of unphosphorylated connexin 43, and appearance of a phosphorylated connexin 43 band that co-migrated with a "hyperphosphorylated" connexin 43 band present in TPA-inhibited cells. When tested for its effects on cardiomyocytes isolated from neonatal rats, thioridazine decreased fluorescent dye transfer between colonies of beating myocytes. Microinjection of individual cells with fluorescent dye also showed inhibition of dye transfer in thioridazine-treated cells compared to vehicle-treated cells. In addition, thioridazine, like TPA, inhibited rhythmic beating of myocytes within 15 min of application. In light of the fact that the thioridazine and mesoridazine concentrations used in these experiments are in the range of those used clinically in

  5. Specificity of gap junction communication among human mammary cells and connexin transfectants in culture.

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    Tomasetto, C; Neveu, M J; Daley, J; Horan, P K; Sager, R

    1993-07-01

    In a previous paper (Lee et al., 1992), it was shown that normal human mammary epithelial cells (NMEC) express two connexin genes, Cx26 and Cx43, whereas neither gene is transcribed in a series of mammary tumor cell lines (TMEC). In this paper it is shown that normal human mammary fibroblasts (NMF) communicate and express Cx43 mRNA and protein. Transfection of either Cx26 or Cx43 genes into a tumor line, 21MT-2, induced the expression of the corresponding mRNAs and proteins as well as communication via gap junctions (GJs), although immunofluorescence demonstrated that the majority of Cx26 and Cx43 proteins present in transfected TMEC was largely cytoplasmic. Immunoblotting demonstrated that NMEC, NMF, and transfected TMEC each displayed a unique pattern of posttranslationally modified forms of Cx43 protein. The role of different connexins in regulating gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) was examined using a novel two-dye method to assess homologous and heterologous communication quantitatively. The recipient cell population was prestained with a permanent non-toxic lipophilic dye that binds to membranes irreversibly (PKH26, Zynaxis); and the donor population is treated with a GJ-permeable dye Calcein, a derivative of fluorescein diacetate (Molecular Probes). After mixing the two cell populations under conditions promoting GJ formation, cells were analyzed by flow cytometry to determine the percentage of cells containing both dyes. It is shown here that Cx26 and Cx43 transfectants display strong homologous communication, as do NMEC and NMF. Furthermore, NMEC mixed with NMF communicate efficiently, Cx26 transfectants communicate with NMEC but not with NMF, and Cx43 transfectants communicate with NMF. Communication between Cx26 TMEC transfectants and NMEC was asymetrical with preferential movement of calcein from TMEC to NMEC. Despite the presence of Cx43 as well as Cx26 encoded proteins in the GJs of NMEC, few Cx43 transfectants communicated with NMEC

  6. Connexin50 couples axon terminals of mouse horizontal cells by homotypic gap junctions.

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    Dorgau, Birthe; Herrling, Regina; Schultz, Konrad; Greb, Helena; Segelken, Jasmin; Ströh, Sebastian; Bolte, Petra; Weiler, Reto; Dedek, Karin; Janssen-Bienhold, Ulrike

    2015-10-01

    Horizontal cells in the mouse retina are of the axon-bearing B-type and contribute to the gain control of photoreceptors and to the center-surround organization of bipolar cells by providing feedback and feedforward signals to photoreceptors and bipolar cells, respectively. Horizontal cells form two independent networks, coupled by dendro-dendritic and axo-axonal gap junctions composed of connexin57 (Cx57). In Cx57-deficient mice, occasionally the residual tracer coupling of horizontal cell somata was observed. Also, negative feedback from horizontal cells to photoreceptors, potentially mediated by connexin hemichannels, appeared unaffected. These results point to the expression of a second connexin in mouse horizontal cells. We investigated the expression of Cx50, which was recently identified in axonless A-type horizontal cells of the rabbit retina. In the mouse retina, Cx50-immunoreactive puncta were predominantly localized on large axon terminals of horizontal cells. Electron microscopy did not reveal any Cx50-immunolabeling at the membrane of horizontal cell tips invaginating photoreceptor terminals, ruling out the involvement of Cx50 in negative feedback. Moreover, Cx50 colocalized only rarely with Cx57 on horizontal cell processes, indicating that both connexins form homotypic rather than heterotypic or heteromeric gap junctions. To check whether the expression of Cx50 is changed when Cx57 is lacking, we compared the Cx50 expression in wildtype and Cx57-deficient mice. However, Cx50 expression was unaffected in Cx57-deficient mice. In summary, our results indicate that horizontal cell axon terminals form two independent sets of homotypic gap junctions, a feature which might be important for light adaptation in the retina. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Classical swine fever virus down-regulates endothelial connexin 43 gap junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsiao, Hsiang-Jung; Liu, Pei-An; Yeh, Hung-I; Wang, Chi-Young

    2010-07-01

    Classical swine fever is a contagious disease of pigs characterized by fatal hemorrhagic fever. Classical swine fever virus (CSFV) induces the expression of pro-inflammatory and pro-coagulant factors of vascular endothelial cells and establishes a long-term infection. This study aimed to understand the effect of CSFV on endothelial connexin 43 (Cx43) expression and gap junctional intercellular coupling (GJIC). Porcine aortic endothelial cells were infected with CSFV at different multiplicity of infection for 48 h. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR, immunoconfocal microscopy, and Western blotting showed that the transcription and translation of Cx43 were reduced, and this was associated with an attenuation of GJIC. This decrease occurred in a time-dependent manner. An ERK inhibitor (PD98059), a JNK inhibitor (SP600125), and proteasome/lysosome inhibitors all significantly reversed the reduction in Cx43 protein levels without any influence on the titer of progeny virus. In addition, CSFV activated ERK and JNK in a time-dependent manner and down-regulated Cx43 promoter activity, mainly through decreased AP2 binding. This effect was primarily caused by the replication of CSFV rather than a consequence of cytokines being induced by CSFV infection of endothelial cells.

  8. Role of gap junction and connexin-43 in hypoxic-ischemic brain damage

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jieying Lin; Niyang Lin

    2006-01-01

    OBJECTEVE:Gap junctin (GJ)is the structural basis for direct intercellular communication of nerve cells . Connexin(Cx) is the protein subunit for constructling GJ channel. Among them, Cx43is closely related with nervous system. Both Cx43 and nervous system play an important role in the pathophysiological development of hypoxic-ischemic injury. We are in attempt to investigate GJ,Cx43 and their correlations with hypoxic-ischemic brain damage by research.DATA SOURCES:Using the terms "brain gap junction"in English and "gap junction"in Chinese, we searched the Medline database and Chinese BioMedical Literature Database as well as China Hospital Knowledge Database to identify the articles published from 1996 to 2006 about GJ and brain hypoxic-ischemic injury.STUDY SELECTION:The articles were selected firstly and abstracts of 250 articles were read thuugh.Articles in which the experimental design met randomized controlled principle were included,and study articles and case reports with repetitve contents were excluded.DATA EXTRACTION:Among 53 included correlative articles, 23 were excluded for repetitive contents and the other 30 were analyzed.DATA SYNTHESIS:GJ,widely esistling in nervous system,plays a key role in maintainling normal differentiation and development as well as physiological function brain tissue.GJ channel is a hydrophilic,low-selectivity and lowohmic channel, which can provide direct channel for intercellular substance transmission and information communication. It plays an important role in the differentiation and development of nerve cells and regulation of physiological function,The funtions of GJ channel are regulated by many factors,which invilved intracellular Ph value, Ca2+concentration, ATP concentration, phosphorylation of Cx, transchannel pressure,some neurohormonal factors,regulatory factors of protein and so on. Cx43 is the main component of GJ channel in the brain tissues. Its expression in the brain tissue of mammal is the strongest

  9. Connexin expression and gap-junctional intercellular communication in ES cells and iPS cells.

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    Oyamada, Masahito; Takebe, Kumiko; Endo, Aya; Hara, Sachiko; Oyamada, Yumiko

    2013-01-01

    Pluripotent stem cells, i.e., embryonic stem (ES) and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, can indefinitely proliferate without commitment and differentiate into all cell lineages. ES cells are derived from the inner cell mass of the preimplantation blastocyst, whereas iPS cells are generated from somatic cells by overexpression of a few transcription factors. Many studies have demonstrated that mouse and human iPS cells are highly similar but not identical to their respective ES cell counterparts. The potential to generate basically any differentiated cell types from these cells offers the possibility to establish new models of mammalian development and to create new sources of cells for regenerative medicine. ES cells and iPS cells also provide useful models to study connexin expression and gap-junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) during cell differentiation and reprogramming. In 1996, we reported connexin expression and GJIC in mouse ES cells. Because a substantial number of papers on these subjects have been published since our report, this Mini Review summarizes currently available data on connexin expression and GJIC in ES cells and iPS cells during undifferentiated state, differentiation, and reprogramming.

  10. Connexin expression and gap-junctional intercellular communication in ES cells and iPS cells

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    Masahito eOyamada

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Pluripotent stem cells, i.e., embryonic stem (ES and induced pluripotent stem (iPS cells, can indefinitely proliferate without commitment and differentiate into all cell lineages. ES cells are derived from the inner cell mass of the preimplantation blastocyst, whereas iPS cells are generated from somatic cells by overexpression of a few transcription factors. Many studies have demonstrated that mouse and human iPS cells are highly similar but not identical to their respective ES cell counterparts. The potential to generate basically any differentiated cell types from these cells offers the possibility to establish new models of mammalian development and to create new sources of cells for regenerative medicine. ES cells and iPS cells also provide useful models to study connexin expression and gap-junctional intercellular communication (GJIC during cell differentiation and reprogramming. In 1996, we reported connexin expression and GJIC in mouse ES cells. Because a substantial number of papers on these subjects have been published since our report, this Mini Review summarizes currently available data on connexin expression and GJIC in ES cells and iPS cells during undifferentiated state, differentiation, and reprogramming.

  11. Connexin channels and phospholipids: association and modulation

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    Harris Andrew L

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background For membrane proteins, lipids provide a structural framework and means to modulate function. Paired connexin hemichannels form the intercellular channels that compose gap junction plaques while unpaired hemichannels have regulated functions in non-junctional plasma membrane. The importance of interactions between connexin channels and phospholipids is poorly understood. Results Endogenous phospholipids most tightly associated with purified connexin26 or connexin32 hemichannels or with junctional plaques in cell membranes, those likely to have structural and/or modulatory effects, were identified by tandem electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry using class-specific interpretative methods. Phospholipids were characterized by headgroup class, charge, glycerol-alkyl chain linkage and by acyl chain length and saturation. The results indicate that specific endogenous phospholipids are uniquely associated with either connexin26 or connexin32 channels, and some phospholipids are associated with both. Functional effects of the major phospholipid classes on connexin channel activity were assessed by molecular permeability of hemichannels reconstituted into liposomes. Changes to phospholipid composition(s of the liposome membrane altered the activity of connexin channels in a manner reflecting changes to the surface charge/potential of the membrane and, secondarily, to cholesterol content. Together, the data show that connexin26 and connexin32 channels have a preference for tight association with unique anionic phospholipids, and that these, independent of headgroup, have a positive effect on the activity of both connexin26 and connexin32 channels. Additionally, the data suggest that the likely in vivo phospholipid modulators of connexin channel structure-function that are connexin isoform-specific are found in the cytoplasmic leaflet. A modulatory role for phospholipids that promote negative curvature is also inferred. Conclusion

  12. Connexins and pannexins: At the junction of neuro-glial homeostasis & disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapato, Andrew S; Tiwari-Woodruff, Seema K

    2017-06-05

    In the central nervous system (CNS), connexin (Cx)s and pannexin (Panx)s are an integral component of homeostatic neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity. Neuronal Cx gap junctions form electrical synapses across biochemically similar GABAergic networks, allowing rapid and extensive inhibition in response to principle neuron excitation. Glial Cx gap junctions link astrocytes and oligodendrocytes in the pan-glial network that is responsible for removing excitotoxic ions and metabolites. In addition, glial gap junctions help constrain excessive excitatory activity in neurons and facilitate astrocyte Ca(2+) slow wave propagation. Panxs do not form gap junctions in vivo, but Panx hemichannels participate in autocrine and paracrine gliotransmission, alongside Cx hemichannels. ATP and other gliotransmitters released by Cx and Panx hemichannels maintain physiologic glutamatergic tone by strengthening synapses and mitigating aberrant high frequency bursting. Under pathological depolarizing and inflammatory conditions, gap junctions and hemichannels become dysregulated, resulting in excessive neuronal firing and seizure. In this review, we present known contributions of Cxs and Panxs to physiologic neuronal excitation and explore how the disruption of gap junctions and hemichannels lead to abnormal glutamatergic transmission, purinergic signaling, and seizures. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Cytokine effects on gap junction communication and connexin expression in human bladder smooth muscle cells and suburothelial myofibroblasts.

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    Marco Heinrich

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The last decade identified cytokines as one group of major local cell signaling molecules related to bladder dysfunction like interstitial cystitis (IC and overactive bladder syndrome (OAB. Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC is essential for the coordination of normal bladder function and has been found to be altered in bladder dysfunction. Connexin (Cx 43 and Cx45 are the most important gap junction proteins in bladder smooth muscle cells (hBSMC and suburothelial myofibroblasts (hsMF. Modulation of connexin expression by cytokines has been demonstrated in various tissues. Therefore, we investigate the effect of interleukin (IL 4, IL6, IL10, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα and transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGFβ1 on GJIC, and Cx43 and Cx45 expression in cultured human bladder smooth muscle cells (hBSMC and human suburothelial myofibroblasts (hsMF. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: HBSMC and hsMF cultures were set up from bladder tissue of patients undergoing cystectomy. In cytokine stimulated cultured hBSMC and hsMF GJIC was analyzed via Fluorescence Recovery after Photo-bleaching (FRAP. Cx43 and Cx45 expression was assessed by quantitative PCR and confocal immunofluorescence. Membrane protein fraction of Cx43 and Cx45 was quantified by Dot Blot. Upregulation of cell-cell-communication was found after IL6 stimulation in both cell types. In hBSMC IL4 and TGFβ1 decreased both, GJIC and Cx43 protein expression, while TNFα did not alter communication in FRAP-experiments but increased Cx43 expression. GJ plaques size correlated with coupling efficacy measured, while Cx45 expression did not correlate with modulation of GJIC. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our finding of specific cytokine effects on GJIC support the notion that cytokines play a pivotal role for pathophysiology of OAB and IC. Interestingly, the effects were independent from the classical definition of pro- and antiinflammatory cytokines. We conclude, that

  14. Cardiac connexins and impulse propagation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.A. Jansen; T.A.B. van Veen; J.M.T. de Bakker; H.V.M. van Rijen

    2010-01-01

    Gap junctions form the intercellular pathway for cell-to-cell transmission of the cardiac impulse from its site of origin, the sinoatrial node, along the atria, the atrioventricular conduction system to the ventricular myocardium. The component parts of gap junctions are proteins called connexins (C

  15. 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.

  16. Gap junctions in the inner ear: comparison of distribution patterns in different vertebrates and assessement of connexin composition in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forge, Andrew; Becker, David; Casalotti, Stefano; Edwards, Jill; Marziano, Nerissa; Nevill, Graham

    2003-12-08

    The distribution and size of gap junctions (GJ) in the sensory epithelia of the inner ear have been examined in a reptile (gecko), birds (chicken and owl), and mammals (mouse, guinea pig, gerbil, and bat), and the connexin composition of GJs in the mammalian inner ear has been assessed. Freeze fracture revealed a common pattern of GJ distribution in auditory and vestibular sensory epithelia in the different vertebrate classes. In all these tissues, GJs are numerous, often occupying more than 25% of the plasma membrane area of supporting cells and sometimes composed of more than 100,000 channels. Screening for 12 members of the connexin family in the mammalian inner ear by RT-PCR, Western blotting, and immunohistochemistry revealed four connexin isotypes, cx26, cx30, cx31, and cx43, in the cochlea and three, cx26, cx30, and cx43, in the vestibular organs. With antibodies characterised for their specificity, cx26 and cx30 colocalised in supporting cells of the organ of Corti, in the basal cell region of the stria vascularis, and in type 1 fibrocytes of the spiral ligament. No other connexin was detected in these regions. Cx31 was localised among type 2 fibrocytes below the spiral prominence, a region where cx30 was not expressed and cx26 expression appeared to be low. Cx43 was detected only in the region of "tension fibrocytes" lining the inner aspect of the otic capsule. This suggests separate functional compartments in the cochlea. In addition to cx26 and cx30, cx43 was detected in supporting cells of the vestibular sensory epithelia. Where cx26 and cx30 were colocalised, double immunogold labelling of thin sections showed both cx26 and cx30 evenly distributed in individual GJ plaques, a pattern consistent with the presence of heteromeric connexons. Coimmunoprecipitation of cochlear membrane proteins solubilised with a procedure that preserves the oligomeric structure of connexons confirmed the presence of heteromeric cx26/cx30 connexons. Heteromeric cx26/cx30

  17. Gap junction proteins in the light-damaged albino rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Cindy X; Tran, Henry; Green, Colin R; Danesh-Meyer, Helen V; Acosta, Monica L

    2014-01-01

    Changes in connexin expression are associated with many pathological conditions seen in animal models and in humans. We hypothesized that gap junctions are important mediators in tissue dysfunction and injury processes in the retina, and therefore, we investigated the pattern of connexin protein expression in the light-damaged albino rat eye. Adult Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to intense light for 24 h. The animals were euthanized, and ocular tissue was harvested at 0 h, 6 h, 24 h, 48 h, and 7 days after light damage. The tissues were processed for immunohistochemistry and western blotting to analyze the expression of the gap junction proteins in the light-damaged condition compared to the non-light-damaged condition. Cell death was detected using the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) technique. Intense light exposure caused increased TUNEL labeling of photoreceptor cells. Immunocytochemistry revealed that connexin 36 (Cx36) was significantly increased in the inner plexiform layer and Cx45 was significantly decreased in the light-damaged retina. The pattern of Cx36 and Cx45 labeling returned to normal 7 days after light damage. Cx43 significantly increased in the RPE and the choroid in the light-damaged tissue, and decreased but not significantly in the retina. This elevated Cx43 expression in the choroid colocalized with markers of nitration-related oxidative stress (nitrotyrosine) and inflammation (CD45 and ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule-1) in the choroid. The results suggest that connexins are regulated differently in the retina than in the choroid in response to photoreceptor damage. Changes in connexins, including Cx36, Cx43, and Cx45, may contribute to the damage process. Specifically, Cx43 was associated with inflammatory damage. Therefore, connexins may be candidate targets for treatment for ameliorating disease progression.

  18. Mouse Hepatitis Virus Infection Remodels Connexin43-Mediated Gap Junction Intercellular Communication In Vitro and In Vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu, Rahul; Banerjee, Kaveri; Bose, Abhishek; Das Sarma, Jayasri

    2015-12-16

    Gap junctions (GJs) form intercellular channels which directly connect the cytoplasm between neighboring cells to facilitate the transfer of ions and small molecules. GJs play a major role in the pathogenesis of infection-associated inflammation. Mutations of gap junction proteins, connexins (Cxs), cause dysmyelination and leukoencephalopathy. In multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and its animal model experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE), Cx43 was shown to be modulated in the central nervous system (CNS). The mechanism behind Cx43 alteration and its role in MS remains unexplored. Mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) infection-induced demyelination is one of the best-studied experimental animal models for MS. Our studies demonstrated that MHV infection downregulated Cx43 expression at protein and mRNA levels in vitro in primary astrocytes obtained from neonatal mouse brains. After infection, a significant amount of Cx43 was retained in endoplasmic reticulum/endoplasmic reticulum Golgi intermediate complex (ER/ERGIC) and GJ plaque formation was impaired at the cell surface, as evidenced by a reduction of the Triton X-100 insoluble fraction of Cx43. Altered trafficking and impairment of GJ plaque formation may cause the loss of functional channel formation in MHV-infected primary astrocytes, as demonstrated by a reduced number of dye-coupled cells after a scrape-loading Lucifer yellow dye transfer assay. Upon MHV infection, a significant downregulation of Cx43 was observed in the virus-infected mouse brain. This study demonstrates that astrocytic Cx43 expression and function can be modulated due to virus stress and can be an appropriate model to understand the basis of cellular mechanisms involved in the alteration of gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) in CNS neuroinflammation. We found that MHV infection leads to the downregulation of Cx43 in vivo in the CNS. In addition, results show that MHV infection impairs Cx43 expression in addition to gap junction

  19. Connexin43 in retinal injury and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danesh-Meyer, Helen V; Zhang, Jie; Acosta, Monica L; Rupenthal, Ilva D; Green, Colin R

    2016-03-01

    Gap junctions are specialized cell-to-cell contacts that allow the direct transfer of small molecules between cells. A single gap junction channel consists of two hemichannels, or connexons, each of which is composed of six connexin protein subunits. Connexin43 is the most ubiquitously expressed isoform of the connexin family and in the retina it is prevalent in astrocytes, Müller cells, microglia, retinal pigment epithelium and endothelial cells. Prior to docking with a neighboring cell, Connexin43 hemichannels have a low open probability as open channels constitute a large, relatively non-specific membrane pore. However, with injury and disease Connexin43 upregulation and hemichannel opening has been implicated in all aspects of secondary damage, especially glial cell activation, edema and loss of vascular integrity, leading to neuronal death. We here review gap junctions and their roles in the retina, and then focus in on Connexin43 gap junction channels in injury and disease. In particular, the effect of pathological opening of gap junction hemichannels is described, and hemichannel mediated loss of vascular integrity explained. This latter phenomenon underlies retinal pigment epithelium loss and is a common feature in several retinal diseases. Finally, Connexin43 channel roles in a number of retinal diseases including macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy are considered, along with results from related animal models. A final section describes gap junction channel modulation and the ocular delivery of potential therapeutic molecules. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Connexin's Connection in Breast Cancer Growth and Progression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Debarshi

    2016-01-01

    Gap junctions are cell-to-cell junctions that are located in the basolateral surface of two adjoining cells. A gap junction channel is composed of a family of proteins called connexins. Gap junction channels maintain intercellular communication between two cells through the exchange of ions, small metabolites, and electrical signals. Gap junction channels or connexins are widespread in terms of their expression and function in maintaining the development, differentiation, and homeostasis of vertebrate tissues. Gap junction connexins play a major role in maintaining intercellular communication among different cell types of normal mammary gland for proper development and homeostasis. Connexins have also been implicated in the pathogenesis of breast cancer. Differential expression pattern of connexins and their gap junction dependent or independent functions provide pivotal cross talk of breast tumor cells with the surrounding stromal cell in the microenvironment. Substantial research from the last 20 years has accumulated ample evidences that allow us a better understanding of the roles that connexins play in the tumorigenesis of primary breast tumor and its metastatic progression. This review will summarize the knowledge about the connexins and gap junction activities in breast cancer highlighting the differential expression and functional dynamics of connexins in the pathogenesis of the disease.

  1. Expression of connexin 43 mRNA and protein in developing follicles of prepubertal porcine ovaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melton, C.M.; Zaunbrecher, G.M.; Yoshizaki, G.; Patio, R.; Whisnant, S.; Rendon, A.; Lee, V.H.

    2001-01-01

    A major form of cell-cell communication is mediated by gap junctions, aggregations of intercellular channels composed of connexins (Cxs), which are responsible for exchange of low molecular weight (hybridization revealed that Cx43 mRNA was detectable in granulosa cells of primary follicles but undetectable in dormant primordial follicles. The intensity of the signal increased with follicular growth and was greatest in the large antral follicles. Immunohistochemical evaluation indicated that Cx43 protein expression correlated with the presence of Cx43 mRNA. These results indicate that substantial amounts of Cx43 are first expressed in granulosa cells following activation of follicular development and that this expression increases throughout follicular growth and maturation. These findings suggest an association between the enhancement of intercellular gap-junctional communication and onset of follicular growth. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Modulation of intercellular communication by differential regulation and heteromeric mixing of co-expressed connexins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beyer E.C.

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Intercellular communication may be regulated by the differential expression of subunit gap junction proteins (connexins which form channels with differing gating and permeability properties. Endothelial cells express three different connexins (connexin37, connexin40, and connexin43 in vivo. To study the differential regulation of expression and synthesis of connexin37 and connexin43, we used cultured bovine aortic endothelial cells which contain these two connexins in vitro. RNA blots demonstrated discordant expression of these two connexins during growth to confluency. RNA blots and immunoblots showed that levels of these connexins were modulated by treatment of cultures with transforming growth factor-ß1. To examine the potential ability of these connexins to form heteromeric channels (containing different connexins within the same hemi-channel, we stably transfected connexin43-containing normal rat kidney (NRK cells with connexin37 or connexin40. In the transfected cells, both connexin proteins were abundantly produced and localized in identical distributions as detected by immunofluorescence. Double whole-cell patch-clamp studies showed that co-expressing cells exhibited unitary channel conductances and gating characteristics that could not be explained by hemi-channels formed of either connexin alone. These observations suggest that these connexins can readily mix with connexin43 to form heteromeric channels and that the intercellular communication between cells is determined not only by the properties of individual connexins, but also by the interactions of those connexins to form heteromeric channels with novel properties. Furthermore, modulation of levels of the co-expressed connexins during cell proliferation or by cytokines may alter the relative abundance of different heteromeric combinations.

  3. Connexin mutants and cataracts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric C Beyer

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The lens is a multicellular, but avascular tissue that must stay transparent to allow normal transmission of light and focusing of it on the retina. Damage to lens cells and/or proteins can cause cataracts, opacities that disrupt these processes. The normal survival of the lens is facilitated by an extensive network of gap junctions formed predominantly of connexin46 and connexin50. Mutations of the genes that encode these connexins (GJA3 and GJA8 have been identified and linked to inheritance of cataracts in human families and mouse lines. In vitro expression studies of several of these mutants have shown that they exhibit abnormalities that may lead to disease. Many of the mutants reduce or modify intercellular communication due to channel alterations (including loss of function or altered gating or due to impaired cellular trafficking which reduces the number of gap junction channels within the plasma membrane. However, the abnormalities detected in studies of other mutants suggest that they cause cataracts through other mechanisms including gain of hemichannel function (leading to cell injury and death and formation of cytoplasmic accumulations (that may act as light scattering particles. These observations and the anticipated results of ongoing studies should elucidate the mechanisms of cataract development due to mutations of lens connexins and abnormalities of other lens proteins. They may also contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms of disease due to connexin mutations in other tissues.

  4. Gap junction proteins are key drivers of endocrine function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meda, Paolo

    2017-03-08

    It has long been known that the main secretory cells of exocrine and endocrine glands are connected by gap junctions, made by a variety of connexin species that ensure their electrical and metabolic coupling. Experiments in culture systems and animal models have since provided increasing evidence that connexin signaling contributes to control the biosynthesis and release of secretory products, as well as to the life and death of secretory cells. More recently, genetic studies have further provided the first lines of evidence that connexins also control the function of human glands, which are central to the pathogenesis of major endocrine diseases. Here, we summarize the recent information gathered on connexin signaling in these systems, since the last reviews on the topic, with particular regard to the pancreatic beta cells which produce insulin, and the renal cells which produce renin. These cells are keys to the development of various forms of diabetes and hypertension, respectively, and combine to account for the exploding, worldwide prevalence of the metabolic syndrome. 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.

  5. 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

  6. An atrial-fibrillation-linked connexin40 mutant is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum and impairs the function of atrial gap-junction channels

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    Yiguo Sun

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Connexin40 (Cx40-containing gap-junction channels are expressed in the atrial myocardium and provide a low-resistance passage for rapid impulse propagation. A germline mutation in the GJA5 gene, which encodes Cx40, resulting in a truncated Cx40 (Q49X was identified in a large Chinese family with lone (idiopathic atrial fibrillation (AF. This mutation co-segregated with seven AF probands in an autosomal-dominant way over generations. To test the hypothesis that this Cx40 mutant affects the distribution and function of atrial gap junctions, we studied the Q49X mutant in gap-junction-deficient HeLa and N2A cells. The Q49X mutant, unlike wild-type Cx40, was typically localized in the cytoplasm and failed to form gap-junction plaques at cell-cell interfaces. When the Q49X mutant was co-expressed with Cx40 or Cx43, the mutant substantially reduced the gap-junction plaque formation of Cx40 and Cx43. Electrophysiological studies revealed no electrical coupling of cell pairs expressing the mutant alone and a significant decrease in the coupling conductance when the mutant was co-expressed with Cx40 or Cx43. Further colocalization experiments with the organelle residential proteins indicate that Q49X was retained in the endoplasmic reticulum. These findings provide evidence that the Q49X mutant is capable of impairing gap-junction distribution and function of key atrial connexins, which might play a role in the predisposition to and onset of AF.

  7. Vascular Pericyte Impairment and Connexin43 Gap Junction Deficit Contribute to Vasomotor Decline in Diabetic Retinopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanova, Elena; Kovacs-Oller, Tamas; Sagdullaev, Botir T

    2017-08-09

    Adequate blood flow is essential to brain function, and its disruption is an early indicator in diseases, such as stroke and diabetes. However, the mechanisms contributing to this impairment remain unclear. To address this gap, in the diabetic and nondiabetic male mouse retina, we combined an unbiased longitudinal assessment of vasomotor activity along a genetically defined vascular network with pharmacological and immunohistochemical analyses of pericytes, the capillary vasomotor elements. In nondiabetic retina, focal stimulation of a pericyte produced a robust vasomotor response, which propagated along the blood vessel with increasing stimulus. In contrast, the magnitude, dynamic range, a measure of fine vascular diameter control, and propagation of vasomotor response were diminished in diabetic retinas from streptozotocin-treated mice. These functional changes were linked to several mechanisms. We found that density of pericytes and their sensitivity to stimulation were reduced in diabetes. The impaired response propagation from the stimulation site was associated with lower expression of connexin43, a major known gap junction unit in vascular cells. Indeed, selective block of gap junctions significantly reduced propagation but not initiation of vasomotor response in the nondiabetic retina. Our data establish the mechanisms for fine local regulation of capillary diameter by pericytes and a role for gap junctions in vascular network interactions. We show how disruption of this balance contributes to impaired vasomotor control in diabetes.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Identification of mechanisms governing capillary blood flow in the CNS and how they are altered in disease provides novel insight into early states of neurological dysfunction. Here, we present physiological and anatomical evidence that both intact pericyte function as well as gap junction-mediated signaling across the vascular network are essential for proper capillary diameter control and vasomotor

  8. Gap junctional communication between vascular cells. Induction of connexin43 messenger RNA in macrophage foam cells of atherosclerotic lesions.

    OpenAIRE

    Polacek, D.; Lal, R; Volin, M. V.; Davies, P F

    1993-01-01

    The structure and function of blood vessels depend on the ability of vascular cells to receive and transduce signals and to communicate with each other. One means by which vascular cells have been shown to communicate is via gap junctions, specifically connexin43. In atherosclerosis, the normal physical patterns of communication are disrupted by the subendothelial infiltration and accumulation of blood monocytes, which in turn can differentiate into resident foam cells. In this paper we repor...

  9. Modulation of connexin expression and gap junction communication in astrocytes by the gram-positive bacterium S. aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esen, Nilufer; Shuffield, Debbie; Syed, Mohsin M D; Kielian, Tammy

    2007-01-01

    Gap junctions establish direct intercellular conduits between adjacent cells and are formed by the hexameric organization of protein subunits called connexins (Cx). It is unknown whether the proinflammatory milieu that ensues during CNS infection with S. aureus, one of the main etiologic agents of brain abscess in humans, is capable of eliciting regional changes in astrocyte homocellular gap junction communication (GJC) and, by extension, influencing neuron homeostasis at sites distant from the primary focus of infection. Here we investigated the effects of S. aureus and its cell wall product peptidoglycan (PGN) on Cx43, Cx30, and Cx26 expression, the main Cx isoforms found in astrocytes. Both bacterial stimuli led to a time-dependent decrease in Cx43 and Cx30 expression; however, Cx26 levels were elevated following bacterial exposure. Functional examination of dye coupling, as revealed by single-cell microinjections of Lucifer yellow, demonstrated that both S. aureus and PGN inhibited astrocyte GJC. Inhibition of protein synthesis with cyclohexamide (CHX) revealed that S. aureus directly modulates, in part, Cx43 and Cx30 expression, whereas Cx26 levels appear to be regulated by a factor(s) that requires de novo protein production; however, CHX did not alter the inhibitory effects of S. aureus on astrocyte GJC. The p38 MAPK inhibitor SB202190 was capable of partially restoring the S. aureus-mediated decrease in astrocyte GJC to that of unstimulated cells, suggesting the involvement of p38 MAPK-dependent pathway(s). These findings could have important implications for limiting the long-term detrimental effects of abscess formation in the brain which may include seizures and cognitive deficits. Copyright 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  10. Hyperthermia Differently Affects Connexin43 Expression and Gap Junction Permeability in Skeletal Myoblasts and HeLa Cells

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    Ieva Antanavičiūtė

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Stress kinases can be activated by hyperthermia and modify the expression level and properties of membranous and intercellular channels. We examined the role of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK in hyperthermia-induced changes of connexin43 (Cx43 expression and permeability of Cx43 gap junctions (GJs in the rabbit skeletal myoblasts (SkMs and Cx43-EGFP transfected HeLa cells. Hyperthermia (42°C for 6 h enhanced the activity of JNK and its target, the transcription factor c-Jun, in both SkMs and HeLa cells. In SkMs, hyperthermia caused a 3.2-fold increase in the total Cx43 protein level and enhanced the efficacy of GJ intercellular communication (GJIC. In striking contrast, hyperthermia reduced the total amount of Cx43 protein, the number of Cx43 channels in GJ plaques, the density of hemichannels in the cell membranes, and the efficiency of GJIC in HeLa cells. Both in SkMs and HeLa cells, these changes could be prevented by XG-102, a JNK inhibitor. In HeLa cells, the changes in Cx43 expression and GJIC under hyperthermic conditions were accompanied by JNK-dependent disorganization of actin cytoskeleton stress fibers while in SkMs, the actin cytoskeleton remained intact. These findings provide an attractive model to identify the regulatory players within signalosomes, which determine the cell-dependent outcomes of hyperthermia.

  11. Hyperthermia differently affects connexin43 expression and gap junction permeability in skeletal myoblasts and HeLa cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antanavičiūtė, Ieva; Mildažienė, Vida; Stankevičius, Edgaras; Herdegen, Thomas; Skeberdis, Vytenis Arvydas

    2014-01-01

    Stress kinases can be activated by hyperthermia and modify the expression level and properties of membranous and intercellular channels. We examined the role of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) in hyperthermia-induced changes of connexin43 (Cx43) expression and permeability of Cx43 gap junctions (GJs) in the rabbit skeletal myoblasts (SkMs) and Cx43-EGFP transfected HeLa cells. Hyperthermia (42°C for 6 h) enhanced the activity of JNK and its target, the transcription factor c-Jun, in both SkMs and HeLa cells. In SkMs, hyperthermia caused a 3.2-fold increase in the total Cx43 protein level and enhanced the efficacy of GJ intercellular communication (GJIC). In striking contrast, hyperthermia reduced the total amount of Cx43 protein, the number of Cx43 channels in GJ plaques, the density of hemichannels in the cell membranes, and the efficiency of GJIC in HeLa cells. Both in SkMs and HeLa cells, these changes could be prevented by XG-102, a JNK inhibitor. In HeLa cells, the changes in Cx43 expression and GJIC under hyperthermic conditions were accompanied by JNK-dependent disorganization of actin cytoskeleton stress fibers while in SkMs, the actin cytoskeleton remained intact. These findings provide an attractive model to identify the regulatory players within signalosomes, which determine the cell-dependent outcomes of hyperthermia.

  12. 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.

  13. Connexins, E-cadherin, Claudin-7 and β-catenin transiently form junctional nexuses during the post-natal mammary gland development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dianati, Elham; Poiraud, Jérémy; Weber-Ouellette, Anne; Plante, Isabelle

    2016-08-01

    Gap junctions are intercellular channels made of connexins (Cxs) that allow direct communication between adjacent cells. Modulation of Cxs has been associated with abnormal development and function of the mammary gland and breast cancer. However, the mechanisms underlying their expression during normal mammary gland are not yet known. Cxs interact with components of tight and adherens junctions. Thus, we hypothesized that the expression levels of Cxs vary during mammary gland development and are regulated through stage-dependent interactions with members of the tight and adherens junctions. Our specific objectives were to: 1) determine the expression of Cxs and tight and adherens junction proteins throughout development and 2) characterize Cxs interactions with components of tight and adherens junctions. Murine mammary glands were sampled at various developmental stages (pre-pubescent to post-weaning). RT-qPCR and western-blot analyses demonstrated differential expression patterns for all gap (Cx43, Cx32, Cx26, Cx30), tight (Claudin-1, -3, -4, -7) and adherens (β-catenin, E- and P-cadherins) junctions throughout development. Interestingly, co-immunoprecipitation demonstrated interactions between these different types of junctions. Cx30 interacted with Cx26 just at the late pregnancy stage. While Cx43 showed a persistent interaction with β-catenin from virginity to post-weaning, its interactions with E-cadherin and Claudin-7 were transient. Cx32 interacted with Cx26, E-cadherin and β-catenin during lactation. Immunofluorescence results confirmed the existence of a junctional nexus that remodeled during mammary gland development. Together, our results confirm that the expression levels of Cxs vary concomitantly and that Cxs form junctional nexuses with tight and adherens junctions, suggesting the existence of common regulatory pathways.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Connexins in endothelial barrier function - novel therapeutic targets countering vascular hyperpermeability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soon, Allyson Shook Ching; Chua, Jia Wang; Becker, David Laurence

    2016-10-28

    Prolonged vascular hyperpermeability is a common feature of many diseases. Vascular hyperpermeability is typically associated with changes in the expression patterns of adherens and tight junction proteins. Here, we focus on the less-appreciated contribution of gap junction proteins (connexins) to basal vascular permeability and endothelial dysfunction. First, we assess the association of connexins with endothelial barrier integrity by introducing tools used in connexin biology and relating the findings to customary readouts in vascular biology. Second, we explore potential mechanistic ties between connexins and junction regulation. Third, we review the role of connexins in microvascular organisation and development, focusing on interactions of the endothelium with mural cells and tissue-specific perivascular cells. Last, we see how connexins contribute to the interactions between the endothelium and components of the immune system, by using neutrophils as an example. Mounting evidence of crosstalk between connexins and other junction proteins suggests that we rethink the way in which different junction components contribute to endothelial barrier function. Given the multiple points of connexin-mediated communication arising from the endothelium, there is great potential for synergism between connexin-targeted inhibitors and existing immune-targeted therapeutics. As more drugs targeting connexins progress through clinical trials, it is hoped that some might prove effective at countering vascular hyperpermeability.

  16. Connexins and Cadherin Crosstalk in the Pathogenesis of Prostate Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-01

    and challenges of connexin connections to cancer. Nat Rev Cancer, 10, 435-441. 5. Plante ,I., Stewart,M.K.G., Barr,K., Allan,A.L., and Laird,D.W...Gap junction protein connexin32 interacts with the Src homology 3/hook do- main of Discs large homolog 1. J. Biol. Chem. 282, 9789–9796 45. Stauch, K

  17. Gap junctions: structure and function (Review).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, W Howard; Martin, Patricia E M

    2002-01-01

    Gap junctions are plasma membrane spatial microdomains constructed of assemblies of channel proteins called connexins in vertebrates and innexins in invertebrates. The channels provide direct intercellular communication pathways allowing rapid exchange of ions and metabolites up to approximately 1 kD in size. Approximately 20 connexins are identified in the human or mouse genome, and orthologues are increasingly characterized in other vertebrates. Most cell types express multiple connexin isoforms, making likely the construction of a spectrum of heteromeric hemichannels and heterotypic gap junctions that could provide a structural basis for the charge and size selectivity of these intercellular channels. The precise nature of the potential signalling information traversing junctions in physiologically defined situations remains elusive, but extensive progress has been made in elucidating how connexins are assembled into gap junctions. Also, participation of gap junction hemichannels in the propagation of calcium waves via an extracellular purinergic pathway is emerging. Connexin mutations have been identified in a number of genetically inherited channel communication-opathies. These are detected in connexin 32 in Charcot Marie Tooth-X linked disease, in connexins 26 and 30 in deafness and skin diseases, and in connexins 46 and 50 in hereditary cataracts. Biochemical approaches indicate that many of the mutated connexins are mistargeted to gap junctions and/or fail to oligomerize correctly into hemichannels. Genetic ablation approaches are helping to map out a connexin code and point to specific connexins being required for cell growth and differentiation as well as underwriting basic intercellular communication.

  18. Virally expressed connexin26 restores gap junction function in the cochlea of conditional Gjb2 knockout mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Q; Wang, Y; Chang, Q; Wang, J; Gong, S; Li, H; Lin, X

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in GJB2, which codes for the gap junction (GJ) protein connexin26 (Cx26), are the most common causes of human nonsyndromic hereditary deafness. We inoculated modified adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors into the scala media of early postnatal conditional Gjb2 knockout mice to drive exogenous Cx26 expression. We found extensive virally expressed Cx26 in cells lining the scala media, and intercellular GJ network was re-established in the organ of Corti of mutant mouse cochlea. Widespread ectopic Cx26 expression neither formed ectopic GJs nor affected normal hearing thresholds in wild-type (WT) mice, suggesting that autonomous cellular mechanisms regulate proper membrane trafficking of exogenously expressed Cx26 and govern the functional manifestation of them. Functional recovery of GJ-mediated coupling among the supporting cells was observed. We found that both cell death in the organ of Corti and degeneration of spiral ganglion neurons in the cochlea of mutant mice were substantially reduced, although auditory brainstem responses did not show significant hearing improvement. This is the first report demonstrating that virally mediated gene therapy restored extensive GJ intercellular network among cochlear non-sensory cells in vivo. Such a treatment performed at early postnatal stages resulted in a partial rescue of disease phenotypes in the cochlea of the mutant mice.

  19. Effects of all-trans-retinoic acid on the expression and tyrosine phosphorylation of gap junction connexin 43 in HeLa cell line and its significance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Bi-liang; MA Xiang-dong; XIN Xiao-yan; WANG De-tang; WANG Chun-mei

    2001-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the signal transduction mechanism of gap junctional genes connexin43 in human cervical carcinogenesis. Methods: Human cervical carcinoma cell line HeLa was cultured and treated by all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA). Flow cytometer (FCM) was employed to detect expression of Cx43 protein in HeLa cells. Fluo-3 AM loading and laser scanning confocal microscope (LSCM) were used to measure the concentrations of intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) in HeLa cells. Phosphorylation on tyrosine of connexin43 protein was examined by immunoblot. Results: The positive rate of Cx43 protein increased from 1.9% in untreated HeLa cells to 26.3% in RA-treated HeLa cells as shown by FCM. [Ca2+]i was 35.73 nmol/L in untreated HeLa cells which was increased to 58.16 nmol/L in ATRA-treated cells.Immunoblot showed that ATRA-treated HeLa cells had phosphorylation on tyrosine in Cx43 protein whereas untreated cells had not. Conclusions: Carcinogenesis of human cervical carcinoma is related with the abnormal expression of cx43gene and disorder of signal transduction manifested as the decrease of [Ca2+]i and post-translation phosphorylation on tyrosine of Cx43 protein. The anti-tumor effect of ATRA in HeLa cells might be due to the up-regulation of cx43 gene and its signal transduction pathway.

  20. Altered Expression of Connexin-43 and Impaired Capacity of Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication in Prostate Cancer Cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XING Yifei; XIAO Yajun; ZENG FuQing; ZHAO Jun; XIAO Chuanguo; XIONG Ping; FENG Wei

    2007-01-01

    Connexin-43 (Cx43) expression in prostate cancer (PCa) cells and the potency of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) in the cells were investigated, with an attempt to elucidate the reason why the so-called "bystander effect" mediated by thymidine kinase (TK) suicide gene therapy on PCa cells is not of significance and to explore the role of GJIC in PCa carcinogenesis.mRNA and protein expression of Cx43 in a PCa cell line PC-3m was detected by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and strapt-avidin-biotin-enzyme complex (SABC) immunohistochemical staining, and inherent GJIC of PC-3m cells was assayed by scrape-loading and dye transfer (SLDT) assay. The expression of Cx43 in human normal and malignant prostate tissues was determined by SABC immunohistochemistry as well. It was found that Cx43 mRNA and protein expression in PC-3m cells was slightly reduced as compared with positive controls and the location of Cx43 protein was aberrant in cytoplasm rather than on membrane. Assessment of paraffin sections demonstrated that the expression of Cx43 protein in PCa cells was abnormally located and markedly diminished as compared with normal prostatic epithelial ones, displaying a negative correlation to the pathological grade (χ2=4.025, P<0.05). Additionally, capacity of inherent GJIC in PC-3m cells was disrupted, which was semi-quantified as (+) or (-). It was indicated that both down-regulated expression of Cx43 mRNA and aberrant location of Cx43 protein participated in the mechanisms leading to deficient GJIC in PC-3m cells. Lack of efficient GJIC is a molecular event, which may contribute not only to limited extent of "bystander effect", but also to initiation and progression of prostatic neoplasm.

  1. Neuroprotection in the treatment of glaucoma--A focus on connexin43 gap junction channel blockers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ying-Shan; Green, Colin R; Danesh-Meyer, Helen V; Rupenthal, Ilva D

    2015-09-01

    Glaucoma is a form of optic neuropathy and a common cause of blindness, affecting over 60 million people worldwide with an expected rise to 80 million by 2020. Successful treatment is challenging due to the various causes of glaucoma, undetectable symptoms at an early stage and inefficient delivery of drugs to the back of the eye. Conventional glaucoma treatments focus on the reduction of elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) using topical eye drops. However, their efficacy is limited to patients who suffer from high IOP glaucoma and do not address the underlying susceptibility of retinal ganglion cells (RGC) to degeneration. Glaucoma is known as a neurodegenerative disease which starts with RGC death and eventually results in damage of the optic nerve. Neuroprotective strategies therefore offer a novel treatment option for glaucoma by not only preventing neuronal loss but also disease progression. This review firstly gives an overview of the pathophysiology of glaucoma as well as current treatment options including conventional and novel delivery strategies. It then summarizes the rational for neuroprotection as a novel therapy for glaucomatous neuropathies and reviews current potential neuroprotective strategies to preserve RGC, with a focus on connexin43 (Cx43) gap junction channel blockers.

  2. TLR2 mediates gap junctional intercellular communication through connexin-43 in intestinal epithelial barrier injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ey, Birgit; Eyking, Annette; Gerken, Guido; Podolsky, Daniel K; Cario, Elke

    2009-08-14

    Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) coordinates cellular functions essential for sustaining tissue homeostasis; yet its regulation in the intestine is not well understood. Here, we identify a novel physiological link between Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 and GJIC through modulation of Connexin-43 (Cx43) during acute and chronic inflammatory injury of the intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) barrier. Data from in vitro studies reveal that TLR2 activation modulates Cx43 synthesis and increases GJIC via Cx43 during IEC injury. The ulcerative colitis-associated TLR2-R753Q mutant targets Cx43 for increased proteasomal degradation, impairing TLR2-mediated GJIC during intestinal epithelial wounding. In vivo studies using mucosal RNA interference show that TLR2-mediated mucosal healing depends functionally on intestinal epithelial Cx43 during acute inflammatory stress-induced damage. Mice deficient in TLR2 exhibit IEC-specific alterations in Cx43, whereas administration of a TLR2 agonist protects GJIC by blocking accumulation of Cx43 and its hyperphosphorylation at Ser368 to prevent spontaneous chronic colitis in MDR1alpha-deficient mice. Finally, adding the TLR2 agonist to three-dimensional intestinal mucosa-like cultures of human biopsies preserves intestinal epithelial Cx43 integrity and polarization ex vivo. In conclusion, Cx43 plays an important role in innate immune control of commensal-mediated intestinal epithelial wound repair.

  3. Connexins in lymphatic vessel physiology and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meens, Merlijn J; Sabine, Amélie; Petrova, Tatiana V; Kwak, Brenda R

    2014-04-17

    Connexins are transmembrane proteins that form gap junction- and hemi-channels. Once inserted into the membrane, hemi-channels (connexons) allow for diffusion of ions and small molecules (Gap junction channels allow diffusion of similar molecules between the cytoplasms of adjacent cells. The expression and function of connexins in blood vessels has been intensely studied in the last few decades. In contrast, only a few studies paid attention to lymphatic vessels; convincing in vivo data with respect to expression patterns of lymphatic connexins and their functional roles have only recently begun to emerge. Interestingly, mutations in connexin genes have been linked to diseases of lymphatic vasculature, most notably primary and secondary lymphedema. This review summarizes the available data regarding lymphatic connexins. More specifically it addresses (i) early studies aimed at presence of gap junction-like structures in lymphatic vessels, (ii) more recent studies focusing on lymphatic connexins using genetically engineered mice, and (iii) results of clinical studies that have reported lymphedema-linked mutations in connexin genes. Copyright © 2014 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Connexin mutation that causes dominant congenital cataracts inhibits gap junctions, but not hemichannels, in a dominant negative manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banks, Eric A; Toloue, Masoud M; Shi, Qian; Zhou, Zifei Jade; Liu, Jialu; Nicholson, Bruce J; Jiang, Jean X

    2009-02-01

    The connexin (Cx) 50, E48K, mutation is associated with a human dominant congenital cataract; however, the underlying molecular mechanism has not been characterized. The glutamate (E) residue at position 48 is highly conserved across animal species and types of connexins. When expressed in paired Xenopus oocytes, human (h) and chicken (ch) Cx50 E48K mutants showed no electrical coupling. In addition, this mutation acts in a dominant negative manner when paired hetero-typically or hetero-merically with wild-type Cx50, but has no such effect on Cx46, the other lens fiber connexin. A similar loss-of-function and dominant negative effect was observed using dye transfer assays in the same system. By using two different dye transfer methods, with two different tracer dyes, we found chCx50 E48K expressed in chicken lens embryonic fibroblast cells by retroviral infection similarly failed to induce dye coupling, and prevented wild-type chCx50 from forming functional gap junctions. In contrast to its effect on gap junctions, the E48K mutation has no effect on hemichannel activity when assayed using electrical conductance in oocytes, and mechanically induced dye uptake in cells. Cx50 is functionally involved in cell differentiation and lens development, and the E48K mutant promotes primary lens cell differentiation indistinguishable from wild-type chCx50, despite its lack of junctional channel function. Together the data show that mutations affecting gap junctions but not hemichannel function of Cx50 can lead to dominant congenital cataracts in humans. This clearly supports the model of intercellular coupling of fiber cells creating a microcirculation of nutrients and metabolites required for lens transparency.

  5. Phosphorylation on Ser-279 and Ser-282 of connexin43 regulates endocytosis and gap junction assembly in pancreatic cancer cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Kristen E.; Mitra, Shalini; Katoch, Parul; Kelsey, Linda S.; Johnson, Keith R.; Mehta, Parmender P.

    2013-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms regulating the assembly of connexins (Cxs) into gap junctions are poorly understood. Using human pancreatic tumor cell lines BxPC3 and Capan-1, which express Cx26 and Cx43, we show that, upon arrival at the cell surface, the assembly of Cx43 is impaired. Connexin43 fails to assemble, because it is internalized by clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Assembly is restored upon expressing a sorting-motif mutant of Cx43, which does not interact with the AP2 complex, and by expressing mutants that cannot be phosphorylated on Ser-279 and Ser-282. The mutants restore assembly by preventing clathrin-mediated endocytosis of Cx43. Our results also document that the sorting-motif mutant is assembled into gap junctions in cells in which the expression of endogenous Cx43 has been knocked down. Remarkably, Cx43 mutants that cannot be phosphorylated on Ser-279 or Ser-282 are assembled into gap junctions only when connexons are composed of Cx43 forms that can be phosphorylated on these serines and forms in which phosphorylation on these serines is abolished. Based on the subcellular fate of Cx43 in single and contacting cells, our results document that the endocytic itinerary of Cx43 is altered upon cell–cell contact, which causes Cx43 to traffic by EEA1-negative endosomes en route to lysosomes. Our results further show that gap-junctional plaques formed of a sorting motif–deficient mutant of Cx43, which is unable to be internalized by the clathrin-mediated pathway, are predominantly endocytosed in the form of annular junctions. Thus the differential phosphorylation of Cx43 on Ser-279 and Ser-282 is fine-tuned to control Cx43’s endocytosis and assembly into gap junctions. PMID:23363606

  6. Mutations in connexin genes and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfenniger, Anna; Wohlwend, Annelise; Kwak, Brenda R

    2011-01-01

    Connexins are a family of transmembrane proteins that are widely expressed in the human body. Connexins play an important role in cell-cell communication and homeostasis in various tissues by forming gap junction channels, which enable a direct passage of ions or metabolites from one cell to another. Twenty-one different connexins are expressed in humans, each having distinct expression patterns and regulation properties. Knowledge on this family of proteins can be gained by making an inventory of mutations and associated diseases in human. PubMed and other relevant databases were searched. In addition, key review articles were screened for relevant original publications. Sections of representative organs were photographed and annotated. The crucial role of connexins is highlighted by the discovery of mutations in connexin genes which cause a variety of disorders such as myelin-related diseases, skin disorders, hearing loss, congenital cataract, or more complex syndromes such as the oculodendrodigital dysplasia. This review systematically addresses current knowledge on mutations in connexin genes and disease, focusing on the correlation between genetic defects, cellular phenotypes and clinical manifestations. The review of diseases caused by mutations in connexin genes highlights the essential nature of connexin function and intercellular communication in tissue homeostasis. © 2010 The Authors. European Journal of Clinical Investigation © 2010 Stichting European Society for Clinical Investigation Journal Foundation.

  7. The gap junction proteome and its relationship to disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laird, Dale W

    2010-02-01

    In recent years our understanding of connexins has advanced from viewing them simply as proteins with a surprisingly short lifespan that form gap junction channels. Connexins are now known to be multifaceted proteins at the core of many multiprotein complexes that link to structural junctional complexes and cytoskeletal elements, and also to the cellular machinery that facilitates their transport, assembly, function and internalization. Collectively, these connexin-binding proteins can be termed the 'gap junction proteome'. The mechanistic understanding of the gap junction proteome with regards to the dynamic life cycle of connexins has grown further in importance in light of the large number of human diseases attributed to connexin gene mutations and regulatory changes in connexin spatial localization and expression levels.

  8. Connexin36 Gap Junction Blockade Is Ineffective at Reducing Seizure-Like Event Activity in Neocortical Mouse Slices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Logan J. Voss

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Despite much research, there remains controversy over the role of gap junctions in seizure processes. Many studies report anticonvulsant effects of gap junction blockade, but contradictory results have also been reported. The aim of this study was to clarify the role of connexin36 (Cx36 gap junctions in neocortical seizures. We used the mouse neocortical slice preparation to investigate the effect of pharmacological (mefloquine and genetic (Cx36 knockout mice (Cx36KO manipulation of Cx36 gap junctions on two seizure models: low-magnesium artificial cerebrospinal fluid (ACSF and aconitine perfusion in low-magnesium ACSF. Low-magnesium- (nominally zero and aconitine- (230 nM induced seizure-like event (SLE population activity was recorded extracellularly. The results were consistent in showing that neither mefloquine (25 μM nor genetic knockdown of Cx36 expression had anticonvulsant effects on SLE activity generated by either method. These findings call into question the widely held idea that open Cx36 gap junctions promote seizure activity.

  9. A mechanism of gap junction docking revealed by functional rescue of a human-disease-linked connexin mutant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Xiang-Qun; Nakagawa, So; Tsukihara, Tomitake; Bai, Donglin

    2013-07-15

    Gap junctions are unique intercellular channels formed by the proper docking of two hemichannels from adjacent cells. Each hemichannel is a hexamer of connexins (Cxs) - the gap junction subunits, which are encoded by 21 homologous genes in the human genome. The docking of two hemichannels to form a functional gap junction channel is only possible between compatible Cxs, but the underlying molecular mechanism is unclear. On the basis of the crystal structure of the Cx26 gap junction, we developed homology models for homotypic and heterotypic channels from Cx32 and/or Cx26; these models predict six hydrogen bonds at the docking interface of each pair of the second extracellular domain (E2). A Cx32 mutation N175H and a human-disease-linked mutant N175D were predicted to lose the majority of the hydrogen bonds at the E2 docking-interface; experimentally both mutations failed to form morphological and functional gap junctions. To restore the lost hydrogen bonds, two complementary Cx26 mutants - K168V and K168A were designed to pair with the Cx32 mutants. When docked with Cx26K168V or K168A, the Cx32N175H mutant was successfully rescued morphologically and functionally in forming gap junction channels, but not Cx32 mutant N175Y. By testing more homotypic and heterotypic Cx32 and/or Cx26 mutant combinations, it is revealed that a minimum of four hydrogen bonds at each E2-docking interface are required for proper docking and functional channel formation between Cx26 and Cx32 hemichannels. Interestingly, the disease-linked Cx32N175D could be rescued by Cx26D179N, which restored five hydrogen bonds at the E2-docking interface. Our findings not only provide a mechanism for gap junction docking for Cx26 and Cx32 hemichannels, but also a potential therapeutic strategy for gap junction channelopathies.

  10. Connexins, hearing and deafness: clinical aspects of mutations in the connexin 26 gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefebvre, P P; Van De Water, T R

    2000-04-01

    Congenital deafness is a very frequent disorder occurring in approximately I in 1000 live births. Mutations in GJB2 encoding for gap junction protein connexin-26 (Cx26) have been established as the basis of autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss and proposed in some rare cases of autosomal dominant form of deafness. Connexin are gap-junction proteins which constitute a major system of intercellular communication important in the exchange of electrolytes, second messengers and metabolites. In the inner ear, connexin 26 expression was demonstrated in the stria vascularis, basement membrane, limbus and the spiral prominence of the human cochlea. The loss of connexin 26 in the gap junction complex would expect to disrupt the recycling of potassium from the synapses at the base of hair cells through the supporting cells and fibroblasts of potassium ions back to the high potassium containing endolymph of the cochlear duct and therefore would result in a local intoxication of the Corti s organ by potassium, leading to the hearing loss. The discovery of the genes responsible of hearing loss in particular the identification of mutations in the gene coding for connexin 26 allows to hope some tremendous help in genetic counseling. The possible implication of the mutation of the connexin gene in the pathophysiology of some progressive adult deafness opens new prospects in the fine diagnostic of the ear diseases and eventually may lead to new therapeutic strategies applied to the cochlea.

  11. Connexin hemichannels in the lens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric C Beyer

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The normal function and survival of cells in the avascular lens is facilitated by intercellular communication through an extensive network of gap junctions formed predominantly by three connexins (Cx43, Cx46, and Cx50. In expression systems, these connexins can all induce hemi-channel currents, but other lens proteins (e.g., pannexin1 can also induce similar currents. Hemichannel currents have been detected in isolated lens fiber cells. These hemichannels may make significant contributions to normal lens physiology and pathophysiology. Studies of some connexin mutants linked to congenital cataracts have implicated hemichannels with aberrant voltage-dependent gating or modulation by divalent cations in disease pathogenesis. Hemichannels may also contribute to age- and disease-related cataracts.

  12. Protection of a ceramide synthase 2 null mouse from drug-induced liver injury: role of gap junction dysfunction and connexin 32 mislocalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Woo-Jae; Park, Joo-Won; Erez-Roman, Racheli; Kogot-Levin, Aviram; Bame, Jessica R; Tirosh, Boaz; Saada, Ann; Merrill, Alfred H; Pewzner-Jung, Yael; Futerman, Anthony H

    2013-10-25

    Very long chain (C22-C24) ceramides are synthesized by ceramide synthase 2 (CerS2). A CerS2 null mouse displays hepatopathy because of depletion of C22-C24 ceramides, elevation of C16-ceramide, and/or elevation of sphinganine. Unexpectedly, CerS2 null mice were resistant to acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity. Although there were a number of biochemical changes in the liver, such as increased levels of glutathione and multiple drug-resistant protein 4, these effects are unlikely to account for the lack of acetaminophen toxicity. A number of other hepatotoxic agents, such as d-galactosamine, CCl4, and thioacetamide, were also ineffective in inducing liver damage. All of these drugs and chemicals require connexin (Cx) 32, a key gap junction protein, to induce hepatotoxicity. Cx32 was mislocalized to an intracellular location in hepatocytes from CerS2 null mice, which resulted in accelerated rates of its lysosomal degradation. This mislocalization resulted from the altered membrane properties of the CerS2 null mice, which was exemplified by the disruption of detergent-resistant membranes. The lack of acetaminophen toxicity and Cx32 mislocalization were reversed upon infection with recombinant adeno-associated virus expressing CerS2. We establish that Gap junction function is compromised upon altering the sphingolipid acyl chain length composition, which is of relevance for understanding the regulation of drug-induced liver injury.

  13. A Cell-Based High-Throughput Assay for Gap Junction Communication Suitable for Assessing Connexin 43-Ezrin Interaction Disruptors Using IncuCyte ZOOM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dukic, Aleksandra R; McClymont, David W; Taskén, Kjetil

    2017-01-01

    Connexin 43 (Cx43), the predominant gap junction (GJ) protein, directly interacts with the A-kinase-anchoring protein (AKAP) Ezrin in human cytotrophoblasts and a rat liver epithelial cells (IAR20). The Cx43-Ezrin-protein kinase (PKA) complex facilitates Cx43 phosphorylation by PKA, which triggers GJ opening in cytotrophoblasts and IAR20 cells and may be a general mechanism regulating GJ intercellular communication (GJIC). Considering the importance of Cx43 GJs in health and disease, they are considered potential pharmaceutical targets. The Cx43-Ezrin interaction is a protein-protein interaction that opens possibilities for targeting with peptides and small molecules. For this reason, we developed a high-throughput cell-based assay in which GJIC can be assessed and new compounds characterized. We used two pools of IAR20 cells, calcein loaded and unloaded, that were mixed and allowed to attach. Next, GJIC was monitored over time using automated imaging via the IncuCyte imager. The assay was validated using known GJ inhibitors and anchoring peptide disruptors, and we further tested new peptides that interfered with the Cx43-Ezrin binding region and reduced GJIC. Although an AlphaScreen assay can be used to screen for Cx43-Ezrin interaction inhibitors, the cell-based assay described is an ideal secondary screen for promising small-molecule hits to help identify the most potent compounds.

  14. Simvastatin Sodium Salt and Fluvastatin Interact with Human Gap Junction Gamma-3 Protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Andrew; Casey-Green, Katherine; Probert, Fay; Withall, David; Mitchell, Daniel A; Dilly, Suzanne J; James, Sean; Dimitri, Wade; Ladwa, Sweta R; Taylor, Paul C; Singer, Donald R J

    2016-01-01

    Finding pleiomorphic targets for drugs allows new indications or warnings for treatment to be identified. As test of concept, we applied a new chemical genomics approach to uncover additional targets for the widely prescribed lipid-lowering pro-drug simvastatin. We used mRNA extracted from internal mammary artery from patients undergoing coronary artery surgery to prepare a viral cardiovascular protein library, using T7 bacteriophage. We then studied interactions of clones of the bacteriophage, each expressing a different cardiovascular polypeptide, with surface-bound simvastatin in 96-well plates. To maximise likelihood of identifying meaningful interactions between simvastatin and vascular peptides, we used a validated photo-immobilisation method to apply a series of different chemical linkers to bind simvastatin so as to present multiple orientations of its constituent components to potential targets. Three rounds of biopanning identified consistent interaction with the clone expressing part of the gene GJC3, which maps to Homo sapiens chromosome 7, and codes for gap junction gamma-3 protein, also known as connexin 30.2/31.3 (mouse connexin Cx29). Further analysis indicated the binding site to be for the N-terminal domain putatively 'regulating' connexin hemichannel and gap junction pores. Using immunohistochemistry we found connexin 30.2/31.3 to be present in samples of artery similar to those used to prepare the bacteriophage library. Surface plasmon resonance revealed that a 25 amino acid synthetic peptide representing the discovered N-terminus did not interact with simvastatin lactone, but did bind to the hydrolysed HMG CoA inhibitor, simvastatin acid. This interaction was also seen for fluvastatin. The gap junction blockers carbenoxolone and flufenamic acid also interacted with the same peptide providing insight into potential site of binding. These findings raise key questions about the functional significance of GJC3 transcripts in the vasculature and

  15. Simvastatin Sodium Salt and Fluvastatin Interact with Human Gap Junction Gamma-3 Protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Marsh

    Full Text Available Finding pleiomorphic targets for drugs allows new indications or warnings for treatment to be identified. As test of concept, we applied a new chemical genomics approach to uncover additional targets for the widely prescribed lipid-lowering pro-drug simvastatin. We used mRNA extracted from internal mammary artery from patients undergoing coronary artery surgery to prepare a viral cardiovascular protein library, using T7 bacteriophage. We then studied interactions of clones of the bacteriophage, each expressing a different cardiovascular polypeptide, with surface-bound simvastatin in 96-well plates. To maximise likelihood of identifying meaningful interactions between simvastatin and vascular peptides, we used a validated photo-immobilisation method to apply a series of different chemical linkers to bind simvastatin so as to present multiple orientations of its constituent components to potential targets. Three rounds of biopanning identified consistent interaction with the clone expressing part of the gene GJC3, which maps to Homo sapiens chromosome 7, and codes for gap junction gamma-3 protein, also known as connexin 30.2/31.3 (mouse connexin Cx29. Further analysis indicated the binding site to be for the N-terminal domain putatively 'regulating' connexin hemichannel and gap junction pores. Using immunohistochemistry we found connexin 30.2/31.3 to be present in samples of artery similar to those used to prepare the bacteriophage library. Surface plasmon resonance revealed that a 25 amino acid synthetic peptide representing the discovered N-terminus did not interact with simvastatin lactone, but did bind to the hydrolysed HMG CoA inhibitor, simvastatin acid. This interaction was also seen for fluvastatin. The gap junction blockers carbenoxolone and flufenamic acid also interacted with the same peptide providing insight into potential site of binding. These findings raise key questions about the functional significance of GJC3 transcripts in the

  16. Connexin Hemichannels in Astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Brian Skriver; Hansen, Daniel Bloch; Ransom, Bruce R.

    2017-01-01

    are reported to open the hemichannels and thereby create a permeation pathway through the plasma membrane. Cx30 and Cx43 have, in their hemichannel configuration, been proposed to act as ion channels and membrane pathways for different molecules, such as fluorescent dyes, ATP, prostaglandins, and glutamate......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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerhart, Sarah V; Eble, Diane M; Burger, R Michael; Oline, Stefan N; Vacaru, Ana; Sadler, Kirsten C; Jefferis, Rebecca; Iovine, M Kathryn

    2012-01-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. Identification of a protein kinase activity that phosphorylates connexin43 in a pH-dependent manner

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Yahuaca

    2000-04-01

    Full Text Available The carboxyl-terminal (CT domain of connexin43 (Cx43 has been implicated in both hormonal and pH-dependent gating of the gap junction channel. An in vitro assay was utilized to determine whether the acidification of cell extracts results in the activation of a protein kinase that can phosphorylate the CT domain. A glutathione S-transferase (GST-fusion protein was bound to Sephadex beads and used as a target for protein kinase phosphorylation. A protein extract produced from sheep heart was allowed to bind to the fusion protein-coated beads. The bound proteins were washed and then incubated with 32P-ATP. Phosphorylation was assessed after the proteins were resolved by SDS-PAGE. Incubation at pH 7.5 resulted in a minimal amount of phosphorylation while incubation at pH 6.5 resulted in significant phosphorylation reaction. Maximal activity was achieved when both the binding and kinase reactions were performed at pH 6.5. The protein kinase activity was stronger when the incubations were performed with manganese rather than magnesium. Mutants of Cx43 which lack the serines between amino acids 364-374 could not be phosphorylated in the in vitro kinase reaction, indicating that this is a likely target of this reaction. These results indicate that there is a protein kinase activity in cells that becomes more active at lower pH and can phosphorylate Cx43.

  20. No impact of protein phosphatases on connexin 43 phosphorylation in ischemic preconditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Totzeck, Andreas; Boengler, Kerstin; van de Sand, Anita; Konietzka, Ina; Gres, Petra; Garcia-Dorado, David; Heusch, Gerd; Schulz, Rainer

    2008-11-01

    Cardiac connexin 43 (Cx43) is involved in infarct propagation, and the uncoupling of Cx43-formed channels reduces infarct size. Cx43-formed channels open upon Cx43 dephosphorylation, and ischemic preconditioning (IP) prevents the ischemia-induced Cx43 dephosphorylation. In addition to the sarcolemma, Cx43 is also present in the cardiomyocyte mitochondria. We now examined the interaction of Cx43 with protein phosphatases PP1alpha, PP2Aalpha, and PP2Balpha and the role of such interaction for Cx43 phosphorylation in preconditioned myocardium. Infarct size (in %area at risk) in left ventricular anterior myocardium of Göttinger minipigs subjected to 90 min of low-flow ischemia and 120 min of reperfusion was 23.1 +/- 2.7 [n = 7, nonpreconditioned (NIP) group] and was reduced by IP to 10.0 +/- 3.2 (n = 6, P < 0.05). Mitochondrial and gap junctional Cx43 dephosphorylation increased after 85 min of ischemia in NIP myocardium, whereas Cx43 phosphorylation was preserved with IP. PP2Aalpha and PP1alpha, but not PP2Balpha, were detected by Western blot analysis in the left ventricular myocardium. Cx43 coprecipitated with PP2Aalpha but not with PP1alpha. Although the total PP2Aalpha immunoreactivity (confocal laser scan) was increased to 154 +/- 24% and 194 +/- 13% of baseline (P < 0.05) after 85 min of ischemia in NIP and IP myocardium, respectively, the PP2A activities were similar between the groups. The amount of PP2Aalpha coimmunoprecipitated with Cx43 remained unchanged. Only PP2Aalpha coprecipitates with Cx43 in pig myocardium. This interaction is not affected by IP, suggesting that PP2Aalpha is not involved in the prevention of the ischemia-induced Cx43 dephosphorylation by IP.

  1. 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.

  2. The Role of Connexins in Wound Healing and Repair: Novel Therapeutic Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Pui; Tan, Teresa; Chan, Catherine; Laxton, Victoria; Chan, Yin Wah Fiona; Liu, Tong; Wong, Wing Tak; Tse, Gary

    2016-01-01

    Gap junctions are intercellular proteins responsible for mediating both electrical and biochemical coupling through the exchange of ions, second messengers and small metabolites. They consist of two connexons, with (one) connexon supplied by each cell. A connexon is a hexamer of connexins and currently more than 20 connexin isoforms have been described in the literature thus far. Connexins have a short half-life, and therefore gap junction remodeling constantly occurs with a high turnover rate. Post-translational modification, such as phosphorylation, can modify their channel activities. In this article, the roles of connexins in wound healing and repair are reviewed. Novel strategies for modulating the function or expression of connexins, such as the use of antisense technology, synthetic mimetic peptides and bioactive materials for the treatment of skin wounds, diabetic and pressure ulcers as well as cornea wounds, are considered. PMID:27999549

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeuchi, Hideyuki; Suzumura, Akio

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25228858

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeuchi, Hideyuki; Suzumura, Akio

    2014-01-01

    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.

  6. Homotypic gap junctional communication associated with metastasis increases suppression increases with PKA kinase activity and is unaffected by P13K inhibition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loss of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) between cancer cells is a common characteristic of malignant transformation. This communication is mediated by connexin proteins that make up the functional units of gap junctions. Connexins are highly regulated at the protein level and phosp...

  7. Temporal dynamic changes of connexin 43 expression in C6 cells following lipopolysaccharide stimulation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ling Liu; Haiyan Liu; Zhenping Gao; Linbo Zhang; Lue Su; Guojun Dong; Haiyang Yu; Jiayi Tian; Hang Zhao; Yanyan Xu

    2012-01-01

    Connexin 43, a gap junction protein, is expressed mainly in glia in the central nervous system.Neuroinflammation plays an important role in central nervous system injury. Changes to glial connexin 43 levels and neuroinflammation may trigger brain injury and neurodegenerative diseases.To illustrate the relationship between connexin 43 and neuroinflammation, this study investigated how connexin 43 expression levels change in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated rat C6 glioma cells. C6 cells were treated with 0.05, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2.5 and 5 μg/mL lipopolysaccharide for 24 hours. The nitrite estimation-detected nitric oxide release level was elevated substantially after lipopolysaccharide stimulation. To test the transcriptional level changes of inducible nitric oxide synthase, tumor necrosis factor-α and connexin 43 mRNA, C6 cells were treated with 5 μg/mL lipopolysaccharide for 3-48 hours. Reverse transcription-PCR showed that the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase and tumor necrosis factor-α mRNA increased over time, but connexin 43 mRNA levels increased in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated C6 cells at 3 and 6 hours, and then decreased from 12 to 48 hours. Connexin 43 protein expression was detected by immunofluorescence staining, and the protein levels matched the mRNA expression levels. These results suggest that connexin 43 expression is biphasic in lipopolysaccharide-inducedneuroinflammation in C6 cells, which may be correlated with the connexin 43 compensatorymechanism.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. Connexin: a potential novel target for protecting the central nervous system?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong-yan Xie

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Connexin subunits are proteins that form gap junction channels, and play an important role in communication between adjacent cells. This review article discusses the function of connexins/hemichannels/gap junctions under physiological conditions, and summarizes the findings regarding the role of connexins/hemichannels/gap junctions in the physiological and pathological mechanisms underlying central nervous system diseases such as brain ischemia, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, epilepsy, brain and spinal cord tumor, migraine, neuroautoimmune disease, Alzheimer′s disease, Parkinson′s disease, X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, Pelizaeus-Merzbacher-like disease, spastic paraplegia and maxillofacial dysplasia. Connexins are considered to be a potential novel target for protecting the central nervous system.

  10. Early disruption of glial communication via connexin gap junction in multiple sclerosis, Baló's disease and neuromyelitis optica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masaki, Katsuhisa

    2015-10-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS), neuromyelitis optica (NMO), and Baló's disease (BD) are inflammatory demyelinating diseases of the CNS. We previously reported anti-aquaporin-4 (anti-AQP4) antibody-dependent AQP4 loss occurs in some NMO patients, while antibody-independent AQP4 astrocytopathy can occur in heterogeneous demyelinating conditions, including MS, NMO and BD. To investigate the relationship between astrocytopathy and demyelination, we focused on connexins (Cxs), which form gap junctions (GJs) between astrocytes and oligodendrocytes and maintain homeostasis in the CNS. We evaluated expression of astrocytic Cx43/Cx30 and oligodendrocytic Cx47/Cx32 in autopsied materials from MS, NMO and BD patients. Astrocytic Cx43 and oligodendrocytic Cx32/Cx47 expressions were significantly diminished in both demyelinated and preserved myelin layers in all BD samples. In the leading edge of BD lesions, Cx43 and AQP4 loss preceded Cx32/Cx47 loss. Half of the NMO and MS samples showed preferential loss of astrocytic Cx43 expression in actively demyelinating and chronic active lesions, where heterotypic Cx43/Cx47 astrocyte-oligodendrocyte GJs were lost. Cases with Cx43 loss were significantly associated with rapid disease progression, regardless of the disease phenotype. Pathologically, Cx43 loss was frequently accompanied by distal oligodendrogliopathy. Our findings suggest that Cx43 astrocytopathy can occur in MS, BD and NMO. Moreover, astrocytic Cx43 loss may be associated with disease aggressiveness and distal oligodendrogliopathy in demyelinating conditions. Early disruption of glial communications via GJs may cause loss of glia syncytium, thereby inducing oligodendroglial damage and myelin loss. Inhibition of Cx hemichannels and restoration of GJs may be a possible therapeutic target for demyelinating disorders. © 2015 Japanese Society of Neuropathology.

  11. Ascorbic acid 6-palmitate suppresses gap-junctional intercellular communication through phosphorylation of connexin 43 via activation of the MEK-ERK pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kyung Mi; Kwon, Jung Yeon; Lee, Ki Won; Lee, Hyong Joo

    2009-01-15

    Although the health benefits of dietary antioxidants have been extensively studied, their potential negative effects remain unclear. L-Ascorbic acid 6-palmitate (AAP), a synthetic derivative of ascorbic acid (AA), is widely used as an antioxidant and preservative in foods, vitamins, drugs, and cosmetics. Previously, we found that AA exerted an antitumor effect by protecting inhibition of gap-junctional intercellular communication (GJIC), which is closely associated with tumor progression. In this study, we examined whether AAP, an amphipathic derivative of AA, has chemopreventive effects using a GJIC model. AAP and AA exhibited dose-dependent free radical-scavenging activities and inhibited hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2))-induced intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in normal rat liver epithelial cells. Unexpectedly, however, AAP did not protect against the inhibition of GJIC induced by H(2)O(2); instead, it inhibited GJIC synergistically with H(2)O(2). AAP inhibited GJIC in a dose-dependent and reversible manner. This inhibitory effect was not due to the conjugated lipid structure of AAP, as treatment with palmitic acid alone failed to inhibit GJIC under the same conditions. The inhibition of GJIC by AAP was restored in the presence of mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) kinase (MEK) inhibitor U0126, but not in the presence of other signal inhibitors and antioxidant (PKC inhibitors, EGFR inhibitor, NADPH oxidase inhibitor, catalase, vitamin E, or AA), indicating the critical involvement of MEK signaling in the GJIC inhibitory activity of AAP. Phosphorylation of ERK and connexin 43 (Cx43) was observed following AAP treatment, and this was reversed by U0126. These results suggest that the AAP-induced inhibition of GJIC is mediated by the phosphorylation of Cx43 via activation of the MEK-ERK pathway. Taken together, our results indicate that AAP has a potent carcinogenic effect, and that the influence of dietary

  12. Connexin mutations in X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bergoffen, J. (Univ. of Pennsylvania Medical School, Philadelphia, PA (United States)); Scherer, S.S.; Wang, S.; Scott, M.; Bone, L.J.; Chen, K.; Lensch, M.W.; Fischbeck, K.H. (Univ. of Pennsylvania Medical School, PA (United States)); Paul, D.L. (Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (United States)); Change, P.F. (Univ. of Pennsylvania Medical School and Neurology Division, Philadelphia, PA (United States))

    1993-12-24

    X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMTX) is a form of hereditary neuropathy with demyelination. Recently, this disorder was mapped to chromosome Xq13.1. The gene for the gap junction protein connexin32 is located in the same chromosomal segment, which led to its consideration as a candidate gene for CMTX. With the use of Northern (RNA) blot and immunohistochemistry techniques, it was found that connexin32 is normally expressed in myelinated peripheral nerve. Direct sequencing of the connexin32 gene showed seven different mutations in affected persons from eight CMTX families. These findings, a demonstration of inherited defects in a gap junction protein, suggest that connexin32 plays an important role in peripheral nerve.

  13. Connexins and the kidney

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hanner, Fiona; Sørensen, Charlotte Mehlin; Holstein-Rathlou, Niels-Henrik

    2010-01-01

    Connexins (Cxs) are widely-expressed proteins that form gap junctions in most organs, including the kidney. In the renal vasculature, Cx37, Cx40, Cx43, and Cx45 are expressed, with predominant expression of Cx40 in the endothelial cells and Cx45 in the vascular smooth muscle cells. In the tubules......, the major function of Cxs in the kidney appears to be intercellular communication, although they may also form hemichannels that allow cellular secretion of large signaling molecules. Renal Cxs facilitate vascular conduction, juxtaglomerular apparatus calcium signaling, and tubular purinergic signaling....... Accordingly, current evidence points to roles for these Cxs in several important regulatory mechanisms in the kidney, including the renin angiotensin system, tubuloglomerular feedback, and salt and water reabsorption. At the systemic level, renal Cxs may help regulate blood pressure and may be involved...

  14. 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

  15. Connexins and the kidney.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanner, Fiona; Sorensen, Charlotte Mehlin; Holstein-Rathlou, Niels-Henrik; Peti-Peterdi, János

    2010-05-01

    Connexins (Cxs) are widely-expressed proteins that form gap junctions in most organs, including the kidney. In the renal vasculature, Cx37, Cx40, Cx43, and Cx45 are expressed, with predominant expression of Cx40 in the endothelial cells and Cx45 in the vascular smooth muscle cells. In the tubules, there is morphological evidence for the presence of gap junction plaques only in the proximal tubules. In the distal nephron, Cx30, Cx30.3, and Cx37 are expressed, but it is not known whether they form gap junctions connecting neighboring cells or whether they primarily act as hemichannels. As in other systems, the major function of Cxs in the kidney appears to be intercellular communication, although they may also form hemichannels that allow cellular secretion of large signaling molecules. Renal Cxs facilitate vascular conduction, juxtaglomerular apparatus calcium signaling, and tubular purinergic signaling. Accordingly, current evidence points to roles for these Cxs in several important regulatory mechanisms in the kidney, including the renin angiotensin system, tubuloglomerular feedback, and salt and water reabsorption. At the systemic level, renal Cxs may help regulate blood pressure and may be involved in hypertension and diabetes.

  16. Short-term pacing in the mouse alters cardiac expression of connexin43

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rindler Michael J

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cardiac insults such as ischemia, infarction, hypertrophy and dilatation are often accompanied by altered abundance and/or localization of the connexin43 gap junction protein, which may predispose towards arrhythmic complications. Models of chronic dyssynchronous cardiac activation have also been shown to result in redistribution of connexin43 in cardiomyocytes. We hypothesized that alterations in connexin43 expression and localization in the mouse heart might be induced by ventricular pacing over a short period of time. Results The subdiaphragmatic approach was used to pace a series of wild type mice for six hours before the hearts were removed for analysis. Mice were paced at 10–15% above their average anesthetized sinus rate and monitored to ensure 1:1 capture. Short-term pacing resulted in a significant reduction in connexin43 mRNA abundance, a partial redistribution of connexin43 from the sarcolemma to a non-sarcolemmal fraction, and accumulation of ubiquitinated connexin43 without a significant change in overall connexin43 protein levels. These early pacing-induced changes in connexin43 expression were not accompanied by decreased cardiac function, prolonged refractoriness or increased inducibility into sustained arrhythmias. Conclusion Our data suggest that short-term pacing is associated with incipient changes in the expression of the connexin43 gap junction, possibly including decreased production and a slowed rate of degradation. This murine model may facilitate the study of early molecular changes induced by pacing and may ultimately assist in the development of strategies to prevent gap junction remodeling and the associated arrhythmic complications of cardiac disease.

  17. Retroviral expression of connexins in embryonic chick lens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, J X; Goodenough, D A

    1998-03-01

    To develop an in vivo model system in which exogenous proteins can be expressed in embryonic chick lens and to further understand the function of connexin-mediated gap junction intercellular communication in lens cell biology. RCAS(A) is a replication-competent chicken retrovirus that infects dividing cells. Retroviral constructs were prepared containing alkaline phosphatase (AP) and FLAG-tagged connexins. Chick lenses were infected in situ by injecting virus into the lumen of lens vesicles at stage 18, cultures were taken at various periods. The lenses were then dissected, and the expressed proteins were visualized by AP histochemical examination and immunostaining. Twenty-four hours after infection, alkaline phosphatase could be seen in epithelia and fibers. As lens fiber maturation progressed, however, the alkaline phosphatase staining was lost as the fibers matured, presumably because of the proteolytic removal of the enzyme. By 72 hours, alkaline phosphatase staining could still be observed in epithelial cells and in differentiating fibers in the bow region but not in the mature lens fibers. FLAG-tagged exogenous lens connexins were also abundantly expressed by viral infection. The exogenous connexins were localized at the cell surfaces in junctional maculae and showed the same cell-type specific distribution as that of their endogenous connexin counterparts. An in vivo model system has been developed in the chick that provides opportunities to study the expression of wild-type and mutant proteins during lens differentiation. Expression of wild-type connexins has revealed that the characteristic distribution of the three different lens connexins is maintained even when expression is driven by a viral promoter.

  18. Selective permeability of gap junction channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldberg, Gary S; Valiunas, Virginijus; Brink, Peter R

    2004-03-23

    Gap junctions mediate the transfer of small cytoplasmic molecules between adjacent cells. A family of gap junction proteins exist that form channels with unique properties, and differ in their ability to mediate the transfer of specific molecules. Mutations in a number of individual gap junction proteins, called connexins, cause specific human diseases. Therefore, it is important to understand how gap junctions selectively move molecules between cells. Rules that dictate the ability of a molecule to travel through gap junction channels are complex. In addition to molecular weight and size, the ability of a solute to transverse these channels depends on its net charge, shape, and interactions with specific connexins that constitute gap junctions in particular cells. This review presents some data and interpretations pertaining to mechanisms that govern the differential transfer of signals through gap junction channels.

  19. Expression of connexin 36 in central nervous system and its role in epileptic seizure

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    PENG Yu-fen; WU Jiong-xing; YANG Heng; DONG Xuan-qi; ZHENG Wen; SONG Zhi

    2012-01-01

    Objective This review discusses the experimental and clinical studies those show the expression of connexin 36 in the central nervous system and the possible role of connexin 36 in epileptic seizure.Data sources All articles used in this review were mainly searched from PubMed published in English from 1996 to 2012.Study selection Odginal articles and reviews were selected if they were related to the expression of connexin 36 in the central nervous system and its role in epilepsy.Results The distribution of connexin 36 is developmentally regulated,cell-specific and region-specific.Connexin 36 is involved in some neuronal functions and epileptic synchronization.Changes in the connexin 36 gene and protein were accompanied by seizures.Selective gap junction blockers have exerted anticonvulsant actions in a variety of experiments examined in both humans end experimental animals.Conclusions Connexin 36 plays an important role in both physiological and pathological conditions in the central nervous system.A better understanding of the role of connexin 36 in seizure activity may contribute to the development of new therapeutic approaches to treating epilepsy.

  20. ‘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

  1. Structural analysis of key gap junction domains--Lessons from genome data and disease-linked mutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Donglin

    2016-02-01

    A gap junction (GJ) channel is formed by docking of two GJ hemichannels and each of these hemichannels is a hexamer of connexins. All connexin genes have been identified in human, mouse, and rat genomes and their homologous genes in many other vertebrates are available in public databases. The protein sequences of these connexins align well with high sequence identity in the same connexin across different species. Domains in closely related connexins and several residues in all known connexins are also well-conserved. These conserved residues form signatures (also known as sequence logos) in these domains and are likely to play important biological functions. In this review, the sequence logos of individual connexins, groups of connexins with common ancestors, and all connexins are analyzed to visualize natural evolutionary variations and the hot spots for human disease-linked mutations. Several gap junction domains are homologous, likely forming similar structures essential for their function. The availability of a high resolution Cx26 GJ structure and the subsequently-derived homology structure models for other connexin GJ channels elevated our understanding of sequence logos at the three-dimensional GJ structure level, thus facilitating the understanding of how disease-linked connexin mutants might impair GJ structure and function. This knowledge will enable the design of complementary variants to rescue disease-linked mutants. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. 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

  3. Gap junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

    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 2:1853-1872, 2012.

  4. Study on connexin gene and protein expression and cellular distribution in relation to real-time proliferation of porcine granulosa cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kempisty, B; Ziółkowska, A; Ciesiółka, S; Piotrowska, H; Antosik, P; Bukowska, D; Nowicki, M; Brüssow, K P; Zabel, M

    2014-01-01

    Granulosa cells (GCs) play an important role during follicle growth and development in preovulatory stage. Moreover, the proteins such as connexins are responsible for formation of protein channel between follicular-cumulus cells and oocyte. This study was aimed to investigate the role of connexin expression in porcine GCs in relation to their cellular distribution and real-time cell proliferation. In the present study, porcine GCs were isolated from the follicles of puberal gilts and then cultured in a real-time cellular analyzer (RTCA) system for 168 h. The expression levels of connexins (Cxs) Cx36, Cx37, Cx40 and Cx43 mRNA were measured by RQ-PCR analysis, and differences in the expression and distribution of Cx30, Cx31, Cx37, Cx43 and Cx45 proteins were analyzed by confocal microscopic visualization. We found higher level of Cx36, Cx37, and Cx43 mRNA expression in GCs at recovery (at 0 h of in vitro culture, IVC) compared to all analyzed time periods of IVC (24, 48, 72, 96, 120, 144 and 168 h; Pproteins were higher before (0 h) compared to after 168 h of IVC. The expression of Cx30 and Cx43, however, did not vary between the groups. In all, the proteins were distributed throughout the cell membrane rather than in the cytoplasm both before and after IVC. After 24 h of IVC, we observed a significant increase in the proliferation of GCs (log phase). We found differences in the proliferation index between 72-96 and 96- 140 h within the same population of GCs. In conclusion, the decrease in the expression of Cx mRNAs and proteins following IVC could be associated with a breakdown in gap-junction connections (GJCs), and leads to the decreased of their activity, which may be a reason of non-functional existence of connexon in follicular granulosa cells. These data indicated that the differentiation and proliferation of GCs and lutein cells are regulated by distinct mechanisms in pigs.

  5. Structure of the gap junction channel and its implications for its biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maeda, Shoji; Tsukihara, Tomitake

    2011-04-01

    Gap junctions consist of arrays of intercellular channels composed of integral membrane proteins called connexin in vertebrates. Gap junction channels regulate the passage of ions and biological molecules between adjacent cells and, therefore, are critically important in many biological activities, including development, differentiation, neural activity, and immune response. Mutations in connexin genes are associated with several human diseases, such as neurodegenerative disease, skin disease, deafness, and developmental abnormalities. The activity of gap junction channels is regulated by the membrane voltage, intracellular microenvironment, interaction with other proteins, and phosphorylation. Each connexin channel has its own property for conductance and molecular permeability. A number of studies have tried to reveal the molecular architecture of the channel pore that should confer the connexin-specific permeability/selectivity properties and molecular basis for the gating and regulation. In this review, we give an overview of structural studies and describe the structural and functional relationship of gap junction channels.

  6. The 3.5 ångström X-ray structure of the human connexin26 gap junction channel is unlikely that of a fully open channel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zonta, Francesco; Polles, Guido; Sanasi, Maria Federica; Bortolozzi, Mario; Mammano, Fabio

    2013-02-27

    The permeability of gap junction channels to metabolites, and not simply to small inorganic ions, is likely to play an important role in development, physiology as well as in etiology of several diseases. Here, we combined dual patch clamp and fluorescence imaging techniques with molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to investigate the permeation of calcein, a relatively large fluorescent tracer (MW 622 Da) through homomeric gap junction channels formed by wild type human connexin26 (hCx26wt) protomers. Our experimental data indicate that the unitary flux of calcein driven by a 125 μM concentration difference is Jpore = 226 molecule/s per channel. In the light of Eyring transition state theory adapted for the liquid phase, this value corresponds to an energy barrier of ~20 kBT (where kB is the Boltzmann constant and T is absolute temperature). The barrier predicted by our MD simulations, based on the 3.5 Å X-ray structural model of the hCx26wt gap junction channel, is ~45 kBT. The main contributions to the energetics of calcein permeation originated from the interaction between the permeating molecule and the charged aminoacids lining the channel pore. Assigning a fake zero total charge to the calcein molecule yielded a value for the barrier height compatible with the experimental data. These results can be accounted for by two different (although not mutually exclusive) hypotheses: (1) the X-ray model of the hCx26wt gap junction channel is not representative of a fully open state; (2) post translational modifications affecting the hCx26wt protein in our expression system differed from the modifications undergone by the proteins in the conditions used to obtain the crystal structure. Hypothesis (1) is compatible with data indicating that, only 10% or less of the channels forming a gap junction plaque are in the open state, and therefore the averaging procedure intrinsic in the generation of the crystal structure data more closely reflects that of a closed

  7. Expression of connexins in human preimplantation embryos in vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leese Henry J

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Intercellular communication via gap junctions is required to coordinate developmental processes in the mammalian embryo. We have investigated if the connexin (Cx isoforms known to form gap junctions in rodent preimplantation embryos are also expressed in human embryos, with the aim of identifying species differences in communication patterns in early development. Using a combination of polyA PCR and immunocytochemistry we have assessed the expression of Cx26, Cx31, Cx32, Cx40, Cx43 and Cx45 which are thought to be important in early rodent embryos. The results demonstrate that Cx31 and Cx43 are the main connexin isoforms expressed in human preimplantation embryos and that these isoforms are co-expressed in the blastocyst. Cx45 protein is expressed in the blastocyst but the protein may be translated from a generally low level of transcripts: which could only be detected in the PN to 4-cell embryos. Interestingly, Cx40, which is expressed by the extravillous trophoblast in the early human placenta, was not found to be expressed in the blastocyst trophectoderm from which this tissue develops. All of the connexin isoforms in human preimplantation embryos are also found in rodents pointing to a common regulation of these connexins in development of rodent and human early embryos and perhaps other species.

  8. A simple RT-PCR-based strategy for screening connexin identity

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    M. Urban

    1999-08-01

    Full Text Available Vertebrate gap junctions are aggregates of transmembrane channels which are composed of connexin (Cx proteins encoded by at least fourteen distinct genes in mammals. Since the same Cx type can be expressed in different tissues and more than one Cx type can be expressed by the same cell, the thorough identification of which connexin is in which cell type and how connexin expression changes after experimental manipulation has become quite laborious. Here we describe an efficient, rapid and simple method by which connexin type(s can be identified in mammalian tissue and cultured cells using endonuclease cleavage of RT-PCR products generated from "multi primers" (sense primer, degenerate oligonucleotide corresponding to a region of the first extracellular domain; antisense primer, degenerate oligonucleotide complementary to the second extracellular domain that amplify the cytoplasmic loop regions of all known connexins except Cx36. In addition, we provide sequence information on RT-PCR primers used in our laboratory to screen individual connexins and predictions of extension of the "multi primer" method to several human connexins.

  9. Characterization of cytoskeletal and junctional proteins expressed by cells cultured from human arachnoid granulation tissue

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    Mehta Bhavya C

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The arachnoid granulations (AGs are projections of the arachnoid membrane into the dural venous sinuses. They function, along with the extracranial lymphatics, to circulate the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF to the systemic venous circulation. Disruption of normal CSF dynamics may result in increased intracranial pressures causing many problems including headaches and visual loss, as in idiopathic intracranial hypertension and hydrocephalus. To study the role of AGs in CSF egress, we have grown cells from human AG tissue in vitro and have characterized their expression of those cytoskeletal and junctional proteins that may function in the regulation of CSF outflow. Methods Human AG tissue was obtained at autopsy, and explanted to cell culture dishes coated with fibronectin. Typically, cells migrated from the explanted tissue after 7–10 days in vitro. Second or third passage cells were seeded onto fibronectin-coated coverslips at confluent densities and grown to confluency for 7–10 days. Arachnoidal cells were tested using immunocytochemical methods for the expression of several common cytoskeletal and junctional proteins. Second and third passage cultures were also labeled with the common endothelial markers CD-31 or VE-cadherin (CD144 and their expression was quantified using flow cytometry analysis. Results Confluent cultures of arachnoidal cells expressed the intermediate filament protein vimentin. Cytokeratin intermediate filaments were expressed variably in a subpopulation of cells. The cultures also expressed the junctional proteins connexin43, desmoplakin 1 and 2, E-cadherin, and zonula occludens-1. Flow cytometry analysis indicated that second and third passage cultures failed to express the endothelial cell markers CD31 or VE-cadherin in significant quantities, thereby showing that these cultures did not consist of endothelial cells from the venous sinus wall. Conclusion To our knowledge, this is the first report of

  10. Connexins form functional hemichannels in porcine ciliary epithelium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahidullah, Mohammad; Delamere, Nicholas A

    2014-01-01

    The expression of connexins in the ciliary epithelium is consistent with gap junctions between the pigmented (PE) and nonpigmented ciliary epithelium (NPE) that form when connexon hemichannels from adjacent cells pair to form a channel. Here we present evidence that suggests undocked connexons may form functional hemichannels that permit exchange of substances between NPE and the aqueous humor. Intact porcine eyes were perfused via the ciliary artery and propidium iodide (PI) (MW 668) was added to the aqueous humor compartment as a tracer. After calcium-free solution containing PI was introduced into the aqueous humor compartment for 30 min, fluorescence microscopy revealed PI in the NPE cell layer. PI entry into the NPE was inhibited by calcium and by the connexin antagonist 18α-glycyrrhetinic acid (18-AGA). Studies also were carried out with cultured porcine NPE. Under normal conditions, little PI entered the cultured cells but calcium-free medium stimulated PI accumulation and the entry was inhibited by 18-AGA. In cells loaded with calcein (MW 622), calcium-free solution stimulated calcein exit. 18-AGA partially suppressed calcein exit in calcium-free medium. Connexin 43 and connexin 50 proteins were detected by western blot analysis in both native and cultured NPE. In the intact eye, immunolocalization studies revealed connexin 50 at the basolateral, aqueous humor-facing, margin of the NPE. In contrast, connexin 43 was observed at the junction of the PE and NPE layer and on the basolateral membrane of PE. The results point to functional hemichannels at the NPE basolateral surface. It is feasible that hemichannels might contribute to the transfer of substances between the ciliary epithelium cytoplasm and aqueous humor.

  11. Atrial fibrillation-linked germline GJA5/connexin40 mutants showed an increased hemichannel function.

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    Yiguo Sun

    Full Text Available Mutations in GJA5 encoding the gap junction protein connexin40 (Cx40 have been linked to lone atrial fibrillation. Some of these mutants result in impaired gap junction function due to either abnormal connexin localization or impaired gap junction channels, which may play a role in promoting atrial fibrillation. However, the effects of the atrial fibrillation-linked Cx40 mutants on hemichannel function have not been studied. Here we investigated two atrial fibrillation-linked germline Cx40 mutants, V85I and L221I. These two mutants formed putative gap junction plaques at cell-cell interfaces, with similar gap junction coupling conductance as that of wild-type Cx40. Connexin deficient HeLa cells expressing either one of these two mutants displayed prominent propidium iodide-uptake distinct from cells expressing wild-type Cx40 or other atrial fibrillation-linked Cx40 mutants, I75F, L229M, and Q49X. Propidium iodide-uptake was sensitive to [Ca2+]o and the hemichannel blockers, carbenoxolone, flufenamic acid and mefloquine, but was not affected by the pannexin 1 channel blocking agent, probenecid, indicating that uptake is most likely mediated via connexin hemichannels. A gain-of-hemichannel function in these two atrial fibrillation-linked Cx40 mutants may provide a novel mechanism underlying the etiology of atrial fibrillation.

  12. Connexins and cyclooxygenase-2 crosstalk in the expression of radiation-induced bystander effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Y; de Toledo, S M; Hu, G; Hei, T K; Azzam, E I

    2014-01-01

    Background: Signalling events mediated by connexins and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) have important roles in bystander effects induced by ionising radiation. However, whether these proteins mediate bystander effects independently or cooperatively has not been investigated. Methods: Bystander normal human fibroblasts were cocultured with irradiated adenocarcinoma HeLa cells in which specific connexins (Cx) are expressed in the absence of endogenous Cx, before and after COX-2 knockdown, to investigate DNA damage in bystander cells and their progeny. Results: Inducible expression of gap junctions composed of connexin26 (Cx26) in irradiated HeLa cells enhanced the induction of micronuclei in bystander cells (Pbystander response due to connexin expression. However, COX-2 knockdown resulted in enhanced micronucleus formation in the progeny of the bystander cells (P<0.001). COX-2 knockdown delayed junctional communication in HeLa Cx26 cells, and reduced, in the plasma membrane, the physical interaction of Cx26 with MAPKKK, a controller of the MAPK pathway that regulates COX-2 and connexin. Conclusions: Junctional communication and COX-2 cooperatively mediate the propagation of radiation-induced non-targeted effects. Characterising the mediating events affected by both mechanisms may lead to new approaches that mitigate secondary debilitating effects of cancer radiotherapy. PMID:24867691

  13. Expression of connexins 26, 32 and 43 in the human colon--an immunohistochemical study.

    OpenAIRE

    Maria Sobaniec-Lotowska; Mariusz Koda; Stanislaw Sulkowski; Luiza Kanczuga-Koda; Mariola Sulkowska

    2005-01-01

    Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) is a mechanism for direct cell-to-cell signalling and is mediated by gap junctions (GJs), which consist of proteins called connexins (Cxs). GJIC plays a critical role in tissue development and differentiation and is important in maintenance of tissue homeostasis. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the expression of Cx26, Cx32 and Cx43 in the human colon. Surgical specimens were obtained from patients who underwent surgical resection of c...

  14. Bioengineering a Single-Protein Junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, Marta P; Aragones, Albert C; Camarero, Nuria; Vilhena, J G; Ortega, Maria; Zotti, Linda Angela; Perez, Ruben; Cuevas, Juan Carlos; Gorostiza, Pau; Díez-Pérez, Ismael

    2017-10-05

    Bioelectronics moves towards designing nanoscale electronic platforms that allow in vivo determinations. Such devices require interfacing complex biomolecular moieties as the sensing units to an electronic platform for signal transduction. Inevitably, a systematic design goes through a bottom-up understanding of the structurally related electrical signatures of the biomolecular circuit, which will ultimately lead us to tailor its electrical properties. Toward this aim, we show here the first example of bioengineered charge transport in a single-protein electrical contact. The results reveal that a single point-site mutation at the docking hydrophobic patch of a Cu-Azurin causes minor structural distortion of the protein blue Cu site and a dramatic change in the charge transport regime of the single-protein contact, which goes from the classical Cu-mediated 2-step transport in this system to a direct coherent tunneling. Our extensive spectroscopic studies and molecular-dynamics simulations show that the proteins' folding structures are preserved in the single-protein junction. The DFT-computed frontier orbital of the relevant protein segments suggests that the Cu center participation in each protein variant accounts for the different observed charge transport behavior. This work is a direct evidence of charge transport control in a protein backbone through external mutagenesis and a unique nanoscale platform to study structurally related biological electron transfer.

  15. Photoperiod-Dependent Effects of 4-tert-Octylphenol on Adherens and Gap Junction Proteins in Bank Vole Seminiferous Tubules

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    Anna Hejmej

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available In the present study we evaluated in vivo and in vitro effects of 4-tert-octylphenol (OP on the expression and distribution of adherens and gap junction proteins, N-cadherin, β-catenin, and connexin 43 (Cx43, in testes of seasonally breeding rodents, bank voles. We found that in bank vole testes expression and distribution of N-cadherin, β-catenin, and Cx43 were photoperiod dependent. Long-term treatment with OP (200 mg/kg b.w. resulted in the reduction of junction proteins expressions (P<0.05, P<0.01 and their delocalization in the testes of males kept in long photoperiod, whereas in short-day animals slight increase of Cx43 (P<0.05, N-cadherin, and β-catenin (statistically nonsignificant levels was observed. Effects of OP appeared to be independent of FSH and were maintained during in vitro organ culture, indicating that OP acts directly on adherens and gap junction proteins in the testes. An experiment performed using an antiestrogen ICI 182,780 demonstrated that the biological effects of OP on β-catenin and Cx43 involve an estrogen receptor-mediated response. Taken together, in bank vole organization of adherens and gap junctions and their susceptibility to OP are related to the length of photoperiod. Alterations in cadherin/catenin and Cx43-based junction may partially result from activation of estrogen receptor α and/or β signaling pathway.

  16. Cardiac Connexin 43 and Ischemic Cardioprotection

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jin-yi LI; Guo-qiang ZHONG; Yan HE; Yun LING

    2009-01-01

    The connexin 43 (Cx43) proteins, which is the predominant protein that can form gap junctions and non-junctional hemichannels in ventricular myocardium, are central to the cardioprotection afforded by ischemic precondi-tioning (IP) and maybe ischemic postconditioning (PC) too. Recent studies showed that recruitment of Cx43 to the mitochondria in IP might play a role in the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that mediates IP. The localiza-tion of Cx43 at mitochondria appears to be important for the achieved cardioprotection and opens a new door for us to reveal the exact mechanisms of ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury and cardioprotection, and it might be new targets of pharmacological modulator to achieved cardioprotection.

  17. Petri Net-Based Model of Helicobacter pylori Mediated Disruption of Tight Junction Proteins in Stomach Lining during Gastric Carcinoma

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    Anam Naz

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Tight junctions help prevent the passage of digestive enzymes and microorganisms through the space between adjacent epithelial cells lining. However, Helicobacter pylori encoded virulence factors negatively regulate these tight junctions and contribute to dysfunction of gastric mucosa. Here, we have predicted the regulation of important tight junction proteins, such as Zonula occludens-1, Claudin-2 and Connexin32 in the presence of pathogenic proteins. Molecular events such as post translational modifications and crosstalk between phosphorylation, O-glycosylation, palmitoylation and methylation are explored which may compromise the integrity of these tight junction proteins. Furthermore, the signaling pathways disrupted by dysregulated kinases, proteins and post-translational modifications are reviewed to design an abstracted computational model showing the situation-dependent dynamic behaviors of these biological processes and entities. A qualitative hybrid Petri Net model is therefore constructed showing the altered host pathways in the presence of virulence factor cytotoxin-associated gene A, leading to the disruption of tight junction proteins. The model is qualitative logic-based, which does not depend on any kinetic parameter and quantitative data and depends on knowledge derived from experiments. The designed model provides insights into the tight junction disruption and disease progression. Model is then verified by the available experimental data, nevertheless formal in vitro experimentation is a promising way to ensure its validation. The major findings propose that H. pylori activated kinases are responsible to trigger specific post translational modifications within tight junction proteins, at specific sites. These modifications may favor alterations in gastric barrier and provide a route to bacterial invasion into host cells.

  18. The action of mimetic peptides on connexins protects fibroblasts from the negative effects of ischemia reperfusion

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    Beverley J. Glass

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Connexins have been proposed as a target for therapeutic treatment of a variety of conditions. The main approaches have been by antisense or small peptides specific against connexins. Some of these peptides enhance communication while others interfere with connexin binding partners or bind to the intracellular and extracellular loops of connexins. Here, we explored the mechanism of action of a connexin mimetic peptide by evaluating its effect on gap junction channels, connexin protein levels and hemichannel activity in fibroblast cells under normal conditions and following ischemia reperfusion injury which elevates Cx43 levels, increases hemichannel activity and causes cell death. Our results showed that the effects of the mimetic peptide were concentration-dependent. High concentrations (100-300 μM significantly reduced Cx43 protein levels and GJIC within 2 h, while these effects did not appear until 6 h when using lower concentrations (10-30 μM. Cell death can be reduced when hemichannel opening and GJIC were minimised.

  19. Gap junctions in the control of vascular function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueroa, Xavier F; Duling, Brian R

    2009-02-01

    Direct intercellular communication via gap junctions is critical in the control and coordination of vascular function. In the cardiovascular system, gap junctions are made up of one or more of four connexin proteins: Cx37, Cx40, Cx43, and Cx45. The expression of more than one gap-junction protein in the vasculature is not redundant. Rather, vascular connexins work in concert, first during the development of the cardiovascular system, and then in integrating smooth muscle and endothelial cell function, and in coordinating cell function along the length of the vessel wall. In addition, connexin-based channels have emerged as an important signaling pathway in the astrocyte-mediated neurovascular coupling. Direct electrical communication between endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells via gap junctions is thought to play a relevant role in the control of vasomotor tone, providing the signaling pathway known as endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF). Consistent with the importance of gap junctions in the regulation of vasomotor tone and arterial blood pressure, the expression of connexins is altered in diseases associated with vascular complications. In this review, we discuss the participation of connexin-based channels in the control of vascular function in physiologic and pathologic conditions, with a special emphasis on hypertension and diabetes.

  20. Expression of the gap junction gene connexin43 (Cx43) in preimplantation bovine embryos derived in vitro or in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrenzycki, C; Herrmann, D; Carnwath, J W; Niemann, H

    1996-09-01

    In this study we have examined the presence of mRNA encoding connexin 43 (Cx43) in bovine embryos derived in vivo and in vitro. Cumulus-oocyte complexes, immature and matured oocytes liberated from cumulus cells, zygotes, 2-4-cell and 8-16-cell embryos, morulae, blastocysts and hatched blastocysts were produced in vitro from ovaries obtained from an abattoir using TCM 199 supplemented with hormones and 10% oestrous cow serum for maturation. Cumulus-oocyte complexes matured for 24 h were exposed to bull spermatozoa for 19 h and then cultured in TCM 199 supplemented with 10% oestrous cow serum to the desired developmental stage. Morulae and blastocysts derived in vivo were collected from superovulated donor cows. Total RNA was extracted from pools of 60-200 bovine oocytes or embryos using a modified phenol-chloroform extraction method and analysed by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Before reverse transcription, aliquots of DNase-digested embryonic RNA were tested by polymerase chain reaction using bovine-specific primers to control for residual genomic DNA contamination. DNA-free, total RNA was reverse transcribed after preincubation with the Cx43 specific 3'primer. The resultant cDNA was amplified by polymerase chain reaction using Cx43 specific primers that define a 516 bp fragment of Cx43. The reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction product was verified by restriction enzyme analysis with Alu I and sequencing. Assays were repeated at least twice for each developmental stage and provided identical results between replicates. Cx43 transcripts were detected in bovine morulae and blastocysts grown in vivo. In contrast, whereas the early in vitro stages from cumulus-oocyte complexes to morulae expressed Cx43, blastocysts and hatched blastocysts did not have detectable concentrations of mRNA from this gene. Restriction enzyme cutting revealed three fragments of the predicted size (139, 177, 200 bp). The amplified product showed 100% identity

  1. The modulatory effects of connexin 43 on cell death/survival beyond cell coupling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Sinovas, Antonio; Cabestrero, Alberto; López, Diego; Torre, Iratxe; Morente, Miriam; Abellán, Arancha; Miró, Elisabet; Ruiz-Meana, Marisol; García-Dorado, David

    2007-01-01

    Connexins form a diverse and ubiquitous family of integral membrane proteins. Characteristically, connexins are assembled into intercellular channels that aggregate into discrete cell-cell contact areas termed gap junctions (GJ), allowing intercellular chemical communication, and are essential for propagation of electrical impulses in excitable tissues, including, prominently, myocardium, where connexin 43 (Cx43) is the most important isoform. Previous studies have shown that GJ-mediated communication has an important role in the cellular response to stress or ischemia. However, recent evidence suggests that connexins, and in particular Cx43, may have additional effects that may be important in cell death and survival by mechanisms independent of cell to cell communication. Connexin hemichannels, located at the plasma membrane, may be important in paracrine signaling that could influence intracellular calcium and cell survival by releasing intracellular mediators as ATP, NAD(+), or glutamate. In addition, recent studies have shown the presence of connexins in cell structures other than the plasma membrane, including the cell nucleus, where it has been suggested that Cx43 influences cell growth and differentiation. In addition, translocation of Cx43 to mitochondria appears to be important for certain forms of cardioprotection. These findings open a new field of research of previously unsuspected roles of Cx43 intracellular signaling.

  2. Cellular and deafness mechanisms underlying connexin mutation induced hearing loss – A common hereditary deafness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey C Wingard

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Hearing loss due to mutations in the connexin gene family which encodes gap junctional proteins is a common form of hereditary deafness. In particular, connexin 26 (Cx26, GJB2 mutations are responsible for ~50% of nonsyndromic hearing loss, which is the highest incidence of genetic disease. In the clinic, Cx26 mutations cause various auditory phenotypes ranging from profound congenital deafness at birth to mild, progressive hearing loss in late childhood. Recent experiments demonstrate that congenital deafness mainly results from cochlear developmental disorders rather than hair cell degeneration and endocochlear potential (EP reduction, while late-onset hearing loss results from reduction of active cochlear amplification, even though cochlear hair cells have no connexin expression. Moreover, new experiments further demonstrate that the hypothesized K+-recycling disruption is not a principal deafness mechanism for connexin deficiency induced hearing loss. Additionally, there is no clear relationship between specific changes in connexin (channel functions and the phenotypes of mutation-induced hearing loss. Cx30, Cx29, Cx31, and Cx43 mutations can also cause hearing loss with distinct pathological changes in the cochlea. These new studies provide invaluable information about deafness mechanisms underlying connexin mutation induced hearing loss and also provide important information for developing new protective and therapeutic strategies for this common deafness. However, the detailed cellular mechanisms underlying these pathological changes and pathogeneses of specific-mutation induced hearing loss remain unclear. Finally, little information is available for humans. Further studies to address these deficiencies are urgently required.

  3. Structure, regulation and function of gap junctions in liver

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maes, Michaël; Decrock, Elke; Wang, Nan; Leybaert, Luc; da Silva, Tereza Cristina; Veloso Alves Pereira, Isabel; Jaeschke, Hartmut; Cogliati, Bruno; Vinken, Mathieu

    2016-01-01

    Gap junctions are a specialized group of cell-to-cell junctions that mediate direct intercellular communication between cells. They arise from the interaction of 2 hemichannels of adjacent cells, which in turn are composed of 6 connexin proteins. In liver, gap junctions are predominantly found in hepatocytes and play critical roles in virtually all phases of the hepatic life cycle, including cell growth, differentiation, liver-specific functionality and cell death. Liver gap junctions are directed through a broad variety of mechanisms ranging from epigenetic control of connexin expression to posttranslational regulation of gap junction activity. This paper reviews established and novel aspects regarding the architecture, control and functional relevance of liver gap junctions. PMID:27001459

  4. Connexins and pannexins: New insights into microglial functions and dysfunctions

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    Rosario Gajardo-Gómez

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available In a physiological context, microglia adopt a resting phenotype that is associated with the production of anti-inflammatory and neurotrophic factors. In response to a wide variety of insults, they shift to the activated phenotype that is necessary for the proper restoration of brain homeostasis. When the intensity of the threat is relatively high, microglial activation can worsen the damage progression instead of providing protection, with potentially significant consequences for neuronal survival. Coordinated interactions among microglia and with other brain cells, including astrocytes and neurons, is critical for the development of timely and optimal inflammatory responses in the brain parenchyma. Tissue synchronization is in part mediated by connexins and pannexins, which are protein families that form different plasma membrane channels to communicate with neighboring cells. At one end, the gap junction channels (which are exclusively formed by connexins in vertebrates connect the cytoplasm of contacting cells to coordinate electrical and metabolic coupling. At the other end, hemichannels and pannexons (which are formed by connexins and pannexins, respectively communicate via intra- and extracellular compartments and serve as diffusion pathways for the exchange of ions and small molecules. In this review, we discuss the evidence available concerning the functional expression and regulation of connexin- and pannexin-based channels in microglia and their contribution to microglial function and dysfunction. We focus on the possible implications of these channels in microglia-to-microglia, microglia-to-astrocyte and neuron-to-microglia interactions in the inflamed brain.

  5. Connexins and pannexins in liver damage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespo Yanguas, Sara; Willebrords, Joost; Maes, Michaël; da Silva, Tereza Cristina; Veloso Alves Pereira, Isabel; Cogliati, Bruno; Zaidan Dagli, Maria Lucia; Vinken, Mathieu

    2016-01-01

    Connexins and pannexins are key players in the control of cellular communication and thus in the maintenance of tissue homeostasis. Inherent to this function these proteins are frequently involved in pathological processes. The present paper reviews the role of connexins and pannexins in liver toxicity and disease. As they act both as sensors and effectors in these deleterious events connexins and pannexins could represent a set of novel clinical diagnostic biomarkers and drug targets. PMID:27065778

  6. Prolonged labour associated with lower expression of syndecan 3 and connexin 43 in human uterine tissue

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    Malmström Anders

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Prolonged labour is associated with greater morbidity and mortality for mother and child. Connexin 43 is a major myometrial gap junction protein found in human myometrium. Syndecan 3 seems to prevail in the human uterus among heparan sulphate proteoglycans, showing the most significant increase during labour. The aims of the present study were to investigate syndecan 3 and connexin 43 mRNA expressions and protein distributions in human uterine tissue during normal and prolonged labour. Methods Uterine isthmic biopsies were collected from non-pregnant (n = 7, term pregnant women not in labour (n = 14, in normal labour (n = 7 and in prolonged labour (n = 7. mRNA levels of syndecan 3 and connexin 43 were determined by real time RT-PCR. The localization and expression were demonstrated by immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy. Results In women with prolonged labour, the mRNA expressions of syndecan 3 and Connexin 43 were considerably lower than the expression level at normal labour (p Conclusion The high expression of syndecan 3 and connexin 43 and their co-localization to the smooth muscle bundles during normal labour, together with the significant reduction in prolonged labour, may indicate a role for these proteins in the co-ordination of myometrial contractility.

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

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    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.

  8. 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

    expression by transcription and translation is of great importance, the trafficking, channel activity and degradation are also under tight control. The function of connexins can be regulated by several post translational modifications, which affect numerous parameters; including number of channels, open......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...

  9. Gestational Protein Restriction Increases Cardiac Connexin 43 mRNA levels in male adult rat offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossini, Kamila Fernanda; Oliveira, Camila Andrea de; Rebelato, Hércules Jonas; Esquisatto, Marcelo Augusto Marreto; Catisti, Rosana

    2017-07-01

    The dietary limitation during pregnancy influences the growth and development of the fetus and offspring and their health into adult life. The mechanisms underlying the adverse effects of gestational protein restriction (GPR) in the development of the offspring hearts are not well understood. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of GPR on cardiac structure in male rat offspring at day 60 after birth (d60). Pregnant Wistar rats were fed a normal-protein (NP, 17% casein) or low-protein (LP, 6% casein) diet. Blood pressure (BP) values from 60-day-old male offspring were measured by an indirect tail-cuff method using an electro sphygmomanometer. Hearts (d60) were collected for assessment of connexin 43 (Cx43) mRNA expression and morphological and morphometric analysis. LP offspring showed no difference in body weight, although they were born lighter than NP offspring. BP levels were significantly higher in the LP group. We observed a significant increase in the area occupied by collagen fibers, a decrease in the number of cardiomyocytes by 104 µm2, and an increase in cardiomyocyte area associated with an increased Cx43 expression. GPR changes myocardial levels of Cx43 mRNA in male young adult rats, suggesting that this mechanism aims to compensate the fibrotic process by the accumulation of collagen fibers in the heart interstitium. A limitação dietética durante a gravidez influencia o crescimento e desenvolvimento do feto e da prole e sua saúde na vida adulta. Os mecanismos subjacentes dos efeitos adversos da restrição proteica gestacional (RPG) no desenvolvimento dos corações da prole não são bem compreendidos. Avaliar os efeitos da RPG sobre a estrutura cardíaca em filhotes machos de ratas aos 60 dias após o nascimento (d60). Ratos fêmeas Wistar grávidas foram alimentadas com uma dieta de proteína normal (PN, 17% caseína) ou de baixa proteína (BP, caseína 6%). Os valores de pressão arterial (PA) de descendentes do sexo masculino de

  10. Targeting connexin 43 in diabetic wound healing: Future perspectives

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    Bajpai S

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The unknown mechanisms of impaired tissue repair in diabetes mellitus are making this disease a serious clinical problem for the physicians worldwide. The lacuna in the knowledge of the etiology of diabetic wounds necessitates more focused research in order to develop new targeting tools with higher efficacy for their effective management. Gap-junction proteins, connexins, have shown some promising results in the process of diabetic wound healing. Till now the role of connexins has been implicated in peripheral neuropathy, deafness, skin disorders, cataract, germ cell development and treatment of cancer. Recent findings have revealed that gap junctions play a key role in normal as well as diabetic wound healing. The purpose of this review is to provide the information related to etiology, epidemiology, clinical presentation of diabetic wounds and to analyze the role of connexin 43 (Cx43 in the diabetic wound healing process. The current control strategies and the future research challenges have also been discussed briefly in this review.

  11. Independence of connexin expression and vasomotor conduction from sympathetic innervation in hamster feed arteries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Looft-Wilson, Robin C; Haug, Sara J; Neufer, P Darrell; Segal, Steven S

    2004-01-01

    Vasomotor responses can travel along the wall of resistance microvessels by two distinct mechanisms: cell-to-cell conduction through gap junctions or the release of neurotransmitter along perivascular nerves. It is unknown whether vascular innervation influences the expression of connexin molecules which comprise gap junctions, or the conduction of vasomotor responses. In feed arteries of the hamster retractor muscle (RFA), the authors tested whether sympathetic denervation would alter the expression of connexin isoforms and the conduction of vasomotor responses. Using intact vessels with sympathetic innervation and those 7-8 days following denervation surgery, mRNA expression was quantified using real-time PCR, cellular localization of Cx protein was characterized using immunohistochemistry, and vasomotor responses to dilator and constrictor stimuli were evaluated in isolated pressurized RFA. Connexin protein localization and mRNA expression were similar between innervated and denervated vessels. mRNA levels were Cx43 = Cx37 > Cx45 > Cx40. Vasodilation to acetylcholine conducted >/=2000 microm along innervated and denervated vessels, as did the biphasic conduction of vasoconstriction and vasodilation in response to KCl. Vasoconstriction to phenylephrine conducted <500 microm and was attenuated (p <.05) in denervated vessels. The profile of connexin expression and the conduction of vasomotor responses are largely independent of sympathetic innervation in feed arteries of the hamster retractor muscle (RFA).

  12. Mind the gap: connexins and cell-cell communication in the diabetic kidney.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hills, Claire E; Price, Gareth W; Squires, Paul E

    2015-02-01

    Connexins, assembled as a hexameric connexon, form a transmembrane hemichannel that provides a conduit for paracrine signalling of small molecules and ions to regulate the activity and function of adjacent cells. When hemichannels align and associate with similar channels on opposing cells, they form a continuous aqueous pore or gap junction, allowing the direct transmission of metabolic and electrical signals between coupled cells. Regulation of gap junction synthesis and channel activity is critical for cell function, and a number of diseases can be attributed to changes in the expression/function of these important proteins. Diabetic nephropathy is associated with several complex metabolic and inflammatory responses characterised by defects at the molecular, cellular and tissue level. In both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, glycaemic injury of the kidney is the leading cause of end-stage renal failure, a consequence of multiple aetiologies, including increased deposition of extracellular matrix, glomerular hyperfiltration, albuminuria and tubulointerstitial fibrosis. In diabetic nephropathy, loss of connexin mediated cell-cell communication within the nephron may represent an early sign of disease; however, our current knowledge of the role of connexins in the diabetic kidney is sparse. This review highlights recent evidence demonstrating that maintenance of connexin-mediated cell-cell communication could benefit region-specific renal function in diabetic nephropathy and suggests that these proteins should be viewed as a tantalising novel target for therapeutic intervention.

  13. Immunohisto- and cytochemistry analysis of connexins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cogliati, Bruno; Maes, Michaël; Pereira, Isabel Veloso Alves; Willebrords, Joost; da Silva, Tereza Cristina; Crespo Yanguas, Sara; Vinken, Mathieu

    2016-01-01

    Summary Immunohistochemistry (IHC) is a ubiquitous used technique to identify and analyze protein expression in the context of tissue and cell morphology. In the connexin research field, IHC is applied to identify the subcellular location of connexin proteins, as this can be directly linked to their functionality. The present chapter describes a protocol for fluorescent IHC to detect connexin proteins in tissues slices and cells, with slight modifications depending on the nature of biological sample, histological processing and/or protein expression level. Basically, fluorescent IHC is a short, simple and cost-effective technique, which allows the visualization of proteins based on fluorescent-labeled antibody-antigen recognition. PMID:27207286

  14. A novel mutation in the connexin 26 gene (GJB2) in a child with clinical and histological features of keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness (KID) syndrome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Koppelhus, Uffe; Tranebjaerg, L; Esberg, Gitte;

    2011-01-01

    Keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness (KID) syndrome is a rare congenital ectodermal disorder, caused by heterozygous missense mutation in GJB2, encoding the gap junction protein connexin 26. The commonest mutation is the p.Asp50Asn mutation, and only a few other mutations have been described to date....

  15. The contribution of GJB2 (Connexin 26) 35delG to age-related hearing impairment and noise-induced hearing loss.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eyken, E. van; Laer, L. van; Fransen, E.; Topsakal, V.; Hendrickx, J.J.; Demeester, K.; Heyning, P. van de; Maki-Torkko, E.; Hannula, S.; Sorri, M.; Jensen, M.; Parving, A.; Bille, M.; Baur, M.; Pfister, M.; Bonaconsa, A.; Mazzoli, M.; Orzan, E.; Espeso, A.; Stephens, D.; Verbruggen, K.; Huyghe, J.; Dhooge, I.J.; Huygen, P.L.M.; Kremer, H.; Cremers, C.W.R.J.; Kunst, S.J.W.; Manninen, M.; Pyykko, I.; Rajkowska, E.; Pawelczyk, M.; Sliwinska-Kowalska, M.; Steffens, M.; Wienker, T.F.; Camp, G. van

    2007-01-01

    HYPOTHESIS: The common GJB2 (Connexin 26) 35delG mutation might contribute to the development of age-related hearing impairment (ARHI) and noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). BACKGROUND: GJB2, a gene encoding a gap junction protein expressed in the inner ear, has been suggested to be involved in the

  16. 缝隙连接蛋白Cx43在SD大鼠电点燃癫痫模型中的表达%Expression of gap junction connexin43 in the SD rats electrical kindling of epilepsy model

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    宋建华; 谢锡驹

    2012-01-01

    Objective To investigate the role of connexin (Cx) in pathogenesis of epilepsy. Methods Thirty - two male SD rats were randomly divided into 4 groups and 4 models were set up. The behaviors of all SD rats were observed meanwhile the EEGs were recorded. Before the end Cx43 in hippocampus was detected with Western blot. The relationship between gap junction connexin and the formation of epilepsy was observed through the intervention of medicine to the kindling - model. Results Rats displayed typical epileptic behaviors,and epileptic discharges were observed in the epilepsy model group. The expression of connexin 43 in the hippocampal tissue was significantly enhanced in the epilepsy model group,but reduced by carbenoxolone and phenytoin sodium. Carbenoxolone and phenytoin sodium reduced frequency and amplitude of epileptic waves. The increasing expression of Cx43 was inhibited. Conclusion Gap junction Cx43 is the material base for the formation of epilepsy. The inhibition of excessive expression of Cx43 can reduce the formation of abnormal gap junction. Consequently the formation of epilepsy is inhibited.%目的 探讨缝隙连接蛋白(Cx)在癫痫形成中的作用.方法 将32只雄性SD大鼠随机分为4组,分别造模.观察SD大鼠行为,记录脑电图.通过免疫蛋白印迹的方法检测Cx43在大鼠海马区的表达变化.通过药物对癫痫电点燃模型成模过程的干预来观察癫痫形成与缝隙连接蛋白间的关系.结果 模型组大鼠出现癫痫发作.蛋白印迹显示Cx43的表达异常增高.药物干预的2组SD大鼠模型痫性发作滞后,发作频率降低,程度减轻,痫性脑电波波幅降低,蛋白印迹显示Cx43的表达增高受到抑制.结论 缝隙连接蛋白是癫痫形成的物质基础.抑制Cx43的过度表达,减少异常缝隙连接的形成,癫痫形成也受到抑制,从而预防癫痫产生.

  17. Gap junction diseases of the skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Steensel, M A M

    2004-11-15

    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 mutations in one of the genes coding for the constituent proteins of gap junctions, known as connexins. In this review, the currently known connexin disorders that feature skin abnormalities are described: keratitis-ichthyosis deafness syndrome, erythrokeratoderma variabilis, Vohwinkel's syndrome, and a novel disorder called hypotrichosis-deafness syndrome. What is known about the pathogenesis of these disorders is discussed and related to gap junction physiology. (c) 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  18. 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

    AIM: Increasing evidence points to lipoprotein composition rather than reverse cholesterol transport in the cardioprotective properties of high-density lipoproteins (HDL). HDL binding to receptors at the surface of cardiomyocytes activates signalling pathways promoting survival, but downstream...... targets are largely unknown. Here, we investigate the pathways by which the Sphingosine-1-Phosphate (S1P) constituent of HDL limits cell death induced by cardiac ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). METHODS AND RESULTS: Apolipoprotein M (ApoM) transgenic (Apom-Tg) mice, in which plasma S1P is increased by 296......%, and wild-type (WT) mice were subjected to in vivo I/R. Infarct size, neutrophil infiltration into the infarcted area and serum Troponin I were less pronounced in Apom-Tg mice. In vitro experiments suggest that this cardioprotection depends on direct effects of S1P on cardiomyocytes, whereas leukocyte...

  19. Connexin43 hemichannel-mediated regulation of connexin43.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Li

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Many signaling molecules and pathways that regulate gap junctions (GJs protein expression and function are, in fact, also controlled by GJs. We, therefore, speculated an existence of the GJ channel-mediated self-regulation of GJs. Using a cell culture model in which nonjunctional connexin43 (Cx43 hemichannels were activated by cadmium (Cd(2+, we tested this hypothesis. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Incubation of Cx43-transfected LLC-PK1 cells with Cd(2+ led to an increased expression of Cx43. This effect of Cd(2+ was tightly associated with JNK activation. Inhibition of JNK abolished the elevation of Cx43. Further analysis revealed that the changes of JNK and Cx43 were controlled by GSH. Supplement of a membrane-permeable GSH analogue GSH ethyl ester or GSH precursor N-acetyl-cystein abrogated the effects of Cd(2+ on JNK activation and Cx43 expression. Indeed, Cd(2+ induced extracellular release of GSH. Blockade of Cx43 hemichannels with heptanol or Cx43 mimetic peptide Gap26 to prevent the efflux of GSH significantly attenuated the Cx43-elevating effects of Cd(2+. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, our results thus indicate that Cd(2+-induced upregulation of Cx43 is through activation of nonjunctional Cx43 hemichannels. Our findings thus support the existence of a hemichannel-mediated self-regulation of Cx43 and provide novel insights into the molecular mechanisms of Cx43 expression and function.

  20. Gap junctions - guards of excitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroemlund, Line Waring; Jensen, Christa Funch; Qvortrup, Klaus; Delmar, Mario; Nielsen, Morten Schak

    2015-06-01

    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.

  1. Connexins in respiratory and gastrointestinal mucosal immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bou Saab, Joanna; Losa, Davide; Chanson, Marc; Ruez, Richard

    2014-04-17

    The mucosal lining forms the physical and chemical barrier that protects against pathogens and hostile particles and harbors its own population of bacteria, fungi and archea, known as the microbiota. The immune system controls tolerance of this population of microorganisms that have proven to be beneficial for its host. Keeping its physical integrity and a correct balance with the microbiota, the mucosa preserves its homeostasis and its protective function and maintains host's health. However, in some conditions, pathogens may succeed in breaching mucosal homeostasis and successfully infecting the host. In this review we will discuss the role the mucosa plays in the defense against bacterial pathogens by considering the gap junction protein connexins. We will detail their implication in mucosal homeostasis and upon infection with bacteria in the respiratory and the gastrointestinal tracts. Copyright © 2014 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Endocytosis and Recycling of Tight Junction Proteins in Inflammation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Markus Utech

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available A critical function of the epithelial lining is to form a barrier that separates luminal contents from the underlying interstitium. This barrier function is primarily regulated by the apical junctional complex (AJC consisting of tight junctions (TJs and adherens junctions (AJs and is compromised under inflammatory conditions. In intestinal epithelial cells, proinflammatory cytokines, for example, interferon-gamma (IFN-γ, induce internalization of TJ proteins by endocytosis. Endocytosed TJ proteins are passed into early and recycling endosomes, suggesting the involvement of recycling of internalized TJ proteins. This review summarizes mechanisms by which TJ proteins under inflammatory conditions are internalized in intestinal epithelial cells and point out comparable mechanism in nonintestinal epithelial cells.

  3. Testosterone regulates tight junction proteins and influences prostatic autoimmune responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Jing; Mostaghel, Elahe A; Vakar-Lopez, Funda; Montgomery, Bruce; True, Larry; Nelson, Peter S

    2011-06-01

    Testosterone and inflammation have been linked to the development of common age-associated diseases affecting the prostate gland including prostate cancer, prostatitis, and benign prostatic hypertrophy. We hypothesized that testosterone regulates components of prostate tight junctions which serve as a barrier to inflammation, thus providing a connection between age- and treatment-associated testosterone declines and prostatic pathology. We examined the expression and distribution of tight junction proteins in prostate biospecimens from mouse models and a clinical study of chemical castration, using transcript profiling, immunohistochemistry, and electron microscopy. We determined that low serum testosterone is associated with reduced transcript and protein levels of Claudin 4 and Claudin 8, resulting in defective tight junction ultrastructure in benign prostate glands. Expression of Claudin 4 and Claudin 8 was negatively correlated with the mononuclear inflammatory infiltrate caused by testosterone deprivation. Testosterone suppression also induced an autoimmune humoral response directed toward prostatic proteins. Testosterone supplementation in castrate mice resulted in re-expression of tight junction components in prostate epithelium and significantly reduced prostate inflammatory cell numbers. These data demonstrate that tight junction architecture in the prostate is related to changes in serum testosterone levels, and identify an androgen-regulated mechanism that potentially contributes to the development of prostate inflammation and consequent pathology.

  4. The role of gap junctions in inflammatory and neoplastic disorders (Review).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Pui; Laxton, Victoria; Srivastava, Saurabh; Chan, Yin Wah Fiona; Tse, Gary

    2017-03-01

    Gap junctions are intercellular channels made of connexin proteins, mediating both electrical and biochemical signals between cells. The ability of gap junction proteins to regulate immune responses, cell proliferation, migration, apoptosis and carcinogenesis makes them attractive therapeutic targets for treating inflammatory and neoplastic disorders in different organ systems. Alterations in gap junction profile and expression levels are observed in hyperproliferative skin disorders, lymphatic vessel diseases, inflammatory lung diseases, liver injury and neoplastic disorders. It is now recognized that the therapeutic effects mediated by traditional pharmacological agents are dependent upon gap junction communication and may even act by influencing gap junction expression or function. Novel strategies for modulating the function or expression of connexins, such as the use of synthetic mimetic peptides and siRNA technology are considered.

  5. Transitions of protein traffic from cardiac ER to junctional SR

    OpenAIRE

    Sleiman, Naama H.; McFarland, Timothy P.; Jones, Larry R.; Cala, Steven E.

    2015-01-01

    The junctional sarcoplasmic reticulum (jSR) is an important and unique ER subdomain in the adult myocyte that concentrates resident proteins to regulate Ca2+ release. To investigate cellular mechanisms for sorting and trafficking proteins to jSR, we overexpressed canine forms of junctin (JCT) or triadin (TRD) in adult rat cardiomyocytes. Protein accumulation over time was visualized by confocal fluorescence microscopy using species-specific antibodies. Newly synthesized JCTdog and TRDdog appe...

  6. Adenoviral delivery of human connexin37 induces endothelial cell death through apoptosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seul, Kyung H; Kang, Keum Y; Lee, Kyung S; Kim, Suhn H; Beyer, Eric C

    2004-07-09

    Gap junction channels formed of connexins directly link the cytoplasm of adjacent cells and have been implicated in intercellular signaling that may regulate the functions of vascular cells. To facilitate connexin manipulation and analysis of their roles in adult endothelial cells, we developed adenoviruses containing the vascular connexins (Cx37, Cx40, and Cx43). We infected cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells with control or connexin adenoviruses. Connexin expression was verified by immunoblotting and immunofluorescence. Infection with the Cx37 adenovirus (but not control or other connexin adenoviruses) led to a dose-dependent death of the endothelial cells that was partially antagonized by the gap junction blocker alpha-glycyrrhetinic acid and altered the intercellular transfer of Lucifer yellow and neurobiotin. Cell morphology, Annexin V and TUNEL staining, and caspase 3 assays all implicated apoptosis in the cell death. These data suggest that connexin-specific alterations of intercellular communication may modulate endothelial cell growth and death.

  7. Cardiac to cancer: connecting connexins to clinical opportunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grek, Christina L; Rhett, J Matthew; Ghatnekar, Gautam S

    2014-04-17

    Gap junctions and their connexin components are indispensable in mediating the cellular coordination required for tissue and organ homeostasis. The critical nature of their existence mandates a connection to disease while at the same time offering therapeutic potential. Therapeutic intervention may be offered through the pharmacological and molecular disruption of the pathways involved in connexin biosynthesis, gap junction assembly, stabilization, or degradation. Chemical inhibitors aimed at closing connexin channels, peptide mimetics corresponding to short connexin sequences, and gene therapy approaches have been incredibly useful molecular tools in deciphering the complexities associated with connexin biology. Recently, therapeutic potential in targeting connexins has evolved from basic research in cell-based models to clinical opportunity in the form of human trials. Clinical promise is particularly evident with regards to targeting connexin43 in the context of wound healing. The following review is aimed at highlighting novel advances where the pharmacological manipulation of connexin biology has proven beneficial in animals or humans. Copyright © 2014 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Engineered Cx26 variants established functional heterotypic Cx26/Cx43 and Cx26/Cx40 gap junction channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karademir, Levent B; Aoyama, Hiroshi; Yue, Benny; Chen, Honghong; Bai, Donglin

    2016-05-15

    Gap junction (GJ) channels mediate direct intercellular communication and are composed of two docked hemichannels (connexin oligomers). It is well documented that the docking and formation of GJs are possible only between compatible hemichannels (or connexins). The mechanisms of heterotypic docking compatibility are not fully clear. We aligned the protein sequences of docking-compatible and -incompatible connexins with that of connexin26 (Cx26). We found that two docking hydrogen bond (HB)-forming residues on the second extracellular domain (E2) of Cx26 and their equivalent residues are well conserved within docking-compatible connexins, but different between docking-incompatible connexins. Replacing one or both of these residues of Cx26 into the corresponding residues in the docking incompatible connexins (K168V, N176H or K168V-N176H) increased the formation of morphological and functional heterotypic GJs with connexin43 (Cx43) or connexin40 (Cx40), indicating that these two residues are important for docking incompatibility between Cx26 and these connexins. Our homology structure models predict that both HBs and hydrophobic interactions at the E2 docking interface are important docking mechanisms in heterotypic Cx26 K168V-N176H/Cx43 GJs and probably other docking compatible connexins. Revealing the key residues and mechanisms of heterotypic docking compatibility will assist us in understanding why these putative docking residues are hotspots of disease-linked mutants. © 2016 The Author(s). published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

  9. Cellular and Deafness Mechanisms Underlying Connexin Mutation-Induced Hearing Loss - A Common Hereditary Deafness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wingard, Jeffrey C; Zhao, Hong-Bo

    2015-01-01

    Hearing loss due to mutations in the connexin gene family, which encodes gap junctional proteins, is a common form of hereditary deafness. In particular, connexin 26 (Cx26, GJB2) mutations are responsible for ~50% of non-syndromic hearing loss, which is the highest incidence of genetic disease. In the clinic, Cx26 mutations cause various auditory phenotypes ranging from profound congenital deafness at birth to mild, progressive hearing loss in late childhood. Recent experiments demonstrate that congenital deafness mainly results from cochlear developmental disorders rather than hair cell degeneration and endocochlear potential reduction, while late-onset hearing loss results from reduction of active cochlear amplification, even though cochlear hair cells have no connexin expression. However, there is no apparent, demonstrable relationship between specific changes in connexin (channel) functions and the phenotypes of mutation-induced hearing loss. Moreover, new experiments further demonstrate that the hypothesized K(+)-recycling disruption is not a principal deafness mechanism for connexin deficiency induced hearing loss. Cx30 (GJB6), Cx29 (GJC3), Cx31 (GJB3), and Cx43 (GJA1) mutations can also cause hearing loss with distinct pathological changes in the cochlea. These new studies provide invaluable information about deafness mechanisms underlying connexin mutation-induced hearing loss and also provide important information for developing new protective and therapeutic strategies for this common deafness. However, the detailed cellular mechanisms underlying these pathological changes remain unclear. Also, little is known about specific mutation-induced pathological changes in vivo and little information is available for humans. Such further studies are urgently required.

  10. Involvement of connexin 43 in acupuncture analgesia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUANG Guang-ying; ZHENG Cui-hong; YU Wei-chang; TIAN Dai-shi; WANG Wei

    2009-01-01

    Background Connexin 43 (Cx43) is one of the major components of human keratinocyte gap junctions. To study whether gap junctional intercellular communication participates in the transfer of acupoint signals and acupuncture analgesia, the expression of Cx43 was studied in Zusanli (ST36) acupoints compared with control non-acupoint regions in rats after acupuncture. In addition, Cx43 heterozygous gene knockout mice were used to further explore the relationship between Cx43 and acupuncture analgesia. Methods The expression of Cx43 was detected by immunohistochemistry, immunoblotting, and RT-PCR for the Cx43 protein and mRNA. The influence of the Cx43 gene knockout on acupuncture analgesia was measured by a hot plate and observing the writhing response on Cx43 heterozygous gene knockout mice. Results Immunohistochemistry showed abundant Cx43 expression in some cells in the skin and subcutaneous tissue of rat ST36 acupoints. The mRNA and protein levels of Cx43 in acupoints were significantly higher than those in the control points in the non-acupuncture group, and even more so after acupuncture. The hot plate and writhing response experiments showed that partial knockout of the Cx43 gene decreased acupuncture analgesia. Conclusion Cx43 expression and acupuncture analgesia showed a positive correlation.

  11. Alteration in synaptic junction proteins following traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merlo, Lucia; Cimino, Francesco; Angileri, Filippo Flavio; La Torre, Domenico; Conti, Alfredo; Cardali, Salvatore Massimiliano; Saija, Antonella; Germanò, Antonino

    2014-08-15

    Extensive research and scientific efforts have been focused on the elucidation of the pathobiology of cellular and axonal damage following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Conversely, few studies have specifically addressed the issue of synaptic dysfunction. Synaptic junction proteins may be involved in post-TBI alterations, leading to synaptic loss or disrupted plasticity. A Synapse Protein Database on synapse ontology identified 109 domains implicated in synaptic activities and over 5000 proteins, but few of these demonstrated to play a role in the synaptic dysfunction after TBI. These proteins are involved in neuroplasticity and neuromodulation and, most importantly, may be used as novel neuronal markers of TBI for specific intervention.

  12. Contribution of intracellular calcium and pH in ischemic uncoupling of cardiac gap junction channels formed of connexins 43, 40, and 45: a critical function of C-terminal domain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giriraj Sahu

    Full Text Available Ischemia is known to inhibit gap junction (GJ mediated intercellular communication. However the detail mechanisms of this inhibition are largely unknown. In the present study, we determined the vulnerability of different cardiac GJ channels formed of connexins (Cxs 43, 40, and 45 to simulated ischemia, by creating oxygen glucose deprived (OGD condition. 5 minutes of OGD decreased the junctional conductance (Gj of Cx43, Cx40 and Cx45 by 53±3%, 64±1% and 85±2% respectively. Reduction of Gj was prevented completely by restricting the change of both intracellular calcium ([Ca(2+]i and pH (pHi with potassium phosphate buffer. Clamping of either [Ca(2+]i or pHi, through BAPTA (2 mM or HEPES (80 mM respectively, offered partial resistance to ischemic uncoupling. Anti-calmodulin antibody attenuated the uncoupling of Cx43 and Cx45 significantly but not of Cx40. Furthermore, OGD could reduce only 26±2% of Gj in C-terminus (CT truncated Cx43 (Cx43-Δ257. Tethering CT of Cx43 to the CT-truncated Cx40 (Cx40-Δ249, and Cx45 (Cx45-Δ272 helped to resist OGD mediated uncoupling. Moreover, CT domain played a significant role in determining the junction current density and plaque diameter. Our results suggest; OGD mediated uncoupling of GJ channels is primarily due to elevated [Ca(2+]i and acidic pHi, though the latter contributes more. Among Cx43, Cx40 and Cx45, Cx43 is the most resistant to OGD while Cx45 is the most sensitive one. CT of Cx43 has major necessary elements for OGD induced uncoupling and it can complement CT of Cx40 and Cx45.

  13. Electroporation transiently decreases GJB2 (connexin 26) expression in B16/BL6 melanoma cell line.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangel, Marcelo Monte Mór; Chaible, Lucas Martins; Nagamine, Marcia Kazumi; Mennecier, Gregory; Cogliati, Bruno; de Oliveira, Krishna Duro; Fukumasu, Heidge; Sinhorini, Idércio Luiz; Mir, Lluis Maria; Dagli, Maria Lúcia Zaidan

    2015-02-01

    Connexins are proteins that form gap junctions. Perturbations in the cell membrane reportedly promote changes in the expression profile of connexins. Electroporation promotes destabilization by applying electrical pulses, and this procedure is used in electrochemotherapy and gene therapy, among others. This in vitro work aimed to study the interference of electroporation on the expression profile of GJB2 (Cx26 gene) and Connexin 26 in melanoma cell line B16/BL6. The techniques of immunocytochemistry, Western blot, and real-time PCR were used. After electroporation, cells showed a transient decrease in GJB2 mRNA. The immunostaining of Cx26 showed no noticeable change after electroporation at different time points. However, Western blot showed a significant reduction in Cx26 30 min after electroporation. Our results showed that electroporation interferes transiently in the expression of Connexin 26 in melanoma and are consistent with the idea that electroporation is a process of intense stress that promotes cell homeostatic imbalance and results in disruption of cell physiological processes such as transcription and translation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwab, Bettina C; Heida, Tjitske; Zhao, Yan; van Gils, Stephan A; van Wezel, Richard J A

    2014-10-01

    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 major role in modifying this synchrony, because they show functional plasticity under the influence of dopamine and after neural injury. In this study, confocal imaging was used to detect connexin-36, the major neural gap junction protein, in postmortem tissues of PD patients and control subjects in the putamen, subthalamic nucleus (STN), and external and internal globus pallidus (GPe and GPi, respectively). Moreover, we quantified how gap junctions affect synchrony in an existing computational model of the basal ganglia. We detected connexin-36 in the human putamen, GPe, and GPi, but not in the STN. Furthermore, we found that the number of connexin-36 spots in PD tissues increased by 50% in the putamen, 43% in the GPe, and 109% in the GPi compared with controls. In the computational model, gap junctions in the GPe and GPi strongly influenced synchrony. The basal ganglia became especially susceptible to synchronize with input from the cortex when gap junctions were numerous and high in conductance. In conclusion, connexin-36 expression in the human GPe and GPi suggests that gap junctional coupling exists within these nuclei. In PD, neural injury and dopamine depletion could increase this coupling. Therefore, we propose that gap junctions act as a powerful modulator of synchrony in the basal ganglia. © 2014 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

  15. Connexin-Mediated Signaling in Nonsensory Cells Is Crucial for the Development of Sensory Inner Hair Cells in the Mouse Cochlea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Stuart L.; Ceriani, Federico; Houston, Oliver; Polishchuk, Roman; Polishchuk, Elena; Crispino, Giulia; Zorzi, Veronica

    2017-01-01

    Mutations in the genes encoding for gap junction proteins connexin 26 (Cx26) and connexin 30 (Cx30) have been linked to syndromic and nonsyndromic hearing loss in mice and humans. The release of ATP from connexin hemichannels in cochlear nonsensory cells has been proposed to be the main trigger for action potential activity in immature sensory inner hair cells (IHCs), which is crucial for the refinement of the developing auditory circuitry. Using connexin knock-out mice, we show that IHCs fire spontaneous action potentials even in the absence of ATP-dependent intercellular Ca2+ signaling in the nonsensory cells. However, this signaling from nonsensory cells was able to increase the intrinsic IHC firing frequency. We also found that connexin expression is key to IHC functional maturation. In Cx26 conditional knock-out mice (Cx26Sox10-Cre), the maturation of IHCs, which normally occurs at approximately postnatal day 12, was partially prevented. Although Cx30 has been shown not to be required for hearing in young adult mice, IHCs from Cx30 knock-out mice exhibited a comprehensive brake in their development, such that their basolateral membrane currents and synaptic machinery retain a prehearing phenotype. We propose that IHC functional differentiation into mature sensory receptors is initiated in the prehearing cochlea provided that the expression of either connexin reaches a threshold level. As such, connexins regulate one of the most crucial functional refinements in the mammalian cochlea, the disruption of which contributes to the deafness phenotype observed in mice and DFNB1 patients. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The correct development and function of the mammalian cochlea relies not only on the sensory hair cells, but also on the surrounding nonsensory cells. Although the nonsensory cells have been largely implicated in the general homeostasis in the mature cochlea, their involvement in the initial functional differentiation of the sensory inner hair cells is less

  16. Gap junction intercellular communication and benzene toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivedal, Edgar; Witz, Gisela; Leithe, Edward

    2010-03-19

    Aberrant regulation of gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) has been linked to several human diseases, including cancer and abnormal hematopoietic development. Benzene exposure has been shown to cause hematotoxicity and leukemia, but the underlying mechanisms involved remain unclear. We have observed that several metabolites of benzene have the ability to block gap junction intercellular communication. The ring-opened trans,trans-muconaldehyde (MUC) was found to be the most potent inhibitor of gap junction channels. MUC was found to induce cross-linking of the gap junction protein connexin43, which seemed to be responsible for the induced inhibition of GJIC. Glutaraldehyde, which has a similar molecular structure as MUC, was found to possess similar effects on gap junctions as MUC, while the mono-aldehyde formaldehyde shows lower potency, both as a connexin cross-linker, and as an inhibitor of GJIC. Both glutaraldehyde and formaldehyde have previously been associated with induction of leukemia and disturbance of hematopoiesis. Taken together, the data support a possible link between the effect of MUC on gap junctions, and the toxic effects of benzene. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Cell junction proteins within the cochlea:A review of recent research

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Bo Wang; Bohua Hu; Shiming Yang

    2015-01-01

    Cell—cell junctions in the cochlea are highly complex and well organized. The role of these junctions is to maintain structural and functional integrity of the cochlea. In this review, we describe classification of cell junction-associated proteins identified within the cochlea and provide a brief overview of the function of these proteins in adherent junctions, gap junctions and tight junctions. Copyright © 2016, PLA General Hospital Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. Production and hosting by Elsevier (Singapore) Pte Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

  18. Gap-junction-mediated cell-to-cell communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hervé, Jean-Claude; Derangeon, Mickaël

    2013-04-01

    Cells of multicellular organisms need to communicate with each other and have evolved various mechanisms for this purpose, the most direct and quickest of which is through channels that directly connect the cytoplasms of adjacent cells. Such intercellular channels span the two plasma membranes and the intercellular space and result from the docking of two hemichannels. These channels are densely packed into plasma-membrane spatial microdomains termed "gap junctions" and allow cells to exchange ions and small molecules directly. A hemichannel is a hexameric torus of junctional proteins around an aqueous pore. Vertebrates express two families of gap-junction proteins: the well-characterized connexins and the more recently discovered pannexins, the latter being related to invertebrate innexins ("invertebrate connexins"). Some gap-junctional hemichannels also appear to mediate cell-extracellular communication. Communicating junctions play crucial roles in the maintenance of homeostasis, morphogenesis, cell differentiation and growth control in metazoans. Gap-junctional channels are not passive conduits, as previously long regarded, but use "gating" mechanisms to open and close the central pore in response to biological stimuli (e.g. a change in the transjunctional voltage). Their permeability is finely tuned by complex mechanisms that have just begun to be identified. Given their ubiquity and diversity, gap junctions play crucial roles in a plethora of functions and their dysfunctions are involved in a wide range of diseases. However, the exact mechanisms involved remain poorly understood.

  19. Connexin37: a potential modifier gene of inflammatory disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chanson, Marc; Kwak, Brenda R

    2007-08-01

    There is an increasing appreciation of the importance of gap junction proteins (connexins) in modulating the severity of inflammatory diseases. Multiple epidemiological gene association studies have detected a link between a single nucleotide polymorphism in the human connexin37 (Cx37) gene and coronary artery disease or myocardial infarction in various populations. This C1019T polymorphism causes a proline-to-serine substitution (P319S) in the regulatory C terminal tail of Cx37, a protein that is expressed in the vascular endothelium as well as in monocytes and macrophages. Indeed, these three cell types are key players in atherogenesis. In the early phases of atherosclerosis, blood monocytes are recruited to the sites of injury in response to chemotactic factors. Monocytes adhere to the dysfunctional endothelium and transmigrate across endothelial cells to penetrate the arterial intima. In the intima, monocytes proliferate, mature, and accumulate lipids to progress into macrophage foam cells. This review focuses on Cx37 and its impact on the cellular and molecular events underlying tissue function, with particular emphasis of the contribution of the C1019T polymorphism in atherosclerosis. We will also discuss evidence for a potential mechanism by which allelic variants of Cx37 are differentially predictive of increased risk for inflammatory diseases.

  20. Role of Connexins and Pannexins in the Pancreas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cigliola, Valentina; Allagnat, Florent; Berchtold, Lukas Adrian; Lamprianou, Smaragda; Haefliger, Jacques-Antoine; Meda, Paolo

    2015-11-01

    The pancreas produces enzymes with a digestive function and hormones with a metabolic function, which are produced by distinct cell types of acini and islets, respectively. Within these units, secretory cells coordinate their functioning by exchanging information via signals that flow in the intercellular spaces and are generated either at distance (several neural and hormonal inputs) or nearby the pancreatic cells themselves (inputs mediated by membrane ionic-specific channels and by ionic- and metabolite-permeant pannexin channels and connexin "hemichannels"). Pancreatic secretory cells further interact via the extracellular matrix of the pancreas (inputs mediated by integrins) and directly with neighboring cells, by mechanisms that do not require extracellular mediators (inputs mediated by gap and tight junction channels). Here, we review the expression and function of the connexins and pannexins that are expressed by the main secretory cells of the exocrine and endocrine pancreatic cells. Available data show that the patterns of expression of these proteins differ in acini and islets, supporting distinct functions in the physiological secretion of pancreatic enzymes and hormones. Circumstantial evidence further suggests that alterations in the signaling provided by these proteins are involved in pancreatic diseases.

  1. Pharmacology of gap junctions. New pharmacological targets for treatment of arrhythmia, seizure and cancer?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salameh, Aida; Dhein, Stefan

    2005-12-20

    Intercellular communication in many organs is maintained via intercellular gap junction channels composed of connexins, a large protein family with a number of isoforms. This gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) allows the propagation of action potentials (e.g., in brain, heart), and the transfer of small molecules which may regulate cell growth, differentiation and function. The latter has been shown to be involved in cancer growth: reduced GJIC often is associated with increased tumor growth or with de-differentiation processes. Disturbances of GJIC in the heart can cause arrhythmia, while in brain electrical activity during seizures seems to be propagated via gap junction channels. Many diseases or pathophysiological conditions seem to be associated with alterations of gap junction protein expression. Thus, depending on the target disease opening or closure of gap junctions may be of interest, or alteration of connexin expression. GJIC can be affected acutely by changing gap junction conductance or--more chronic--by altering connexin expression and membrane localisation. This review gives an overview on drugs affecting GJIC.

  2. Understanding of the molecular evolution of deafness-associated pathogenic mutations of connexin 26.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Xin-Huan; Fan, Yi; Wei, Qin-Jun; Xing, Guang-Qian; Cao, Xin

    2014-12-01

    Connexins (Cxs) were first identified as subunit proteins of the intercellular membrane channels that cluster in the cell communication structures known as gap junctions. Mutations in the gap junction β2 (GJB2) gene encoding connexin 26 (Cx26) have been linked to sporadic and hereditary hearing loss. In some cases, the mechanisms through which these mutations lead to hearing loss have been partly elucidated using cell culture systems and animal models. The goal of this study was to re-assess the pathogenic roles of the GJB2 mutations by combining comparative evolutionary studies. We used Bayesian phylogenetic analyses to determine the relationships among 35 orthologs and to calculate the ancestral sequences of these orthologs. By aligning sequences from the 35 orthologs and their ancestors and categorizing amino acid sites by degree of conservation, we used comparative evolutionary methods to determine potential functionally important amino acid sites in Cx26 and to identify missense changes that are likely to affect function. We identified six conserved regions in Cx26, five of which are located in the Connexin_CCC, and another is in the connexin super family domain. Finally, we identified 51 missense changes that are likely to disrupt function, and the probability of these changes occurring at hydrophilic amino acid residues was twice that of occurring at hydrophobic residues in the trans-membrane regions of Cx26. Our findings, which were obtained by combining comparative evolutionary methods to predict Cx26 mutant function, are consistent with the pathogenic characteristics of Cx26 mutants. This study provides a new pathway for studying the role of aberrant Cx26 in hereditary hearing loss.

  3. Specific deletion of AMP-activated protein kinase (α1AMPK in murine oocytes alters junctional protein expression and mitochondrial physiology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Bertoldo

    Full Text Available Oogenesis and folliculogenesis are dynamic processes that are regulated by endocrine, paracrine and autocrine signals. These signals are exchanged between the oocyte and the somatic cells of the follicle. Here we analyzed the role of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK, an important regulator of cellular energy homeostasis, by using transgenic mice deficient in α1AMPK specifically in the oocyte. We found a decrease of 27% in litter size was observed in ZP3-α1AMPK-/- (ZP3-KO female mice. Following in vitro fertilization, where conditions are stressful for the oocyte and embryo, ZP3-KO oocytes were 68% less likely to pass the 2-cell stage. In vivo and in cumulus-oocyte complexes, several proteins involved in junctional communication, such as connexin37 and N-cadherin were down-regulated in the absence of α1AMPK. While the two signalling pathways (PKA and MAPK involved in the junctional communication between the cumulus/granulosa cells and the oocyte were stimulated in control oocytes, ZP3-KO oocytes exhibited only low phosphorylation of MAPK or CREB proteins. In addition, MII oocytes deficient in α1AMPK had a 3-fold lower ATP concentration, an increase in abnormal mitochondria, and a decrease in cytochrome C and PGC1α levels, suggesting perturbed energy production by mitochondria. The absence of α1AMPK also induced a reduction in histone deacetylase activity, which was associated with an increase in histone H3 acetylation (K9/K14 residues. Together, the results of the present study suggest that absence of AMPK, modifies oocyte quality through energy processes and oocyte/somatic cell communication. The limited effect observed in vivo could be partly due to a favourable follicle microenvironment where nutrients, growth factors, and adequate cell interaction were present. Whereas in a challenging environment such as that of in vitro culture following IVF, the phenotype is revealed.

  4. Extracellular domains play different roles in gap junction formation and docking compatibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Donglin; Wang, Ao Hong

    2014-02-15

    GJ (gap junction) channels mediate direct intercellular communication and play an important role in many physiological processes. Six connexins oligomerize to form a hemichannel and two hemichannels dock together end-to-end to form a GJ channel. Connexin extracellular domains (E1 and E2) have been shown to be important for the docking, but the molecular mechanisms behind the docking and formation of GJ channels are not clear. Recent developments in atomic GJ structure and functional studies on a series of connexin mutants revealed that E1 and E2 are likely to play different roles in the docking. Non-covalent interactions at the docking interface, including hydrogen bonds, are predicted to form between interdocked extracellular domains. Protein sequence alignment analysis on the docking compatible/incompatible connexins indicate that the E1 domain is important for the formation of the GJ channel and the E2 domain is important in the docking compatibility in heterotypic channels. Interestingly, the hydrogen-bond forming or equivalent residues in both E1 and E2 domains are mutational hot spots for connexin-linked human diseases. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of GJ docking can assist us to develop novel strategies in rescuing the disease-linked connexin mutants.

  5. Rad54 protein promotes branch migration of Holliday junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bugreev, Dmitry V; Mazina, Olga M; Mazin, Alexander V

    2006-08-03

    Homologous recombination has a crucial function in the repair of DNA double-strand breaks and in faithful chromosome segregation. The mechanism of homologous recombination involves the search for homology and invasion of the ends of a broken DNA molecule into homologous duplex DNA to form a cross-stranded structure, a Holliday junction (HJ). A HJ is able to undergo branch migration along DNA, generating increasing or decreasing lengths of heteroduplex. In both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, the physical evidence for HJs, the key intermediate in homologous recombination, was provided by electron microscopy. In bacteria there are specialized enzymes that promote branch migration of HJs. However, in eukaryotes the identity of homologous recombination branch-migration protein(s) has remained elusive. Here we show that Rad54, a Swi2/Snf2 protein, binds HJ-like structures with high specificity and promotes their bidirectional branch migration in an ATPase-dependent manner. The activity seemed to be conserved in human and yeast Rad54 orthologues. In vitro, Rad54 has been shown to stimulate DNA pairing of Rad51, a key homologous recombination protein. However, genetic data indicate that Rad54 protein might also act at later stages of homologous recombination, after Rad51 (ref. 13). Novel DNA branch-migration activity is fully consistent with this late homologous recombination function of Rad54 protein.

  6. Aberrantly localized connexin32 protein enhances invasion and metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma cells in vivo%间隙连接蛋白Connexin32对肝癌侵袭和转移能力的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李庆昌; 谢成耀; 高辉; 徐洪涛; 邱雪杉; 王恩华

    2009-01-01

    目的:探讨肝癌细胞中间隙连接蛋白Connexin32对肝癌细胞体内侵袭和转移能力的影响.方法:利用可以通过增减细胞外环境中Doxycycline调控Connexin32蛋白表达的肝癌细胞HuH7 Tet-off Cx32亚克隆,将之原位移植到重度联合免疫缺陷鼠肝脏浆膜下,通过饮用水中添加(去除)Doxycycline调控动物体内Connexin32的表达,8周后处死小鼠,观察肿瘤形成及转移情况,蛋白质印迹法及免疫组织化学方法检测其与对照组的Connexin32蛋白表达情况.结果:移植HuH7 Tet-off Cx32细胞的小鼠,在饮用水中去除Doxycycline诱发Connexin32高表达条件下,形成明显的肝内转移灶和腹膜转移灶;而饮用水中添加了Doxycycline的小鼠没有发现明显的转移灶形成.免疫组化证实,高表达的Connexin32蛋白定位于细胞质.蛋白质印迹法结果显示,Doxycycline在小鼠体内呈现较好的诱导性.结论:细胞质内异位蓄积的Connexin32蛋白明显增强肝癌细胞的体内侵袭和转移能力.

  7. Loss of cadherin-binding proteins β-catenin and plakoglobin in the heart leads to gap junction remodeling and arrhythmogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swope, David; Cheng, Lan; Gao, Erhe; Li, Jifen; Radice, Glenn L

    2012-03-01

    Arrhythmic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is a hereditary heart muscle disease that causes sudden cardiac death (SCD) in young people. Almost half of ARVC patients have a mutation in genes encoding cell adhesion proteins of the desmosome, including plakoglobin (JUP). We previously reported that cardiac tissue-specific plakoglobin (PG) knockout (PG CKO) mice have no apparent conduction abnormality and survive longer than expected. Importantly, the PG homolog, β-catenin (CTNNB1), showed increased association with the gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43) in PG CKO hearts. To determine whether β-catenin is required to maintain cardiac conduction in the absence of PG, we generated mice lacking both PG and β-catenin specifically in the heart (i.e., double knockout [DKO]). The DKO mice exhibited cardiomyopathy, fibrous tissue replacement, and conduction abnormalities resulting in SCD. Loss of the cadherin linker proteins resulted in dissolution of the intercalated disc (ICD) structure. Moreover, Cx43-containing gap junction plaques were reduced at the ICD, consistent with the arrhythmogenicity of the DKO hearts. Finally, ambulatory electrocardiogram monitoring captured the abrupt onset of spontaneous lethal ventricular arrhythmia in the DKO mice. In conclusion, these studies demonstrate that the N-cadherin-binding partners, PG and β-catenin, are indispensable for maintaining mechanoelectrical coupling in the heart.

  8. 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.

  9. Connexin43 is dispensable for phagocytosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, Aaron M; Wolf, Benjamin J; Schneider, Karin M; Princiotta, Michael F; Taffet, Steven M

    2013-05-01

    Macrophages that lack connexin43 (Cx43), a gap junction protein, have been reported to exhibit dramatic deficiencies in phagocytosis. In this study, we revisit these findings using well-characterized macrophage populations. Cx43 knockout (Cx43(-/-)) mice die soon after birth, making the harvest of macrophages from adult Cx43(-/-) mice problematic. To overcome this obstacle, we used several strategies: mice heterozygous for the deletion of Cx43 were crossed to produce Cx43(+/+) (wild type [WT]) and Cx43(-/-) fetuses. Cells isolated from 12- to 14-d fetal livers were used to reconstitute irradiated recipient animals. After reconstitution, thioglycollate-elicited macrophages were collected by peritoneal lavage and bone marrow was harvested. Bone marrow cells and, alternatively, fetal liver cells were cultured in media containing M-CSF for 7-10 d, resulting in populations of cells that were >95% macrophages based on flow cytometry. Phagocytic uptake was detected using flow cytometric and microscopic techniques. Quantification of phagocytic uptake of IgG-opsonized sheep erythrocytes, zymosan particles, and Listeria monocytogenes failed to show any significant difference between WT and Cx43(-/-) macrophages. Furthermore, the use of particles labeled with pH-sensitive dyes showed equivalent acidification of phagosomes in both WT and Cx43(-/-) macrophages. Our findings suggest that modulation of Cx43 levels in cultured macrophages does not have a significant impact on phagocytosis.

  10. Isoform composition of connexin channels determines selectivity among second messengers and uncharged molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bevans, C G; Kordel, M; Rhee, S K; Harris, A L

    1998-01-30

    Intercellular connexin channels (gap junction channels) have long been thought to mediate molecular signaling between cells, but the nature of the signaling has been unclear. This study shows that connexin channels from native tissue have selective permeabilities, partially based on pore diameter, that discriminate among cytoplasmic second messenger molecules. Permeability was assessed by measurement of selective loss/retention of tracers from liposomes containing reconstituted connexin channels. The tracers employed were tritiated cyclic nucleotides and a series of oligomaltosaccharides derivatized with a small uncharged fluorescent moiety. The data define different size cut-off limits for permeability through homomeric connexin-32 channels and through heteromeric connexin-32/connexin-26 channels. Connexin-26 contributes to a narrowed pore. Both cAMP and cGMP were permeable through the homomeric connexin-32 channels. cAMP was permeable through only a fraction of the heteromeric channels. Surprisingly, cGMP was permeable through a substantially greater fraction of the heteromeric channels than was cAMP. The data suggest that isoform stoichiometry and/or arrangement within a connexin channel determines whether cyclic nucleotides can permeate, and which ones. This is the first evidence for connexin-specific selectivity among biological signaling molecules.

  11. Connexin 26 facilitates gastrointestinal bacterial infection in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, Charlotte; Kelsell, David P; Marchès, Olivier

    2013-01-01

    Escherichia coli, including enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), represents the most common cause of diarrhoea worldwide and is therefore a serious public health burden. Treatment for gastrointestinal pathogens is hindered by the emergence of multiple antibiotic resistance, leading to the requirement for the development of new therapies. A variety of mechanisms act in combination to mediate gastrointestinal-bacterial-associated diarrhoea development. For example, EPEC infection of enterocytes induces attaching and effacing lesion formation and the disruption of tight junctions. An alternative enteric pathogen, Shigella flexneri, manipulates the expression of Connexin 26 (Cx26), a gap junction protein. S. flexneri can open Cx26 hemichannels allowing the release of ATP, whereas HeLa cells expressing mutant gap-junction-associated Cx26 are less susceptible to cellular invasion by S. flexneri than cells expressing wild-type (WT) Cx26. We have investigated further the link between Cx26 expression and gastrointestinal infection by using EPEC and S. flexneri as in vitro models of infection. In this study, a significant reduction in EPEC adherence was observed in cells expressing mutant Cx26 compared with WT Cx26. Furthermore, a significant reduction in both cellular invasion by S. flexneri and adherence by EPEC was demonstrated in human intestinal cell lines following treatment with Cx26 short interfering RNA. These in vitro results suggest that the loss of functional Cx26 expression provides improved protection against gastrointestinal bacterial pathogens. Thus, Cx26 represents a potential therapeutic target for gastrointestinal bacterial infection.

  12. Regulation of connexins expression levels by microRNAs, an update

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Francisco Calderon

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Control of cell-cell coordination and communication is regulated by several factors, including paracrine and autocrine release of biomolecules, and direct exchange of soluble factors between cells through gap junction channels. Additionally, hemichannels also participate in cell-cell coordination through the release of signaling molecules, such as ATP and glutamate. A family of transmembrane proteins named connexins forms both gap junction channels and hemichannels. Because of their importance in cell and tissue coordination, connexins are controlled both by post-translational and post-transcriptional modifications. In recent years, non-coding RNAs have garnered research interest due to their ability to exert post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. One of the most recent, well-documented control mechanisms of protein synthesis is found through the action of small, single-stranded RNA, called micro RNAs (miRNAs or miRs. Put simply, miRNAs are negative regulators of the expression of a myriad proteins involved in many physiological and pathological processes. This mini review will briefly summarize what is currently known about the action of miRNAs over Cxs expression/function in different organs under some relevant physiological and pathological conditions

  13. Characterisation of connexin expression and electrophysiological properties in stable clones of the HL-1 myocyte cell line.

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    Priyanthi Dias

    Full Text Available The HL-1 atrial line contains cells blocked at various developmental stages. To obtain homogeneous sub-clones and correlate changes in gene expression with functional alterations, individual clones were obtained and characterised for parameters involved in conduction and excitation-contraction coupling. Northern blots for mRNAs coding for connexins 40, 43 and 45 and calcium handling proteins (sodium/calcium exchanger, L- and T-type calcium channels, ryanodine receptor 2 and sarco-endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase 2 were performed. Connexin expression was further characterised by western blots and immunofluorescence. Inward currents were characterised by voltage clamp and conduction velocities measured using microelectrode arrays. The HL-1 clones had similar sodium and calcium inward currents with the exception of clone 2 which had a significantly smaller calcium current density. All the clones displayed homogenous propagation of electrical activity across the monolayer correlating with the levels of connexin expression. Conduction velocities were also more sensitive to inhibition of junctional coupling by carbenoxolone (∼ 80% compared to inhibition of the sodium current by lidocaine (∼ 20%. Electrical coupling by gap junctions was the major determinant of conduction velocities in HL-1 cell lines. In summary we have isolated homogenous and stable HL-1 clones that display characteristics distinct from the heterogeneous properties of the original cell line.

  14. Detection of connexins in liver cells using sodiumdodecylsulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunoblot analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willebrords, Joost; Maes, Michaël; Yanguas, Sara Crespo; Cogliati, Bruno; Vinken, Mathieu

    2016-01-01

    Summary Since connexin expression is partly regulated at the protein level, immunoblot analysis represents a frequently addressed technique in the connexin research field. The present chapter describes the set-up of an immunoblot procedure, including protein extraction and quantification from biological samples, gel electrophoresis, protein transfer and immunoblotting, which is optimized for analysis of connexins in liver tissue. In essence, proteins are separated on a polyacrylamide gel using sodiumdodecylsulfate followed by transfer of proteins on a nitrocellulose membrane. The latter allows specific detection of connexins with antibodies combined with revelation through enhanced chemiluminescence. PMID:27207285

  15. Voltage regulation of connexin channel conductance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Seunghoon; Bargiello, Thaddeus A

    2015-01-01

    Voltage is an important parameter that regulates the conductance of both intercellular and plasma membrane channels (undocked hemichannels) formed by the 21 members of the mammalian connexin gene family. Connexin channels display two forms of voltage-dependence, rectification of ionic currents and voltage-dependent gating. Ionic rectification results either from asymmetries in the distribution of fixed charges due to heterotypic pairing of different hemichannels, or by channel block, arising from differences in the concentrations of divalent cations on opposite sides of the junctional plaque. This rectification likely underpins the electrical rectification observed in some electrical synapses. Both intercellular and undocked hemichannels also display two distinct forms of voltage-dependent gating, termed Vj (fast)-gating and loop (slow)-gating. This review summarizes our current understanding of the molecular determinants and mechanisms underlying these conformational changes derived from experimental, molecular-genetic, structural, and computational approaches.

  16. Premature osteoblast clustering by enamel matrix proteins induces osteoblast differentiation through up-regulation of connexin 43 and N-cadherin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard J Miron

    Full Text Available In recent years, enamel matrix derivative (EMD has garnered much interest in the dental field for its apparent bioactivity that stimulates regeneration of periodontal tissues including periodontal ligament, cementum and alveolar bone. Despite its widespread use, the underlying cellular mechanisms remain unclear and an understanding of its biological interactions could identify new strategies for tissue engineering. Previous in vitro research has demonstrated that EMD promotes premature osteoblast clustering at early time points. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the influence of cell clustering on vital osteoblast cell-cell communication and adhesion molecules, connexin 43 (cx43 and N-cadherin (N-cad as assessed by immunofluorescence imaging, real-time PCR and Western blot analysis. In addition, differentiation markers of osteoblasts were quantified using alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin and von Kossa staining. EMD significantly increased the expression of connexin 43 and N-cadherin at early time points ranging from 2 to 5 days. Protein expression was localized to cell membranes when compared to control groups. Alkaline phosphatase activity was also significantly increased on EMD-coated samples at 3, 5 and 7 days post seeding. Interestingly, higher activity was localized to cell cluster regions. There was a 3 fold increase in osteocalcin and bone sialoprotein mRNA levels for osteoblasts cultured on EMD-coated culture dishes. Moreover, EMD significantly increased extracellular mineral deposition in cell clusters as assessed through von Kossa staining at 5, 7, 10 and 14 days post seeding. We conclude that EMD up-regulates the expression of vital osteoblast cell-cell communication and adhesion molecules, which enhances the differentiation and mineralization activity of osteoblasts. These findings provide further support for the clinical evidence that EMD increases the speed and quality of new bone formation in vivo.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  18. The gap junction as a "Biological Rosetta Stone": implications of evolution, stem cells to homeostatic regulation of health and disease in the Barker hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trosko, James E

    2011-03-01

    The discovery of the gap junction structure, its functions and the family of the "connexin" genes, has been basically ignored by the major biological disciplines. These connexin genes code for proteins that organize to form membrane-associated hemi-channels, "connexons", co-join with the connexons of neighboring cells to form gap junctions. Gap junctions appeared in the early evolution of the metazoan. Their fundamental functions, (e.g., to synchronize electrotonic and metabolic functions of societies of cells, and to regulate cell proliferation, cell differentiation, and apoptosis), were accomplished via integrating the extra-cellular triggering of intra-cellular signaling, and therefore, regulating gene expression. These functions have been documented by genetic mutations of the connexin genes and by chemical modulation of gap junctions. Via genetic alteration of connexins in knock-out and transgenic mice, as well as inherited connexin mutations in various human syndromes, the gap junction has been shown to be directly linked to many normal cell functions and multiple diseases, such as birth defects, reproductive, neurological disorders, immune dysfunction and cancer. Specifically, the modulation of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC), either by increasing or decreasing its functions by non-mutagenic chemicals or by oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes in normal or "initiated" stem cells and their progenitor cells, can have a major impact on tumor promotion or cancer chemoprevention and chemotherapy. The overview of the roles of the gap junction in the evolution of the metazoan and its potential in understanding a "systems" view of human health and aging and the diseases of aging will be attempted.

  19. Intestinal epithelial barrier function and tight junction proteins with heat and exercise

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dokladny, Karol; Zuhl, Micah N; Moseley, Pope L

    2016-01-01

    (passive hyperthermia) heat stress on tight junction barrier function in in vitro and in vivo (animals and humans) models. Our secondary focus is to review changes in tight junction proteins in response to exercise or hyperthermic conditions. Finally, we discuss some pharmacological or nutritional...... interventions that may affect the cellular mechanisms involved in maintaining homeostasis of the intestinal epithelial tight junction barrier during heat stress or exercise....

  20. Connexin hemichannel inhibition reduces acetaminophen-induced liver injury in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maes, Michaël; Crespo Yanguas, Sara; Willebrords, Joost; Weemhoff, James L; da Silva, Tereza Cristina; Decrock, Elke; Lebofsky, Margitta; Pereira, Isabel Veloso Alves; Leybaert, Luc; Farhood, Anwar; Jaeschke, Hartmut; Cogliati, Bruno; Vinken, Mathieu

    2017-08-15

    Historically, connexin hemichannels have been considered as structural precursors of gap junctions. However, accumulating evidence points to independent roles for connexin hemichannels in cellular signaling by connecting the intracellular compartment with the extracellular environment. Unlike gap junctions, connexin hemichannels seem to be mainly activated in pathological processes. The present study was set up to test the potential involvement of hemichannels composed of connexin32 and connexin43 in acute hepatotoxicity induced by acetaminophen. Prior to this, in vitro testing was performed to confirm the specificity and efficacy of TAT-Gap24 and TAT-Gap19 in blocking connexin32 and connexin43 hemichannels, respectively. Subsequently, mice were overdosed with acetaminophen followed by treatment with TAT-Gap24 or TAT-Gap19 or a combination of both after 1.5h. Sampling was performed 3, 6, 24 and 48h following acetaminophen administration. Evaluation of the effects of connexin hemichannel inhibition was based on a series of clinically relevant read-outs, measurement of inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress. Subsequent treatment of acetaminophen-overdosed mice with TAT-Gap19 only marginally affected liver injury. In contrast, a significant reduction in serum alanine aminotransferase activity was found upon administration of TAT-Gap24 to intoxicated animals. Furthermore, co-treatment of acetaminophen-overdosed mice with both peptides revealed an additive effect as even lower serum alanine aminotransferase activity was observed. Blocking of connexin32 or connexin43 hemichannels individually was found to decrease serum quantities of pro-inflammatory cytokines, while no effects were observed on the occurrence of hepatic oxidative stress. This study shows for the first time a role for connexin hemichannels in acetaminophen-induced acute liver failure. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Altered expression of epithelial junctional proteins in atopic asthma: Possible role in inflammation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    W.I. de Boer (Pim); H.S. Sharma (Hari); S.M. Baelemans (Sophia); H.C. Hoogsteden (Henk); B.N.M. Lambrecht (Bart); G.J. Braunstahl (Gert-Jan)

    2008-01-01

    textabstractEpithelial cells form a tight barrier against environmental stimuli via tight junctions (TJs) and adherence junctions (AJs). Defects in TJ and AJ proteins may cause changes in epithelial morphology and integrity and potentially lead to faster trafficking of inflammatory cells through the

  2. Transitions of protein traffic from cardiac ER to junctional SR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sleiman, Naama H; McFarland, Timothy P; Jones, Larry R; Cala, Steven E

    2015-04-01

    The junctional sarcoplasmic reticulum (jSR) is an important and unique ER subdomain in the adult myocyte that concentrates resident proteins to regulate Ca(2+) release. To investigate cellular mechanisms for sorting and trafficking proteins to jSR, we overexpressed canine forms of junctin (JCT) or triadin (TRD) in adult rat cardiomyocytes. Protein accumulation over time was visualized by confocal fluorescence microscopy using species-specific antibodies. Newly synthesized JCTdog and TRDdog appeared by 12-24h as bright fluorescent puncta close to the nuclear surface, decreasing in intensity with increasing radial distance. With increasing time (24-48h), fluorescent puncta appeared at further radial distances from the nuclear surface, eventually populating jSR similar to steady-state patterns. CSQ2-DsRed, a form of CSQ that polymerizes ectopically in rough ER, prevented anterograde traffic of newly made TRDdog and JCTdog, demonstrating common pathways of intracellular trafficking as well as in situ binding to CSQ2 in juxtanuclear rough ER. Reversal of CSQ-DsRed interactions occurred when a form of TRDdog was used in which CSQ2-binding sites are removed ((del)TRD). With increasing levels of expression, CSQ2-DsRed revealed a novel smooth ER network that surrounds nuclei and connects the nuclear axis. TRDdog was retained in smooth ER by binding to CSQ2-DsRed, but escaped to populate jSR puncta. TRDdog and (del)TRD were therefore able to elucidate areas of ER-SR transition. High levels of CSQ2-DsRed in the ER led to loss of jSR puncta labeling, suggesting a plasticity of ER-SR transition sites. We propose a model of ER and SR protein traffic along microtubules, with prominent transverse/radial ER trafficking of JCT and TRD along Z-lines to populate jSR, and an abundant longitudinal/axial smooth ER between and encircling myonuclei, from which jSR proteins traffic.

  3. Transitions of protein traffic from cardiac ER to junctional SR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sleiman, Naama H.; McFarland, Timothy P.; Jones, Larry R.; Cala, Steven E.

    2015-01-01

    The junctional sarcoplasmic reticulum (jSR) is an important and unique ER subdomain in the adult myocyte that concentrates resident proteins to regulate Ca2+ release. To investigate cellular mechanisms for sorting and trafficking proteins to jSR, we overexpressed canine forms of junctin (JCT) or triadin (TRD) in adult rat cardiomyocytes. Protein accumulation over time was visualized by confocal fluorescence microscopy using species-specific antibodies. Newly synthesized JCTdog and TRDdog appeared by 12-24 h as bright fluorescent puncta close to the nuclear surface, decreasing in intensity with increasing radial distance. With increasing time (24-48 h), fluorescent puncta appeared at further radial distances from the nuclear surface, eventually populating jSR similar to steady-state patterns. CSQ2-DsRed, a form of CSQ that polymerizes ectopically in rough ER, prevented anterograde traffic of newly made TRDdog and JCTdog, demonstrating common pathways of intracellular trafficking as well as in situ binding to CSQ2 in juxtanuclear rough ER. Reversal of CSQD-sRed interactions occurred when a form of TRDdog was used in which CSQ2-binding sites are removed (delTRD). With increasing levels of expression, CSQ2-DsRed revealed a novel smooth ER network that surrounds nuclei and connects the nuclear axis. TRDdog was retained in smooth ER by binding to CSQ2-DsRed, but escaped to populate jSR puncta. TRDdog and del TRD were therefore able to elucidate areas of ER-SR transition. High levels of CSQ2-DsRed in the ER led to loss of jSR puncta labeling, suggesting a plasticity of ER-SR transition sites. We propose a model of ER and SR protein traffic along microtubules, with prominent transverse/radial ER trafficking of JCT and TRD along Z-lines to populate jSR, and an abundant longitudinal/axial smooth ER between and encircling myonuclei, from which jSR proteins traffic. PMID:25640161

  4. Translocation of connexin 43 to the inner mitochondrial membrane of cardiomyocytes through the heat shock protein 90-dependent TOM pathway and its importance for cardioprotection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Sinovas, Antonio; Boengler, Kerstin; Cabestrero, Alberto; Gres, Petra; Morente, Miriam; Ruiz-Meana, Marisol; Konietzka, Ina; Miró, Elisabet; Totzeck, Andreas; Heusch, Gerd; Schulz, Rainer; Garcia-Dorado, David

    2006-07-07

    We have previously shown that connexin 43 (Cx43) is present in mitochondria, that its genetic depletion abolishes the protection of ischemia- and diazoxide-induced preconditioning, and that it is involved in reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation in response to diazoxide. Here we investigated the intramitochondrial localization of Cx43, the mechanism of Cx43 translocation to mitochondria and the effect of inhibiting translocation on the protection of preconditioning. Confocal microscopy of mitochondria devoid of the outer membrane and Western blotting on fractionated mitochondria showed that Cx43 is located at the inner mitochondrial membrane, and coimmunoprecipitation of Cx43 with Tom20 (Translocase of the outer membrane 20) and with heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) indicated that it interacts with the regular mitochondrial protein import machinery. In isolated rat hearts, geldanamycin, a blocker of Hsp90-dependent translocation of proteins to the inner mitochondrial membrane through the TOM pathway, rapidly (15 minutes) reduced mitochondrial Cx43 content by approximately one-third in the absence or presence of diazoxide. Geldanamycin alone had no effect on infarct size, but it ablated the protection against infarction afforded by diazoxide. Geldanamycin abolished the 2-fold increase in mitochondrial Cx43 induced by 2 preconditioning cycles of ischemia/reperfusion, but this effect was not associated with reduced protection. These results demonstrate that Cx43 is transported to the inner mitochondrial membrane through translocation via the TOM complex and that a normal mitochondrial Cx43 content is important for the diazoxide-related pathway of preconditioning.

  5. 间隙连接蛋白43与妇科疾病%Connexin 43 and Gynecological Diseases

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    贾喜菲

    2011-01-01

    The normal and abnormal expression of connexin play a direct role in the function of cell, tissue , and organ, whereas connexin 43 is the most important gap junction protein.The expression of connexin 43 is increased in uterine tissues, as a low-impedance channel for uterine intermuscular cell contraction.Gap junction channels are subject to the penetration of ions, ensuring the metabolism and behavioral coordination of uterine muscular cell populations.The abnormal expression of connexin 43 is closely associated with the occurrence and progress of uterine myoma,endometriosis,cervical cancer,and other gynecological disorders.%间隙连接蛋白的正常和异常表达,可直接影响细胞及组织、器官的功能状态,其中间隙连接蛋白43是最重要的间隙连接蛋白.在子宫组织中,间隙连接蛋白43水平的升高,为子宫肌细胞间收缩控制提供了低电阻通道,使离子很容易通过间隙连接的通道,保证了子宫肌细胞群在代谢及行为上的协调性.其异常表达,与子宫肌瘤、子宫内膜异位症、宫颈癌等多种妇科疾病的发生、发展有着密切的联系.

  6. A computational approach to detect gap junction plaques and associate them with cells in fluorescent images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldberg, Joshua S; Vadakkan, Tegy J; Hirschi, Karen K; Dickinson, Mary E

    2013-04-01

    Intercellular signaling is a fundamental requirement for complex biological system function and survival. Communication between adjoining cells is largely achieved via gap junction channels made up of multiple subunits of connexin proteins, each with unique selectivity and regulatory properties. Intercellular communication via gap junction channels facilitates transmission of an array of cellular signals, including ions, macromolecules, and metabolites that coordinate physiological processes throughout tissues and entire organisms. Although current methods used to quantify connexin expression rely on number or area density measurements in a field of view, they lack cellular assignment, distance measurement capabilities (both within the cell and to extracellular structures), and complete automation. We devised an automated computational approach built on a contour expansion algorithm platform that allows connexin protein detection and assignment to specific cells within complex tissues. In addition, parallel implementation of the contour expansion algorithm allows for high-throughput analysis as the complexity of the biological sample increases. This method does not depend specifically on connexin identification and can be applied more widely to the analysis of numerous immunocytochemical markers as well as to identify particles within tissues such as nanoparticles, gene delivery vehicles, or even cellular fragments such as exosomes or microparticles.

  7. Identification of a novel mutation of the gene for gap junction protein α3 (GJA3) in a Chinese family with congenital cataract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Ying; Gao, Lin; Feng, Yali; Yang, Tao; Huang, Shangzhi; Shao, Zhengbo; Yuan, Huiping

    2014-07-01

    Cataract, defined as any opacity of the crystallin lens, can be divided into early onset (congenital or infantile) and age-related. It is the leading cause of visual disability in children, and mutations in many genes have currently been linked with this disorder. In the present study, we identified a genetic defect in a Chinese family with congenital cataract. Genomic DNA was extracted from the venous blood of the family and 100 normal controls. To screen for the disease-causing mutation, we sequenced eight candidate genes, and to predict the functional consequences of the mutation, a structural model of the protein was developed using the Protein Data Bank and PyMOL 1.1r1. We found a novel variant (c.163 A > G transition) in the gene for gap junction protein α3, or the connexin46 gene. This mutation resulted in the substitution of a highly conserved asparagine at codon 55 by aspartic acid (p.N55D). There were no nucleotide polymorphisms in the other candidate genes sequenced.

  8. Common mechanisms linking connexin43 to neural progenitor cell migration and glioma invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naus, Christian C; Aftab, Qurratulain; Sin, Wun Chey

    2016-02-01

    Cell migration is critical for cell differentiation, tissue formation and organ development. Several mechanisms come to play in the process of cell migration, orchestrating changes in cell polarity, adhesion, process extension and motility. Recent findings have shown that gap junctions, and specifically connexin43 (Cx43), can play a significant role in these processes, impacting adhesion and cytoskeletal rearrangements. Thus Cx43 within a cell regulates its motility and migration via intracellular signaling. Furthermore, Cx43 in the host cells can impact the degree of cellular migration through that tissue. Similarities in these connexin-based processes account for both neural progenitor migration in the developing brain, and for glioma cell invasion in the mature brain. In both cases, Cx43 in the tissue ("soil") in which cells ("seeds") exist facilitates their migration and, for glioma cells, tissue invasion. Cx43 mediates these effects through channel- and non-channel-dependent mechanisms which have similarities in both paradigms of cell migration. This provides insight into developmental processes and pathological situations, as well as possible therapeutic approaches regarding specific functional domains of gap junction proteins.

  9. Two Different Functions of Connexin43 Confer Two Different Bone Phenotypes in Zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misu, Akihiro; Yamanaka, Hiroaki; Aramaki, Toshihiro; Kondo, Shigeru; Skerrett, I Martha; Iovine, M Kathryn; Watanabe, Masakatsu

    2016-06-10

    Fish remain nearly the same shape as they grow, but there are two different modes of bone growth. Bones in the tail fin (fin ray segments) are added distally at the tips of the fins and do not elongate once produced. On the other hand, vertebrae enlarge in proportion to body growth. To elucidate how bone growth is controlled, we investigated a zebrafish mutant, steopsel (stp(tl28d)). Vertebrae of stp(tl28d) (/+) fish look normal in larvae (∼30 days) but are distinctly shorter (59-81%) than vertebrae of wild type fish in adults. In contrast, the lengths of fin rays are only slightly shorter (∼95%) than those of the wild type in both larvae and adults. Positional cloning revealed that stp encodes Connexin43 (Cx43), a connexin that functions as a gap junction and hemichannel. Interestingly, cx43 was also identified as the gene causing the short-of-fin (sof) phenotype, in which the fin ray segments are shorter but the vertebrae are normal. To identify the cause of this difference between the alleles, we expressed Cx43 exogenously in Xenopus oocytes and performed electrophysiological analysis of the mutant proteins. Gap junction coupling induced by Cx43(stp) or Cx43(sof) was reduced compared with Cx43-WT. On the other hand, only Cx43(stp) induced abnormally high (50× wild type) transmembrane currents through hemichannels. Our results suggest that Cx43 plays critical and diverse roles in zebrafish bone growth.

  10. Two novel connexin32 mutations cause early onset X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sand Jette C

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background X-linked Charcot-Marie Tooth (CMT is caused by mutations in the connexin32 gene that encodes a polypeptide which is arranged in hexameric array and form gap junctions. Methods We describe two novel mutations in the connexin32 gene in two Norwegian families. Results Family 1 had a c.225delG (R75fsX83 which causes a frameshift and premature stop codon at position 247. This probably results in a shorter non-functional protein structure. Affected individuals had an early age at onset usually in the first decade. The symptoms were more severe in men than women. All had severe muscle weakness in the legs. Several abortions were observed in this family. Family 2 had a c.536 G>A (C179Y transition which causes a change of the highly conserved cysteine residue, i.e. disruption of at least one of three disulfide bridges. The mean age at onset was in the first decade. Muscle wasting was severe and correlated with muscle weakness in legs. The men and one woman also had symptom from their hands. The neuropathy is demyelinating and the nerve conduction velocities were in the intermediate range (25–49 m/s. Affected individuals had symmetrical clinical findings, while the neurophysiology revealed minor asymmetrical findings in nerve conduction velocity in 6 of 10 affected individuals. Conclusion The two novel mutations in the connexin32 gene are more severe than the majority of previously described mutations possibly due to the severe structural change of the gap junction they encode.

  11. Characterization of connexin30.3-deficient mice suggests a possible role of connexin30.3 in olfaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng-Fischhöfer, Qingyi; Schnichels, Marc; Dere, Ekrem; Strotmann, Jörg; Loscher, Nadine; McCulloch, Fiona; Kretz, Markus; Degen, Joachim; Reucher, Harald; Nagy, James I; Peti-Peterdi, Janos; Huston, Joseph P; Breer, Heinz; Willecke, Klaus

    2007-12-01

    We have generated connexin30.3-deficient mice in which the coding region of the connexin30.3 gene was replaced by the lacZ reporter gene. The expression pattern of this connexin was characterized using beta-galactosidase staining and immunoblot analyses. In skin, beta-galactosidase/connexin30.3 protein was expressed in the spinous and granulous layers of the epidermis. Specific beta-galactosidase/connexin30.3 expression was also detected in the thin ascending limb of Henle's loop in the kidney. In addition, we found beta-galactosidase/connexin30.3 in progenitor cells of the olfactory epithelium and in a subpopulation of cells in the apical layer of the vomeronasal organ. Connexin30.3-deficient mice were fertile and displayed no abnormalities in the skin or in the chemosensory systems. Furthermore, they showed normal auditory thresholds as measured by brain stem evoked potentials. These mice did, however, exhibit reduced behavioural responses to a vanilla scent.

  12. Ultrastructure of junction areas between neurons and astrocytes in rat supraoptic nuclei

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Li Duan; Hua Yuan; Chang-Jun Su; Ying-Ying Liu; Zhi-Ren Rao

    2004-01-01

    AIM: To determine the ultrastructure of junction areas between neurons and astrocytes of supraoptic nuclei in rats orally administered 30 g/L NaCl solution for 5 days.METHODS: The anti-connexin (CX) 43 and anti-CX32 double immunoelectromicroscopic labeled method, and anti-Fos or anti-glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunohistochemistry were used to detect changes in the junctional area between neurons and astrocytes in supraoptic nuclei of 5 rats after 30 g/L NaCL solution was given for 5days.RESULTS: A heterotypic connexin32/connexin43 gap junction (HGJ) between neurons and astrocytes (AS) in rat supraoptic nuclei was observed, which was characterized by the thickening and dark staining of cytomembranes with a narrow cleft between them. The number of HGJs and Fos like immunoreactive (-LI) cells was significantly increased following hyperosmotic stimuli, that is, the rats were administered 30 g/L NaCl solution orally or 90 g/L NaCl solution intravenously. HGJs could be blocked with carbenoxolone (CBX), a gap junction blocker, and the number of Fos-LI neurons was significantly decreased compared with that in rats without CBX injection, while Fos-LI ASs were not affected.CONCLUSION: HGJ may be a rapid adaptive signal structure between neurons and ASs in response to stimulation.

  13. Connexin 43 impacts on mitochondrial potassium uptake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerstin eBoengler

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available In cardiomyocytes, connexin 43 (Cx43 forms gap junctions and unopposed hemichannels at the plasma membrane, but the protein is also present at the inner membrane of subsarcolemmal mitochondria. Both inhibition and genetic ablation of Cx43 reduce ADP-stimulated complex 1 respiration. Since mitochondrial potassium influx impacts on oxygen consumption, we investigated whether or not inhibition or ablation of mitochondrial Cx43 alters mitochondrial potassium uptake.Subsarcolemmal mitochondria were isolated from rat left ventricular (LV myocardium and loaded with the potassium-sensitive dye PBFI. Intramitochondrial potassium was replaced by TEA (tetraethylammonium. Mitochondria were incubated under control conditions or treated with 250 µM Gap19, a peptide that specifically inhibits Cx43-dependent hemichannels at plasma membranes. Subsequently, 140 mM KCl was added and the slope of the increase in PBFI fluorescence over time was calculated. The slope of the PBFI fluorescence of the control mitochondria was set to 100%. In the presence of Gap19, the mitochondrial potassium influx was reduced from 100±11.6 % in control mitochondria to 65.5±10.7 % (n=6, p<0.05. In addition to the pharmacological inhibition of Cx43, potassium influx was studied in mitochondria isolated from conditional Cx43 knockout mice. Here, the ablation of Cx43 was achieved by the injection of 4-hydroxytamoxifen (Cx43Cre-ER(T/fl + 4-OHT. The mitochondria of the Cx43Cre-ER(T/fl + 4-OHT mice contained 3±1% Cx43 (n=6 of that in control mitochondria (100±11%, n=8, p<0.05. The ablation of Cx43 (n=5 reduced the velocity of the potassium influx from 100±11.2 % in control mitochondria (n=9 to 66.6±5.5 % (p<0.05.Taken together, our data indicate that both pharmacological inhibition and genetic ablation of Cx43 reduce mitochondrial potassium influx.

  14. Aberrant distributions and relationships among E-cadherin, beta-catenin, and connexin 26 and 43 in endometrioid adenocarcinomas.

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    Wincewicz, Andrzej; Baltaziak, Marek; Kanczuga-Koda, Luiza; Lesniewicz, Tomasz; Rutkowski, Ryszard; Sobaniec-Lotowska, Maria; Sulkowski, Stanislaw; Koda, Mariusz; Sulkowska, Mariola

    2010-07-01

    During carcinogenesis, loss of intracellular cohesion is observed among cancer cells with altered expression of such adhesion molecules as E-cadherin and beta-catenin, and aberrant expression and cellular location of intercellular gap junction proteins-connexins. The aim of this study was to evaluate immunohistochemically the expression and relationship between E-cadherin and beta-catenin, and the connexins Cx26 and Cx43 in 86 endometrioid adenocarcinomas. The aberrant cytoplasmic translocation of the studied proteins was a predominant finding, whereas only a minority of cases showed normal, nuclear beta-catenin labeling or membranous distribution of the remaining molecules. E-cadherin was positively and significantly associated with beta-catenin (P=0.001, r=0.366), as was Cx26 with Cx43 (P<0.001, r=0.719), E-cadherin with Cx26 (P<0.001, r=0.413), and E-cadherin and Cx43 (P<0.001, r=0.434) in all cancers. A subgroup of endometrioid adenocarcinomas (FIGO IB+II) exclusively showed a positive significant association between the expression of beta-catenin and Cx26 (P=0.038, r=0.339). In addition, there were significantly more beta-catenin-positive carcinomas among superficially spreading cancers (FIGO IA) than among deeper invading neoplasms (FIGO IB+II) (P=0.056). The altered location of the studied proteins indicates impairment of their physiological functions. In particular, normal membranous distribution of E-cadherin and connexins is lost and replaced by abnormal cytoplasmic accumulation in most cancers, and thus intercellular ties are expected to be weakened and loosened as a consequence. In contrast, the lack of relationship between beta-catenin and connexins, E-cadherin seems to be closely associated with the expression of Cx26 and Cx43 in endometrioid adenocarcinomas.

  15. Connexin32 accumulation in Golgi apparatus facilitates motility and invasiveness in Li-7 hepatocellular carcinoma cells%高尔基体内Connexin32蛋白对肝癌细胞Li-7的运动和侵袭能力的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李庆昌; 王鑫; 潘泳岐; 刘树立; 邱雪杉; 王恩华

    2012-01-01

    Objective To explore the effects of gap junction protein Connexin 32 on motility and invasiveness of hepatocellular carcinoma ( HCC) cells and the possible mechanism. Methods The stable subclone Li -7 Tet-off Connexin32 in which Connexin32 expression could be controlled by doxycycline was established in HCC Li -7 cells by retrovirus infection. Golgi apparatus was stained with BODIPY TR C5-ceramide to ascertain subcellular localization of Connexin 32 and scrape-loading dye transfer assay was performed to determine the GJIC . Cell motile and invasive ability was analyzed by in vitro transwell motility and invasion assay. Results A subclone originated from Li-7 cells was established, in which both Connexin32 cDNA and regulatory element Tet-off were stably integrated. Western-blot result showed that exogenous Connexin 32 was expressed in cytoplasm , mainly in Golgi apparatus, thus could not form GJIC among the adjacent HCC cells . Moreover, the abnormal accumulation of Connexin32 protein in cytoplasm could significantly promote motility and invasiveness of Li -7 cells. Conclusions Intra-Golgi accumulation of Connexin 32 protein can enhance tumor progression in Li -7 HCC cells with GJIC-independent manner.%目的 探讨肝癌细胞中间隙连接蛋白Connexin32 对肝癌细胞运动和侵袭能力的影响及可能 的分子机制.方法 利用逆病毒感染的方法在肝癌细胞系Li-7 中建立Connexin32 蛋白表达可通过doxycyc- line 调控的Li-7 Tet-off Connexin32 稳定克隆,应用高尔基体染色确定Connexin32 蛋白亚细胞定位,应用刮擦 负荷-染料转移实验(SL-DT)方法评价间隙连接介导的细胞间通讯(GJIC)水平,运用体外跨室细胞运动及侵 袭方法验证Connexin32 表达与肝癌细胞运动和侵袭能力的相关性.结果 利用逆病毒感染方法建立了稳定 整合了Connexin32 cDNA 和调控序列Tet-off 的肝癌细胞Li-7 Tet-off Connexin32 亚克隆,Western-blot 结果显 示外源性Connexin32 蛋白

  16. Do cell junction protein mutations cause an airway phenotype in mice or humans?

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    Chang, Eugene H; Pezzulo, Alejandro A; Zabner, Joseph

    2011-08-01

    Cell junction proteins connect epithelial cells to each other and to the basement membrane. Genetic mutations of these proteins can cause alterations in some epithelia leading to varied phenotypes such as deafness, renal disease, skin disorders, and cancer. This review examines if genetic mutations in these proteins affect the function of lung airway epithelia. We review cell junction proteins with examples of disease mutation phenotypes in humans and in mouse knockout models. We also review which of these genes are expressed in airway epithelium by microarray expression profiling and immunocytochemistry. Last, we present a comprehensive literature review to find the lung phenotype when cell junction and adhesion genes are mutated or subject to targeted deletion. We found that in murine models, targeted deletion of cell junction and adhesion genes rarely result in a lung phenotype. Moreover, mutations in these genes in humans have no obvious lung phenotype. Our research suggests that simply because a cell junction or adhesion protein is expressed in an organ does not imply that it will exhibit a drastic phenotype when mutated. One explanation is that because a functioning lung is critical to survival, redundancy in the system is expected. Therefore mutations in a single gene might be compensated by a related function of a similar gene product. Further studies in human and animal models will help us understand the overlap in the function of cell junction gene products. Finally, it is possible that the human lung phenotype is subtle and has not yet been described.

  17. The Connexin40A96S mutation from a patient with atrial fibrillation causes decreased atrial conduction velocities and sustained episodes of induced atrial fibrillation in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lübkemeier, Indra; Andrié, René; Lickfett, Lars; Bosen, Felicitas; Stöckigt, Florian; Dobrowolski, Radoslaw; Draffehn, Astrid M; Fregeac, Julien; Schultze, Joachim L; Bukauskas, Feliksas F; Schrickel, Jan Wilko; Willecke, Klaus

    2013-12-01

    Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia and a major cause of stroke. In the mammalian heart the gap junction proteins connexin40 (Cx40) and connexin43 (Cx43) are strongly expressed in the atrial myocardium mediating effective propagation of electrical impulses. Different heterozygous mutations in the coding region for Cx40 were identified in patients with AF. We have generated transgenic Cx40A96S mice harboring one of these mutations, the loss-of-function Cx40A96S mutation, as a model for atrial fibrillation. Cx40A96S mice were characterized by immunochemical and electrophysiological analyses. Significantly reduced atrial conduction velocities and strongly prolonged episodes of atrial fibrillation were found after induction in Cx40A96S mice. Analyses of the gating properties of Cx40A96S channels in cultured HeLa cells also revealed significantly lower junctional conductance and enhanced sensitivity voltage gating of Cx40A96S in comparison to Cx40 wild-type gap junctions. This is caused by reduced open probabilities of Cx40A96S gap junction channels, while single channel conductance remained the same. Similar to the corresponding patient, heterozygous Cx40A96S mice revealed normal expression levels and localization of the Cx40 protein. We conclude that heterozygous Cx40A96S mice exhibit prolonged episodes of induced atrial fibrillation and severely reduced atrial conduction velocities similar to the corresponding human patient.

  18. Tight junction-associated MARVEL proteins marveld3, tricellulin, and occludin have distinct but overlapping functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raleigh, David R; Marchiando, Amanda M; Zhang, Yong; Shen, Le; Sasaki, Hiroyuki; Wang, Yingmin; Long, Manyuan; Turner, Jerrold R

    2010-04-01

    In vitro studies have demonstrated that occludin and tricellulin are important for tight junction barrier function, but in vivo data suggest that loss of these proteins can be overcome. The presence of a heretofore unknown, yet related, protein could explain these observations. Here, we report marvelD3, a novel tight junction protein that, like occludin and tricellulin, contains a conserved four-transmembrane MARVEL (MAL and related proteins for vesicle trafficking and membrane link) domain. Phylogenetic tree reconstruction; analysis of RNA and protein tissue distribution; immunofluorescent and electron microscopic examination of subcellular localization; characterization of intracellular trafficking, protein interactions, dynamic behavior, and siRNA knockdown effects; and description of remodeling after in vivo immune activation show that marvelD3, occludin, and tricellulin have distinct but overlapping functions at the tight junction. Although marvelD3 is able to partially compensate for occludin or tricellulin loss, it cannot fully restore function. We conclude that marvelD3, occludin, and tricellulin define the tight junction-associated MARVEL protein family. The data further suggest that these proteins are best considered as a group with both redundant and unique contributions to epithelial function and tight junction regulation.

  19. Connexin 37 and 43 gene and protein expression and developmental competence of isolated ovine secondary follicles cultured in vitro after vitrification of ovarian tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sampaio da Silva, Andréa Moreira; Bruno, Jamily Bezerra; de Lima, Laritza Ferreira; Ribeiro de Sá, Naíza Arcângela; Lunardi, Franciele Osmarini; Ferreira, Anna Clara Accioly; Vieira Correia, Hudson Henrique; de Aguiar, Francisco Léo Nascimento; Araújo, Valdevane Rocha; Lobo, Carlos Henrique; de Alencar Araripe Moura, Arlindo; Campello, Cláudio Cabral; Smitz, Johan; de Figueiredo, José Ricardo; Ribeiro Rodrigues, Ana Paula

    2016-05-01

    Cryoinjuries caused by vitrification of tissues and organs lead to the loss of membrane proteins that mediate intercellular communications, such as connexins 37 (Cx37) and 43 (Cx43). Thus, the present study aimed to evaluate ovine Cx37 and Cx43 gene and protein expressions and developmental competence by in vitro-cultured secondary follicles retrieved from vitrified ovarian tissue. Ovarian fragments for the same ovary pair were distributed into six treatments: (1) fresh ovarian tissue (FOT); (2) vitrified ovarian tissue (VOT); (3) isolated follicles from fresh ovarian tissue (FIF); (4) isolated follicles from vitrified ovarian tissue; (5) isolated follicles from fresh ovarian tissue followed by in vitro culture (CFIF); (6) isolated follicles from vitrified ovarian tissue followed by in vitro culture (CVIF). In all treatments, Cx37 and Cx43 gene and protein expression patterns were evaluated by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunocytochemistry. In addition, secondary follicles were analyzed according to follicular integrity and growth, apoptosis, and cell proliferation. In vitro-cultured secondary follicles (CFIF and CVIF) were evaluated based on morphology (extruded follicles), antrum formation, and viability. The percentage of intact follicles was higher, whereas antrum formation, oocyte extrusion rate, and follicle viability were lower in CVIF than in CFIF treatment (P isolated follicles from vitrified ovarian tissue and CVIF treatments than in follicles from FIF. Expression of Cx43 messenger RNA was lower in CVIF treatment when compared with follicles from all other treatments (P  0.05). Cx37 and Cx43 immunolabeling was localized mainly on granulosa cells and oocytes, respectively. In conclusion, isolation of ovine secondary follicles could be done successfully after vitrification of ovarian tissue, and the basement membrane integrity remained intact after in vitro culture. Although the gene and protein expression of Cx37 did not

  20. Effects of ferulic acid on oxidative stress, heat shock protein 70, connexin 43, and monoamines in the hippocampus of pentylenetetrazole-kindled rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussein, Abdelaziz M; Abbas, Khaled M; Abulseoud, Osama A; El-Hussainy, El-Hussainy M A

    2017-06-01

    The present study investigated the effects of ferulic acid (FA) on pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced seizures, oxidative stress markers (malondialdehyde (MDA), catalase, and reduced glutathione (GSH)), connexin (Cx) 43, heat shock protein 70 (Hsp 70), and monoamines (serotonin (5-HT) and norepinephrine (NE)) levels in a rat model of PTZ-induced kindling. Sixty Sprague Dawley rats were divided into 5 equal groups: (a) normal group; (b) FA group: normal rats received FA at a dose of 40 mg/kg daily; (c) PTZ group: normal rats received PTZ at a dose of 50 mg/kg i.p. on alternate days for 15 days; (d) FA-before group: treatment was the same as for the PTZ group, except rats received FA; and (e) FA-after group: rats received FA from sixth dose of PTZ. PTZ caused a significant increase in MDA, Cx43, and Hsp70 along with a significant decrease in GSH, 5-HT, and NE levels and CAT activity in the hippocampus (p < 0.05). Pre- and post-treatment with FA caused significant improvement in behavioral parameters, MDA, CAT, GSH, 5-HT, NE, Cx43 expression, and Hsp70 expression in the hippocampal region (p < 0.05). We conclude that FA has neuroprotective effects in PTZ-induced epilepsy, which might be due to attenuation of oxidative stress and Cx43 expression and upregulation of neuroprotective Hsp70 and neurotransmitters (5-HT and NE).

  1. Regulation of Connexin-Based Channels by Fatty Acids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puebla, Carlos; Retamal, Mauricio A.; Acuña, Rodrigo; Sáez, Juan C.

    2017-01-01

    In this mini-review, we briefly summarize the current knowledge about the effects of fatty acids (FAs) on connexin-based channels, as well as discuss the limited information about the impact FAs may have on pannexins (Panxs). FAs regulate diverse cellular functions, some of which are explained by changes in the activity of channels constituted by connexins (Cxs) or Panxs, which are known to play critical roles in maintaining the functional integrity of diverse organs and tissues. Cxs are transmembrane proteins that oligomerize into hexamers to form hemichannels (HCs), which in turn can assemble into dodecamers to form gap junction channels (GJCs). While GJCs communicate the cytoplasm of contacting cells, HCs serve as pathways for the exchange of ions and small molecules between the intra and extracellular milieu. Panxs, as well as Cx HCs, form channels at the plasma membrane that enable the interchange of molecules between the intra and extracellular spaces. Both Cx- and Panx-based channels are controlled by several post-translational modifications. However, the mechanism of action of FAs on these channels has not been described in detail. It has been shown however that FAs frequently decrease GJC-mediated cell-cell communication. The opposite effect also has been described for HC or Panx-dependent intercellular communication, where, the acute FA effect can be reversed upon washout. Additionally, changes in GJCs mediated by FAs have been associated with post-translational modifications (e.g., phosphorylation), and seem to be directly related to chemical properties of FAs (e.g., length of carbon chain and/or degree of saturation), but this possible link remains poorly understood. PMID:28174541

  2. Regulation of Connexin-Based Channels by Fatty Acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puebla, Carlos; Retamal, Mauricio A; Acuña, Rodrigo; Sáez, Juan C

    2017-01-01

    In this mini-review, we briefly summarize the current knowledge about the effects of fatty acids (FAs) on connexin-based channels, as well as discuss the limited information about the impact FAs may have on pannexins (Panxs). FAs regulate diverse cellular functions, some of which are explained by changes in the activity of channels constituted by connexins (Cxs) or Panxs, which are known to play critical roles in maintaining the functional integrity of diverse organs and tissues. Cxs are transmembrane proteins that oligomerize into hexamers to form hemichannels (HCs), which in turn can assemble into dodecamers to form gap junction channels (GJCs). While GJCs communicate the cytoplasm of contacting cells, HCs serve as pathways for the exchange of ions and small molecules between the intra and extracellular milieu. Panxs, as well as Cx HCs, form channels at the plasma membrane that enable the interchange of molecules between the intra and extracellular spaces. Both Cx- and Panx-based channels are controlled by several post-translational modifications. However, the mechanism of action of FAs on these channels has not been described in detail. It has been shown however that FAs frequently decrease GJC-mediated cell-cell communication. The opposite effect also has been described for HC or Panx-dependent intercellular communication, where, the acute FA effect can be reversed upon washout. Additionally, changes in GJCs mediated by FAs have been associated with post-translational modifications (e.g., phosphorylation), and seem to be directly related to chemical properties of FAs (e.g., length of carbon chain and/or degree of saturation), but this possible link remains poorly understood.

  3. Role of connexin 43 in cardiovascular diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michela, Pecoraro; Velia, Verrilli; Aldo, Pinto; Ada, Popolo

    2015-12-05

    Gap junctions (GJs) channels provide the basis for intercellular communication in the cardiovascular system for maintenance of the normal cardiac rhythm, regulation of vascular tone and endothelial function as well as metabolic interchange between the cells. They allow the transfer of small molecules and may enable slow calcium wave spreading, transfer of "death" or of "survival" signals. In the cardiomyocytes the most abundant isoform is Connexin 43 (Cx43). Alterations in Cx43 expression and distribution were observed in myocardium disease; i.e. in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, heart failure and ischemia. Recent reports suggest the presence of Cx43 in the mitochondria as well, at least in the inner mitochondrial membrane, where it plays a central role in ischemic preconditioning. In this review, the current knowledge on the relationship between the remodeling of cardiac gap junctions and cardiac diseases are summarized. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. A membrane fusion protein αSNAP is a novel regulator of epithelial apical junctions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nayden G Naydenov

    Full Text Available Tight junctions (TJs and adherens junctions (AJs are key determinants of the structure and permeability of epithelial barriers. Although exocytic delivery to the cell surface is crucial for junctional assembly, little is known about the mechanisms controlling TJ and AJ exocytosis. This study was aimed at investigating whether a key mediator of exocytosis, soluble N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor (NSF attachment protein alpha (αSNAP, regulates epithelial junctions. αSNAP was enriched at apical junctions in SK-CO15 and T84 colonic epithelial cells and in normal human intestinal mucosa. siRNA-mediated knockdown of αSNAP inhibited AJ/TJ assembly and establishment of the paracellular barrier in SK-CO15 cells, which was accompanied by a significant down-regulation of p120-catenin and E-cadherin expression. A selective depletion of p120 catenin effectively disrupted AJ and TJ structure and compromised the epithelial barrier. However, overexpression of p120 catenin did not rescue the defects of junctional structure and permeability caused by αSNAP knockdown thereby suggesting the involvement of additional mechanisms. Such mechanisms did not depend on NSF functions or induction of cell death, but were associated with disruption of the Golgi complex and down-regulation of a Golgi-associated guanidine nucleotide exchange factor, GBF1. These findings suggest novel roles for αSNAP in promoting the formation of epithelial AJs and TJs by controlling Golgi-dependent expression and trafficking of junctional proteins.

  5. 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.

  6. Connexin43与心血管疾病关系的研究进展%Progress on correlation between connexin 43 and cardiovascular disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    吴瑶

    2011-01-01

    Connexin( Cx43)作为最重要的间隙连接蛋白,是哺乳动物心脏中最主要的连接蛋白。Cx43对心脏发育、心脏电生理活动、心肌的缺血后修复起重要作用,Cx43异常是很多心血管疾病包括先天性心脏病、缺血性心脏病、心律失常、高血压的重要病因。Cx43表达受多种因素影响,包括甲基化修饰、组蛋白修饰和非编码RNA调控等,这些调控机制的异常可能是其影响疾病发生、发展的重要因素。%As the most important gap junction protein, connexin 43 ( Cx43 ) is the most important connexin in the mammalian heart. Recent studies suggest that it plays an important role in heart development, cardiac electrophysiological activity and cell repair after myocardial ischemia. Cx43 abnormity is an important cause of many cardiovascular diseases including congenital heart disease, ischemic heart disease, arrhythmias and hypertension. The expression of Cx43 is regulated by various factors, including methylation, histone modification and non-coding RNA regulation, etc. These abnormal regulations may be important for the development of diseases.

  7. Silencing of desmoplakin decreases connexin43/Nav1.5 expression and sodium current in HL‑1 cardiomyocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qianhuan; Deng, Chunyu; Rao, Fang; Modi, Rohan M; Zhu, Jiening; Liu, Xiaoying; Mai, Liping; Tan, Honghong; Yu, Xiyong; Lin, Qiuxiong; Xiao, Dingzhang; Kuang, Sujuan; Wu, Shulin

    2013-09-01

    Desmosomes and gap junctions are situated in the intercalated disks of cardiac muscle and maintain the integrity of mechanical coupling and electrical impulse conduction between cells. The desmosomal plakin protein, desmoplakin (DSP), also plays a crucial role in the stability of these interconnected components as well as gap junction connexin proteins. In addition to cell‑to‑cell junctions, other molecules, including voltage‑gated sodium channels (Nav1.5) are present in the intercalated disk and support the contraction of cardiac muscle. Mutations in genes encoding desmosome proteins may result in fatal arrhythmias, including arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC). Therefore, the aim of the present study was to determine whether the presence of DSP is necessary for the normal function and localization of gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43) and Nav1.5. To examine this hypothesis, RNA interference was utilized to knock down the expression of DSP in HL‑1 cells and the content, distribution and function of Cx43 and Nav1.5 was assessed. Western blotting and flow cytometry experiments revealed that Cx43 and Nav1.5 expression decreased following DSP silencing. In addition, immunofluorescence studies demonstrated that a loss of DSP expression led to an abnormal distribution of Cx43 and Nav1.5, while scrape‑loading dye/transfer revealed a decrease in dye transfer in DSP siRNA‑treated cells. The sodium current was also recorded by the whole‑cell patch clamp technique. The results indicated that DSP suppression decreased sodium current and slowed conduction velocity in cultured cells. The present study indicates that impaired mechanical coupling largely affects electrical synchrony, further uncovering the pathogenesis of ARVC.

  8. Functional consequences of heterogeneous gap junction channel formation and its influence in health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cottrell, G Trevor; Burt, Janis M

    2005-06-10

    The capacity of multiple connexins to hetero-oligomerize into functional heterogeneous gap junction channels has been demonstrated in vivo, in vitro, and in nonmammalian expression systems. These heterogeneous channels display gating activity, channel conductances, selectivity and regulatory behaviors that are sometimes not predicted by the behaviors of the corresponding homogeneous channels. Such observations suggest that heteromerization of gap junction proteins offers an efficient cellular strategy for finely regulating cell-to-cell communication. The available evidence strongly indicates that heterogeneous gap junction assembly is important to normal growth and differentiation, and may influence the appearance of several disease states. Definitive evidence that heterogeneous gap junction channels differentially regulate electrical conduction in excitable cells is absent. This review examines the prevalence, regulation, and implications of gap junction channel hetero-oligomerization.

  9. Analysis of liver connexin expression using reverse transcription quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maes, Michaël; Willebrords, Joost; Crespo Yanguas, Sara; Cogliati, Bruno; Vinken, Mathieu

    2016-01-01

    Summary Although connexin production is mainly regulated at the protein level, altered connexin gene expression has been identified as the underlying mechanism of several pathologies. When studying the latter, appropriate methods to quantify connexin mRNA levels are required. The present chapter describes a well-established reverse transcription quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction procedure optimized for analysis of hepatic connexins. The method includes RNA extraction and subsequent quantification, generation of complementary DNA, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and data analysis. PMID:27207283

  10. HPV16 E6 Controls the Gap Junction Protein Cx43 in Cervical Tumour Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peng Sun

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16 causes a range of cancers including cervical and head and neck cancers. HPV E6 oncoprotein binds the cell polarity regulator hDlg (human homologue of Drosophila Discs Large. Previously we showed in vitro, and now in vivo, that hDlg also binds Connexin 43 (Cx43, a major component of gap junctions that mediate intercellular transfer of small molecules. In HPV16-positive non-tumour cervical epithelial cells (W12G Cx43 localised to the plasma membrane, while in W12T tumour cells derived from these, it relocated with hDlg into the cytoplasm. We now provide evidence that E6 regulates this cytoplasmic pool of Cx43. E6 siRNA depletion in W12T cells resulted in restoration of Cx43 and hDlg trafficking to the cell membrane. In C33a HPV-negative cervical tumour cells expressing HPV16 or 18 E6, Cx43 was located primarily in the cytoplasm, but mutation of the 18E6 C-terminal hDlg binding motif resulted in redistribution of Cx43 to the membrane. The data indicate for the first time that increased cytoplasmic E6 levels associated with malignant progression alter Cx43 trafficking and recycling to the membrane and the E6/hDlg interaction may be involved. This suggests a novel E6-associated mechanism for changes in Cx43 trafficking in cervical tumour cells.

  11. Role of connexins in human congenital heart disease: the chicken and egg problem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aida eSalameh

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Inborn cardiac diseases are among the most frequent congenital anomalies and are the main cause of death in infants within the first year of age in industrialized countries when not adequately treated. They can be divided into simple and complex cardiac malformations. The former ones, for instance atrial and ventricular septal defects, valvular or subvalvular stenosis or insufficiency account for up to 80% of cardiac abnormalities. The latter ones, for example transposition of the great vessels, Tetralogy of Fallot or Shone's anomaly often do not involve only the heart but also the great vessels and although occurring less frequently these severe cardiac malformations will become symptomatically within the first months of age and have a high risk of mortality if the patients remain untreated. In the last decade there is increasing evidence that cardiac gap junction proteins, the connexins (Cx, might have an impact on cardiac anomalies. In the heart mainly three of them (Cx40, Cx43 and Cx45 are differentially expressed with regard to temporal organogenesis and to their spatial distribution in the heart. These proteins, forming gap junction channels, are most important for a normal electrical conduction and coordinated synchronous heart muscle contraction and also for the normal embryonic development of the heart. Animal and also some human studies revealed that at least in some cardiac malformations alterations in certain gap junction proteins are present but until today no particular gap junction mutation could be assigned to a specific cardiac anomaly. As gap junctions transmit growth and differentiation signals from cell to cell it is reasonable to assume that they are somehow involved in misdirected growth present in many inborn heart diseases playing a primary or contributory role. This review addresses potential role of gap junctions in the development of inborn heart anomalies like the conotruncal heart defects.

  12. Role of connexins in human congenital heart disease: the chicken and egg problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salameh, Aida; Blanke, Katja; Daehnert, Ingo

    2013-01-01

    Inborn cardiac diseases are among the most frequent congenital anomalies and are the main cause of death in infants within the first year of age in industrialized countries when not adequately treated. They can be divided into simple and complex cardiac malformations. The former ones, for instance atrial and ventricular septal defects, valvular or subvalvular stenosis or insufficiency account for up to 80% of cardiac abnormalities. The latter ones, for example transposition of the great vessels, Tetralogy of Fallot or Shone's anomaly often do not involve only the heart, but also the great vessels and although occurring less frequently, these severe cardiac malformations will become symptomatic within the first months of age and have a high risk of mortality if the patients remain untreated. In the last decade, there is increasing evidence that cardiac gap junction proteins, the connexins (Cx), might have an impact on cardiac anomalies. In the heart, mainly three of them (Cx40, Cx43, and Cx45) are differentially expressed with regard to temporal organogenesis and to their spatial distribution in the heart. These proteins, forming gap junction channels, are most important for a normal electrical conduction and coordinated synchronous heart muscle contraction and also for the normal embryonic development of the heart. Animal and also some human studies revealed that at least in some cardiac malformations alterations in certain gap junction proteins are present but until today no particular gap junction mutation could be assigned to a specific cardiac anomaly. As gap junctions have often been supposed to transmit growth and differentiation signals from cell to cell it is reasonable to assume that they are somehow involved in misdirected growth present in many inborn heart diseases playing a primary or contributory role. This review addresses the potentional role of gap junctions in the development of inborn heart anomalies like the conotruncal heart defects.

  13. [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.

  14. Connexin32 expression in central and peripheral nervous systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deschenes, S.M.; Scherer, S.S.; Fischbeck, K.H. [Univ. of Pennslylvania, PA (United States)

    1994-09-01

    Mutations have been identified in the gap junction gene, connexin32 (Cx32), in patients affected with the X-linked form of the demyelinating neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMTX). Gap junctions composed of Cx32 are present and developmentally regulated in a wide variety of tissues. In peripheral nerve, our immunohistochemical analysis localized Cx32 to the noncompacted myelin of the paranodal regions and the Schmidt-Lantermann incisures, where previous studies describe gap junctions. In contrast to the location of Cx32 in peripheral nerve and the usual restriction of clinical manifestations to the peripheral nervous system (PNS) (abstract by Paulson describes an exception), preliminary studies show that Cx32 is present in the compacted myelin of the central nervous system (CNS), as demonstrated by radial staining through the myelin sheath of oligodendrocytes in rat spinal cord. Analysis of Cx32 expression in various regions of rat CNS during development shows that the amount of Cx32 mRNA and protein increases as myelination increases, a pattern observed for other myelin genes. Studies in the PNS provide additional evidence that Cx32 and myelin genes are coordinately regulated at the transcriptional level; Cx32 and peripheral myelin gene PMP-22 mRNAs are expressed in parallel following transient or permanent nerve injury. Differences in post-translational regulation of Cx32 in the CNS and PNS may be indicated by the presence of a faster migrating form of Cs32 in cerebrum versus peripheral nerve. Studies are currently underway to determine the unique role of Cx32 in peripheral nerve.

  15. Omega-3 fatty acids do not alter P-wave parameters in electrocardiogram or expression of atrial connexins in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saravanan, Palaniappan; West, Annette L; Bridgewater, Ben; Davidson, Neil C; Calder, Philip C; Dobrzynsky, Halina; Trafford, Andrew; O'Neill, Stephen C

    2016-10-01

    We previously reported omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3PUFAs) supplementation does not reduce atrial fibrillation (AF) following coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the impact of n-3 PUFAs on electrocardiogram (ECG) atrial arrhythmic markers and compare with expression of gap-junction proteins, Connexins. Subset of clinical trial subjects with right atrial sampling during CABG surgery included. Twelve-lead ECG performed at recruitment and at surgery [after supplementation with n-3 PUFA (∼1.8 g/day) or matched placebo] for ∼14 days. Electrocardiograms analysed for maximum P-wave duration (P-max) and difference between P-max and minimum P-wave duration, P-wave dispersion (PWD). Right atrial specimens analysed for expression of Connexins 40 and 43 using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and western blot. Serum levels of n-3 PUFA at baseline, at surgery, and atrial tissue levels at surgery collated from file. Postoperative AF was quantified by analysing data from stored continuous electrograms. A total of 61 patients (n-3 PUFA 34, Placebo 27) had ECG analysis and AF burden, of which 52 patients (26 in each group) had qPCR and 16 (8 in each group) had western blot analyses for Connexins 40 and 43. No difference between the two groups in ECG parameters or expression of Connexin 40 or 43. P-wave dispersion in the preoperative ECG independently predicted occurrence of AF following CABG surgery. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids supplementation does not alter pro-arrhythmic P-wave parameters in ECG or connexin expression in human atrium with no effect on the incidence of AF following CABG surgery. Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author 2016. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Actin-interacting protein 1 controls assembly and permeability of intestinal epithelial apical junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lechuga, Susana; Baranwal, Somesh; Ivanov, Andrei I

    2015-05-01

    Adherens junctions (AJs) and tight junctions (TJs) are crucial regulators of the integrity and restitution of the intestinal epithelial barrier. The structure and function of epithelial junctions depend on their association with the cortical actin cytoskeleton that, in polarized epithelial cells, is represented by a prominent perijunctional actomyosin belt. The assembly and stability of the perijunctional cytoskeleton is controlled by constant turnover (disassembly and reassembly) of actin filaments. Actin-interacting protein (Aip) 1 is an emerging regulator of the actin cytoskeleton, playing a critical role in filament disassembly. In this study, we examined the roles of Aip1 in regulating the structure and remodeling of AJs and TJs in human intestinal epithelium. Aip1 was enriched at apical junctions in polarized human intestinal epithelial cells and normal mouse colonic mucosa. Knockdown of Aip1 by RNA interference increased the paracellular permeability of epithelial cell monolayers, decreased recruitment of AJ/TJ proteins to steady-state intercellular contacts, and attenuated junctional reassembly in a calcium-switch model. The observed defects of AJ/TJ structure and functions were accompanied by abnormal organization and dynamics of the perijunctional F-actin cytoskeleton. Moreover, loss of Aip1 impaired the apico-basal polarity of intestinal epithelial cell monolayers and inhibited formation of polarized epithelial cysts in 3-D Matrigel. Our findings demonstrate a previously unanticipated role of Aip1 in regulating the structure and remodeling of intestinal epithelial junctions and early steps of epithelial morphogenesis.

  17. Connexin 30.2 is expressed in mouse pancreatic beta cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coronel-Cruz, C; Hernández-Tellez, B; López-Vancell, R; López-Vidal, Y; Berumen, J; Castell, A; Pérez-Armendariz, E M

    2013-09-06

    Nowadays, connexin (Cx) 36 is considered the sole gap junction protein expressed in pancreatic beta cells. In the present research we investigated the expression of Cx30.2 mRNA and protein in mouse pancreatic islets. Cx30.2 mRNA and protein were identified in isolated islet preparations by qRT-PCR and Western blot, respectively. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that insulin-positive cells were stained for Cx30.2. Confocal images from double-labeled pancreatic sections revealed that Cx30.2 and Cx36 fluorescence co-localize at junctional membranes in islets from most pancreases. Abundant Cx30.2 tiny reactive spots were also found in cell cytoplasms. In beta cells cultured with stimulatory glucose concentrations, Cx30.2 was localized in both cytoplasms and cell membranes. In addition, Cx30.2 reactivity was localized at junctional membranes of endothelial or cluster of differentiation 31 (CD31) positive cells. Moreover, a significant reduction of Cx30.2 mRNA was found in islets preparations incubated for 24h in 22mM as compared with 3.3mM glucose. Therefore, it is concluded that Cx30.2 is expressed in beta and vascular endothelial cells of mouse pancreatic islets.

  18. The impact of caffeine on connexin expression in the embryonic chick cardiomyocyte micromass culture system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahir, Bhavesh K; Pratten, Margaret K

    2016-07-01

    Cardiomyocytes are electrically coupled by gap junctions, defined as clusters of low-resistance multisubunit transmembrane channels composed of connexins (Cxs). The expression of Cx40, Cx43 and Cx45, which are present in cardiomyocytes, is known to be developmentally regulated. This study investigates the premise that alterations in gap junction proteins are one of the mechanisms by which teratogens may act. Specifically, those molecules known to be teratogenic in humans could cause their effects via disruption of cell-to-cell communication pathways, resulting in an inability to co-ordinate tissue development. Caffeine significantly inhibited contractile activity at concentrations above and including 1500 μm (P caffeine on key cardiac gap junction protein (Cx40, Cx43 and Cx45) expression were analysed using immunocytochemistry and in-cell Western blotting. The results indicated that caffeine altered the expression pattern of Cx40, Cx43 and Cx45 at non-cytotoxic concentrations (≥2000 μm), i.e., at concentrations that did not affect total cell protein and cell viability. In addition the effects of caffeine on cardiomyocyte formation and function (contractile activity score) were correlated with modulation of Cxs (Cx40, Cx43 and Cx45) expression, at above and including 2000 μm caffeine concentrations (P < 0.05). These experiments provide evidence that embryonic chick cardiomyocyte micromass culture may be a useful in vitro method for mechanistic studies of perturbation of embryonic heart development. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  19. Connexins and Cadherin Crosstalk in the Pathogenesis of Prostate Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-01

    vitamin D3 synthesis in the skin , a role for this vitamin in decreasing the risk of developing PCA has been suggested [5,6]. Numerous in vitro studies...role of connexins in ear and skin physiology- Functional insights from disease-associated mutations. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA... Antioxidant and Redox Signaling 11, 283-296 4. Laird, D. W. (2010) The gap junction proteome and its relationship to disease. Trends In Cell Biology 20

  20. The Renal Connexome and Possible Roles of Connexins in Kidney Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sala, Gabriele; Badalamenti, Salvatore; Ponticelli, Claudio

    2016-04-01

    Connexins are membrane-spanning proteins that allow for the formation of cell-to-cell channels and cell-to-extracellular space hemichannels. Many connexin subtypes are expressed in kidney cells. Some mutations in connexin genes have been linked to various human pathologies, including cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, lung, and skin diseases, but the exact role of connexins in kidney disease remains unclear. Some hypotheses about a connection between genetic mutations, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, and the unfolded protein response (UPR) in kidney pathology have been explored. The potential relationship of kidney disease to abnormal production of connexin proteins, mutations in their genes together with ER stress, or the UPR is still a matter of debate. In this scenario, it is tantalizing to speculate about a possible role of connexins in the setting of kidney pathologies that are thought to be caused by a deregulated podocyte protein expression, the so-called podocytopathies. In this article, we give examples of the roles of connexins in kidney (patho)physiology and propose avenues for further research concerning connexins, ER stress, and UPR in podocytopathies that may ultimately help refine drug treatment.

  1. Overexpression of connexin 26 in carcinoma of the pancreas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyo, Naganori; Yamamoto, Hirofumi; Takeda, Yutaka; Ezumi, Koji; Ngan, Chew Yee; Terayama, Motokazu; Miyake, Masakazu; Takemasa, Ichiro; Ikeda, Masataka; Doki, Yuichiro; Dono, Keizo; Sekimoto, Mitsugu; Nojima, Hiroshi; Monden, Morito

    2008-03-01

    Contrary to the previously purported role of gap junction (GJ) associated-protein connexin 26 (Cx26) as a tumor suppressor, increased expression of Cx26 has recently been demonstrated in several human malignancies. Surprisingly, this high expression is reportedly related to poor prognosis in squamous cell lung carcinoma and breast cancer. In this study, we examined levels of Cx26 in various human gastrointestinal (GI) carcinomas, with a focus on pancreatic carcinomas, using immunohistochemistry. Many GI carcinomas displayed abundant Cx26 expression, predominantly in the cytoplasm. Cx26 was detected in 5/8 gastric cancers (62.5%), 6/8 squamous cell carcinomas of the esophagus (75.0%), 7/8 pancreatic cancers (87.5%) and 7/8 colon cancer cases (87.5%). However, Cx26 expression was not present in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, 0/8). Extensive immunohistochemical examination was performed on pancreatic carcinomas, revealing strong expression of Cx26 protein in 30/43 cases (70%), weak expression in 6/43 (14%) and no expression in 7/43 (16%). The present study demonstrated up-regulated Cx26 expression in a considerable percentage of GI carcinomas, with the exception of HCC. Our findings suggest that Cx26 may be involved in some of the malignant processes of GI cancers, and especially in pancreatic carcinomas.

  2. Mutation Analysis of Gap Junction Protein Beta 1 and Genotype-Phenotype Correlation in X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease in Chinese Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Bo; Chen, Zhao-Hui; Ling, Li; Li, Yi-Fan; Liu, Li-Zhi; Yang, Fei; Huang, Xu-Sheng

    2016-05-05

    Among patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), the X-linked variant (CMTX) caused by gap junction protein beta 1 (GJB1) gene mutation is the second most frequent type, accounting for approximately 90% of all CMTX. More than 400 mutations have been identified in the GJB1 gene that encodes connexin 32 (CX32). CX32 is thought to form gap junctions that promote the diffusion pathway between cells. GJB1 mutations interfere with the formation of the functional channel and impair the maintenance of peripheral myelin, and novel mutations are continually discovered. We included 79 unrelated patients clinically diagnosed with CMT at the Department of Neurology of the Chinese People's Liberation Army General Hospital from December 20, 2012, to December 31, 2015. Clinical examination, nerve conduction studies, and molecular and bioinformatics analyses were performed to identify patients with CMTX1. Nine GJB1 mutations (c.283G>A, c.77C>T, c.643C>T, c.515C>T, c.191G>A, c.610C>T, c.490C>T, c.491G>A, and c.44G>A) were discovered in nine patients. Median motor nerve conduction velocities of all nine patients were T, c.191G>A, and c.610C>T, were revealed and bioinformatics analyses indicated high pathogenicity. The three novel missense mutations within the GJB1 gene broaden the mutational diversity of CMT1X. Molecular analysis of family members and bioinformatics analyses of the afflicted patients confirmed the pathogenicity of these mutations.

  3. Mutation Analysis of Gap Junction Protein Beta 1 and Genotype-Phenotype Correlation in X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease in Chinese Patients

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Bo Sun; Zhao-Hui Chen; Li Ling; Yi-Fan Li; Li-Zhi Liu; Fei Yang; Xu-Sheng Huang

    2016-01-01

    Background:Among patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT),the X-linked variant (CMTX) caused by gap junction protein beta 1 (GJB1) gene mutation is the second most frequent type,accounting for approximately 90% of all CMTX.More than 400 mutations have been identified in the GJB1 gene that encodes connexin 32 (CX32).CX32 is thought to form gap junctions that promote the diffusion pathway between cells.GJB1 mutations interfere with the formation of the functional channel and impair the maintenance of peripheral myelin,and novel mutations are continually discovered.Methods:We included 79 unrelated patients clinically diagnosed with CMT at the Department of Neurology of the Chinese People's Liberation Army General Hospital from December 20,2012,to December 31,2015.Clinical examination,nerve conduction studies,and molecular and bioinformatics analyses were performed to identify patients with CMTX 1.Results:Nine GJB1 mutations (c.283G>A,c.77C>T,c.643C>T,c.515C>T,c.191G>A,c.610C>T,c.490C>T,c.491G>A,and c.44G>A) were discovered in nine patients.Median motor nerve conduction velocities of all nine patients were < 38 m/s,resembling CMT Type 1.Three novel mutations,c.643C>T,c.191G>A,and c.610C>T,were revealed and bioinformatics analyses indicated high pathogenicity.Conclusions:The three novel missense mutations within the GJB1 gene broaden the mutational diversity of CMT 1 X.Molecular analysis of family members and bioinformatics analyses of the afflicted patients confirmed the pathogenicity of these mutations.

  4. Protein tyrosine phosphatase σ targets apical junction complex proteins in the intestine and regulates epithelial permeability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murchie, Ryan; Guo, Cong-Hui; Persaud, Avinash; Muise, Aleixo; Rotin, Daniela

    2014-01-14

    Protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP)σ (PTPRS) was shown previously to be associated with susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). PTPσ(-/-) mice exhibit an IBD-like phenotype in the intestine and show increased susceptibility to acute models of murine colitis. However, the function of PTPσ in the intestine is uncharacterized. Here, we show an intestinal epithelial barrier defect in the PTPσ(-/-) mouse, demonstrated by a decrease in transepithelial resistance and a leaky intestinal epithelium that was determined by in vivo tracer analysis. Increased tyrosine phosphorylation was observed at the plasma membrane of epithelial cells lining the crypts of the small bowel and colon of the PTPσ(-/-) mouse, suggesting the presence of PTPσ substrates in these regions. Using mass spectrometry, we identified several putative PTPσ intestinal substrates that were hyper-tyrosine-phosphorylated in the PTPσ(-/-) mice relative to wild type. Among these were proteins that form or regulate the apical junction complex, including ezrin. We show that ezrin binds to and is dephosphorylated by PTPσ in vitro, suggesting it is a direct PTPσ substrate, and identified ezrin-Y353/Y145 as important sites targeted by PTPσ. Moreover, subcellular localization of the ezrin phosphomimetic Y353E or Y145 mutants were disrupted in colonic Caco-2 cells, similar to ezrin mislocalization in the colon of PTPσ(-/-) mice following induction of colitis. Our results suggest that PTPσ is a positive regulator of intestinal epithelial barrier, which mediates its effects by modulating epithelial cell adhesion through targeting of apical junction complex-associated proteins (including ezrin), a process impaired in IBD.

  5. Morphological adaptation and protein modulation of myotendinous junction following moderate aerobic training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curzi, Davide; Baldassarri, Valentina; De Matteis, Rita; Salamanna, Francesca; Bolotta, Alessandra; Frizziero, Antonio; Fini, Milena; Marini, Marina; Falcieri, Elisabetta

    2015-04-01

    Myotendinous junction is the muscle-tendon interface through which the contractile force can be transferred from myofibrils to the tendon extracellular matrix. At the ultrastructural level, aerobic training can modify the distal myotendinous junction of rat gastrocnemius, increasing the contact area between tissues. The aim of this work is to investigate the correlation between morphological changes and protein modulation of the myotendinous junction following moderate training. For this reason, talin, vinculin and type IV collagen amount and spatial distribution were investigated by immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy. The images were then digitally analyzed by evaluating fluorescence intensity. Morphometric analysis revealed a significant increased thickening of muscle basal lamina in the trained group (53.1 ± 0.4 nm) with respect to the control group (43.9 ± 0.3 nm), and morphological observation showed the presence of an electron-dense area in the exercised muscles, close to the myotendinous junction. Protein concentrations appeared significantly increased in the trained group (talin +22.2%; vinculin +22.8% and type IV collagen +11.8%) with respect to the control group. Therefore, our findings suggest that moderate aerobic training induces/causes morphological changes at the myotendinous junction, correlated to the synthesis of structural proteins of the muscular basal lamina and of the cytoskeleton.

  6. 核酸酶I-SceI介导的转基因斑马鱼构建及连接蛋白Connexin48.5的定位研究%I-SceI Meganuclease Mediates Transgenesis in Zebrafish and Connexin48.5 Localization Research

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘俊; 杨镇滔; 李汉杰; 田书也; 韩家淮

    2012-01-01

    细胞连接蛋白是由多基因家族编码的一类结构相似、分子质量不同的蛋白质.在细胞膜上,每6个相同或不同的连接蛋白围绕中央孔排列形成一个连接子,相邻细胞膜上的连接子相互对接形成细胞间隙连接,细胞间隙连接是一种重要的通讯连接,它不仅是细胞间代谢偶联、冲动传导的结构基础,而且可以通过介导与细胞的迁移、分化、增生和器官形成有关的信号物质而在胚胎发育中起重要作用.为了进一步探讨细胞间隙连接在生物体中的作用,采用斑马鱼胚胎显微注射核酸酶I-SceI和质粒DNA的方法成功构建了绿色荧光蛋白GFP与细胞连接蛋白Connexin48.5融合表达的转基因荧光斑马鱼品系,并通过对荧光蛋白发光的观察在斑马鱼鱼体中进行连接蛋白Connexin48.5的定位.实验结果表明:核酸酶I-SceI介导下的斑马鱼转基因方法效率较高,可行性好;连接蛋白Connexin48.5在斑马鱼体内主要定位于眼球晶状体和脊索.所获得的Connexin48.5-GFP融合表达斑马鱼系,以及利用该品系进行的Connexin48.5定位研究对细胞连接蛋白在生物体内的功能研究将具有重要作用.%Connexinj are a group of proteins coded by multi gene family. On the cell membrane,every 6 Connexins combine together to form a Connexon,and two Connexons of two different cells connect with each other to form a gap junction. Gap junction is a very important kind of communicational connection between cells,which is not only the constructional basic of metabolic coupling and signal transduction betweens cells,but also the channel of signal substance controlling cell migration,differentiation,proliferation and or-ganogenesis. For a deeper study of gap junction function in organisms, we generated a transgenic zebrafish line that expresses Con-nexin48. 5-GFP fusion protein by co-injecting meganuclease I-Scel and plasmid DNA into zebrafish embryos. I-Scel mediated trans

  7. Side-stream smoking reduces intestinal inflammation and increases expression of tight junction proteins

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hui Wang; Jun-Xing Zhao; Nan Hu; Jun Ren; Min Du; Mei-Jun Zhu

    2012-01-01

    AIM:To investigate the effect of side-stream smoking on gut microflora composition,intestinal inflammation and expression of tight junction proteins.METHODS:C57BL/6 mice were exposed to side-stream cigarette smoking for one hour daily over eight weeks.Cecal contents were collected for microbial composition analysis.Large intestine was collected for immunoblotting and quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction analyses of the inflammatory pathway and tight junction proteins.RESULTS:Side-stream smoking induced significant changes in the gut microbiota with increased mouse intestinal bacteria,Clostridium but decreased Fermicutes (Lactoccoci and Ruminococcus),Enterobacteriaceae family and Segmented filamentous baceteria compared to the control mice.Meanwhile,side-stream smoking inhibited the nuclear factor-κB pathway with reduced phosphorylation of p65 and IκBα,accompanied with unchanged mRNA expression of tumor necrosis factor-α or interleukin-6.The contents of tight junction proteins,claudin3 and ZO2 were up-regulated in the large intestine of mice exposed side-stream smoking.In addition,side-stream smoking increased c-Jun N-terminal kinase and p38 MAPK kinase signaling,while inhibiting AMP-activated protein kinase in the large intestine.CONCLUSION:Side-stream smoking altered gut microflora composition and reduced the inflammatory response,which was associated with increased expression of tight junction proteins.

  8. Molecular cloning and evolutionary analysis of the GJA1 (connexin43) gene from bats (Chiroptera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Li; Li, Gang; Wang, Jinhong; Ye, Shaohui; Jones, Gareth; Zhang, Shuyi

    2009-04-01

    Gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43), encoded by the GJA1 gene, is the most abundant connexin in the cardiovascular system and was reported as a crucial factor maintaining cardiac electrical conduction, as well as having a very important function in facilitating the recycling of potassium ions from hair cells in the cochlea back into the cochlear endolymph during auditory transduction processes. In mammals, bats are the only taxon possessing powered flight, placing exceptional demand on many organismal processes. To meet the demands of flying, the hearts of bats show many specialties. Moreover, ultrasonic echolocation allows bat species to orientate and often detect and locate food in darkness. In this study, we cloned the full-length coding region of GJA1 gene from 12 different species of bats and obtained orthologous sequences from other mammals. We used the maximum likelihood method to analyse the evolution of GJA1 gene in mammals and the lineage of bats. Our results showed this gene is much conserved in mammals, as well as in bats' lineage. Compared with other mammals, we found one private amino acid substitution shared by bats, which is located on the inner loop domain, as well as some species-specific amino acid substitutions. The evolution rate analyses showed the signature of purifying selection on not only different classification level lineages but also the different domains and amino acid residue sites of this gene. Also, we suggested that GJA1 gene could be used as a good molecular marker to do the phylogenetic reconstruction.

  9. Chronic exposure to hexachlorobenzene results in down-regulation of connexin43 in the breast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delisle, Ariane; Ferraris, Emanuelle; Plante, Isabelle

    2015-11-01

    Decreased expression of connexins has been associated with cancer, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. We have previously shown that a 5 day exposure to hexachlorobenzene (HCB) resulted in decreased connexins expression in hepatocytes 45 days later, and that this down-regulation was linked to activation of Akt through the ILK pathway. Because HCB promotes cancer in both the liver and breast, the present study aimed to determine if the mechanisms are similar in both tissues. MCF-12A breast cells were thus transfected with vectors coding for either Akt or a constitutively active form of Akt. In those cells, activation of Akt was correlated with decreased Cx43 levels. Female rats were then exposed to HCB by gavage either following the same protocol used previously for the liver or through a chronic exposure. While no changes were observed after the 5 days exposure protocol, chronic exposure to HCB resulted in increased Akt levels and decreased Cx43 levels in breast cells. In vitro, Akt was activated in MCF-12A cells exposed to HCB either for 7 days or chronically, but no changes were observed in junctional proteins. Together, these results suggested that, while activation of Akt can decrease Cx43 expression in breast cells in vitro, other mechanisms are involved during HCB exposure, leading to a decrease in Cx43 levels in a model- and duration-dependent manner. Finally, we showed that HCB effects are tissue specific, as we did not observe the same results in breast and liver tissues.

  10. Casein kinase II phosphorylates lens connexin 45.6 and is involved in its degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, X; Jedrzejewski, P T; Jiang, J X

    2000-03-10

    Connexin (Cx) 45.6, an avian counterpart of rodent Cx50, is phosphorylated in vivo, but the sites and function of the phosphorylation have not been elucidated. Our peptide mapping experiments showed that the Ser(363) site in the carboxyl (COOH) terminus of Cx45.6 was phosphorylated and that this site is within casein kinase (CK) II consensus sequence, although showing some similarity to CKI sequence. The peptide containing Ser(363) could be phosphorylated in vitro by CKII, but not by CKI. Furthermore, CKII phosphorylated Cx45.6 in embryonic lens membrane and the fusion protein containing the COOH terminus of Cx45.6. Two-dimensional peptide mapping experiments showed that one of the Cx45.6 peptides phosphorylated in vivo migrated to the same spot as one of those phosphorylated by CKII in vitro. Furthermore, CKII activity could be detected in lens lysates. To assess the function of this phosphorylation event, exogenous wild type and mutant Cx45.6 (Ser(363) --> Ala) were expressed in lens primary cultures by retroviral infection. The mutant Cx45.6 was shown to be more stable having a longer half-life compared with wild type Cx45.6. Together, the evidence suggests that CKII is likely a kinase responsible for the Ser(363) phosphorylation, leading to the destablization and degradation of Cx45.6. The connexin degradation induced by phosphorylation has a broad functional significance in the regulation of gap junctions in vivo.

  11. Lentivirus-mediated RNAi knockdown of the gap junction protein, Cx43, attenuates the development of vascular restenosis following balloon injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Xiao-Jian; Chen, Min; Hong, Tao; Zhu, Ling-Yu; He, Dan; Feng, Jiu-Geng; Jiang, Li-Ping

    2015-04-01

    Percutaneous coronary intervention [PCI or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA)] has been developed into a mature interventional treatment for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. However, the long-term therapeutic effect is compromised by the high incidence of vascular restenosis following angioplasty, and the underlying mechanisms of vascular restenosis have not yet been fully elucidated. In the present study, we investigated the role of the gap junction (GJ) protein, connexin 43 (Cx43), in the development of vascular restenosis. To establish vascular restenosis, rat carotid arteries were subjected to balloon angioplasty injury. At 0, 7, 14 and 2 days following balloon injury, the arteries were removed, and the intimal/medial area of the vessels was measured to evaluate the degree of restenosis. We found that the intimal area gradually increased following balloon injury. Intimal hyperplasia and restenosis were particularly evident at 14 and 28 days after injury. In addition, the mRNA and protein expression of Cx43 was temporarily decreased at 7 days, and subsequently increased at 14 and 28 days following balloon injury, as shown by RT-PCR and western blot analysis. To determine the involvement of Cx43 in vascular restenosis, the lentivirus vector expressing shRNA targeting Cx43, Cx43-RNAi-LV, was used to silence Cx43 in the rat carotid arteries. The knockdown of Cx43 effectively attenuated the development of intimal hyperplasia and vascular restenosis following balloon injury. Thus, our data indicate the vital role of the GJ protein, Cx43, in the development of vascular restenosis, and provide new insight into the pathogenesis of vascular restenosis. Cx43 may prove to be a novel potential pharmacological target for the prevention of vascular restenosis following PCI.

  12. Mutations of connexin43 in fetuses with congenital heart malformations

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Ping; XIE Li-jian; HUANG Guo-ying; ZHAO Xiao-qing; CHANG Cai

    2005-01-01

    Background Gap junction channels formed by connexin43 (Cx43) protein are important in cardiac morphogenesis, and Cx43 gene is thought to be associated with congenital heart malformation (CHM). This study was undertaken to detect the mutations of Cx43 in fetuses with CHM.Methods Cx43 extron DNA was amplified by PCR from 16 fetuses with a variety of CHM. The PCR products were analyzed by SSCP and DNA sequencing. Thirty children who had no CHM were selected as controls. Results Eight homozygous mutations of Cx43 were observed in a fetus with double outlet right ventricule (DORV), five of the 8 mutations were missense mutations including Arg239Trp, Ser251Thr, Ala253Pro, Pro283Leu and Thr290Asn, and the remaining 3 were silent polymorphisms including Gly252Gly, Pro256Pro and Thr275Thr. No mutations were found in other fetuses and the control group.Conclusions Mutations of Cx43 may be associated with congenital conotruncal anomalies. PCR-SSCP is an effective method for screening the mutations of Cx43.

  13. Roles of neuro-exocytotic proteins at the neuromuscular junction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sons-Michel, Michèle S.

    2011-01-01

    The aim of the studies described in the thesis was to elucidate the roles of several neuro-exocytotic proteins at the motor nerve terminal in neuromuscular synaptic transmission, making use of genetic knockout (KO) mice, each missing one (or more) neuro-exocytotic proteins. In addition, it was

  14. Molecular mechanisms of gap junction mutations in myelinating cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sargiannidou, Irene; Markoullis, Kyriaki; Kleopa, Kleopas A

    2010-09-01

    There is an emerging group of neurological disorders that result from genetic mutations affecting gap junction proteins in myelinating cells. The X-linked form of Charcot Marie Tooth disease (CMT1X) is caused by numerous mutations in the GJB1 gene encoding the gap junction protein connexin32 (Cx32), which is expressed in both Schwann cells in the PNS and oligodendrocytes in the CNS. Patients with CMT1X present mainly with a progressive peripheral neuropathy, showing mixed axonal and demyelinating features. In many cases there is also clinical or subclinical involvement of the CNS with acute or chronic phenotypes of encephalopathy. Furthermore, mutations in the GJA12/GJC2 gene encoding the gap junction protein Cx47, which is expressed in oligodendrocytes, have been identified in families with progressive leukodystrophy, known as Pelizaeus-Merzbacher-like disease, as well as in patients with hereditary spastic paraplegia. Recent studies have provided insights into the pattern of gap junction protein expression and function in CNS and PNS myelinating cells. Furthermore, in vitro and in vivo disease models have clarified some of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying these disorders. Here we provide an overview of the clinical, genetic, and neurobiological aspects of gap junction disorders affecting the nervous system.

  15. West Nile virus infection causes endocytosis of a specific subset of tight junction membrane proteins.

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    Zaikun Xu

    Full Text Available West Nile virus (WNV is a blood-borne pathogen that causes systemic infections and serious neurological disease in human and animals. The most common route of infection is mosquito bites and therefore, the virus must cross a number of polarized cell layers to gain access to organ tissue and the central nervous system. Resistance to trans-cellular movement of macromolecules between epithelial and endothelial cells is mediated by tight junction complexes. While a number of recent studies have documented that WNV infection negatively impacts the barrier function of tight junctions, the intracellular mechanism by which this occurs is poorly understood. In the present study, we report that endocytosis of a subset of tight junction membrane proteins including claudin-1 and JAM-1 occurs in WNV infected epithelial and endothelial cells. This process, which ultimately results in lysosomal degradation of the proteins, is dependent on the GTPase dynamin and microtubule-based transport. Finally, infection of polarized cells with the related flavivirus, Dengue virus-2, did not result in significant loss of tight junction membrane proteins. These results suggest that neurotropic flaviviruses such as WNV modulate the host cell environment differently than hemorrhagic flaviviruses and thus may have implications for understanding the molecular basis for neuroinvasion.

  16. Connexin 43 is Involved in Aldosterone-Induced Podocyte Injury

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    Min Yang

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Connexin43 (Cx43 belongs to a family of transmembrane proteins that build cell-to-cell channels in gap junctions, which play an essential role in intercellular communication, cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. The aim of this study is to clarify the effect of Cx43 in aldosterone (Aldo-induced podocyte injury and explore the possible molecular mechanism behind this effect. Methods: Uninephrectomized Sprague-Dawley rats were given 1% NaCl (salt in their water and an Aldo infusion (0.75 μg/h for 28 days to induce podocyte injury. Podocytes were incubated in media containing either buffer or increasing concentrations of Aldo (10-9 - 10-7 M for variable time periods. The podocytes were then examined and the mechanism of injury investigated using TUNEL assay, ELISA, immunofluorescence staining, western blot, RNA interference, and DCFDA fluorescence. Results: Here, we report that in vivo administration of Aldo caused greater numbers of TUNEL-positive podocytes, accompanied by increased Cx43 expression, but a reduction in WT1-positive podocytes. In vitro studies indicated that Aldo induces podocyte apoptosis in a dose- and time-dependent manner and is accompanied by increases in Cx43 expression, gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC, ROS production, and the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio. Silencing of Cx43 expression attenuates the increase of ROS production and the subsequent up-regulation of the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, which partially inhibited the podocytes apoptosis. Conclusions: Our study provides preliminary evidence that upregulation of Cx43 expression is involved in Aldo-induced podocyte injury, and that Cx43 is a potentially relevant therapeutic target for the treatment of chronic kidney diseases (CKD.

  17. Ischemia Alters the Expression of Connexins in the Aged Human Brain

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    Taizen Nakase

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Although the function of astrocytic gap junctions under ischemia is still under debate, increased expression of connexin 43 (Cx43 has been observed in ischemic brain lesions, suggesting that astrocytic gap junctions could provide neuronal protection against ischemic insult. Moreover, different connexin subtypes may play different roles in pathological conditions. We used immunohistochemical analysis to investigate alterations in the expression of connexin subtypes in human stroke brains. Seven samples, sectioned after brain embolic stroke, were used for the analysis. Data, evaluated semiquantitatively by computer-assisted densitometry, was compared between the intact hemisphere and ischemic lesions. The results showed that the coexpression of Cx32 and Cx45 with neuronal markers was significantly increased in ischemic lesions. Cx43 expression was significantly increased in the colocalization with astrocytes and relatively increased in the colocalization with neuronal marker in ischemic lesions. Therefore, Cx32, Cx43, and Cx45 may respond differently to ischemic insult in terms of neuroprotection.

  18. Characterization and significance of adhesion and junction-related proteins in mouse ovarian follicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, Jocelyn M; Fenwick, Mark A; Castle, Laura; Baithun, Marianne; Ryder, Timothy A; Mobberley, Margaret; Carzaniga, Raffaella; Franks, Stephen; Hardy, Kate

    2012-05-01

    In the ovary, initiation of follicle growth is marked by cuboidalization of flattened granulosa cells (GCs). The regulation and cell biology of this shape change remains poorly understood. We propose that characterization of intercellular junctions and associated proteins is key to identifying as yet unknown regulators of this important transition. As GCs are conventionally described as epithelial cells, this study used mouse ovaries and isolated follicles to investigate epithelial junctional complexes (tight junctions [TJ], adherens junctions [AJ], and desmosomes) and associated molecules, as well as classic epithelial markers, by quantitative PCR and immunofluorescence. These junctions were further characterized using ultrastructural, calcium depletion and biotin tracer studies. Junctions observed by transmission electron microscopy between GCs and between GCs and oocyte were identified as AJs by expression of N-cadherin and nectin 2 and by the lack of TJ and desmosome-associated proteins. Follicles were also permeable to biotin, confirming a lack of functional TJs. Surprisingly, GCs lacked all epithelial markers analyzed, including E-cadherin, cytokeratin 8, and zonula occludens (ZO)-1alpha+. Furthermore, vimentin was expressed by GCs, suggesting a more mesenchymal phenotype. Under calcium-free conditions, small follicles maintained oocyte-GC contact, confirming the importance of calcium-independent nectin at this stage. However, in primary and multilayered follicles, lack of calcium resulted in loss of contact between GCs and oocyte, showing that nectin alone cannot maintain attachment between these two cell types. Lack of classic markers suggests that GCs are not epithelial. Identification of AJs during GC cuboidalization highlights the importance of AJs in regulating initiation of follicle growth.

  19. TGF-β1 inhibits connexin-43 expression in cultured smooth muscle cells of human bladder

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chi Qiang; Zhou Fenghai; Wang Yangmin

    2009-01-01

    Objective: In this research, we studied the TGF-β1 effects on connexin-43 expression in cultured human bladder smooth muscle cells. Methods: Human bladder smooth muscle cells primary cultures, with bladder tissue obtained from patients undergoing cystectomy, were intervened by recombinant human TGF-β1. Connexin-43 expression in human bladder smooth muscle cells was then examined by Western blotting and immunocytochemistry. Results: Stimulation with TGF-β1 led to significant reduction of cormexin-43 immunoreactivity and coupling (P<0.0001). Connexin-43 protein expression was significantly downregnlated (P<0.05). Simultaneously, low phosphorylation species of connexin-43 were particularly affected. Conclusion: Our experiments demonstrated a significant downregulation of connexin-43 by TGF-β1 in cultured human bladder smooth muscle cells. These findings support the view that TGF-β1 is involved in the pathophysiology of urinary bladder dysfunction.

  20. Targeting Holliday junctions by origin DNA-binding protein of herpes simplex virus type 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moiseeva, E D; Bazhulina, N P; Gursky, Y G; Grokhovsky, S L; Surovaya, A N; Gursky, G V

    2017-03-01

    In the present paper, the interactions of the origin binding protein (OBP) of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1) with synthetic four-way Holliday junctions (HJs) were studied using electrophoresis mobility shift assay and the FRET method and compared with the interactions of the protein with duplex and single-stranded DNAs. It has been found that OBP exhibits a strong preference for binding to four-way and three-way DNA junctions and possesses much lower affinities to duplex and single-stranded DNAs. The protein forms three types of complexes with HJs. It forms complexes I and II which are reminiscent of the tetramer and octamer complexes with four-way junction of HJ-specific protein RuvA of Escherichia coli. The binding approaches saturation level when two OBP dimers are bound per junction. In the presence of Mg(2+) ions (≥2 mM) OBP also interacts with HJ in the stacked arm form (complex III). In the presence of 5 mM ATP and 10 mM Mg(2+) ions OBP catalyzes processing of the HJ in which one of the annealed oligonucleotides has a 3'-terminal tail containing 20 unpaired thymine residues. The observed preference of OBP for binding to the four-way DNA junctions provides a basis for suggestion that OBP induces large DNA structural changes upon binding to Box I and Box II sites in OriS. These changes involve the bending and partial melting of the DNA at A+T-rich spacer and also include the formation of HJ containing Box I and Box II inverted repeats and flanking DNA sequences.

  1. Interaction of HMG proteins and H1 with hybrid PNA-DNA junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Totsingan, Filbert; Bell, Anthony J

    2013-11-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of inserting peptide nucleic acid (PNA) sequences into the protein-binding surface of an immobilized four-way junction (4WJ). Here we compare the classic immobile DNA junction, J1, with two PNA containing hybrid junctions (4WJ-PNA1 and 4WJ-PNA3 ). The protein interactions of each 4WJ were evaluated using recombinant high mobility group proteins from rat (HMGB1b and HMGB1b/R26A) and human histone H1. In vitro studies show that both HMG and H1 proteins display high binding affinity toward 4WJ's. A 4WJ can access different conformations depending on ionic environment, most simply interpreted by a two-state equilibrium between: (i) an open-x state favored by absence of Mg(2+), low salt, and protein binding, and (ii) a compact stacked-x state favored by Mg(2+). 4WJ-PNA3, like J1, shifts readily from an open to stacked conformation in the presence of Mg(+2), while 4WJ-PNA1 does not. Circular dichroism spectra indicate that HMGB1b recognizes each of the hybrid junctions. H1, however, displays a strong preference for J1 relative to the hybrids. More extensive binding analysis revealed that HMGB1b binds J1 and 4WJ-PNA3 with nearly identical affinity (K(D)s) and 4WJ-PNA1 with two-fold lower affinity. Thus both the sequence/location of the PNA sequence and the protein determine the structural and protein recognition properties of 4WJs.

  2. Connexins and pannexins in the integumentary system: the skin and appendages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faniku, Chrysovalantou; Wright, Catherine S; Martin, Patricia E

    2015-08-01

    The integumentary system comprises the skin and its appendages, which includes hair, nails, feathers, sebaceous and eccrine glands. In this review, we focus on the expression profile of connexins and pannexins throughout the integumentary system in mammals, birds and fish. We provide a picture of the complexity of the connexin/pannexin network illustrating functional importance of these proteins in maintaining the integrity of the epidermal barrier. The differential regulation and expression of connexins and pannexins during skin renewal, together with a number of epidermal, hair and nail abnormalities associated with mutations in connexins, emphasize that the correct balance of connexin and pannexin expression is critical for maintenance of the skin and its appendages with both channel and non-channel functions playing profound roles. Changes in connexin expression during both hair and feather regeneration provide suggestions of specialized communication compartments. Finally, we discuss the potential use of zebrafish as a model for connexin skin biology, where evidence mounts that differential connexin expression is involved in skin patterning and pigmentation.

  3. Connexin45 is expressed in the juxtaglomerular apparatus and is involved in the regulation of renin secretion and blood pressure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanner, Fiona; von Maltzahn, Julia; Maxeiner, Stephan; Toma, Ildiko; Sipos, Arnold; Krüger, Olaf; Willecke, Klaus; Peti-Peterdi, János

    2008-08-01

    Connexin (Cx) proteins are known to play a role in cell-to-cell communication via intercellular gap junction channels or transiently open hemichannels. Previous studies have identified several connexin isoforms in the juxtaglomerular apparatus (JGA), but the vascular connexin isoform Cx45 has not yet been studied in this region. The present work aimed to identify in detail the localization of Cx45 in the JGA and to suggest a functional role for Cx45 in the kidney using conditions where Cx45 expression or function was altered. Using mice that express lacZ coding DNA under the control of the Cx45 promoter, we observed beta-galactosidase staining in cortical vasculature and glomeruli, with specific localization to the JGA region. Renal vascular localization of Cx45 was further confirmed with the use of conditional Cx45-deficient (Cx45fl/fl:Nestin-Cre) mice, which express enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP) instead of Cx45 only in cells that, during development, expressed the intermediate filament nestin. EGFP fluorescence was found in the afferent and efferent arteriole smooth muscle cells, in the renin-producing juxtaglomerular cells, and in the extra- and intraglomerular mesangium. Cx45fl/fl:Nestin-Cre mice exhibited increased renin expression and activity, as well as higher systemic blood pressure. The propagation of mechanically induced calcium waves was slower in cultured vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) from Cx45fl/fl:Nestin-Cre mice and in control VSMC treated with a Cx45 gap mimetic peptide that inhibits Cx45 gap junctional communication. VSMCs allowed the cell-to-cell passage of the gap junction permeable dye Lucifer yellow, and calcium wave propagation was not altered by addition of the ATP receptor blocker suramin, suggesting that Cx45 regulates calcium wave propagation via direct gap junction coupling. In conclusion, the localization of Cx45 to the JGA and functional data from Cx45fl/fl:Nestin-Cre mice suggest that Cx45 is involved in the

  4. Connexin-43 channels are a pathway for discharging lactate from glycolytic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dovmark, T H; Saccomano, M; Hulikova, A; Alves, F; Swietach, P

    2017-08-10

    Glycolytic cancer cells produce large quantities of lactate that must be removed to sustain metabolism in the absence of oxidative phosphorylation. The only venting mechanism described to do this at an adequate rate is H(+)-coupled lactate efflux on monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs). Outward MCT activity is, however, thermodynamically inhibited by extracellular acidity, a hallmark of solid tumours. This inhibition would feedback unfavourably on metabolism and growth, raising the possibility that other venting mechanisms become important in under-perfused tumours. We investigated connexin-assembled gap junctions as an alternative route for discharging lactate from pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cells. Diffusive coupling (calcein transmission) in vitro was strong between Colo357 cells, weaker yet hypoxia-inducible between BxPC3 cells, and very low between MiaPaCa2 cells. Coupling correlated with levels of connexin-43 (Cx43), a protein previously linked to late-stage disease. Evoked lactate dynamics, imaged in Colo357 spheroids using cytoplasmic pH as a read-out, indicated that lactate anions permeate gap junctions faster than highly-buffered H(+) ions. At steady-state, junctional transmission of lactate (a chemical base) from the spheroid core had an alkalinizing effect on the rim, producing therein a milieu conducive for growth. Metabolite assays demonstrated that Cx43 knockdown increased cytoplasmic lactate retention in Colo357 spheroids (diameter ~150 μm). MiaPaCa2 cells, which are Cx43 negative in monolayer culture, showed markedly increased Cx43 immunoreactivity at areas of invasion in orthotopic xenograft mouse models. These tissue areas were associated with chronic extracellular acidosis (as indicated by the marker LAMP2 near/at the plasmalemma), which can explain the advantage of junctional transmission over MCT in vivo. We propose that Cx43 channels are important conduits for dissipating lactate anions from glycolytic PDAC cells. Furthermore

  5. Grainy head promotes expression of septate junction proteins and influences epithelial morphogenesis.

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    Narasimha, Maithreyi; Uv, Anne; Krejci, Alena; Brown, Nicholas H; Bray, Sarah J

    2008-03-15

    Transcription factors of the Grainy head (Grh) family are required in epithelia to generate the impermeable apical layer that protects against the external environment. This function is conserved in vertebrates and invertebrates, despite the differing molecular composition of the protective barrier. Epithelial cells also have junctions that create a paracellular diffusion barrier (tight or septate junctions). To examine whether Grh has a role in regulating such characteristics, we used an epidermal layer in the Drosophila embryo that has no endogenous Grh and lacks septate junctions, the amnioserosa. Expression of Grh in the amnioserosa caused severe defects in dorsal closure, a process similar to wound closure, and induced robust expression of the septate junction proteins Coracle, Fasciclin 3 and Sinuous. Grh-binding sites are present within the genes encoding these proteins, consistent with them being direct targets. Removal of Grh from imaginal disc cells caused a reduction in Fasciclin 3 and Coracle levels, suggesting that Grh normally fine tunes their epithelial expression and hence contributes to barrier properties. The fact that ectopic Grh arrests dorsal closure also suggests that this dynamic process relies on epithelia having distinct adhesive properties conferred by differential deployment of Grh.

  6. Modulation of connexin signaling by bacterial pathogens and their toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceelen, Liesbeth; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Vanhaecke, Tamara; Rogiers, Vera; Vinken, Mathieu

    2011-09-01

    Inherent to their pivotal tasks in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis, gap junctions, connexin hemichannels, and pannexin hemichannels are frequently involved in the dysregulation of this critical balance. The present paper specifically focuses on their roles in bacterial infection and disease. In particular, the reported biological outcome of clinically important bacteria including Escherichia coli, Shigella flexneri, Yersinia enterocolitica, Helicobacter pylori, Bordetella pertussis, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Citrobacter rodentium, Clostridium species, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Staphylococcus aureus and their toxic products on connexin- and pannexin-related signaling in host cells is reviewed. Particular attention is paid to the underlying molecular mechanisms of these effects as well as to the actual biological relevance of these findings.

  7. RXP-E: a connexin43-binding peptide that prevents action potential propagation block

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lewandowski, Rebecca; Procida, Kristina; Vaidyanathan, Ravi

    2008-01-01

    Gap junctions provide a low-resistance pathway for cardiac electric propagation. The role of GJ regulation in arrhythmia is unclear, partly because of limited availability of pharmacological tools. Recently, we showed that a peptide called "RXP-E" binds to the carboxyl terminal of connexin43 and ...

  8. Data of the molecular dynamics simulations of mutations in the human connexin46 docking interface

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrik Schadzek

    2016-06-01

    The data described here are related to the research article entitled “The cataract related mutation N188T in human connexin46 (hCx46 revealed a critical role for residue N188 in the docking process of gap junction channels” (Schadzek et al., 2015 [1].

  9. Effects of Losartan on expression of connexins at the early stage of atherosclerosis in rabbits

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    Li-ming Ruan, Wei Cai, Jun-zhu Chen, Jin-feng Duan

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim: to investigate effects of Losartan on expression of connexin 40 and 43 (Cx40 and Cx43, in arteries at the early stage of atherosclerosis in a rabbit model. Methods: A total of 28 male New Zealand white rabbits were divided into following groups: control group, high fat diet group, and Losartan group (10 mg/kg/day. Losartan was administrated in food for two weeks. Iliac arteries were obtained for immunohistochemistry, transmission electron microscopy, Western blot, and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR. Results: Transmission electron microscopy revealed abundant gap junctions between neointimal smooth muscle cells (SMCs, which were markedly reduced by treatment. RT-PCR and Western blot assay showed that the mRNA and protein expression of Cx40 and Cx43 were elevated in the neointimal area at the early stage of atherosclerosis. The mRNA and protein expression of Cx43 were significantly down-regulated by losartan treatment but those of Cx40 were not markedly changed. Conclusion: Cx40 and Cx43 in the neointimal SMCs were up-regulated at the early stage of atherosclerosis. Losartan (an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor could reduce neointima proliferation and down-regulate the elevated protein expression of Cx43, suggesting the rennin-angiotensin system (RAS plays an important role in the remodeling of gap junction between ventricular myocytes under pathological conditions.

  10. Identification of MarvelD3 as a tight junction-associated transmembrane protein of the occludin family

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    Balda Maria S

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Tight junctions are an intercellular adhesion complex of epithelial and endothelial cells, and form a paracellular barrier that restricts the diffusion of solutes on the basis of size and charge. Tight junctions are formed by multiprotein complexes containing cytosolic and transmembrane proteins. How these components work together to form functional tight junctions is still not well understood and will require a complete understanding of the molecular composition of the junction. Results Here we identify a new transmembrane component of tight junctions: MarvelD3, a four-span transmembrane protein. Its predicted transmembrane helices form a Marvel (MAL and related proteins for vesicle traffic and membrane link domain, a structural motif originally discovered in proteins involved in membrane apposition and fusion events, such as the tight junction proteins occludin and tricellulin. In mammals, MarvelD3 is expressed as two alternatively spliced isoforms. Both isoforms exhibit a broad tissue distribution and are expressed by different types of epithelial as well as endothelial cells. MarvelD3 co-localises with occludin at tight junctions in intestinal and corneal epithelial cells. RNA interference experiments in Caco-2 cells indicate that normal MarvelD3 expression is not required for the formation of functional tight junctions but depletion results in monolayers with increased transepithelial electrical resistance. Conclusions Our data indicate that MarvelD3 is a third member of the tight junction-associated occludin family of transmembrane proteins. Similar to occludin, normal expression of MarvelD3 is not essential for the formation of functional tight junctions. However, MarvelD3 functions as a determinant of epithelial paracellular permeability properties.

  11. Gap junction proteins: master regulators of the planarian stem cell response to tissue maintenance and injury.

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    Peiris, T Harshani; Oviedo, Néstor J

    2013-01-01

    Gap junction (GJ) proteins are crucial mediators of cell-cell communication during embryogenesis, tissue regeneration and disease. GJ proteins form plasma membrane channels that facilitate passage of small molecules across cells and modulate signaling pathways and cellular behavior in different tissues. These properties have been conserved throughout evolution, and in most invertebrates GJ proteins are known as innexins. Despite their critical relevance for physiology and disease, the mechanisms by which GJ proteins modulate cell behavior are poorly understood. This review summarizes findings from recent work that uses planarian flatworms as a paradigm to analyze GJ proteins in the complexity of the whole organism. The planarian model allows access to a large pool of adult somatic stem cells (known as neoblasts) that support physiological cell turnover and tissue regeneration. Innexin proteins are present in planarians and play a fundamental role in controlling neoblast behavior. We discuss the possibility that GJ proteins participate as cellular sensors that inform neoblasts about local and systemic physiological demands. We believe that functional analyses of GJ proteins will bring a complementary perspective to studies that focus on the temporal expression of genes. Finally, integrating functional studies along with molecular genetics and epigenetic approaches would expand our understanding of cellular regulation in vivo and greatly enhance the possibilities for rationally modulating stem cell behavior in their natural environment. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The communicating junctions, roles and dysfunctions. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Effects of extremely low frequency magnetic fields on gap junctional intercellular communication and its mechanism

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    The study on biological effect of electromagnetic fields has been paid close attention in recent years. Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) plays an important role in the maintenance of cell proliferation and differentiation, and in the multistage process of carcinogenesis. A series of researches showed that xtremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields not only enhance the inhibition of GJIC induced by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate, but also inhibit GJIC directly when the intensity is equal to or more than 0.4  mT, and that the mechanisms of GJIC inhibition by ELF magnetic fields are due to hyperphosphorylation of connexin 43, which is mediated by protein kinase C-activated signal transduction, and the internalization of connexin 43 from plasma membrane to cytoplasm.

  13. Absence of venous valves in mice lacking Connexin37.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munger, Stephanie J; Kanady, John D; Simon, Alexander M

    2013-01-15

    Venous valves play a crucial role in blood circulation, promoting the one-way movement of blood from superficial and deep veins towards the heart. By preventing retrograde flow, venous valves spare capillaries and venules from being subjected to damaging elevations in pressure, especially during skeletal muscle contraction. Pathologically, valvular incompetence or absence of valves are common features of venous disorders such as chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins. The underlying causes of these conditions are not well understood, but congenital venous valve aplasia or agenesis may play a role in some cases. Despite progress in the study of cardiac and lymphatic valve morphogenesis, the molecular mechanisms controlling the development and maintenance of venous valves remain poorly understood. Here, we show that in valved veins of the mouse, three gap junction proteins (Connexins, Cxs), Cx37, Cx43, and Cx47, are expressed exclusively in the valves in a highly polarized fashion, with Cx43 on the upstream side of the valve leaflet and Cx37 on the downstream side. Surprisingly, Cx43 expression is strongly induced in the non-valve venous endothelium in superficial veins following wounding of the overlying skin. Moreover, we show that in Cx37-deficient mice, venous valves are entirely absent. Thus, Cx37, a protein involved in cell-cell communication, is one of only a few proteins identified so far as critical for the development or maintenance of venous valves. Because Cxs are necessary for the development of valves in lymphatic vessels as well, our results support the notion of common molecular pathways controlling valve development in veins and lymphatic vessels.

  14. Modulation of gap junction channels and hemichannels by growth factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schalper, Kurt A; Riquelme, Manuel A; Brañes, María C; Martínez, Agustín D; Vega, José Luis; Berthoud, Viviana M; Bennett, Michael V L; Sáez, Juan C

    2012-03-01

    Gap junction hemichannels and cell-cell channels have roles in coordinating numerous cellular processes, due to their permeability to extra and intracellular signaling molecules. Another mechanism of cellular coordination is provided by a vast array of growth factors that interact with relatively selective cell membrane receptors. These receptors can affect cellular transduction pathways, including alteration of intracellular concentration of free Ca(2+) and free radicals and activation of protein kinases or phosphatases. Connexin and pannexin based channels constitute recently described targets of growth factor signal transduction pathways, but little is known regarding the effects of growth factor signaling on pannexin based channels. The effects of growth factors on these two channel types seem to depend on the cell type, cell stage and connexin and pannexin isoform expressed. The functional state of hemichannels and gap junction channels are affected in opposite directions by FGF-1 via protein kinase-dependent mechanisms. These changes are largely explained by channels insertion in or withdrawal from the cell membrane, but changes in open probability might also occur due to changes in phosphorylation and redox state of channel subunits. The functional consequence of variation in cell-cell communication via these membrane channels is implicated in disease as well as normal cellular responses.

  15. The Ly6 protein coiled is required for septate junction and blood brain barrier organisation in Drosophila.

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    Assia Hijazi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Genetic analysis of the Drosophila septate junctions has greatly contributed to our understanding of the mechanisms controlling the assembly of these adhesion structures, which bear strong similarities with the vertebrate tight junctions and the paranodal septate junctions. These adhesion complexes share conserved molecular components and have a common function: the formation of paracellular barriers restraining the diffusion of solutes through epithelial and glial envelopes. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this work we characterise the function of the Drosophila cold gene, that codes for a protein belonging to the Ly6 superfamily of extracellular ligands. Analysis of cold mutants shows that this gene is specifically required for the organisation of the septate junctions in epithelial tissues and in the nervous system, where its contribution is essential for the maintenance of the blood-brain barrier. We show that cold acts in a cell autonomous way, and we present evidence indicating that this protein could act as a septate junction component. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: We discuss the specific roles of cold and three other Drosophila members of the Ly6 superfamily that have been shown to participate in a non-redundant way in the process of septate junction assembly. We propose that vertebrate Ly6 proteins could fulfill analogous roles in tight junctions and/or paranodal septate junctions.

  16. SynProt: A Comprehensive Database for Proteins of the Detergent-Resistant Synaptic Junctions Fraction

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    Rainer ePielot

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Chemical synapses are highly specialized cell-cell contacts for communication between neurons in the CNS characterized by complex and dynamic protein networks at both synaptic membranes. The cytomatrix at the active zone (CAZ organizes the apparatus for the regulated release of transmitters from the presynapse. At the postsynaptic side, the postsynaptic density constitutes the machinery for detection, integration and transduction of the transmitter signal. Both pre- and postsynaptic protein networks represent the molecular substrates for synaptic plasticity. Their function can be altered both by regulating their composition and by post-translational modification of their components. For a comprehensive understanding of synaptic networks the entire ensemble of synaptic proteins has to be considered. To support this, we established a comprehensive database for synaptic junction proteins (SynProt database primarily based on proteomics data obtained from biochemical preparations of detergent-resistant synaptic junctions. The database currently contains 2,788 non-redundant entries of rat, mouse and some human proteins, which mainly have been manually extracted from twelve proteomic studies and annotated for synaptic subcellular localization. Each dataset is completed with manually added information including protein classifiers as well as automatically retrieved and updated information from public databases (UniProt and PubMed. We intend that the database will be used to support modeling of synaptic protein networks and rational experimental design.

  17. Resolution of Holliday junction recombination intermediates by wild-type and mutant IntDOT proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Seyeun; Gardner, Jeffrey F

    2011-03-01

    CTnDOT encodes an integrase that is a member of the tyrosine recombinase family. The recombination reaction proceeds by sequential sets of genetic exchanges between the attDOT site in CTnDOT and an attB site in the chromosome. The exchanges are separated by 7 base pairs in each site. Unlike most tyrosine recombinases, IntDOT exchanges sites that contain different DNA sequences between the exchange sites to generate Holliday junctions (HJs) that contain mismatched bases. We demonstrate that IntDOT resolves synthetic HJs in vitro. Holliday junctions that contain identical sequences between the exchange sites are resolved into both substrates and products, while HJs that contain mismatches are resolved only to substrates. This result implies that resolution of HJs to products requires the formation of a higher-order nucleoprotein complex with natural sites containing IntDOT. We also found that proteins with substitutions of residues (V95, K94, and K96) in a putative alpha helix at the junction of the N and CB domains (coupler region) were defective in resolving HJs. Mutational analysis of charged residues in the coupler and the N terminus of the protein did not provide evidence for a charge interaction between the regions of the protein. V95 may participate in a hydrophobic interaction with another region of IntDOT.

  18. The connexin 30.3 of zebrafish homologue of human connexin 26 may play similar role in the inner ear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang-Chien, Ju; Yen, Yung-Chang; Chien, Kuo-Hsuan; Li, Shaun-Yow; Hsu, Tsai-Ching; Yang, Jiann-Jou

    2014-07-01

    The intercellular gap junction channels formed by connexins (CXs) are important for recycling potassium ions in the inner ear. CXs are encoded by a family of the CX gene, such as GJB2, and the mechanism leading to mutant connexin-associated diseases, including hearing loss, remains to be elucidated. In this study, using bioinformatics, we found that two zebrafish cx genes, cx27.5 and cx30.3, are likely homologous to human and mouse GJB2. During embryogenesis, zebrafish cx27.5 was rarely expressed at 1.5-3 h post-fertilization (hpf), but a relatively high level of cx27.5 expression was detected from 6 to 96 hpf. However, zebrafish cx30.3 transcripts were hardly detected until 9 hpf. The temporal experiment was conducted in whole larvae. Both cx27.5 and cx30.3 transcripts were revealed significantly in the inner ear by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and whole-mount in situ hybridization (WISH). In the HeLa cell model, we found that zebrafish Cx27.5 was distributed intracellularly in the cytoplasm, whereas Cx30.3 was localized in the plasma membrane of HeLa cells stably expressing Cx proteins. The expression pattern of zebrafish Cx30.3 in HeLa cells was more similar to that of cells expressing human CX26 than Cx27.5. In addition, we found that Cx30.3 was localized in the cell membrane of hair cells within the inner ear by immunohistochemistry (IHC), suggesting that zebrafish cx30.3 might play an essential role in the development of the inner ear, in the same manner as human GJB2. We then performed morpholino knockdown studies in zebrafish embryos to elucidate the physiological functions of Cx30.3. The zebrafish cx30.3 morphants exhibited wild-type-like and heart edema phenotypes with smaller inner ears at 72 hpf. Based on these results, we suggest that the zebrafish Cx30.3 and mammalian CX26 may play alike roles in the inner ear. Thus, zebrafish can potentially serve as a model for studying hearing loss disorders that result from human CX

  19. Effect of salvianolate on intestinal epithelium tight junction protein zonula occludens protein 1 in cirrhotic rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Dan-Hong Yang; Zai-Yuan Ye; Yuan-Jun Xie; Xu-Jun He; Wen-Juan Xu; Wei-Ming Zhou

    2012-01-01

    AIM:To study the effect of salvianolate on tight junctions (TJs) and zonula occludens protein 1 (ZO-1) in small intestinal mucosa of cirrhotic rats.METHODS:Cirrhosis was induced using carbon tetrachloride.Rats were randomly divided into the untreated group,low-dose salvianolate (12 mg/kg) treatment group,medium-dose salvianolate (24 mg/kg) treatment group,and high-dose salvianolate (48 mg/kg) treatment group,and were treated for 2 wk.Another 10 healthy rats served as the normal control group.Histological changes in liver tissue samples were observed under a light microscope.We evaluated morphologic indices of ileal mucosa including intestinal villi width and thickness of mucosa and intestinal wall using a pathological image analysis system.Ultrastructural changes in small intestinal mucosa were investigated in the five groups using transmission electron microscopy.The changes in ZO-1 expression,a tight junction protein,were analyzed by immunocytochemistry.The staining index was calculated as the product of the staining intensity score and the proportion of positive cells.RESULTS:In the untreated group,hepatocytes showed a disordered arrangement,fatty degeneration was extensive,swelling was obvious,and disorganized lobules were divided by collagen fibers in hepatic tissue,which were partly improved in the salvianolate treated groups.In the untreated group,abundant lymphocytes infiltrated the fibrous tissue with proliferation of bile ducts,and collagen fibers gradually decreased and damaged hepatic lobules were partly repaired following salvianolate treatment.Compared with the untreated group,no differences in intestinal villi width between the five groups were observed.The villi height as well as mucosa and intestinal wall thickness gradually thickened with salvianolate treatment and were significantly shorter in the untreated group compared with those in the salvianolate treatment groups and normal group (P < 0.01).The number of microvilli decreased and showed

  20. Role of gap junctions and hemichannels in parasitic infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vega, José Luis; Subiabre, Mario; Figueroa, Felipe; Schalper, Kurt Alex; Osorio, Luis; González, Jorge; Sáez, Juan Carlos

    2013-01-01

    In vertebrates, connexins (Cxs) and pannexins (Panxs) are proteins that form gap junction channels and/or hemichannels located at cell-cell interfaces and cell surface, respectively. Similar channel types are formed by innexins in invertebrate cells. These channels serve as pathways for cellular communication that coordinate diverse physiologic processes. However, it is known that many acquired and inherited diseases deregulate Cx and/or Panx channels, condition that frequently worsens the pathological state of vertebrates. Recent evidences suggest that Cx and/or Panx hemichannels play a relevant role in bacterial and viral infections. Nonetheless, little is known about the role of Cx- and Panx-based channels in parasitic infections of vertebrates. In this review, available data on changes in Cx and gap junction channel changes induced by parasitic infections are summarized. Additionally, we describe recent findings that suggest possible roles of hemichannels in parasitic infections. Finally, the possibility of new therapeutic designs based on hemichannel blokers is presented.

  1. Localization of connexin 30 in the luminal membrane of cells in the distal nephron.

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    McCulloch, Fiona; Chambrey, Régine; Eladari, Dominique; Peti-Peterdi, János

    2005-12-01

    Several isoforms of the gap junction protein connexin (Cx) have been identified in a variety of tissues that communicate intercellular signals between adjacent cells. In the kidney, Cx37, Cx40, and Cx43 are localized in the vasculature, glomerulus, and tubular segments in a punctuate pattern, typical of classic gap junction channels. We performed immunohistochemistry in the mouse, rat, and rabbit kidney to study the localization of Cx30 protein, a new member of the Cx family. The vasculature, glomerulus, and proximal nephron segments were devoid of staining in all three species. Unexpectedly, Cx30 was found throughout the luminal membrane of select cells in the distal nephron. Expression of Cx30 was highest in the rat, which also showed some diffuse cytosolic labeling, continuous from the medullary thick ascending limb to the collecting duct system, and with the highest level in the distal convoluted tubule. Labeling in the mouse and rabbit was much less, limited to intercalated cells in the connecting segment and cortical collecting duct, where the apical signal was particularly strong. A high-salt-containing diet and culture medium upregulated Cx30 expression in the rat inner medulla and in M1 cells, respectively. The distinct, continuous labeling of the luminal plasma membrane and upregulation by high salt suggest that Cx30 may function as a hemichannel involved in the regulation of salt reabsorption in the distal nephron.

  2. Remodeling of gap junctions in ischemic and nonischemic forms of heart disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saffitz, Jeffrey E; Hames, Kiyomi Yamada; Kanno, Shigeto

    2007-08-01

    Electrical activation of the myocardium to produce effective pumping of blood depends on the orderly coordinated spatial and temporal transfer of current from one cell to another via gap junctions. Normal ventricular myocytes are extensively coupled by gap junctions and have the capacity to rapidly increase the amount of connexin within gap junction plaques to meet physiological demands for enhanced cell-cell communication. However, myocytes can also rapidly uncouple in response to injury or disease. In general, both acute and chronic forms of heart disease caused by diverse etiologies are associated with changes in the expression of connexins and remodeling of gap junctions. Such remodeling may have both adaptive and maladaptive consequences and contribute to major clinical processes such as heart failure and sudden cardiac death. Our laboratory has investigated mechanisms regulating cell-cell electrical coupling in the heart under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. This review is focused on selected aspects of this work pertaining to changes in coupling in response to acute and chronic ischemic heart disease and in familial cardiomyopathies caused by mutations in genes encoding desmosomal proteins.

  3. Hepatic granulomas induced by Schistosoma mansoni in mice deficient for connexin 43 present lower cell proliferation and higher collagen content.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oloris, Silvia Catarina Salgado; Mesnil, Marc; Reis, Viviane Neri de Souza; Sakai, Mônica; Matsuzaki, Patrícia; Fonseca, Evelise de Souza Monteiro; da Silva, Tereza Cristina; Avanzo, José Luís; Sinhorini, Idércio Luiz; Guerra, José Luiz; Costa-Pinto, Frederico Azevedo; Maiorka, Paulo Cesar; Dagli, Maria Lúcia Zaidan

    2007-03-06

    Granuloma formation involves a coordinated interaction between monocytes and macrophages, epithelioid cells, lymphocytes, eosinophils, neutrophils and fibroblasts. It has been established that extracellular communication via cytokines is important for the assembly of granulomas. However, the importance of gap junctions and intercellular communication to granuloma formation and development had never been assessed. Connexins are proteins that form gap junctions, and connexin 43 (Cx43) is present in macrophages, lymphoid cells, myelogenous cells, fibroblasts and others. We analyzed the effect of heterologous deletion of Gja1 (Cx43 gene) on the formation and development of hepatic granulomas induced by Schistosoma mansoni eggs. Heterozygous (Cx43(+/-)) and wild-type (Cx43(+/+)) mice were infected subcutaneously with S. mansoni cercarie and evaluated after 6, 8 and 12 weeks. Granuloma cells express Cx43, as revealed by real-time PCR in isolated granulomas, and by immunohistochemistry. Cx43 expression was reduced in Cx43(+/-) mice, as expected. No differences in the average area of granulomas or number of cells per granuloma were observed between mice of different genotypes. However, granuloma cells from Cx43(+/-) mice displayed a reduced index of the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) labeling at 8 and 12 weeks post-infection. Moreover, Cx43(+/-) granulomas unexpectedly presented a higher degree of fibrosis, quantified by morphometric analysis in Sirius Red-stained slides. Our results indicate that the deletion of one allele of the Cx43 gene, and possibly the reduced gap junction intercellular communication capacity (GJIC), may impair the interactions between granuloma cells, reducing their proliferation and increasing their collagen content, thereby modifying the characteristics of S. mansoni granuloma in mice.

  4. Gap junctional regulation of pressure, fluid force, and electrical fields in the epigenetics of cardiac morphogenesis and remodeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seki, Akiko; Nishii, Kiyomasa; Hagiwara, Nobuhisa

    2015-05-15

    Epigenetic factors of pressure load, fluid force, and electrical fields that occur during cardiac contraction affect cardiac development, morphology, function, and pathogenesis. These factors are orchestrated by intercellular communication mediated by gap junctions, which synchronize action potentials and second messengers. Misregulation of the gap junction protein connexin (Cx) alters cardiogenesis, and can be a pathogenic factor causing cardiac conduction disturbance, fatal arrhythmia, and cardiac remodeling in disease states such as hypertension and ischemia. Changes in Cx expression can occur even when the DNA sequence of the Cx gene itself is unaltered. Posttranslational modifications might reduce arrhythmogenic substrates, improve cardiac function, and promote remodeling in a diseased heart. In this review, we discuss the epigenetic features of gap junctions that regulate cardiac morphology and remodeling. We further discuss potential clinical applications of current knowledge of the structure and function of gap junctions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Zebrafish Cx35: cloning and characterization of a gap junction gene highly expressed in the retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLachlan, Elizabeth; White, Thomas W; Ugonabo, Chioma; Olson, Carl; Nagy, James I; Valdimarsson, Gunnar

    2003-09-15

    The vertebrate connexin gene family encodes protein subunits of gap junction channels, which provide a route for direct intercellular communication. Consequently, gap junctions play a vital role in many developmental and homeostatic processes. Aberrant functioning of gap junctions is implicated in many human diseases. Zebrafish are an ideal vertebrate model to study development of the visual system as they produce transparent embryos that develop rapidly, thereby facilitating morphological and behavioral testing. In this study, zebrafish connexin35 has been cloned from a P1 artificial chromosome (PAC) library. Sequence analysis shows a high degree of similarity to the Cx35/36 orthologous group, which are expressed primarily in nervous tissue, including the retina. The gene encodes a 304-amino acid protein with a predicted molecular weight of approximately 35 kDa. Injection of zebrafish Cx35 RNA into paired Xenopus oocytes elicited intercellular electrical coupling with weak voltage sensitivity. In development, Cx35 is first detectable by Northern analysis and RT-PCR, at 2 days post-fertilization (2 dpf), and in the adult it is expressed in the brain and retina. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that the Cx35 protein is expressed in two sublaminae of the inner plexiform layer of the adult retina. A similar pattern was seen in the 4 and 5 dpf retina, but no labeling was detected in the retina of earlier embryos.

  6. Connexin 43 enhances Bax activation via JNK activation in sunitinib-induced apoptosis in mesothelioma cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uzu, Miaki; Sato, Hiromi; Shimizu, Ayaka; Shibata, Yukihiro; Ueno, Koichi; Hisaka, Akihiro

    2017-06-01

    The constituent protein of gap junctions, connexin (Cx), interacts with various proteins via its C-terminus region, including kinases, cell-adhesion proteins, and a pro-apoptotic protein, Bax. This molecular interaction may affect expression and functioning of the interacting proteins and modulate the cellular physiology. In our previous work, Cx43 was found to interact directly with Bax and in the presence of sunitinib, lead to the Bax-mediated apoptosis in mesothelioma cells. In this study, we investigated the mechanism of how Cx43 promotes Bax-mediated apoptosis using the same cell line. Treatment with sunitinib increased the expression of the active conformation of the Bax protein, which was predominantly localized at the mitochondria, only in Cx43-transfected cells. Bax oligomerization and decrease in the mitochondrial membrane potential were also observed. The involvement of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in the interaction of Cx43 and Bax was further examined. Treatment with sunitinib increased the expression of phosphorylated (active) form of JNK only in the Cx43-transfected cells. Phosphorylated JNK and active Bax were co-localized, and the co-localization was suppressed by the knockdown of Cx43. Moreover, JNK inhibition clearly suppressed Bax activation. In conclusion, we identified a novel Cx43-JNK-Bax axis regulating the process of apoptosis for the first time. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Connexin- and pannexin-based channels in normal skeletal muscles and their possible role in muscle atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cea, Luis A; Riquelme, Manuel A; Cisterna, Bruno A; Puebla, Carlos; Vega, José L; Rovegno, Maximiliano; Sáez, Juan C

    2012-08-01

    Precursor cells of skeletal muscles express connexins 39, 43 and 45 and pannexin1. In these cells, most connexins form two types of membrane channels, gap junction channels and hemichannels, whereas pannexin1 forms only hemichannels. All these channels are low-resistance pathways permeable to ions and small molecules that coordinate developmental events. During late stages of skeletal muscle differentiation, myofibers become innervated and stop expressing connexins but still express pannexin1 hemichannels that are potential pathways for the ATP release required for potentiation of the contraction response. Adult injured muscles undergo regeneration, and connexins are reexpressed and form membrane channels. In vivo, connexin reexpression occurs in undifferentiated cells that form new myofibers, favoring the healing process of injured muscle. However, differentiated myofibers maintained in culture for 48 h or treated with proinflammatory cytokines for less than 3 h also reexpress connexins and only form functional hemichannels at the cell surface. We propose that opening of these hemichannels contributes to drastic changes in electrochemical gradients, including reduction of membrane potential, increases in intracellular free Ca(2+) concentration and release of diverse metabolites (e.g., NAD(+) and ATP) to the extracellular milieu, contributing to multiple metabolic and physiologic alterations that characterize muscles undergoing atrophy in several acquired and genetic human diseases. Consequently, inhibition of connexin hemichannels expressed by injured or denervated skeletal muscles might reduce or prevent deleterious changes triggered by conditions that promote muscle atrophy.

  8. Sertoli-cell-specific knockout of connexin 43 leads to multiple alterations in testicular gene expression in prepubertal mice

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    Sarah Giese

    2012-11-01

    A significant decline in human male reproductive function has been reported for the past 20 years but the molecular mechanisms remain poorly understood. However, recent studies showed that the gap junction protein connexin-43 (CX43; also known as GJA1 might be involved. CX43 is the predominant testicular connexin (CX in most species, including in humans. Alterations of its expression are associated with different forms of spermatogenic disorders and infertility. Men with impaired spermatogenesis often exhibit a reduction or loss of CX43 expression in germ cells (GCs and Sertoli cells (SCs. Adult male transgenic mice with a conditional knockout (KO of the Gja1 gene [referred to here as connexin-43 (Cx43] in SCs (SCCx43KO show a comparable testicular phenotype to humans and are infertile. To detect possible signaling pathways and molecular mechanisms leading to the testicular phenotype in adult SCCx43KO mice and to their failure to initiate spermatogenesis, the testicular gene expression of 8-day-old SCCx43KO and wild-type (WT mice was compared. Microarray analysis revealed that 658 genes were significantly regulated in testes of SCCx43KO mice. Of these genes, 135 were upregulated, whereas 523 genes were downregulated. For selected genes the results of the microarray analysis were confirmed using quantitative real-time PCR and immunostaining. The majority of the downregulated genes are GC-specific and are essential for mitotic and meiotic progression of spermatogenesis, including Stra8, Dazl and members of the DM (dsx and map-3 gene family. Other altered genes can be associated with transcription, metabolism, cell migration and cytoskeleton organization. Our data show that deletion of Cx43 in SCs leads to multiple alterations of gene expression in prepubertal mice and primarily affects GCs. The candidate genes could represent helpful markers for investigators exploring human testicular biopsies from patients showing corresponding spermatogenic deficiencies and for

  9. Regulatory effect of connexin/gap junction intercellular communication on proliferation of rat hepatic oval cells%连接蛋白/缝隙连接细胞间通讯对大鼠肝卵圆细胞增殖调控作用

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    傅华群; 李学东; 王开阳; 蒋星星; 巢映辉

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) mediated by connexin (CX) is the pivotal pattern ofcommunication in multicellular organism.OBJECTIVE: To observe the regulatory effect of CX/GJIC on hepatic oval cell proliferation.METHODS: Wistar rats were assigned to four groups. Control group received normal diet. Animal models of hepatic oval cell proliferation were established in the 2-acetylaminofluorene/ partial hepatectomy (2 -AAF/PH) group according to modified Solt-Farber method. Phenobarbital group received phenobarbital drinking for 7 days, and on day 8, models were established as the 2 -AAF/PH group. Phenobarbital drinking lasted till the end of the test. Panax notoginseng saponins (PNS) group received PNS 25 mg/kg daily by intraperitoneal injection during model establishment as the 2-AAF/PH group, lasting till the end of the test.RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: The patterns of CX expression were different in spatial and temporal in the rat liver after 2-AAF/PH, decreased and then recovered. The CX43 protein was expressed in hepatic oval cells, and they were increased at first and then to recover. GJIC was inhibited by altered the spatial and temporal expression patterns of CX in the rats liver after 2-AAF/PH (with phenobarbital) that can accelerate the proliferation of hepatic oval cells. GJIC was increased by enhancing the expression level of CX in the rats liver after2 -AAF/PH (with PNS) that can accurately activate hepatic oval cells proliferation. The peak of hepatic oval cells pro liferation was decreased, delayed and lasted long time. To decrease the GJIC in the rat liver of 2-AAF/PH that can accelerate and enhance the proliferation of hepatic oval cells, whereas to increase the GJIC can decrease,delay and last long time the proliferation of hepatic oval cells. These suggest that the proliferation and differentiation of hepatic oval cells were modulated by CX/GJIC.%背景:缝隙连接蛋白介导的缝隙连接细胞间通讯(gap junction

  10. Omega-3 fatty acids and atorvastatin affect connexin 43 expression in the aorta of hereditary hypertriglyceridemic rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dlugosová, Katarína; Weismann, Peter; Bernátová, Iveta; Sotníková, Ruzena; Slezák, Ján; Okruhlicová, Ludmila

    2009-12-01

    Statins and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) reduce cardiovascular disease incidence during hypertriglyceridemia (HTG). To elucidate possible cardioprotective mechanisms, we focused on gap junction protein connexin 43 (Cx43). Its expression is disturbed during atherogenesis, but little information is available on its expression during HTG. Experiments were performed on adult male hereditary HTG (hHTG) rats treated with n-3 PUFA (30 mg/day) and atorvastatin (0.5 mg/100 g body weight per day) for 2 months. Cx43 expression and distribution in the aorta were investigated by using Western blotting and immunolabeling, followed by quantitative analysis. Transmission electronmicroscopy was used to study ultrastructure of endothelial contact sites. In contrast to age-matched Wistar, Cx43 expression in aorta of hHTG rats was significantly higher (p < 0.05), and prominent Cx43 immunospots were seen in tunica media and less in endothelium of hHTG rats. Changes in Cx43 expression were accompanied by local qualitative subcellular alterations of interendothelial connections. Treatment of hHTG rats with n-3 PUFA and atorvastatin markedly lowered Cx43 expression in aorta and modified connexin distribution in endothelium and media (p < 0.05 vs. untreated hHTG). The protective effect of treatment of HTG was observed on the structural integrity of the endothelium and was readily visible at the molecular level. Results indicate the involvement of altered Cx43 expression in vascular pathophysiology during HTG and during HTG treatment.

  11. The tight junction protein ZO-2 blocks cell cycle progression and inhibits cyclin D1 expression.

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    Gonzalez-Mariscal, Lorenza; Tapia, Rocio; Huerta, Miriam; Lopez-Bayghen, Esther

    2009-05-01

    ZO-2 is an adaptor protein of the tight junction that belongs to the MAGUK protein family. ZO-2 is a dual localization protein that in sparse cultures is present at the cell borders and the nuclei, whereas in confluent cultures it is concentrated at the cell boundaries. Here we have studied whether ZO-2 is able to regulate the expression of cyclin D1 (CD1) and cell proliferation. We have demonstrated that ZO-2 negatively regulates CD1 transcription by interacting with c-Myc at an E box present in CD1 promoter. We have further found that ZO-2 transfection into epithelial MDCK cells triggers a diminished expression of CD1 protein and decreases the rate of cell proliferation in a wound-healing assay.

  12. Effect of calcium channel blocker on gap junctional connexin 43 in infarcted myocardium in rats%钙通道阻滞剂对梗死心肌中不同部位心肌连接蛋白43表达的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨永健; 速晓华; 唐兵; 李德; 杨大春

    2011-01-01

    目的:研究L和L/T型钙通道阻制剂对梗死心脏不同部位(坏死区域、肥厚区域等)心肌组织中连接蛋白43(Cx43)的影响.方法:随机将大鼠48只分为假手术组、心肌梗死(MI)组、阿莫地平(L型钙通道阻滞剂)组和米贝拉地尔(L/T型钙通道阻滞剂)组(每组n=12只).通过结扎大鼠左冠状动脉建立MI模型,术前7 d,上述4个组分别用安慰剂、L型钙通道阻滞剂阿莫地平4 mg/(kg·d)和L/T型钙通道阻滞剂米贝拉地尔10 mg/(kg·d).术后1、3、7 d,分别检测左心室游离壁(LVFW,梗死区)、心室间隔(IS,肥厚区)和右心室壁(Rv),正常心肌组织中Cx43蛋白的表达.术后7 d显微直视下测LVFW处MI病灶的大小、IS的厚度及左心室的大小.结果:IS中Cx43蛋白表达于术后1、3、7 d呈逐渐增加的趋势;LVFW中Cx43蛋白的表达于术后1、3、7 d时均处于低水平,与对照组相比差异显著(P<0.05).RV中Cx43蛋白的表达于术后1、3、7 d无显著差异,与对照组相比也无显著性差异.米贝拉地尔能明显地抑制LVFW心肌组织中Cx43表达的下调,缩小MI病灶;阿莫地平则抑制肥厚心肌中Cx43蛋白的表达,明显抑制IS的肥厚.结论:MI病理过程中,梗死病灶内Cx43的表达下调,肥厚组织中Cx43的表达上调.L和L/T型钙通道阻滞剂均能减轻心肌重构与选择性地调节心肌组织中Cx43的表达有关.%AIM: To investigate the effect of cardiac L- and L/T-type Ca2+ channels on gap junctional connexin 43 ( Cx43 ) in myocardium infarcted heart remodeling of rats. METHODS: Rat myocardium infarction model was established by permanent ligation of the left coronary artery. Infarcted rats were treated with oral placebo, amlodipine [ L-channel blockade, 4 mg/( kg · day) ] or mibefradil [ L/T-channel blockade, 10 mg/(kg·day] beginning 7 days before induction of myocardial infarction (MI). Protein levels of Cx43 were measured 1, 3 and 7 days postcoronary occlusion in the noninfarcted and

  13. Gap junction modulation and its implications for heart function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurtenbach, Stefan; Kurtenbach, Sarah; Zoidl, Georg

    2014-01-01

    Gap junction communication (GJC) mediated by connexins is critical for heart function. To gain insight into the causal relationship of molecular mechanisms of disease pathology, it is important to understand which mechanisms contribute to impairment of gap junctional communication. Here, we present an update on the known modulators of connexins, including various interaction partners, kinases, and signaling cascades. This gap junction network (GJN) can serve as a blueprint for data mining approaches exploring the growing number of publicly available data sets from experimental and clinical studies.

  14. Gap junction modulation and its implications for heart function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan eKurtenbach

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Gap junction communication mediated by connexins is critical for heart function. To gain insight into the causal relationship of molecular mechanisms of disease pathology, it is important to understand which mechanisms contribute to impairment of gap junctional communication. Here, we present an update on the known modulators of connexins, including various interaction partners, kinases and signaling cascades. This gap junction network can serve as a blueprint for data mining approaches exploring the growing number of publicly available data sets from experimental and clinical studies.

  15. Losartan reduced connexin43 expression in left ventricular myocardium of spontaneously hypertensive rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Li-li ZHAO; Hong-juan CHEN; Jun-zhu CHEN; Min YU; Yun-lan NI; Wei-fang ZHANG

    2008-01-01

    Objective: To assess the effect of angiotensin Ⅱ type 1 (AT1) receptor antagonist losartan on myocardium connexin43 (Cx43) gap junction (GJ) expression in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) and investigate possible mechanisms. Methods: Sixteen 9-week-old male SHRs and 8 age-matched male Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats were included in this study. SHRs were randomly divided into two groups to receive losartan at 30mg/(kg·d) by oral gavage once daily for 8 weeks (SHR-L) or vehicle (0.9% saline) to act as controls (SHR-V); WKY rats receiving vehicle for 8 weeks served as normotensive controls. At the end of the experiment, rats were sacrificed and the hearts were removed. Expressions of Cx43 and nuclear factor-kappaB p65 (NF-κB p65) proteins in all three groups were observed and further investigations on the effect of angiotensin Ⅱ type 1 receptor antagonist losartan (30mg/(kg·d), 8 weeks) on Cx43 expression were conducted with Western blot and immunohistochemistry. NF-κB p65 protein in nuclear extracts was determined by Western blot. Results: Left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy was prominent in SHRs, Cx43 and NF-κB p65 protein expressions were obviously upregulated and Cx43 distribution was dispersed over the cell surface. Treatment with losarton reduced the over-expressions of Cx43 and NF-κB p65 in LV myocardium. The distribution of Cx43 gap junction also became much regular and confined to intercalated disk after losartan treatment. Conclusion: Cx43 level was upregulated in LV myocardium of SHR during early stage of hypertrophy. Angiotensin Ⅱ type l receptor antagonist losartan prevented Cx43 gap junction remodeling in hypertrophied left ventricles, possibly through the NF-κB pathway.

  16. Connexin and pannexin hemichannels in brain glial cells: properties, pharmacology, and roles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giaume, Christian; Leybaert, Luc; C. Naus, Christian; C. Sáez, Juan

    2013-01-01

    Functional interaction between neurons and glia is an exciting field that has expanded tremendously during the past decade. Such partnership has multiple impacts on neuronal activity and survival. Indeed, numerous findings indicate that glial cells interact tightly with neurons in physiological as well as pathological situations. One typical feature of glial cells is their high expression level of gap junction protein subunits, named connexins (Cxs), thus the membrane channels they form may contribute to neuroglial interaction that impacts neuronal activity and survival. While the participation of gap junction channels in neuroglial interactions has been regularly reviewed in the past, the other channel function of Cxs, i.e., hemichannels located at the cell surface, has only recently received attention. Gap junction channels provide the basis for a unique direct cell-to-cell communication, whereas Cx hemichannels allow the exchange of ions and signaling molecules between the cytoplasm and the extracellular medium, thus supporting autocrine and paracrine communication through a process referred to as “gliotransmission,” as well as uptake and release of metabolites. More recently, another family of proteins, termed pannexins (Panxs), has been identified. These proteins share similar membrane topology but no sequence homology with Cxs. They form multimeric membrane channels with pharmacology somewhat overlapping with that of Cx hemichannels. Such duality has led to several controversies in the literature concerning the identification of the molecular channel constituents (Cxs versus Panxs) in glia. In the present review, we update and discuss the knowledge of Cx hemichannels and Panx channels in glia, their properties and pharmacology, as well as the understanding of their contribution to neuroglial interactions in brain health and disease. PMID:23882216

  17. Gap junction communication in myelinating glia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nualart-Marti, Anna; Solsona, Carles; Fields, R Douglas

    2013-01-01

    Gap junction communication is crucial for myelination and axonal survival in both the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and central nervous system (CNS). This review examines the different types of gap junctions in myelinating glia of the PNS and CNS (Schwann cells and oligodendrocytes respectively), including their functions and involvement in neurological disorders. Gap junctions mediate intercellular communication among Schwann cells in the PNS, and among oligodendrocytes and between oligodendrocytes and astrocytes in the CNS. Reflexive gap junctions mediating transfer between different regions of the same cell promote communication between cellular compartments of myelinating glia that are separated by layers of compact myelin. Gap junctions in myelinating glia regulate physiological processes such as cell growth, proliferation, calcium signaling, and participate in extracellular signaling via release of neurotransmitters from hemijunctions. In the CNS, gap junctions form a glial network between oligodendrocytes and astrocytes. This transcellular communication is hypothesized to maintain homeostasis by facilitating restoration of membrane potential after axonal activity via electrical coupling and the re-distribution of potassium ions released from axons. The generation of transgenic mice for different subsets of connexins has revealed the contribution of different connexins in gap junction formation and illuminated new subcellular mechanisms underlying demyelination and cognitive defects. Alterations in metabolic coupling have been reported in animal models of X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMTX) and Pelizaeus-Merzbarcher-like disease (PMLD), which are caused by mutations in the genes encoding for connexin 32 and connexin 47 respectively. Future research identifying the expression and regulation of gap junctions in myelinating glia is likely to provide a better understanding of myelinating glia in nervous system function, plasticity, and disease. This

  18. Expression of connexins 26, 32 and 43 in the human colon--an immunohistochemical study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Sobaniec-Lotowska

    2005-02-01

    Full Text Available Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC is a mechanism for direct cell-to-cell signalling and is mediated by gap junctions (GJs, which consist of proteins called connexins (Cxs. GJIC plays a critical role in tissue development and differentiation and is important in maintenance of tissue homeostasis. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the expression of Cx26, Cx32 and Cx43 in the human colon. Surgical specimens were obtained from patients who underwent surgical resection of colorectal tumours. Tissue samples (50 cases were collected from normal colon, at the maximum distance from the tumor. Using antibodies for Cx26, Cx32 and Cx43, immunohistochemical detection was made. In epithelial cells, strong Cx26 immunoreactivity was found, whereas Cx32 and Cx43 were sparsely distributed. Strong Cx43 immunostaining in muscularis mucosae was observed. In the circular layer of muscularis externa, expression of Cx43 and Cx26 was seen, but only in the portion closest to the submucosa. No immunoreactivity was found in the longitudinal muscle layer. Small vessels stained positively only for Cx43. Furthermore, there was no difference in staining between samples derived from various sections of the colon. This study showed immunohistochemically for the first time the expression of Cx26 in human colon mucosa.

  19. Expression of connexins 26, 32 and 43 in the human colon--an immunohistochemical study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanczuga-Koda, Luiza; Sulkowski, Stanislaw; Koda, Mariusz; Sobaniec-Lotowska, Maria; Sulkowska, Mariola

    2004-01-01

    Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) is a mechanism for direct cell-to-cell signalling and is mediated by gap junctions (GJs), which consist of proteins called connexins (Cxs). GJIC plays a critical role in tissue development and differentiation and is important in maintenance of tissue homeostasis. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the expression of Cx26, Cx32 and Cx43 in the human colon. Surgical specimens were obtained from patients who underwent surgical resection of colorectal tumours. Tissue samples (50 cases) were collected from normal colon, at the maximum distance from the tumor. Using antibodies for Cx26, Cx32 and Cx43, immunohistochemical detection was made. In epithelial cells, strong Cx26 immunoreactivity was found, whereas Cx32 and Cx43 were sparsely distributed. Strong Cx43 immunostaining in muscularis mucosae was observed. In the circular layer of muscularis externa, expression of Cx43 and Cx26 was seen, but only in the portion closest to the submucosa. No immunoreactivity was found in the longitudinal muscle layer. Small vessels stained positively only for Cx43. Furthermore, there was no difference in staining between samples derived from various sections of the colon. This study showed immunohistochemically for the first time the expression of Cx26 in human colon mucosa.

  20. Role of connexin 32 in acetaminophen toxicity in a knockout mice model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igarashi, Isao; Maejima, Takanori; Kai, Kiyonori; Arakawa, Shingo; Teranishi, Munehiro; Sanbuissho, Atsushi

    2014-03-01

    Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC), by which glutathione (GSH) and inorganic ions are transmitted to neighboring cells, is recognized as being largely involved in toxic processes of chemicals. We examined acetaminophen (APAP)-induced hepatotoxicity clinicopathologically using male wild-type mice and mice lacking the gene for connexin32, a major gap junction protein in the liver [knockout (Cx32KO) mice]. When APAP was intraperitoneally administered at doses of 100, 200, or 300mg/kg, hepatic centrilobular necrosis with elevated plasma aminotransferase activities was observed in wild-type mice receiving 300mg/kg, and in Cx32KO mice given 100mg/kg or more. At 200mg/kg or more, hepatic GSH and GSSG contents decreased significantly and the effect was more severe in wild-type mice than in Cx32KO mice. On the other hand, markedly decreased GSH staining was observed in the hepatic centrilobular zones of Cx32KO mice compared to that of wild-type mice. These results demonstrate that Cx32KO mice are more susceptible to APAP hepatotoxicity than wild-type mice, and indicate that the distribution of GSH of the centrilobular zones in the hepatic lobules, rather than GSH and GSSG contents in the liver, is important in APAP hepatotoxicity. In conclusion, Cx32 protects against APAP-induced hepatic centrilobular necrosis in mice, which may be through the GSH transmission to neighboring hepatocytes by GJIC.

  1. Connexin 26 and autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss

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    Mukherjee Monisha

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Prelingual deafness occurs with a frequency of 1 in 1000 live births and is divided into syndromic and non-syndromic forms contributing 40 and 60% respectively. Autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss (ARNSHL is responsible for 80% cases of childhood deafness. Nearly all genes localized for ARNSHL cause prelingual, severe to profound, sensorineural hearing impairment. ARNSHL is genetically heterogeneous and at least 39 loci have been identified. The most significant finding to date has been the discovery of mutations in GJB2 gene at the DFNB1 locus on chromosome 13q12 as the major cause of profound prelingual deafness. This was first reported in a Tunisian family in 1994 and thereafter in many different countries. GJB2 gene encodes the gap-junction protein, connexin 26 (Cx26, mutations in which have become the first genetic marker of inherited hearing loss. Allele-specific polymerase chain reaction (AS-PCR, single stranded conformation polymorphism (SSCP and sequencing methods have been developed for the detection of mutations in Cx26 gene. In India as well, the Cx26 mutations are being screened in families with hearing impaired children using these molecular methods. Therefore, in order to create awareness among the clinicians and the affected families; we have attempted to review the Cx26 gene mutations responsible for autosomal recessive type of non-syndromic hearing loss. The efficacy and utility of Cx26 gene analysis might open the path to proper counseling of families for carrier detection and prenatal diagnosis. It may even facilitate the development of strategies in future for the treatment of this common genetic disorder.

  2. Carbon Monoxide (CO) Is a Novel Inhibitor of Connexin Hemichannels*

    Science.gov (United States)

    León-Paravic, Carmen G.; Figueroa, Vania A.; Guzmán, Diego J.; Valderrama, Carlos F.; Vallejos, Antonio A.; Fiori, Mariana C.; Altenberg, Guillermo A.; Reuss, Luis; Retamal, Mauricio A.

    2014-01-01

    Hemichannels (HCs) are hexamers of connexins that can form gap-junction channels at points of cell contacts or “free HCs” at non-contacting regions. HCs are involved in paracrine and autocrine cell signaling, and under pathological conditions may induce and/or accelerate cell death. Therefore, studies of HC regulation are of great significance. Nitric oxide affects the activity of Cx43 and Cx46 HCs, whereas carbon monoxide (CO), another gaseous transmitter, modulates the activity of several ion channels, but its effect on HCs has not been explored. We studied the effect of CO donors (CORMs) on Cx46 HCs expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes using two-electrode voltage clamp and on Cx43 and Cx46 expressed in HeLa cells using a dye-uptake technique. CORM-2 inhibited Cx46 HC currents in a concentration-dependent manner. The C-terminal domain and intracellular Cys were not necessary for the inhibition. The effect of CORM-2 was not prevented by guanylyl-cyclase, protein kinase G, or thioredoxin inhibitors, and was not due to endocytosis of HCs. However, the effect of CORM-2 was reversed by reducing agents that act extracellularly. Additionally, CO inhibited dye uptake of HeLa cells expressing Cx43 or Cx46, and MCF-7 cells, which endogenously express Cx43 and Cx46. Because CORM-2 carbonylates Cx46 in vitro and induces conformational changes, a direct effect of that CO on Cx46 is possible. The inhibition of HCs could help to understand some of the biological actions of CO in physiological and pathological conditions. PMID:25384983

  3. Connexin32 mutations and Xq13 physical map

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    Johanson, R.A.; Bone, L.J. [Univ. of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia (United States); Neystat, M. [Columbia Univ., New York, NY (United States)] [and others

    1994-09-01

    Mutations in the gap junction protein connexin32 (Cx32) are associated with X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMTX). We and others have identified 24 separate mutations in 27 families. The third transmembrane domain of Cx32 has two mutations that occur in multiple families: three unrelated families have the same missense mutation at codon 139 (Val to Met), and two additional unrelated families have a single base change in codon 142 (Arg to Trp). In order to physically map the region surrounding the Cx32 gene and identify regulatory sequences that could be affected by additional mutations, we are developing a contiguous set of YAC clones for the region (Xq13.1-13.3). The YACs were identified primarily by PCR-based screening of total genomic YAC libraries from CEPH and Genethon. Additional YACs were obtained from collaborating investigators and a local library. A total of 41 overlapping YACs were identified with the STSs DXS106, DXS453, DXS348, IL2RG, GJB1(Cx32), CCG1, DXS559, DXS227, DXS986, DXS1197, and DXS128. Overlap between the YACs was determined by shared STS content and by appearance of identical segments in inter-Alu PCR. The set of overlapping YAC clones helps to define the relationship between CMTX/Cx32 and the nearby gene for severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome (SCIDX/IL2RG), and it is now being used in localization of the gene for dystonia-parkinsonism syndrome (lubag disease, DYT3), which also maps to this region.

  4. Connections between connexins, calcium, and cataracts in the lens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Junyuan; Sun, Xiurong; Martinez-Wittinghan, Francisco J; Gong, Xiaohua; White, Thomas W; Mathias, Richard T

    2004-10-01

    There is a good deal of evidence that the lens generates an internal micro circulatory system, which brings metabolites, like glucose, and antioxidants, like ascorbate, into the lens along the extracellular spaces between cells. Calcium also ought to be carried into the lens by this system. If so, the only path for Ca2+ to get out of the lens is to move down its electrochemical gradient into fiber cells, and then move by electrodiffusion from cell to cell through gap junctions to surface cells, where Ca-ATPase activity and Na/Ca exchange can transport it back into the aqueous or vitreous humors. The purpose of the present study was to test this calcium circulation hypothesis by studying calcium homeostasis in connexin (Cx46) knockout and (Cx46 for Cx50) knockin mouse lenses, which have different degrees of gap junction coupling. To measure intracellular calcium, FURA2 was injected into fiber cells, and the gradient in calcium concentration from center to surface was mapped in each type of lens. In wild-type lenses the coupling conductance of the mature fibers was approximately 0.5 S/cm2 of cell to cell contact, and the best fit to the calcium concentration data varied from 700 nM in the center to 300 nM at the surface. In the knockin lenses, the coupling conductance was approximately 1.0 S/cm2 and calcium varied from approximately 500 nM at the center to 300 nM at the surface. Thus, when the coupling conductance doubled, the concentration gradient halved, as predicted by the model. In knockout lenses, the coupling conductance was zero, hence the efflux path was knocked out and calcium accumulated to approximately 2 microM in central fibers. Knockout lenses also had a dense central cataract that extended from the center to about half the radius. Others have previously shown that this cataract involves activation of a calcium-dependent protease, Lp82. We can now expand on this finding to provide a hypothesis on each step that leads to cataract formation: knockout of

  5. Dendrobium chrysotoxum Lindl. Alleviates Diabetic Retinopathy by Preventing Retinal Inflammation and Tight Junction Protein Decrease

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    Zengyang Yu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Diabetic retinopathy (DR is a serious complication of diabetes mellitus. This study aimed to observe the alleviation of the ethanol extract of Dendrobium chrysotoxum Lindl. (DC, a traditional Chinese herbal medicine, on DR and its engaged mechanism. After DC (30 or 300 mg/kg was orally administrated, the breakdown of blood retinal barrier (BRB in streptozotocin- (STZ- induced diabetic rats was attenuated by DC. Decreased retinal mRNA expression of tight junction proteins (including occludin and claudin-1 in diabetic rats was also reversed by DC. Western blot analysis and retinal immunofluorescence staining results further confirmed that DC reversed the decreased expression of occludin and claudin-1 proteins in diabetic rats. DC reduced the increased retinal mRNA expressions of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1, tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα, interleukin- (IL- 6, and IL-1β in diabetic rats. In addition, DC alleviated the increased 1 and phosphorylated p65, IκB, and IκB kinase (IKK in diabetic rats. DC also reduced the increased serum levels of TNFα, interferon-γ (IFN-γ, IL-6, IL-1β, IL-8, IL-12, IL-2, IL-3, and IL-10 in diabetic rats. Therefore, DC can alleviate DR by inhibiting retinal inflammation and preventing the decrease of tight junction proteins, such as occludin and claudin-1.

  6. Laminin-332 alters connexin profile, dye coupling and intercellular Ca2+ waves in ciliated tracheal epithelial cells

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    Olsen Colin E

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Tracheal epithelial cells are anchored to a dynamic basement membrane that contains a variety of extracellular matrix proteins including collagens and laminins. During development, wound repair and disease of the airway epithelium, significant changes in extracellular matrix proteins may directly affect cell migration, differentiation and events mediated by intercellular communication. We hypothesized that alterations in cell matrix, specifically type I collagen and laminin α3β3γ2 (LM-332 proteins within the matrix, directly affect intercellular communication in ciliated rabbit tracheal epithelial cells (RTEC. Methods Functional coupling of RTEC was monitored by microinjection of the negatively charged fluorescent dyes, Lucifer Yellow and Alexa 350, into ciliated RTEC grown on either a LM-332/collagen or collagen matrix. Coupling of physiologically significant molecules was evaluated by the mechanism and extent of propagated intercellular Ca2+ waves. Expression of connexin (Cx mRNA and proteins were assayed by reverse transcriptase – polymerase chain reaction and immunocytochemistry, respectively. Results When compared to RTEC grown on collagen alone, RTEC grown on LM-332/collagen displayed a significant increase in dye transfer. Although mechanical stimulation of RTEC grown on either LM-332/collagen or collagen alone resulted in intercellular Ca2+ waves, the mechanism of transfer was dependent on matrix: RTEC grown on LM-332/collagen propagated Ca2+waves via extracellular purinergic signaling whereas RTEC grown on collagen used gap junctions. Comparison of RTEC grown on collagen or LM-332/collagen matrices revealed a reorganization of Cx26, Cx43 and Cx46 proteins. Conclusion Alterations in airway basement membrane proteins such as LM-332 can induce connexin reorganizations and result in altered cellular communication mechanisms that could contribute to airway tissue function.

  7. Identification of connexin 50 and 57 mRNA in A-type horizontal cells of the rabbit retina

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    He HUANG; Hui LI; Shi Gang HE

    2005-01-01

    Horizontal cells (HCs) mediate negative feedback to photoreceptors. In the mammalian retina, there are two types of HCs, which are extensively coupled to neighboring cells through homologous gap junctions. The permeability and therefore the strength of feedback can be regulated by light intensity, dopamine and many other factors. However, the component(s) of the most prominent gap junctions, those between A-type HCs in the rabbit retina, is still unknown. In this study, we compared the sequences of many types of mammalian connexins, obtained partial sequences of rabbit connexin 50 and 57. Using specific primers designed against the rabbit sequences, we identified mRNAs of connexin 50and/or 57 in visually selected single A-type HC using multiplex RT-PCR.

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

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    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.

  9. Gap Junctions in the Ventral Hippocampal-Medial Prefrontal Pathway Are Involved in Anxiety Regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoenfeld, Timothy J.; Kloth, Alexander D.; Hsueh, Brian; Runkle, Matthew B.; Kane, Gary A.; Wang, Samuel S.-H.

    2014-01-01

    Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent but little is known about their underlying mechanisms. Gap junctions exist in brain regions important for anxiety regulation, such as the ventral hippocampus (vHIP) and mPFC, but their functions in these areas have not been investigated. Using pharmacological blockade of neuronal gap junctions combined with electrophysiological recordings, we found that gap junctions play a role in theta rhythm in the vHIP and mPFC of adult mice. Bilateral infusion of neuronal gap junction blockers into the vHIP decreased anxiety-like behavior on the elevated plus maze and open field. Similar anxiolytic effects were observed with unilateral infusion of these drugs into the vHIP combined with contralateral infusion into the mPFC. No change in anxious behavior was observed with gap junction blockade in the unilateral vHIP alone or in the bilateral dorsal HIP. Since physical exercise is known to reduce anxiety, we examined the effects of long-term running on the expression of the neuronal gap junction protein connexin-36 among inhibitory interneurons and found a reduction in the vHIP. Despite this change, we observed no alteration in theta frequency or power in long-term runners. Collectively, these findings suggest that neuronal gap junctions in the vHIP–mPFC pathway are important for theta rhythm and anxiety regulation under sedentary conditions but that additional mechanisms are likely involved in running-induced reduction in anxiety. PMID:25411496

  10. Cisplatin-induced premature senescence with concomitant reduction of gap junctions in human fibroblasts

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wei ZHAO; Zhong Xiang LIN; Zhi Qian ZHANG

    2004-01-01

    To examine the role of gap junctions in cell senescence,the changes of gap junctions in cisplatin-induced premature senescence of primary cultured fibroblasts were studied and compared with the replicative senescent human fibroblasts.Dye transfer assay for gap junction function and immunofluorescent staining for connexin 43 protein distribution were done respectively. Furthermore,cytofluorimetry and DAPI fluorescence staining were performed for cell cycle and apoptosis analysis. p53 gene expression level was detected with indirect immunofluorescence. We found that cisplatin (10 mM) treatment could block cell growth cycle at G1 and induced premature senescence. The premature senescence changes included high frequency of apoptosis,elevation of p53 expression,loss of membranous gap junctions and reduction of dye-transfer capacity. These changes were comparable to the changes of replicative senescence of human fibroblasts. It was also concluded that cisplatin could induce premature senescence concomitant with inhibition of gap junctions in the fibroblasts. Loss of functional gap junctions from the cell membrane may account for the reduced intercellular communication in the premature senescent fibroblasts. The cell system we used may provide a model useful for the study of the gap junction thus promoting agents against premature senescence.

  11. Tight Junction Proteins Claudin-1 and Occludin Are Important for Cutaneous Wound Healing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volksdorf, Thomas; Heilmann, Janina; Eming, Sabine A; Schawjinski, Kathrin; Zorn-Kruppa, Michaela; Ueck, Christopher; Vidal-Y-Sy, Sabine; Windhorst, Sabine; Jücker, Manfred; Moll, Ingrid; Brandner, Johanna M

    2017-06-01

    Tight junction (TJ) proteins are known to be involved in proliferation and differentiation. These processes are essential for normal skin wound healing. Here, we investigated the TJ proteins claudin-1 and occludin in ex vivo skin wound healing models and tissue samples of acute and chronic human wounds and observed major differences in localization/expression of these proteins, with chronic wounds often showing a loss of the proteins at the wound margins and/or in the regenerating epidermis. Knockdown experiments in primary human keratinocytes showed that decreased claudin-1 expression resulted in significantly impaired scratch wound healing, with delayed migration and reduced proliferation. Activation of AKT pathway was significantly attenuated after claudin-1 knockdown, and protein levels of extracellular signal-related kinase 1/2 were reduced. For occludin, down-regulation had no impact on wound healing in normal scratch assays, but after subjecting the cells to mechanical stress, which is normally present in wounds, wound healing was impaired. For both proteins we show that most of these actions are independent from the formation of barrier-forming TJ structures, thus demonstrating nonbarrier-related functions of TJ proteins in the skin. However, for claudin-1 effects on scratch wound healing were more pronounced when TJs could form. Together, our findings provide evidence for a role of claudin-1 and occludin in epidermal regeneration with potential clinical importance. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Activation of Holliday junction recognizing protein involved in the chromosomal stability and immortality of cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, Tatsuya; Sato, Nagato; Hayama, Satoshi; Yamabuki, Takumi; Ito, Tomoo; Miyamoto, Masaki; Kondo, Satoshi; Nakamura, Yusuke; Daigo, Yataro

    2007-09-15

    We identified a novel gene HJURP (Holliday junction-recognizing protein) whose activation seemed to play a pivotal role in the immortality of cancer cells. HJURP was considered a possible downstream target for ataxia telangiectasia mutated signaling, and its expression was increased by DNA double-strand breaks (DSB). HJURP was involved in the homologous recombination pathway in the DSB repair process through interaction with hMSH5 and NBS1, which is a part of the MRN protein complex. HJURP formed nuclear foci in cells at S phase and those subjected to DNA damage. In vitro assays implied that HJURP bound directly to the Holliday junction and rDNA arrays. Treatment of cancer cells with small interfering RNA (siRNA) against HJURP caused abnormal chromosomal fusions and led to genomic instability and senescence. In addition, HJURP overexpression was observed in a majority of lung cancers and was associated with poor prognosis as well. We suggest that HJURP is an indispensable factor for chromosomal stability in immortalized cancer cells and is a potential novel therapeutic target for the development of anticancer drugs.

  13. EMP-1 is a junctional protein in a liver stem cell line and in the liver.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hsuan-Shu; Sherley, James L; Chen, Jeremy J W; Chiu, Chien-Chang; Chiou, Ling-Ling; Liang, Ja-Der; Yang, Pan-Chyr; Huang, Guan-Tarn; Sheu, Jin-Chuan

    2005-09-09

    In an attempt to discover cell markers for liver stem cells, a cDNA microarray analysis was carried out to compare the gene expression profiles between an adult liver stem cell line, Lig-8, and mature hepatocytes. Several genes in the categories of extracellular matrix, cell membrane, cell adhesion, transcription factor, signal molecule, transporter, and metabolic enzyme were shown to be differentially expressed in Lig-8 cells. Among them, epithelial membrane protein (EMP)-1 has been previously implicated with stem cell phenotypes. Antiserum to EMP-1 was produced to localize its expression. On monolayers of Lig-8 cells, EMP-1 was expressed along the intercellular border. In the liver harboring proliferating oval cells, the liver progenitors, EMP-1 was localized as ribbon bands, a staining pattern for epithelial junctions, all the way through bile duct epithelia, oval cell ductules, and into peri-hepatocytic regions. These peri-hepatocytic regions were proved to be bile canaliculi by co-localization of EMP-1 and dipeptidyl peptidase IV, an enzyme located on bile canaliculi. This report is the first to indicate EMP-1 to be a junctional protein in the liver.

  14. Tight junction protein claudin 4 in gastric carcinoma and its relation to lymphangiogenic activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shareef, Mohamed Moustafa; Radi, Dina Mohammed Adel; Eid, Asmaa Mustafa Mohammed

    2015-01-01

    Gastric cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Claudins are a family of tight junction proteins that are biologically relevant in many cancer progression steps. This study aimed to investigate the expression of the intestinal claudin (claudin 4) in gastric carcinoma and to evaluate its relation to the different clinicopathologic prognostic parameters, especially lymphangiogenesis (production of new lymphatic vessels, measured by lymphovascular density (LVD)) and lymphovascular invasion (LVI). Fifty-five gastric carcinoma specimens were immunohistochemically stained for claudin 4 and D2-40 (for detection of lymphatic vessel endothelium). High expression of claudin 4 was detected in 26 of 55 (47.3%) cases. Low expression of claudin 4 was related to poorly differentiated type (p=0.001), non-intestinal (diffuse) type (p=0.001), deeper tumour invasion (pgastric carcinoma and lost in poorly differentiated diffuse type. So, claudin 4 may be used as one of the differentiating markers between the two major types of gastric carcinoma (intestinal vs. diffuse). LVD and LVI were related to higher incidence of lymph node metastasis and therefore could be used as predictive markers for lymph node metastasis in limited specimens during early gastric carcinoma to determine the need for more invasive surgery. Low expression of claudin 4 was related to lymphangiogenesis. This may shed light on the relation of tight junction protein expression and lymphangiogenesis. Copyright © 2015 Arab Journal of Gastroenterology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Connexin mutant embryonic stem cells and human diseases

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    Kiyomasa; Nishii; Yosaburo; Shibata; Yasushi; Kobayashi

    2014-01-01

    Intercellular communication via gap junctions allows cells within multicellular organisms to share small molecules. The effect of such interactions has been elucidated using mouse gene knockout strategies. Although several mutations in human gap junction-encoding connexin(Cx) have been described, Cx mutants in mice do not always recapitulate the human disease. Among the 20 mouse Cxs, Cx26, Cx43, and Cx45 play roles in early cardiac or placental development, and disruption of the genes results in lethality that hampers further analyses. Embryonic stem cells(ESCs) that lack Cx43 or Cx45 have made analysis feasible in both in vitro differentiated cell cultures and in vivo chimeric tissues. The success of mouse ESCs studies is leading to the use of induced pluripotent stem cells to learn more about the pathogenesis of human Cx diseases. This review summarizes the current status of mouse Cx disruption models and ESC differentiation studies, and discusses their implication for understanding human Cx diseases.

  16. Connexin mutant embryonic stem cells and human diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishii, Kiyomasa; Shibata, Yosaburo; Kobayashi, Yasushi

    2014-11-26

    Intercellular communication via gap junctions allows cells within multicellular organisms to share small molecules. The effect of such interactions has been elucidated using mouse gene knockout strategies. Although several mutations in human gap junction-encoding connexin (Cx) have been described, Cx mutants in mice do not always recapitulate the human disease. Among the 20 mouse Cxs, Cx26, Cx43, and Cx45 play roles in early cardiac or placental development, and disruption of the genes results in lethality that hampers further analyses. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) that lack Cx43 or Cx45 have made analysis feasible in both in vitro differentiated cell cultures and in vivo chimeric tissues. The success of mouse ESCs studies is leading to the use of induced pluripotent stem cells to learn more about the pathogenesis of human Cx diseases. This review summarizes the current status of mouse Cx disruption models and ESC differentiation studies, and discusses their implication for understanding human Cx diseases.

  17. Extracellular cysteine in connexins: role as redox sensors

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    Mauricio Antonio Retamal

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Connexin-based channels comprise hemichannels and gap junction channels. The opening of hemichannels allow for the flux of ions and molecules from the extracellular space into the cell and vice versa. Similarly, the opening of gap junction channels permits the diffusional exchange of ions and molecules between the cytoplasm and contacting cells. The controlled opening of hemichannels has been associated with several physiological cellular processes; thereby unregulated hemichannel activity may induce loss of cellular homeostasis and cell death. Hemichannel activity can be regulated through several mechanisms, such as phosphorylation, divalent cations and changes in membrane potential. Additionally, it was recently postulated that redox molecules could modify hemichannels properties in vitro. However, the molecular mechanism by which redox molecules interact with hemichannels is poorly understood. In this work, we discuss the current knowledge on connexin redox regulation and we propose the hypothesis that extracellular cysteine could be important for sensing changes in redox potential. Future studies on this topic will offer new insight into hemichannel function, thereby expanding the understanding of the contribution of hemichannels to disease progression.

  18. 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.

  19. A Gap Junction Protein, Inx2, Modulates Calcium Flux to Specify Border Cell Fate during Drosophila oogenesis

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    Ghosh, Ritabrata; Deshpande, Girish

    2017-01-01

    Intercellular communication mediated by gap junction (GJ) proteins is indispensable during embryogenesis, tissue regeneration and wound healing. Here we report functional analysis of a gap junction protein, Innexin 2 (Inx2), in cell type specification during Drosophila oogenesis. Our data reveal a novel involvement of Inx2 in the specification of Border Cells (BCs), a migratory cell type, whose identity is determined by the cell autonomous STAT activity. We show that Inx2 influences BC fate specification by modulating STAT activity via Domeless receptor endocytosis. Furthermore, detailed experimental analysis has uncovered that Inx2 also regulates a calcium flux that transmits across the follicle cells. We propose that Inx2 mediated calcium flux in the follicle cells stimulates endocytosis by altering Dynamin (Shibire) distribution which is in turn critical for careful calibration of STAT activation and, thus for BC specification. Together our data provide unprecedented molecular insights into how gap junction proteins can regulate cell-type specification. PMID:28114410

  20. Expression of connexin 30 and connexin 32 in hippocampus of rat during epileptogenesis in a kindling model of epilepsy

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Bijan Akbarpour; Mohammad Sayyah; Vahab Babapour; Reza Mahdian; Siamak Beheshti; Ahmad Reza Kamyab

    2012-01-01

    Objective Understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying epileptogenesis yields new insights into potential therapies that may ultimately prevent epilepsy.Gap junctions (GJs) create direct intercellular conduits between adjacent cells and are formed by hexameric protein subunits called connexins (Cxs).Changes in the expression of Cxs affect GJ communication and thereby could modulate the dissemination of electrical discharges.The hippocampus is one of the main regions involved in epileptogenesis and has a wide network of GJs between different cell types where Cx30 is expressed in astrocytes and Cx32 exists in neurons and oligodendrocytes.In the present study,we evaluated the changes of Cx30 and Cx32 expression in rat hippocampus during kindling epileptogenesis.Methods Rats were stereotaxically implanted with stimulating and recording electrodes in the basolateral amygdala,which was electrically stimulated once daily at afterdischarge threshold.Expression of Cx30 and Cx32,at both the mRNA and protein levels,was measured in the hippocampus at the beginning,in the middle (after acquisition of focal seizures),and at the end (after establishment of generalized seizures) of the kindling process,by real-time PCR and Western blot.Results Cx30 mRNA expression was upregulated at the beginning of kindling and after acquisition of focal seizures.Then it was downregulated when the animals acquired generalized seizures.Overexpression of Cx30 mRNA at the start of kindling was consistent with the respective initial protein increase.Thereafter,no change was found in protein abundance during kindling.Regarding Cx32,mRNA expression decreased after acquisition of generalized seizures and no other significant change was detected in mRNA and protein abundance during kindling.Conclusion We speculate that Cx32 GJ communication in the hippocampus does not contribute to kindling epileptogenesis.The Cx30 astrocytic network localized to perivascular regions in the hippocampus

  1. NMR and structural data for Connexin 32 and Connexin 26 N-terminal peptides

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    Yuksel Batir

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available In this article we present 1H and 13C chemical shift assignments, secondary structural propensity data and normalized temperature coefficient data for N-terminal peptides of Connexin 26 (Cx26, Cx26G12R and Cx32G12R mutants seen in syndromic deafness and Charcot Marie Tooth Disease respectively, published in “Structural Studies of N-Terminal Mutants of Connexin 26 and Connexin 32 Using 1H NMR Spectroscopy” (Y. Batir, T.A. Bargiello, T.L. Dowd, 2016 [1]. The mutation G12R affects the structure of both Cx26 and Cx32 peptides differently. We present data from secondary structure propensity chemical shift analysis which calculates a secondary structure propensity (SSP score for both disordered or folded peptides and proteins using the difference between the 13C secondary chemical shifts of the Cα and Cβ protons. This data supplements the calculated NMR structures from NOESY data [1]. We present and compare the SSP data for the Cx26 vs Cx26G12R peptides and the Cx32 and Cx32G12R peptides. In addition, we present plots of temperature coefficients obtained for Cx26, Cx26G12R and Cx32G12R peptides collected previously [1] and normalized to their random coil temperature coefficients, “Random coil 1H chemical shifts obtained as a function of temperature and trifluoroethanol concentration for the peptide series GGXGG” (G. Merutka, H.J. Dyson, P.E. Wright, 1995 [2]. Reductions in these normalized temperature coefficients are directly observable for residues in different segments of the peptide and this data informs on solvent accessibility of the NH protons and NH protons which may be more constrained due to the formation of H bonds.

  2. Gap junction disorders of myelinating cells.

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    Kleopa, Kleopas A; Orthmann-Murphy, Jennifer; Sargiannidou, Irene

    2010-01-01

    Gap junctions (GJs) are channels that allow the diffusion of ions and small molecules across apposed cell membranes. In peripheral nerves, Schwann cells express the GJ proteins connexin32 (Cx32) and Cx29, which have distinct localizations. Cx32 forms GJs through non-compact myelin areas, whereas Cx29 forms hemichannels in the innermost layers of myelin apposing axonal Shaker-type K+ channels. In the CNS, rodent oligodendrocytes express Cx47, Cx32 and Cx29. Cx47 is expressed by all types of oligodendrocytes both in the white and grey matter and forms GJs on cell bodies and proximal processes, as well as most of the intercellular channels with astrocytes. Cx32 is expressed mostly by white matter oligodendrocytes and is localized in the myelin sheath of large diameter fibers. Cx29, and its human ortholog Cx31.3, appear to be restricted to oligodendrocytes that myelinate small caliber fibers, likely forming hemichannels. The importance of intercellular and intracellular GJs in myelinating cells are demonstrated by human disorders resulting from mutations affecting GJ proteins. The X-linked Charcot Marie Tooth disease (CMT1X) is caused by hundreds of mutations affecting Cx32. Patients with CMT1X present mainly with a progressive peripheral neuropathy, which may be accompanied by CNS myelin dysfunction. Mutations in Cx47 may cause a devastating leukodystrophy called Pelizaeus-Merzbacher-like disease or a milder spastic paraplegia. In addition, CNS demyelination may be caused by defects in genes expressing astrocytic GJ proteins, which are essential for oligodendrocytes. Findings from in vitro and in vivo models of these disorders developed over the last decade indicate that most mutations cause loss of function and an inability of the mutant connexins to form functional GJs. Here we review the clinical, genetic, and neurobiological aspects of GJ disorders affecting the PNS and CNS myelinating cells.

  3. Protein preconcentration using nanofractures generated by nanoparticle-assisted electric breakdown at junction gaps.

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    Chun-Ping Jen

    Full Text Available Sample preconcentration is an important step that increases the accuracy of subsequent detection, especially for samples with extremely low concentrations. Due to the overlapping of electrical double layers in the nanofluidic channel, the concentration polarization effect can be generated by applying an electric field. Therefore, a nonlinear electrokinetic flow is induced, which results in the fast accumulation of proteins in front of the induced ionic depletion zone, the so-called exclusion-enrichment effect. Nanofractures were created in this work to preconcentrate proteins via the exclusion-enrichment effect. The protein sample was driven by electroosmotic flow and accumulated at a specific location. The preconcentration chip for proteins was fabricated using simple standard soft lithography with a polydimethylsiloxane replica. Nanofractures were formed by utilizing nanoparticle-assisted electric breakdown. The proposed method for nanofracture formation that utilizes nanoparticle deposition at the junction gap between microchannels greatly decreases the required electric breakdown voltage. The experimental results indicate that a protein sample with an extremely low concentration of 1 nM was concentrated to 1.5×10(4-fold in 60 min using the proposed chip.

  4. Immunohistochemistry using an antibody to unphosphorylated connexin 43 to identify human myometrial interstitial cells

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    Van Lommel Alfons

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Myometrial smooth myocytes contract as a result of electrical signalling via a process called excitation-contraction coupling. This process is understood in great detail at the cellular level but the generation and coordination of electrical signals throughout the myometrium are incompletely understood. Recent evidence concerning the vital role of interstitial cells of Cajal in tissue-level signalling in gastrointestinal tract, and the presence of similar cells in urinary tract smooth muscle may be relevant for future research into myometrial contractility but there remains a lack of evidence regarding these cells in the myometrium. Methods Single stain immunohistochemical and double stain immunofluorescence techniques visualised antibodies directed against total connexin 43, unphosphorylated connexin 43, KIT, alpha-SMA and prolyl 4-hydroxylase in myometrial biopsies from 26 women representing all stages of reproductive life. Results Myometrial smooth myocytes from term uterine biopsies expressed connexin 43 in a punctate pattern typical of gap junctions. However, on the boundaries of the smooth muscle bundles, cells were present with a more uniform staining pattern. These cells continued to possess the same staining characteristics in non-pregnant biopsies whereas the smooth myocytes no longer expressed connexin 43. Immunohistochemistry using an antibody directed against connexin 43 unphosphorylated at serine 368 showed that it is this isoform that is expressed continually by these cells. Double-stain immunofluorescence for unphosphorylated connexin 43 and KIT, an established marker for interstitial cells, revealed a complete match indicating these cells are myometrial interstitial cells (MICs. MICs had elongated cell processes and were located mainly on the surface of the smooth muscle bundles and within the fibromuscular septum. No particular arrangement of cells as plexuses was observed. Antibody to prolyl 4-hydroxylase

  5. Gap junction hemichannels contribute to the generation of diarrhoea during infectious enteric disease.

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    Guttman, Julian Andrew; Lin, Ann En-Ju; Li, Yuling; Bechberger, John; Naus, Christian C; Vogl, A Wayne; Finlay, B Brett

    2010-02-01

    The attaching and effacing (A/E) pathogens enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli, enteropathogenic E coli and Citrobacter rodentium colonise intestinal tracts, attach to enterocytes, collapse infected cell microvilli and alter numerous host cell processes during infection. Enterocyte alterations result in numerous small molecules being released from host cells that likely contribute to diarrhoeal phenotypes observed during these infections. One possible route for small molecules to be released from intestinal cells may be through functional gap junction hemichannels. Here we examine the involvement of these hemichannels during the diarrhoeal disease caused by A/E pathogens in vivo. Mice were infected with the diarrhoea-causing murine A/E pathogen C rodentium for 7 days. Connexin43 (Cx43) protein levels and immunolocalization in the colon were initially used to determine alterations during A/E bacterial infections in vivo. Connexin mimetic peptides and connexin permeable tracer molecules were used to gage the presence and function of unpaired connexin hemichannels. The role of Cx43 in diarrhoea generation was assessed by comparing infections of wild-type mice to Cx43 mutant mice and determining the water abundance in the colonic luminal material. We demonstrate that Cx43 protein levels are increased in colonocytes during in vivo A/E bacterial infections, resulting in functionally open connexon hemichannels in apical membranes of infected cells. moreover, infected Cx43 +/- mice do not suffer from diarrhoeal disease. This study provides the first evidence that functional connexon hemichannels can occur in the intestine and are a novel molecular mechanism of water release during infectious diarrhoea.

  6. Atorvastatin prevents connexin43 remodeling in hypertrophied left ventricular myocardium of spontaneously hypertensive rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Hong-juan; YAO Lei; CHEN Tu-gang; YU Min; WANG Li-hong; CHEN Jun-zhu

    2007-01-01

    Background Connexin43 (Cx43) is the predominant gap junction protein in heart and is involved in the control of cell-to-cell communication to modulate the contractility and the electrical coupling of cardiac myocytes. Left ventricular(LV) hypertrophy is accompanied by changes of Cx43 expression. Recent studies have demonstrated that statins reduced cardiac hypertrophy. However, it is unknown whether statins can affect Cx43 expression in hypertrophied left ventricular myocardium. This study was designed to assess the effects of atorvastatin on LV hypertrophy and Cx43 expression in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR).Methods Nine-week old SHRs were randomly divided into two groups. Some received atorvastatin at 30 mg/kg by oral gavage once daily for 8 weeks (SHR-A); others received vehicle. Age-matched Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY) received atorvastatin or vehicle for 8 weeks were used as controls. At the end of the experiment, we investigated LV hypertrophy and the expression of Cx43 in LV myocardium in four groups. Cx43 expression was investigated by the methods of Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, and transmission electron microscope. LV hypertrophy was accessed by pathological analysis and plasma brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) level.Results LV hypertrophy was prominent in untreated SHR. In SHR, LV myocardium Cx43 level was upregulated, and the distribution of Cx43 was displaced from their usual locations to other sites at various distances away from the intercalated disks. After atorvastatin treatment, myocardium Cx43 level was reduced in SHR-A, and the distribution of Cx43 gap junction became much regular and confined to intercalated disk. Statins also prevented LV hypertrophy in SHR.Conclusions These results provide novel in vivo evidence for the key role of Cx43 gap junctions in LV hypertrophy and the possible mechanism in anti-hypertrophic effect of statins. Atorvastatin treatment may have beneficial effects on LV hypertrophy in spontaneously hypertensive

  7. Effect of FCCP on tight junction permeability and cellular distribution of ZO-1 protein in epithelial (MDCK) cells.

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    Li, C X; Poznansky, M J

    1990-12-14

    The effect of the uncoupler of oxidative phosphorylation, FCCP (carbonylcyanide p-trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone), on the tight junction of Madin-Darby canine kidney cells was examined. FCCP induced an abrupt decrease in the transepithelial electrical resistance of the confluent monolayers over a period of 20 s. When FCCP was withdrawn from the incubation medium, the monolayer resistance recovered to close to the original level in less than 2 h. Staining of the tight junction-associated protein ZO-1 showed that the changes in transepithelial electrical resistance were accompanied by a diffusing of the protein away from cell peripheries and a reconcentration to the tight junction areas following resistance recovery. Intracellular pH was decreased by FCCP on a similar time-scale with no obvious changes in ATP levels over this time-course. These data suggest that the uncoupler FCCP has a profound effect on tight junction permeability and cellular distribution of the tight junction protein ZO-1 in the epithelial cells and that it probably acts by breaking down proton gradients and altering intracellular pH.

  8. The epithelial membrane protein 1 is a novel tight junction protein of the blood-brain barrier.

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    Bangsow, Thorsten; Baumann, Ewa; Bangsow, Carmen; Jaeger, Martina H; Pelzer, Bernhard; Gruhn, Petra; Wolf, Sabine; von Melchner, Harald; Stanimirovic, Danica B

    2008-06-01

    In the central nervous system, a constant microenvironment required for neuronal cell activity is maintained by the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The BBB is formed by the brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMEC), which are sealed by tight junctions (TJ). To identify genes that are differentially expressed in BMEC compared with peripheral endothelial cells, we constructed a subtractive cDNA library from porcine BMEC (pBMEC) and aortic endothelial cells (AOEC). Screening the library for differentially expressed genes yielded 26 BMEC-specific transcripts, such as solute carrier family 35 member F2 (SLC35F2), ADP-ribosylation factor-like 5B (ARL5B), TSC22 domain family member 1 (TSC22D1), integral membrane protein 2A (ITM2A), and epithelial membrane protein 1 (EMP1). In this study, we show that EMP1 transcript is enriched in pBMEC compared with brain tissue and that EMP1 protein colocalizes with the TJ protein occludin in mouse BMEC by coimmunoprecipitation and in rat brain vessels by immunohistochemistry. Epithelial membrane protein 1 expression was transiently induced in laser-capture microdissected rat brain vessels after a 20-min global cerebral ischemia, in parallel with the loss of occludin immunoreactivity. The study identifies EMP1 as a novel TJ-associated protein of the BBB and suggests its potential role in the regulation of the BBB function in cerebral ischemia.

  9. Connexin-43 induces chemokine release from spinal cord astrocytes to maintain late-phase neuropathic pain in mice

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    Chen, Gang; Park, Chul-Kyu; Xie, Rou-Gang; Berta, Temugin; Nedergaard, Maiken

    2014-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that spinal cord astrocytes play an important role in neuropathic pain sensitization by releasing astrocytic mediators (e.g. cytokines, chemokines and growth factors). However, it remains unclear how astrocytes control the release of astrocytic mediators and sustain late-phase neuropathic pain. Astrocytic connexin-43 (now known as GJ1) has been implicated in gap junction and hemichannel communication of cytosolic contents through the glial syncytia and to the extracellular space, respectively. Connexin-43 also plays an essential role in facilitating the development of neuropathic pain, yet the mechanism for this contribution remains unknown. In this study, we investigated whether nerve injury could upregulate connexin-43 to sustain late-phase neuropathic pain by releasing chemokine from spinal astrocytes. Chronic constriction injury elicited a persistent upregulation of connexin-43 in spinal astrocytes for >3 weeks. Spinal (intrathecal) injection of carbenoxolone (a non-selective hemichannel blocker) and selective connexin-43 blockers (connexin-43 mimetic peptides 43Gap26 and 37,43Gap27), as well as astroglial toxin but not microglial inhibitors, given 3 weeks after nerve injury, effectively reduced mechanical allodynia, a cardinal feature of late-phase neuropathic pain. In cultured astrocytes, TNF-α elicited marked release of the chemokine CXCL1, and the release was blocked by carbenoxolone, Gap26/Gap27, and connexin-43 small interfering RNA. TNF-α also increased connexin-43 expression and hemichannel activity, but not gap junction communication in astrocyte cultures prepared from cortices and spinal cords. Spinal injection of TNF-α-activated astrocytes was sufficient to induce persistent mechanical allodynia, and this allodynia was suppressed by CXCL1 neutralization, CXCL1 receptor (CXCR2) antagonist, and pretreatment of astrocytes with connexin-43 small interfering RNA. Furthermore, nerve injury persistently increased excitatory

  10. Loss of connexin36 in rat hippocampus and cerebellar cortex in persistent Borna disease virus infection.

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    Köster-Patzlaff, Christiane; Hosseini, Seyed Mehdi; Reuss, Bernhard

    2009-03-01

    Neonatal Borna disease virus (BDV) infection of the Lewis rat leads to progressive degeneration of dentate gyrus granule cells, and cerebellar Purkinje neurons. Our aim here was to clarify whether BDV interfered with the formation of electrical synapses, and we, therefore, analysed expression of the neuronal gap junction protein connexin36 (Cx36) in the Lewis rat hippocampal formation, and cerebellar cortex, 4 and 8 weeks after neonatal infection. Semiquantitative RT-PCR, revealed a BDV-dependent decrease in Cx36 mRNA in the hippocampal formation 4 and 8 weeks post-infection (p.i.), and in the cerebellar cortex 8 weeks p.i. Correspondingly, immunofluorescent staining revealed reduced Cx36 immunoreactivity in both dentate gyrus, and ammons horn CA3 region, 4 and 8 weeks post-infection. In the cerebellar cortex, Cx36 immunoreactivity was detected only 8 weeks post-infection in the molecular layer, where it was down regulated by BDV. Our findings demonstrate, for the first time, distinct BDV-dependent reductions in Cx36 mRNA and protein in the rat hippocampal formation and cerebellar cortex, suggesting altered neuronal network properties to be an important feature of persistent viral brain infections.

  11. Connexin-36 contributes to control function of insulin-producing cells.

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    Le Gurun, Sabine; Martin, David; Formenton, Andrea; Maechler, Pierre; Caille, Dorothee; Waeber, Gérard; Meda, Paolo; Haefliger, Jacques-Antoine

    2003-09-26

    Connexin-36 (Cx36) is a gap junction protein expressed by the insulin-producing beta-cells. We investigated the contribution of this protein in normal beta-cell function by using a viral gene transfer approach to alter Cx36 content in the insulin-producing line of INS-1E cells and rat pancreatic islets. Transcripts for Cx43, Cx45, and Cx36 were detected by reverse transcriptase-PCR in freshly isolated pancreatic islets, whereas only a transcript for Cx36 was detected in INS-1E cells. After infection with a sense viral vector, which induced de novo Cx36 expression in the Cx-defective HeLa cells we used to control the transgene expression, Western blot, immunofluorescence, and freeze-fracture analysis showed a large increase of Cx36 within INS-1E cell membranes. In contrast, after infection with an antisense vector, Cx36 content was decreased by 80%. Glucose-induced insulin release and insulin content were decreased, whether infected INS-1E cells expressed Cx36 levels that were largely higher or lower than those observed in wild-type control cells. In both cases, basal insulin secretion was unaffected. Comparable observations on basal secretion and insulin content were made in freshly isolated rat pancreatic islets. The data indicate that large changes in Cx36 alter insulin content and, at least in INS-1E cells, also affect glucose-induced insulin release.

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

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    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.

  13. Timed conditional null of connexin26 in mice reveals temporary requirements of connexin26 in key cochlear developmental events before the onset of hearing.

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    Chang, Qing; Tang, Wenxue; Kim, Yeunjung; Lin, Xi

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in the Gjb2 gene, which encodes a gap junction protein connexin26 (Cx26), are the most prevalent form of hereditary deafness in humans and represent about half of non-syndromic congenital deafness cases in many ethnic populations. Cochlear potassium (K+) recycling in mature cochlea is required for normal hearing. It is thought that gap junctions are essential for K+ recycling and that Gjb2 mutations cause Gjb2-associated deafness by disrupting K+ recycling in mature cochlea. Here we present evidence showing that Gjb2 is required for normal development of the neonatal organ of Corti prior to the onset of the hearing in mice. In the conditional Gjb2 null (cCx26 null) mice, ribbon synapses in inner hair cells remained poorly developed, the afferent type I fibers failed to finish the refinement process to form convergent innervation to individual inner hair cells. The spontaneous depolarizing activities in the supporting cells, which normally diminish in the wild type cochleae after postnatal day 8 (P8), remained strong in the cochlea after P8 in the mutant mice. Furthermore, the deafness phenotype was readily generated only if the Cx26 expression in the organ of Corti was significantly reduced before P6. Similar amount of Cx26 reduction in more mature cochleae had a much weaker effect in damaging the hearing sensitivity. Our findings indicated that Cx26 plays essential roles in the maturation process of the organ of Corti prior to the establishment of high K+ in the endolymph and the onset of hearing. These results suggest that successful treatment of Cx26 deafness requires early intervention before the cochlea fully matures.

  14. Eya1 protein phosphatase regulates tight junction formation in lung distal epithelium.

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    El-Hashash, Ahmed H K; Turcatel, Gianluca; Varma, Saaket; Berika, Mohamed; Al Alam, Denise; Warburton, David

    2012-09-01

    Little is known about the regulatory mechanisms underlying lung epithelial tight junction (TJ) assembly, which is inextricably linked to the preservation of epithelial polarity, and is highly coordinated by proteins that regulate epithelial cell polarity, such as aPKCζ. We recently reported that Eya1 phosphatase functions through aPKCζ-Notch1 signaling to control cell polarity in the lung epithelium. Here, we have extended these observations to TJ formation to demonstrate that Eya1 is crucial for the maintenance of TJ protein assembly in the lung epithelium, probably by controlling aPKCζ phosphorylation levels, aPKCζ-mediated TJ protein phosphorylation and Notch1-Cdc42 activity. Thus, TJs are disassembled after interfering with Eya1 function in vivo or during calcium-induced TJ assembly in vitro. These effects are reversed by reintroduction of wild-type Eya1 or partially inhibiting aPKCζ in Eya1siRNA cells. Moreover, genetic activation of Notch1 rescues Eya1(-/-) lung epithelial TJ defects. These findings uncover novel functions for the Eya1-aPKCζ-Notch1-Cdc42 pathway as a crucial regulatory mechanism of TJ assembly and polarity of the lung epithelium, providing a conceptual framework for future mechanistic and translational studies in this area.

  15. Connexin43 siRNA promotes HUVEC proliferation and inhibits apoptosis induced by ox-LDL: an involvement of ERK signaling pathway.

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    Yin, Guotian; Yang, Xiuli; Li, Bo; Yang, Meng; Ren, Mingfen

    2014-09-01

    Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL), one of the most important risk factors of atherosclerosis, is a highly antigenic, potent chemoattractant that facilitates the development of atherosclerosis. Gap junctions also play an important in the development of atherosclerosis. In this study, we investigated the effects of ox-LDL on connexin43 and the mechanisms of connexin43 siRNA-inhibited apoptosis induced by ox-LDL in human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC), to clarify the role of connexin43 in atherosclerosis. Our results showed that ox-LDL significantly inhibited the growth and promoted apoptosis of HUVEC in a dose-dependent manner. Also, ox-LDL upregulated the expression of connexin43. Furthermore, knockdown connexin43 by siRNA promoted proliferation and inhibited apoptosis in ox-LDL-stimulated HUVEC. Moreover, the level of phosphor-ERK1/2 and connexin43 was remarkably attenuated by a ERK pathway inhibitor (PD98059). These results suggest that connexin43 siRNA promotes HUVEC proliferation and inhibits apoptosis induced by ox-LDL, and ERK signaling pathway appears to be involved in these processes.

  16. Altered detrusor gap junction communications induce storage symptoms in bladder inflammation: a mouse cyclophosphamide-induced model of cystitis.

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    Okinami, Takeshi; Imamura, Masaaki; Nishikawa, Nobuyuki; Negoro, Hiromitsu; Sugino, Yoshio; Yoshimura, Koji; Kanematsu, Akihiro; Hashitani, Hikaru; Ogawa, Osamu

    2014-01-01

    Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) include storage, voiding and post-micturition symptoms, featuring many urological diseases. Storage symptoms are the most frequent among these and associated with overactive bladder and non-bacterial bladder inflammation such as interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS). Gap junction, a key regulator of hyperactive conditions in the bladder, has been reported to be involved in pathological bladder inflammation. Here we report involvement of gap junction in the etiology of storage symptoms in bladder inflammation. In this study, cyclophosphamide-induced cystitis was adapted as a model of bladder inflammation. Cyclophosphamide-treated mice showed typical storage symptoms including increased urinary frequency and reduced bladder capacity, with concurrent up-regulation of connexin 43 (GJA1), one of the major gap junction proteins in the bladder. In isometric tension study, bladder smooth muscle strips taken from the treated mice showed more pronounced spontaneous contraction than controls, which was attenuated by carbenoxolone, a gap junction inhibitor. In voiding behavior studies, the storage symptoms in the treated mice characterized by frequent voiding were alleviated by 18α-glycyrrhetinic acid, another gap junction inhibitor. These results demonstrate that cyclophosphamide-induced mouse model of cystitis shows clinical storage symptoms related with bladder inflammation and that gap junction in the bladder may be a key molecule of these storage symptoms. Therefore, gap junction in the bladder might be an alternative therapeutic target for storage symptoms in bladder inflammation.

  17. Altered detrusor gap junction communications induce storage symptoms in bladder inflammation: a mouse cyclophosphamide-induced model of cystitis.

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    Takeshi Okinami

    Full Text Available Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS include storage, voiding and post-micturition symptoms, featuring many urological diseases. Storage symptoms are the most frequent among these and associated with overactive bladder and non-bacterial bladder inflammation such as interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS. Gap junction, a key regulator of hyperactive conditions in the bladder, has been reported to be involved in pathological bladder inflammation. Here we report involvement of gap junction in the etiology of storage symptoms in bladder inflammation. In this study, cyclophosphamide-induced cystitis was adapted as a model of bladder inflammation. Cyclophosphamide-treated mice showed typical storage symptoms including increased urinary frequency and reduced bladder capacity, with concurrent up-regulation of connexin 43 (GJA1, one of the major gap junction proteins in the bladder. In isometric tension study, bladder smooth muscle strips taken from the treated mice showed more pronounced spontaneous contraction than controls, which was attenuated by carbenoxolone, a gap junction inhibitor. In voiding behavior studies, the storage symptoms in the treated mice characterized by frequent voiding were alleviated by 18α-glycyrrhetinic acid, another gap junction inhibitor. These results demonstrate that cyclophosphamide-induced mouse model of cystitis shows clinical storage symptoms related with bladder inflammation and that gap junction in the bladder may be a key molecule of these storage symptoms. Therefore, gap junction in the bladder might be an alternative therapeutic target for storage symptoms in bladder inflammation.

  18. Highlighting Kathleen Green and Mario Delmar, guest editors of special issue (part 2): junctional targets of skin and heart disease.

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    Cowin, Pamela

    2014-06-01

    Cell Communication and Adhesion has been fortunate to enlist two pioneers of epidermal and cardiac cell junctions, Kathleen Green and Mario Delmar, as Guest Editors of a two part series on junctional targets of skin and heart disease. Part 2 of this series begins with an overview from Dipal Patel and Kathy Green comparing epidermal desmosomes to cardiac area composita junctions, and surveying the pathogenic mechanisms resulting from mutations in their components in heart disease. This is followed by a review from David Kelsell on the role of desmosomal mutation in inherited syndromes involving skin fragility. Agnieszka Kobeliak discusses how structural deficits in the epidermal barrier intersect with the NFkB signaling pathway to induce inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Farah Sheikh reviews the specialized junctional components in cardiomyocytes of the cardiac conduction system and Robert Gourdie discusses how molecular complexes between sodium channels and gap junction proteins within the perijunctional microdomains within the intercalated disc facilitate conduction. Glenn Radice evaluates the role of N-cadherin in heart. Andre Kleber and Chris Chen explore new approaches to study junctional mechanotransduction in vitro with a focus on the effects of connexin ablation and the role of cadherins, respectively. To complement this series of reviews, we have interviewed Werner Franke, whose systematic documentation the tissue-specific complexity of desmosome composition and pioneering discovery of the cardiac area composita junction greatly facilitated elucidation of the role of desmosomal components in the pathophysiology of human heart disease.

  19. Eps homology domain endosomal transport proteins differentially localize to the neuromuscular junction

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    Mate Suzanne E

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recycling of endosomes is important for trafficking and maintenance of proteins at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ. We have previously shown high expression of the endocytic recycling regulator Eps15 homology domain-containing (EHD1 proteinin the Torpedo californica electric organ, a model tissue for investigating a cholinergic synapse. In this study, we investigated the localization of EHD1 and its paralogs EHD2, EHD3, and EHD4 in mouse skeletal muscle, and assessed the morphological changes in EHD1−/− NMJs. Methods Localization of the candidate NMJ protein EHD1 was assessed by confocal microscopy analysis of whole-mount mouse skeletal muscle fibers after direct gene transfer and immunolabeling. The potential function of EHD1 was assessed by specific force measurement and α-bungarotoxin-based endplate morphology mapping in EHD1−/− mouse skeletal muscle. Results Endogenous EHD1 localized to primary synaptic clefts of murine NMJ, and this localization was confirmed by expression of recombinant green fluorescent protein labeled-EHD1 in murine skeletal muscle in vivo. EHD1−/− mouse skeletal muscle had normal histology and NMJ morphology, and normal specific force generation during muscle contraction. The EHD 1–4 proteins showed differential localization in skeletal muscle: EHD2 to muscle vasculature, EHD3 to perisynaptic regions, and EHD4 to perinuclear regions and to primary synaptic clefts, but at lower levels than EHD1. Additionally, specific antibodies raised against mammalian EHD1-4 recognized proteins of the expected mass in the T. californica electric organ. Finally, we found that EHD4 expression was more abundant in EHD1−/− mouse skeletal muscle than in wild-type skeletal muscle. Conclusion EHD1 and EHD4 localize to the primary synaptic clefts of the NMJ. Lack of obvious defects in NMJ structure and muscle function in EHD1−/− muscle may be due to functional compensation by other EHD paralogs.

  20. L. plantarum prevents Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli-induced tight junction proteins changes in intestinal epithelial cells

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    Hang Xiaomin

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It is increasingly recognized that Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum has the ability to protect against Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC-induced damage of the epithelial monolayer barrier function by preventing changes in host cell morphology, attaching/effacing (A/E lesion formation, monolayer resistance, and macromolecular permeability. However, the cellular mechanism involved in this protective effect still remained to be clarified. Methods This study was to investigate the effect of L. plantarum on the changes of Caco-2 cells responding to Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli (EIEC, the permeability of cell monolayer and the transmissivity of dextran, and the distribution and expression of the tight junction (TJ proteins, such as Claudin-1, Occludin, JAM-1 and ZO-1 were examined when infected with EIEC or adhesived of L. plantarum after infection by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM, immunohistochemistry and Western blotting, the cytoskeleton protein F-actin were observed with FITC-phalloidin. Results This study demonstrated that the transepithelial electrical resistance (TER step down and dextran integrated intensity (DII step up with time after infected with EIEC, but after treating with L. plantarum, the changes of TER and DII were improved as compared with EIEC group. L. plantarum prevented the damage of expression and rearrangement of Claudin-1, Occludin, JAM-1 and ZO-1 proteins induced by EIEC, and could ameliorate the injury of cytoskeleton protein F-actin infected with EIEC. Conclusion L. plantarum exerted a protective effect against the damage to integrity of Caco-2 monolayer cells and the structure and distribution of TJ proteins by EIEC infection.

  1. Proteins in load-bearing junctions: the histidine-rich metal-binding protein of mussel byssus.

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    Zhao, Hua; Waite, J Herbert

    2006-11-28

    Building complex load-bearing scaffolds depends on effective ways of joining functionally different biomacromolecules. The junction between collagen fibers and foamlike adhesive plaques in mussel byssus is robust despite the strikingly dissimilar connected structures. mcfp-4, the matrix protein from this junction, and its presecreted form from the foot tissue of Mytilus californianus were isolated and characterized. mcfp-4 has a mass of approximately 93 kDa as determined by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Its composition is dominated by histidine (22 mol %), but levels of lysine, arginine, and aspartate are also significant. A small amount of 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl-l-alanine (2 mol %) can be detected by amino acid analysis and redox cycling assays. The cDNA-deduced sequence of mcfp-4 reveals multiple variants with highly repetitive internal structures, including approximately 36 tandemly repeated His-rich decapeptides (e.g., HVHTHRVLHK) in the N-terminal half and 16 somewhat more degenerate aspartate-rich undecapeptides (e.g., DDHVNDIAQTA) in the C-terminal half. Incubation of a synthetic peptide based on the His-rich decapeptide with Fe3+, Co2+, Ni2+, Zn2+, and Cu2+ indicates that only Cu is strongly bound. MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry of the peptide modified with diethyl pyrocarbonate before and after Cu binding suggests that histidine residues dominate Cu binding. In contrast, the aspartate-rich undecapeptides preferentially bind Ca2+. mcfp-4 is strategically positioned to function as a macromolecular bifunctional linker by using metal ions to couple its own His-rich domains to the His-rich termini of the preCOLs. Ca2+ may mediate coupling of the C-terminus to other calcium-binding plaque proteins.

  2. [Remodeling of cardiac gap junctions and arrhythmias].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Zhi-Bin; Sheng, Juan-Juan

    2011-12-25

    In the heart, gap junctions mediate electrical and chemical coupling between adjacent cardiomyocytes, forming the cell-to-cell pathways for orderly spread of the wave of electrical excitation responsible for a functional syncytium. Three principal connexins are expressed in cardiomyocytes, connexin 43 (CX43), CX40, and CX45. CX43 predominates in ventricular muscle cells. Most of the gap junctions, assembled from CX43, are located at the intercalated discs, often with larger junctional plaques at the disc periphery. The gap junctions are rarely distributed to the sides of the cardiomyocyte. The ischemia-reperfusion, cardiac hypertrophy, heart failure, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes mellitus induce gap junction remodeling. The gap junction remodeling induced by above-mentioned diseases shows similar characteristics, including down-regulation of CX43, reduction in gap junction plaque size, increased heterogeneity and lateralization of gap junction distribution, and dephosphorylation of CX43. The elevated angiotensin II concentration in local myocardium may play an important role in the gap junction remodeling. The down-regulation of CX43 and lateralization of gap junction distribution alter anisotropic spread of the impulse of ventricular myocardium. The dephosphorylation of CX43 not only reduces electrical conductance, but also decreases permeability of chemicals between cardiomyocytes. The lateralization of gap junctions may increase the number of hemichannels formed by CX43. The opening of hemichannels induces ATP efflux and Na(+) influx, which forms a delayed after-depolarization. The gap junction remodeling in pathological condition produces arrhythmia substrate in the ventricles. In this review, the current knowledge on the relationship between the remodeling of cardiac gap junctions and arrhythmias were summarized.

  3. Lymphocytes accelerate epithelial tight junction assembly: role of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK.

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    Xiao Xiao Tang

    Full Text Available The tight junctions (TJs, characteristically located at the apicolateral borders of adjacent epithelial cells, are required for the proper formation of epithelial cell polarity as well as for sustaining the mucosal barrier to the external environment. The observation that lymphocytes are recruited by epithelial cells to the sites of infection [1] suggests that they may play a role in the modulation of epithelial barrier function and thus contribute to host defense. To test the ability of lymphocytes to modulate tight junction assembly in epithelial cells, we set up a lymphocyte-epithelial cell co-culture system, in which Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK cells, a well-established model cell line for studying epithelial TJ assembly [2], were co-cultured with mouse lymphocytes to mimic an infection state. In a typical calcium switch experiment, the TJ assembly in co-culture was found to be accelerated compared to that in MDCK cells alone. This accelaration was found to be mediated by AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK. AMPK activation was independent of changes in cellular ATP levels but it was found to be activated by the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha. Forced suppression of AMPK, either with a chemical inhibitor or by knockdown, abrogated the accelerating effect of lymphocytes on TJ formation. Similar results were also observed in a co-culture with lymphocytes and Calu-3 human airway epithelial cells, suggesting that the activation of AMPK may be a general mechanism underlying lymphocyte-accelerated TJ assembly in different epithelia. These results suggest that signals from lymphocytes, such as cytokines, facilitate TJ assembly in epithelial cells via the activation of AMPK.

  4. Acute inflammation decreases the expression of connexin 40 in mouse lung.

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    Rignault, Stéphanie; Haefliger, Jacques-Antoine; Waeber, Bernard; Liaudet, Lucas; Feihl, François

    2007-07-01

    Transmigration of neutrophil polymorphonuclear leukocytes through the microvascular endothelium is a cardinal event of acute inflammation. In vitro, this process can be restricted by gap junctional intercellular communication, but whether it also occurs in vivo is unknown. Connexin 40 (Cx40) is a gap junctional protein abundantly present in the lung, notably in vascular endothelium. We hypothesized that acute lung inflammation would be aggravated in knockout mice genetically deficient in Cx40. This hypothesis was tested in two different models: 1) intranasal instillation of LPS at either supramaximal (50 microg/mouse) or inframaximal dose (0.01 microg/mouse) and 2) pulmonary inflammation as a distant consequence of an abdominal infection caused by cecal ligation and perforation. Pulmonary transmigration of neutrophils was assessed by counting these cells in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (LPS model) or with the myeloperoxidase assay in homogenates of blood-free tissue (cecal ligation and perforation model). Pulmonary content in Cx40 and Cx43 was evaluated with immunoblots. In wild-type mice, there was a time-dependent decrease of Cx40 expression in both models. The time points for studies with the knockout mice were chosen in such a manner that inflammation was clearly present and Cx40 still largely expressed in wild-type animals. In either model, the development of lung inflammation did not differ between wild-type and Cx40-deficient mice. In conclusion, the pulmonary expression of the Cx40 protein is progressively and markedly decreased in two different murine models of acute lung inflammation, but there is no causal relationship between this process and the pulmonary transmigration of neutrophils.

  5. Nicotine protects rat hypoglossal motoneurons from excitotoxic death via downregulation of connexin 36

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    Corsini, Silvia; Tortora, Maria; Rauti, Rossana; Nistri, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    Motoneuron disease including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis may be due, at an early stage, to deficit in the extracellular clearance of the excitatory transmitter glutamate. A model of glutamate-mediated excitotoxic cell death based on pharmacological inhibition of its uptake was used to investigate how activation of neuronal nicotinic receptors by nicotine may protect motoneurons. Hypoglossal motoneurons (HMs) in neonatal rat brainstem slices were exposed to the glutamate uptake blocker DL-threo-β-benzyloxyaspartate (TBOA) that evoked large Ca2+ transients time locked among nearby HMs, whose number fell by about 30% 4 h later. As nicotine or the gap junction blocker carbenoxolone suppressed bursting, we studied connexin 36 (Cx36), which constitutes gap junctions in neurons and found it largely expressed by HMs. Cx36 was downregulated when nicotine or carbenoxolone was co-applied with TBOA. Expression of Cx36 was preferentially observed in cytosolic rather than membrane fractions after nicotine and TBOA, suggesting protein redistribution with no change in synthesis. Nicotine raised the expression of heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70), a protective factor that binds the apoptotic-inducing factor (AIF) whose nuclear translocation is a cause of cell death. TBOA increased intracellular AIF, an effect blocked by nicotine. These results indicate that activation of neuronal nicotinic receptors is an early tool for protecting motoneurons from excitotoxicity and that this process is carried out via the combined decrease in Cx36 activity, overexpression of Hsp70 and fall in AIF translocation. Thus, retarding or inhibiting HM death may be experimentally achieved by targeting one of these processes leading to motoneuron death. PMID:28617431

  6. The Werner and Bloom syndrome proteins help resolve replication blockage by converting (regressed) holliday junctions to functional replication forks.

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    Machwe, Amrita; Karale, Rajashree; Xu, Xioahua; Liu, Yilun; Orren, David K

    2011-08-16

    Cells cope with blockage of replication fork progression in a manner that allows DNA synthesis to be completed and genomic instability minimized. Models for resolution of blocked replication involve fork regression to form Holliday junction structures. The human RecQ helicases WRN and BLM (deficient in Werner and Bloom syndromes, respectively) are critical for maintaining genomic stability and thought to function in accurate resolution of replication blockage. Consistent with this notion, WRN and BLM localize to sites of blocked replication after certain DNA-damaging treatments and exhibit enhanced activity on replication and recombination intermediates. Here we examine the actions of WRN and BLM on a special Holliday junction substrate reflective of a regressed replication fork. Our results demonstrate that, in reactions requiring ATP hydrolysis, both WRN and BLM convert this Holliday junction substrate primarily to a four-stranded replication fork structure, suggesting they target the Holliday junction to initiate branch migration. In agreement, the Holliday junction binding protein RuvA inhibits the WRN- and BLM-mediated conversion reactions. Importantly, this conversion product is suitable for replication with its leading daughter strand readily extended by DNA polymerases. Furthermore, binding to and conversion of this Holliday junction are optimal at low MgCl(2) concentrations, suggesting that WRN and BLM preferentially act on the square planar (open) conformation of Holliday junctions. Our findings suggest that, subsequent to fork regression events, WRN and/or BLM could re-establish functional replication forks to help overcome fork blockage. Such a function is highly consistent with phenotypes associated with WRN- and BLM-deficient cells.

  7. Vitamin D3 regulates the formation and degradation of gap junctions in androgen-responsive human prostate cancer cells.

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    Linda Kelsey

    Full Text Available 1α-25(OH2 vitamin D3 (1-25D, an active hormonal form of Vitamin D3, is a well-known chemopreventive and pro-differentiating agent. It has been shown to inhibit the growth of several prostate cancer cell lines. Gap junctions, formed of proteins called connexins (Cx, are ensembles of cell-cell channels, which permit the exchange of small growth regulatory molecules between adjoining cells. Cell-cell communication mediated by gap junctional channels is an important homeostatic control mechanism for regulating cell growth and differentiation. We have investigated the effect of 1-25D on the formation and degradation of gap junctions in an androgen-responsive prostate cancer cell line, LNCaP, which expresses retrovirally-introduced Cx32. Connexin32 is expressed by the luminal and well-differentiated cells of normal prostate and prostate tumors. Our results document that 1-25D enhances the expression of Cx32 and its subsequent assembly into gap junctions. Our results further show that 1-25D prevents androgen-regulated degradation of Cx32, post-translationally, independent of androgen receptor (AR-mediated signaling. Finally, our findings document that formation of gap junctions sensitizes Cx32-expressing LNCaP cells to the growth inhibitory effects of 1-25D and alters their morphology. These findings suggest that the growth-inhibitory effects of 1-25D in LNCaP cells may be related to its ability to modulate the assembly of Cx32 into gap junctions.

  8. Four novel connexin 32 mutations in X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Phenotypic variability and central nervous system involvement.

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    Karadima, Georgia; Koutsis, Georgios; Raftopoulou, Maria; Floroskufi, Paraskewi; Karletidi, Karolina-Maria; Panas, Marios

    2014-06-15

    Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, the most common hereditary neuropathy, is clinically and genetically heterogeneous. X-linked CMT (CMTX) is usually caused by mutations in the gap junction protein b 1 gene (GJB1) coding for connexin 32 (Cx32). The clinical manifestations of CMTX are characterized by significant variability, with some patients exhibiting central nervous system (CNS) involvement. We report four novel mutations in GJB1, c.191G>A (p.Cys64Tyr), c.508G>T (p.Val170Phe), c.778A>G (p.Lys260Glu) and c.300C>G (p.His100Gln) identified in four unrelated Greek families. These mutations were characterized by variable phenotypic expression, including a family with the Roussy-Lévy syndrome, and three of them were associated with mild clinical CNS manifestations. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  9. Autophagy enhances intestinal epithelial tight junction barrier function by targeting claudin-2 protein degradation.

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    Nighot, Prashant K; Hu, Chien-An Andy; Ma, Thomas Y

    2015-03-13

    Autophagy is an intracellular degradation pathway and is considered to be an essential cell survival mechanism. Defects in autophagy are implicated in many pathological processes, including inflammatory bowel disease. Among the innate defense mechanisms of intestinal mucosa, a defective tight junction (TJ) barrier has been postulated as a key pathogenic factor in the causation and progression of inflammatory bowel disease by allowing increased antigenic permeation. The cross-talk between autophagy and the TJ barrier has not yet been described. In this study, we present the novel finding that autophagy enhances TJ barrier function in Caco-2 intestinal epithelial cells. Nutrient starvation-induced autophagy significantly increased transepithelial electrical resistance and reduced the ratio of sodium/chloride paracellular permeability. Nutrient starvation reduced the paracellular permeability of small-sized urea but not larger molecules. The role of autophagy in the modulation of paracellular permeability was confirmed by pharmacological induction as well as pharmacological and genetic inhibition of autophagy. Consistent with the autophagy-induced reduction in paracellular permeability, a marked decrease in the level of the cation-selective, pore-forming TJ protein claudin-2 was observed after cell starvation. Starvation reduced the membrane presence of claudin-2 and increased its cytoplasmic, lysosomal localization. Therefore, our data show that autophagy selectively reduces epithelial TJ permeability of ions and small molecules by lysosomal degradation of the TJ protein claudin-2.

  10. The RecA/RAD51 protein drives migration of Holliday junctions via polymerization on DNA.

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    Rossi, Matthew J; Mazina, Olga M; Bugreev, Dmitry V; Mazin, Alexander V

    2011-04-19

    The Holliday junction (HJ), a cross-shaped structure that physically links the two DNA helices, is a key intermediate in homologous recombination, DNA repair, and replication. Several helicase-like proteins are known to bind HJs and promote their branch migration (BM) by translocating along DNA at the expense of ATP hydrolysis. Surprisingly, the bacterial recombinase protein RecA and its eukaryotic homologue Rad51 also promote BM of HJs despite the fact they do not bind HJs preferentially and do not translocate along DNA. RecA/Rad51 plays a key role in DNA double-stranded break repair and homologous recombination. RecA/Rad51 binds to ssDNA and forms contiguous filaments that promote the search for homologous DNA sequences and DNA strand exchange. The mechanism of BM promoted by RecA/RAD51 is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that cycles of RecA/Rad51 polymerization and dissociation coupled with ATP hydrolysis drives the BM of HJs.

  11. Adaptive evolution of tight junction protein claudin-14 in echolocating whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Huihui; Liu, Yang; He, Guimei; Rossiter, Stephen J; Zhang, Shuyi

    2013-11-10

    Toothed whales and bats have independently evolved specialized ultrasonic hearing for echolocation. Recent findings have suggested that several genes including Prestin, Tmc1, Pjvk and KCNQ4 appear to have undergone molecular adaptations associated with the evolution of this ultrasonic hearing in mammals. Here we studied the hearing gene Cldn14, which encodes the claudin-14 protein and is a member of tight junction proteins that functions in the organ of Corti in the inner ear to maintain a cationic gradient between endolymph and perilymph. Particular mutations in human claudin-14 give rise to non-syndromic deafness, suggesting an essential role in hearing. Our results uncovered two bursts of positive selection, one in the ancestral branch of all toothed whales and a second in the branch leading to the delphinid, phocoenid and ziphiid whales. These two branches are the same as those previously reported to show positive selection in the Prestin gene. Furthermore, as with Prestin, the estimated hearing frequencies of whales significantly correlate with numbers of branch-wise non-synonymous substitutions in Cldn14, but not with synonymous changes. However, in contrast to Prestin, we found no evidence of positive selection in bats. Our findings from Cldn14, and comparisons with Prestin, strongly implicate multiple loci in the acquisition of echolocation in cetaceans, but also highlight possible differences in the evolutionary route to echolocation taken by whales and bats. © 2013.

  12. Characterization of the tight junction protein ZO-2 localized at the nucleus of epithelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaramillo, Blanca Estela; Ponce, Arturo; Moreno, Jacqueline; Betanzos, Abigail; Huerta, Miriam; Lopez-Bayghen, Esther; Gonzalez-Mariscal, Lorenza

    2004-07-01

    ZO-2 is a MAGUK protein that in confluent epithelial sheets localizes at tight junctions (TJ) whereas in sparse cultures accumulates in clusters at the nucleus. Here, we have characterized several nuclear properties of ZO-2. We observe that ZO-2 is present in the nuclear matrix and co-immunoprecipitates with lamin B(1) and actin from the nuclei of sparse cultures. We show that ZO-2 presents several NLS at its amino region, that when deleted, diminish the nuclear import of the ZO-2 amino segment and impair the ability of the region to regulate the transcriptional activity of promoters controlled by AP-1. Several RS repeats are detected in the ZO-2 amino segment, however, their deletion does not preclude the display of a speckled nuclear pattern. ZO-2 displays two putative NES. However, only the second one appears to be functional, as when conjugated to ovalbumin (OV), it is able to translocate this protein from the nucleus to the cytoplasm in a leptomycin B-sensitive way.

  13. Alterations in junctional proteins, inflammatory mediators and extracellular matrix molecules in eosinophilic esophagitis.

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    Abdulnour-Nakhoul, Solange M; Al-Tawil, Youhanna; Gyftopoulos, Alex A; Brown, Karen L; Hansen, Molly; Butcher, Kathy F; Eidelwein, Alexandra P; Noel, Robert A; Rabon, Edd; Posta, Allison; Nakhoul, Nazih L

    2013-08-01

    Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), an inflammatory atopic disease of the esophagus, causes massive eosinophil infiltration, basal cell hyperplasia, and sub-epithelial fibrosis. To elucidate cellular and molecular factors involved in esophageal tissue damage and remodeling, we examined pinch biopsies from EoE and normal pediatric patients. An inflammation gene array confirmed that eotaxin-3, its receptor CCR3 and interleukins IL-13 and IL-5 were upregulated. An extracellular matrix (ECM) gene array revealed upregulation of CD44 & CD54, and of ECM proteases (ADAMTS1 & MMP14). A cytokine antibody array showed a marked decrease in IL-1α and IL-1 receptor antagonist and an increase in eotaxin-2 and epidermal growth factor. Western analysis indicated reduced expression of intercellular junction proteins, E-cadherin and claudin-1 and increased expression of occludin and vimentin. We have identified a number of novel genes and proteins whose expression is altered in EoE. These findings provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms of the disease.

  14. Functional hemichannels formed by human connexin 26 expressed in bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiori, Mariana C; Krishnan, Srinivasan; Cortes, D Marien; Retamal, Mauricio A; Reuss, Luis; Altenberg, Guillermo A; Cuello, Luis G

    2015-03-18

    Gap-junction channels (GJCs) communicate the cytoplasm of adjacent cells and are formed by head-to-head association of two hemichannels (HCs), one from each of the neighbouring cells. GJCs mediate electrical and chemical communication between cells, whereas undocked HCs participate in paracrine signalling because of their permeability to molecules such as ATP. Sustained opening of HCs under pathological conditions results in water and solute fluxes that cannot be compensated by membrane transport and therefore lead to cell damage. Mutations of Cx26 (connexin 26) are the most frequent cause of genetic deafness and it is therefore important to understand the structure-function relationship of wild-type and deafness-associated mutants. Currently available connexin HC expression systems severely limit the pace of structural studies and there is no simple high-throughput HC functional assay. The Escherichia coli-based expression system presented in the present study yields milligram amounts of purified Cx26 HCs suitable for functional and structural studies. We also show evidence of functional activity of recombinant Cx26 HCs in intact bacteria using a new growth complementation assay. The E. coli-based expression system has high potential for structural studies and high-throughput functional screening of HCs.

  15. 地西他滨对白血病细胞系中连接蛋白43的作用和机制%Effect and mechanism of decitabine on expression of connexin 43 protein in leukemic cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    韦炜; 徐娅蓓; 孙云; 莫蓓蕾; 阎骅

    2012-01-01

    目的:探讨地西他滨对白血病细胞中连接蛋门43(Cx43)的作用和机制.方法:蛋白印迹法(Western blot)检测去甲基化药物地西他滨对NB4-MR2、U937细胞中Cx43水平表达的影响以及加入蛋白酶体抑制剂MG132对Cx43表达的影响.实时定量PCR检测地西他滨对NB4-MR2、U937细胞中Cx43 RNA水平的影响.结果:地西他滨明显下调MR2细胞中Cx43表达,对其RNA水平没有明显影响;地西他滨明显缩短Cx43蛋白的半衰期.加入蛋白酶体抑制剂MG132可明显抑制地西他滨引起的Cx43蛋白的减少.结论:地西他滨通过蛋白酶体途径减少Cx43的水平,可能会影响其治疗效果.%Objective To study the effect and mechanism of decitabine on expression of connexin 43(Cx43) protein in leukemic cells. Methods Western blot was used to assess the Cx43 protein level in leukemic NB4-MR2 and U937 ceil lines for determining the effect of decitabine on expression of Cx43 protein and the effect of adding proteasome inhibitor MG132 on the expression. Level of Cx43 RNA expression was determined by real-time PCR. Results Decitabine significantly down-regulated the expression of Cx43 protein in both leukemic cell lines, while no significant change in Cx43 RNA level was found. Moreover, decitabine significantly reduced the half-life of Cx43 protein. The addition of proteasome inhibitor MG132 could block the inhibiting effect of decitabine on Cx43 protein expression. Conclusions Decitabine down-regulated the expression of Cx43 protein in leukemic cells through proteasome pathway.

  16. Connexin43 expression levels influence intercellular coupling and cell proliferation of native murine cardiac fibroblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yan; Kanter, Evelyn M; Laing, James G; Aprhys, Colette; Johns, David C; Kardami, Elissavet; Yamada, Kathryn A

    2008-09-01

    Little is known about connexin expression and function in murine cardiac fibroblasts. The authors isolated native ventricular fibroblasts from adult mice and determined that although they expressed both connexin43 (Cx43) and connexin45 (Cx45), the relative abundance of Cx45 was greater than that of Cx43 in fibroblasts compared to myocytes, and the electrophoretic mobility of both Cx43 and Cx45 differed in fibroblasts and in myocytes. Increasing Cx43 expression by adenoviral infection increased intercellular coupling, whereas decreasing Cx43 expression by genetic ablation decreased coupling. Interestingly, increasing Cx43 expression reduced fibroblast proliferation, whereas decreasing Cx43 expression increased proliferation. These data demonstrate that native fibroblasts isolated from the mouse heart exhibit intercellular coupling via gap junctions containing both Cx43 and Cx45. Fibroblast proliferation is inversely related to the expression level of Cx43. Thus, connexin expression and remodeling is likely to alter fibroblast function, maintenance of the extracellular matrix, and ventricular remodeling in both normal and diseased hearts.

  17. β-Adrenergic modulation of myocardial conduction velocity: Connexins vs. sodium current.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Annabel S; Johnstone, Scott R; Baillie, George S; Smith, Godfrey

    2014-12-01

    The heart is capable of rapid changes in cardiac output: these are caused in large part by changes in the activity of the autonomic nervous system that alter heart rate, force and time course of contraction. While studies of autonomic control have focussed on heart rate and contractile mechanisms, fewer studies have considered the influence of electrical propagation across the chamber. Conduction velocity (CV) of the action potential (AP) is an important variable, which ensures efficient pumping action of the heart and, along with AP duration, is a determinant of the electrical stability of the myocardium. CV depends on multiple factors, including tissue excitability and intercellular resistance: the latter is controlled by the number and arrangement of gap junctions (GJs) linking adjacent cardiac cells. Whole heart studies (in vivo and in vitro) report variable effects of sympathetic nervous system stimulation on ventricular CV, a major complication in interpretation being the accompanying increase in heart rate. At the cellular level, changes in cardiomyocyte electrophysiology, mediated via β-adrenoreceptor (β-AR) activation, alter the AP shape and amplitude but the influence of these effects on the CV is unclear. Alternatively, CV changes may occur via altered GJ conductance, but despite detailed knowledge of the underlying channel protein (connexin), little consensus exists on the extent and time course of the change in GJ conductance induced by AR activation. This review will examine the literature on the modulation of ventricular AP conduction velocity by β-AR activation in a range of physiological preparations and highlight unresolved issues.

  18. Connexin 43 Is a Potential Prognostic Biomarker for Ewing Sarcoma/Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marilyn M. Bui

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Connexins (Cxs are building unit proteins of gap junctions (GJs that are prognostic markers in carcinomas. To investigate the role of Cx in Ewing sarcoma (EWS/primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET, we examined the expression of Cx43 and Cx26 in 36 EWS/PNETs and found (1 cytoplasmic Cx43 reactivity in 28/36 (78% cases. (2 Cx43 score was significantly correlated with overall survival (P=.025. The average scores for patients alive and dead at 3 years are 46.08 and 96.98 (P=.004 at 5 years are 46.06 and 96.42 (P=.002. (3 Metastasis had a significant effect on the overall survival (P=.003. (4 Cytoplasmic Cx26 reactivity was detected in 2 of 36 (6% patients who died with metastasis. Our results suggest a possible oncogenic and prognostic role for Cx43 and Cx26 in EWS/PNET. The lack of membranous immunoreactivity suggests that the effect of Cx in EWS/PNET is via a GJ function-independent mechanism.

  19. Connexin 26 induces growth suppression, apoptosis and increased efficacy of doxorubicin in prostate cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Motoyoshi; Grossman, H Barton

    2004-02-01

    Connexin 26 (Cx26) encodes a gap junction protein and is a putative tumor suppressor gene. We evaluated the effect of forced expression of Cx26 on three human prostate cancer cell lines, PC-3, LNCap, and DU-145. The three cell lines were infected with a Cx26 adenovirus vector (Ad-Cx26) or a control vector or were mock infected. We tested cell growth, cell cycle, apoptosis, and the efficacy of combined treatment with doxorubicin. Ad-Cx26 infection suppressed the growth of all the cell lines compared with controls and induced cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase and apoptosis. Ad-Cx26 decreased the expression of Bcl-2. LNCaP cell growth was dramatically suppressed by Ad-Cx26 alone. PC-3 and DU-145 had greater growth suppression with combined gene therapy and chemotherapy than with either Ad-Cx26 or doxorubicin alone. Forced expression of Cx26 suppresses the growth of prostate cancer cells and decreases the expression of Bcl-2. Combining Cx26 gene therapy with doxorubicin results in greater growth suppression.

  20. Downregulation of connexin43 by microRNA-130a in cardiomyocytes results in cardiac arrhythmias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osbourne, Appledene; Calway, Tyler; Broman, Michael; McSharry, Saoirse; Earley, Judy; Kim, Gene H

    2014-09-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are now recognized as critical regulators of diverse physiological and pathological processes; however, studies of miRNAs and arrhythmogenesis remain sparse. Connexin43 (Cx43), a major cardiac gap junction protein, has elicited great interest in its role in arrhythmias. Additionally, Cx43 was a potential target for miR-130a as predicted by several computational algorithms. This study investigates the effect of miR-130a overexpression in the adult heart and its effect on cardiac rhythm. Using a cardiac-specific inducible system, transgenic mice demonstrated both atrial and ventricular arrhythmias. We performed ventricular-programmed electrical stimulation and found that the αMHC-miR130a mice developed sustained ventricular tachycardia beginning 6weeks after overexpression. Western blot analysis demonstrated a steady decline in Cx43 after 2weeks of overexpression with over a 90% reduction in Cx43 levels by 10weeks. Immunofluorescent staining confirmed a near complete loss of Cx43 throughout the heart. To validate Cx43 as a direct target of miR-130a, we performed in vitro target assays in 3T3 fibroblasts and HL-1 cardiomyocytes, both known to endogenously express miR-130a. Using a luciferase reporter fused to the 3'UTR of Cx43, we found a 52.9% reduction in luciferase activity in 3T3 cells (parrhythmias.

  1. EMP-induced alterations of tight junction protein expression and disruption of the blood-brain barrier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Gui-Rong; Qiu, Lian-Bo; Wang, Xiao-Wu; Li, Kang-Chu; Zhou, Yong-Chun; Zhou, Yan; Zhang, Jie; Zhou, Jia-Xing; Li, Yu-Rong; Guo, Guo-Zhen

    2010-07-15

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is critical to maintain cerebral homeostasis. In this study, we examined the effects of exposure to electromagnetic pulse (EMP) on the functional integrity of BBB and, on the localization and expression of tight junction (TJ) proteins (occludin and ZO-1) in rats. Animals were sham or whole-body exposed to EMP at 200 kV/m for 400 pulses. The permeability of BBB in rat cerebral cortex was examined by using Evans Blue (EB) and lanthanum nitrate as vascular tracers. The localization and expression of TJ proteins were assessed by western blot and immunofluorescence analysis, respectively. The data indicated that EMP exposure caused: (i) increased permeability of BBB, and (ii) altered localization as well as decreased levels of TJ protein ZO-1. These results suggested that the alteration of ZO-1 may play an important role in the disruption of tight junctions, which may lead to dysfunction of BBB after EMP exposure.

  2. Comparative analysis of theophylline and cholera toxin in rat colon reveals an induction of sealing tight junction proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markov, Alexander G; Falchuk, Evgeny L; Kruglova, Natalia M; Rybalchenko, Oksana V; Fromm, Michael; Amasheh, Salah

    2014-11-01

    Claudin tight junction proteins have been identified to primarily determine intestinal epithelial barrier properties. While functional contribution of single claudins has been characterized in detail, information on the interplay with secretory mechanisms in native intestinal epithelium is scarce. Therefore, effects of cholera toxin and theophylline on rat colon were analyzed, including detection of sealing claudins. Tissue specimens were stripped off submucosal tissue layers and mounted in Ussing chambers, and short-circuit current (ISC) and transepithelial resistance (TER) were recorded. In parallel, expression and localization of claudins was analyzed and histological studies were performed employing hematoxylin-eosin staining and light and electron microscopy. Theophylline induced a strong increase of ISC in colon tissue specimens. In parallel, a decrease of TER was observed. In contrast, cholera toxin did not induce a significant increase of ISC, whereas an increase of TER was detected after 120 min. Western blots of membrane fractions revealed an increase of claudin-3 and -4 after incubation with cholera toxin, and theophylline induced an increase of claudin-4. In accordance, confocal laser-scanning microscopy exhibited increased signals of claudin-3 and -4 after incubation with cholera toxin, and increased signals of claudin-4 after incubation with theophylline, within tight junction complexes. Morphological analyses revealed no general changes of tight junction complexes, but intercellular spaces were markedly widened after incubation with cholera toxin and theophylline. We conclude that cholera toxin and theophylline have different effects on sealing tight junction proteins in native colon preparations, which may synergistically contribute to transport functions, in vitro.

  3. Acidic bile salts modulate the squamous epithelial barrier function by modulating tight junction proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xin; Oshima, Tadayuki; Tomita, Toshihiko; Fukui, Hirokazu; Watari, Jiro; Matsumoto, Takayuki; Miwa, Hiroto

    2011-08-01

    Experimental models for esophageal epithelium in vitro either suffer from poor differentiation or complicated culture systems. An air-liquid interface system with normal human bronchial epithelial cells can serve as a model of esophageal-like squamous epithelial cell layers. Here, we explore the influence of bile acids on barrier function and tight junction (TJ) proteins. The cells were treated with taurocholic acid (TCA), glycocholic acid (GCA), or deoxycholic acid (DCA) at different pH values, or with pepsin. Barrier function was measured by transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) and the diffusion of paracellular tracers (permeability). The expression of TJ proteins, including claudin-1 and claudin-4, was examined by Western blotting of 1% Nonidet P-40-soluble and -insoluble fractions. TCA and GCA dose-dependently decreased TEER and increased paracellular permeability at pH 3 after 1 h. TCA (4 mM) or GCA (4 mM) did not change TEER and permeability at pH 7.4 or pH 4. The combination of TCA and GCA at pH 3 significantly decreased TEER and increased permeability at lower concentrations (2 mM). Pepsin (4 mg/ml, pH 3) did not have any effect on barrier function. DCA significantly decreased the TEER and increased permeability at pH 6, a weakly acidic condition. TCA (4 mM) and GCA (4 mM) significantly decreased the insoluble fractions of claudin-1 and claudin-4 at pH 3. In conclusion, acidic bile salts disrupted the squamous epithelial barrier function partly by modulating the amounts of claudin-1 and claudin-4. These results provide new insights for understanding the role of TJ proteins in esophagitis.

  4. A role for tight junction-associated MARVEL proteins in larval sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) osmoregulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolosov, Dennis; Bui, Phuong; Donini, Andrew; Wilkie, Mike P; Kelly, Scott P

    2017-08-10

    This study reports on tight junction-associated MARVEL proteins of larval sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) and their potential role in ammocoete osmoregulation. Two Occludin isoforms (designated Ocln and Ocln-a) and a tricellulin (Tric) were identified. Transcripts encoding ocln, ocln-a, and tric were broadly expressed in larval lamprey, with greatest abundance of ocln in gut, liver and kidney, ocln-a in the gill and skin, and tric in the kidney. Ocln and Ocln-a resolved as ∼63 kDa and ∼35 kDa MW proteins respectively while Tric resolved as a ∼50 kDa protein. Ocln immunolocalized to the gill vasculature and in gill mucous cells while Ocln-a localized to the gill pouch and gill epithelium. Both Ocln and Ocln-a localized in the nephron, the epidermis and the luminal side of the gut. In branchial tissue, Tric exhibited punctate localization, consistent with its presence at regions of tricellular contact. Following ion-poor water (IPW) acclimation of ammocoetes, serum [Na(+)] and [Cl(-)] reduced, but not [Ca(++)], and carcass moisture content increased. In association, Ocln abundance increased in skin and kidney, but reduced in gill of IPW-acclimated ammocoetes while Ocln-a abundance reduced in the kidney only. Tric abundance increased in the gill. Region-specific alterations in ocln, ocln-a and tric mRNA abundance was also observed in the gut. Data support a role for Ocln, Ocln-a and Tric in the osmoregulatory strategies of a basal vertebrate. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  5. Characterization of the structural and protein recognition properties of hybrid PNA-DNA four-way junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iverson, Douglas; Serrano, Crystal; Brahan, Ann Marie; Shams, Arik; Totsingan, Filbert; Bell, Anthony J

    2015-12-01

    The objective of this study is to evaluate the structure and protein recognition properties of hybrid four-way junctions (4WJs) composed of DNA and peptide nucleic acid (PNA) strands. We compare a classic immobile DNA junction, J1, vs. six PNA-DNA junctions, including a number with blunt DNA ends and multiple PNA strands. Circular dichroism (CD) analysis reveals that hybrid 4WJs are composed of helices that possess structures intermediate between A- and B-form DNA, the apparent level of A-form structure correlates with the PNA content. The structure of hybrids that contain one PNA strand is sensitive to Mg(+2). For these constructs, the apparent B-form structure and conformational stability (Tm) increase in high Mg(+2). The blunt-ended junction, b4WJ-PNA3, possesses the highest B-form CD signals and Tm (40.1 °C) values vs. all hybrids and J1. Protein recognition studies are carried out using the recombinant DNA-binding protein, HMGB1b. HMGB1b binds the blunt ended single-PNA hybrids, b4WJ-PNA1 and b4WJ-PNA3, with high affinity. HMGB1b binds the multi-PNA hybrids, 4WJ-PNA1,3 and b4WJ-PNA1,3, but does not form stable protein-nucleic acid complexes. Protein interactions with hybrid 4WJs are influenced by the ratio of A- to B-form helices: hybrids with helices composed of higher levels of B-form structure preferentially associate with HMGB1b.

  6. Role of calcium and vesicle-docking proteins in remobilising dormant neuromuscular junctions in desert frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavidis, Nickolas A; Hudson, Nicholas J; Choy, Peng T; Lehnert, Sigrid A; Franklin, Craig E

    2008-01-01

    Despite prolonged immobility the desert frog, Cyclorana alboguttata, suffers little impairment in muscle function. To determine compensatory mechanisms at neuromuscular junctions, transmitter release was examined along primary terminals in C. alboguttata iliofibularis muscle. Using extracellular recording we found the amplitudes of evoked endplate currents were significantly smaller in dormant frogs. In active frogs we identified two negatively sloping proximal-distal gradients of transmitter frequency and quantal content; a shallow proximal-distal gradient with low probability of transmitter release (0.6). During aestivation, only a shallow gradient was identified. The high probability release sites in control frogs were inhibited during aestivation by a mechanism that could be reversed by (1) increasing the extracellular calcium concentration, and (2) increasing the frequency of stimulation. This suggests that transmitter vesicles are available during aestivation but not released. We quantified expression of messenger RNA transcripts coding for the transmitter vesicle-docking proteins synaptotagmin 1, syntaxin 1B and UNC-13. All three were rare transcripts maintained at control values during aestivation. Neuromuscular remobilisation after dormancy in C. alboguttata is more likely a product of rapidly reversible physiologic mechanisms than reorganisations of the neuromuscular transcriptome.

  7. Cloning, mapping and mutation analysis of human gene GJB5 encoding gap junction protein b-5

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XIA; Jiahui; (夏家辉); ZHENG; Duo; (郑多),; TANG; Dongsheng; (唐冬生); DAI; Heping; (戴和平); PAN; Qian; (潘乾); LONG; Zhigao; (龙志高); LIAO; Xiaodong; (廖晓东)

    2001-01-01

    By homologous EST searching and nested PCR a new human gene GJB5 encoding gap junction protein b-5 was identified. GJB5 was genetically mapped to human chromosome 1p33-p35 by FISH. RT-PCR revealed that it was expressed in skin, placenta and fetal skin. DNA sequencing of GJB5 was carried out in 142 patients with sensorineural hearing impairment and probands of 36 families with genetic diseases, including erythrokeratodermia (5 families), Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (13), ptosis (4), and retinitis pigmentosa and deafness (14). Two missense mutations (686A→G, H229R; 25C→T, L9F) were detected in two sensorineural hearing impairment families. A heterologous deletion of 18 bp within intron was found in 3 families with heredity hearing impairment, and in one of the 3 families, a missense mutation (R265P) was identified also. But the deletion and missense mutation seemed not segregating with hearing impairment in the family. No abnormal mRNA or mRNA expression was detected in deletion carriers by RT-PCR analysis in skin tissue. Mutation analysis in 199 unaffected individuals revealed that two of them were carriers with the same 18 bp deletion.

  8. Cloning, mapping and mutation analysis of human gene GJB5 encoding gap junction protein b-5

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    By homologous EST searching and nested PCR a new human gene GJB5encoding gap junction protein b-5 was identified. GJB5 was genetically mapped to human chromosome 1p33-p35 by FISH. RT-PCR revealed that it was expressed in skin, placenta and fetal skin. DNA sequencing of GJB5 was carried out in 142 patients with sensorineural hearing impairment and probands of 36 families with genetic diseases, including erythrokeratodermia (5 families), Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (13), ptosis (4), and retinitis pigmentosa and deafness (14). Two missense mutations (686A→G, H229R; 25C→T, L9F) were detected in two sensorineural hearing impairment families. A heterologous deletion of 18 bp within intron was found in 3 families with heredity hearing impairment, and in one of the 3 families, a missense mutation (R265P) was identified also. But the deletion and missense mutation seemed not segregating with hearing impairment in the family. No abnormal mRNA or mRNA expression was detected in deletion carriers by RT-PCR analysis in skin tissue. Mutation analysis in 199 unaffected individuals revealed that two of them were carriers with the same 18 bp deletion.

  9. Loss of functional endothelial connexin40 results in exercise-induced hypertension in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, Susan K; Chaston, Daniel J; Howitt, Lauren; Heisler, Jillian; Nicholson, Bruce J; Fairweather, Stephen; Bröer, Stefan; Ashton, Anthony W; Matthaei, Klaus I; Hill, Caryl E

    2015-03-01

    During activity, coordinated vasodilation of microcirculatory networks with upstream supply vessels increases blood flow to skeletal and cardiac muscles and reduces peripheral resistance. Endothelial dysfunction in humans attenuates activity-dependent vasodilation, resulting in exercise-induced hypertension in otherwise normotensive individuals. Underpinning activity-dependent hyperemia is an ascending vasodilation in which the endothelial gap junction protein, connexin (Cx)40, plays an essential role. Because exercise-induced hypertension is proposed as a forerunner to clinical hypertension, we hypothesized that endothelial disruption of Cx40 function in mice may create an animal model of this condition. To this end, we created mice in which a mutant Cx40T152A was expressed alongside wildtype Cx40 selectively in the endothelium. Expression of the Cx40T152A transgene in Xenopus oocytes and mouse coronary endothelial cells in vitro impaired both electric and chemical conductance and acted as a dominant-negative against wildtype Cx40, Cx43, and Cx45, but not Cx37. Endothelial expression of Cx40T152A in Cx40T152ATg mice attenuated ascending vasodilation, without effect on radial coupling through myoendothelial gap junctions. Using radiotelemetry, Cx40T152ATg mice showed an activity-dependent increase in blood pressure, which was significantly greater than in wildtype mice, but significantly less than in chronically hypertensive, Cx40knockout mice. The increase in heart rate with activity was also greater than in wildtype or Cx40knockout mice. We conclude that the endothelial Cx40T152A mutation attenuates activity-dependent vasodilation, producing a model of exercise-induced hypertension. These data highlight the importance of endothelial coupling through Cx40 in regulating blood pressure during activity.

  10. Viral regulation of aquaporin 4, connexin 43, microcephalin and nucleolin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatemi, S Hossein; Folsom, Timothy D; Reutiman, Teri J; Sidwell, Robert W

    2008-01-01

    The current study investigated whether human influenza viral infection in midpregnancy leads to alterations in proteins involved in brain development. Human influenza viral infection was administered to E9 pregnant Balb/c mice. Brains of control and virally-exposed littermates were subjected to microarray analysis, SDS-PAGE and western blotting at three postnatal stages. Microarray analysis of virally-exposed mouse brains showed significant, two-fold change in expression of multiple genes in both neocortex and cerebellum when compared to sham-infected controls. Levels of mRNA and protein levels of four selected genes were examined in brains of exposed mice. Nucleolin mRNA was significantly decreased in day 0 and day 35 neocortex and significantly increased in day 35 cerebellum. Protein levels were significantly upregulated at days 35 and 56 in neocortex and at day 56 in cerebellum. Connexin 43 protein levels were significantly decreased at day 56 in neocortex. Aquaporin 4 mRNA was significantly decreased in day 0 neocortex. Aquaporin 4 protein levels decreased in neocortex significantly at day 35. Finally, microcephalin mRNA was significantly decreased in day 56 neocortex and protein levels were significantly decreased at 56 cerebellum. These data suggest that influenza viral infection in midpregnancy in mice leads to long-term changes in brain markers for enhanced ribosome genesis (nucleolin), increased production of immature neurons (microcephalin), and abnormal glial-neuronal communication and neuron migration (connexin 43 and aquaporin 4).

  11. 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.

  12. Interleukin-6, desmosome and tight junction protein expression levels in reflux esophagitis-affected mucosa

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Fei-Yue Li; Yan Li

    2009-01-01

    AIM: To investigate the correlation between the expression levels of interleukin (IL)-6 and proteins in tight junctions (TJs) in the esophageal mucosa of rats modeling different types of reflux esophagitis (RE), and the ability of aluminum phosphate to protect against RE-induced mucosal damage via these proteins. METHODS: Male SPF Wistar rats aged 56 d were divided randomly into acid RE, alkaline RE, mixed RE, and control groups. Various surgical procedures were performed to establish rat models of acid RE. At 14 d after the procedure, some of the rats started aluminum phosphate treatment. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used to observe the morphological features of TJs and desmosomes in the esophageal epithelium. Immunohistochemical methods and Western blotting were used to measure expression of claudin 1, occludin, ZO-1, JAM-1, DSG-1 and IL-6; reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RTPCR) was used to measure expression of mRNA of claudin 1, occludin, ZO-1, JAM-1, DSG-1 and IL-6. RESULTS: At day 14 after the procedures, an RE model was established in all subsequently sacrificed rats of groups A, B and C. By both gross and microscopic observation, the mucosa was damaged and thickened as the disease progressed. With TEM observation, a widened intercellular space was noticed, with significantly fewer desmosomes. Immunohistochemistry showed significantly higher levels of all proteins in all RE models compared to control rats at 3 d after operation (65.5% ± 25.6% vs 20.5% ± 2.1%, P 0.05, treated vs untreated, respectively). These levels increased in the rat with alkaline RE, and this increase was accompanied by continued hyperplasia in comparison with controls (85.5% ± 25.6% vs 20.5% ± 2.1%, P < 0.05, respectively). Furthermore, the expression of TJ proteins was not correlated significantly with that of IL-6 in this group. CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that TJ proteins are highly expressed as an early molecular event involved in RE

  13. Charged Residues at the First Transmembrane Region Contribute to the Voltage Dependence of the Slow Gate of Connexins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, Bernardo I; García, Isaac E; Pupo, Amaury; Retamal, Mauricio A; Martínez, Agustín D; Latorre, Ramón; González, Carlos

    2016-07-22

    Connexins (Cxs) are a family of membrane-spanning proteins that form gap junction channels and hemichannels. Connexin-based channels exhibit two distinct voltage-dependent gating mechanisms termed slow and fast gating. Residues located at the C terminus of the first transmembrane segment (TM-1) are important structural components of the slow gate. Here, we determined the role of the charged residues at the end of TM-1 in voltage sensing in Cx26, Cx46, and Cx50. Conductance/voltage curves obtained from tail currents together with kinetics analysis reveal that the fast and slow gates of Cx26 involves the movement of two and four charges across the electric field, respectively. Primary sequence alignment of different Cxs shows the presence of well conserved glutamate residues in the C terminus of TM-1; only Cx26 contains a lysine in that position (lysine 41). Neutralization of lysine 41 in Cx26 increases the voltage dependence of the slow gate. Swapping of lysine 41 with glutamate 42 maintains the voltage dependence. In Cx46, neutralization of negative charges or addition of a positive charge in the Cx26 equivalent region reduced the slow gate voltage dependence. In Cx50, the addition of a glutamate in the same region decreased the voltage dependence, and the neutralization of a negative charge increased it. These results indicate that the charges at the end of TM-1 are part of the slow gate voltage sensor in Cxs. The fact that Cx42, which has no charge in this region, still presents voltage-dependent slow gating suggests that charges still unidentified also contribute to the slow gate voltage sensitivity.

  14. Higher Incidence of Lung Adenocarcinomas Induced by DMBA in Connexin 43 Heterozygous Knockout Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krishna Duro de Oliveira

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Gap junctions are communicating junctions which are important for tissue homeostasis, and their disruption is involved in carcinogenic processes. This study aimed to verify the influence of deletion of one allele of the Connexin 43 gene on cancer incidence in different organs. The 7, 12-dimethylbenzanthracene (DMBA carcinogenic model, using hebdomadary doses by gavage of 9 mg per animal, was used to induce tumors in Connexin 43 heterozygous or wild-type mice. The experiment began in the eighth week of the mice life, and all of them were euthanized when reaching inadequate physical condition, or at the end of 53 weeks. No statistical differences occurred for weight gain and cancer survival time (P=0.9853 between heterozygous and wild-type mice. Cx43+/− mice presented significantly higher susceptibility to lung cancer (P=0.0200 which was not evidenced for benign neoplasms (P=0.3449. In addition, incidence of ovarian neoplasms was 2.5-fold higher in Cx43+/− mice, although not statistically significant. Other organs showed a very similar cancer occurrence between Cx43 groups. The experiment strengthens the evidence of the relationship between Connexin 43 deficiency and carcinogenesis.

  15. Data of the molecular dynamics simulations of mutations in the human connexin46 docking interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schadzek, Patrik; Schlingmann, Barbara; Schaarschmidt, Frank; Lindner, Julia; Koval, Michael; Heisterkamp, Alexander; Ngezahayo, Anaclet; Preller, Matthias

    2016-06-01

    The structure of hCx26 derived from the X-ray analysis was used to generate a homology model for hCx46. Interacting connexin molecules were used as starting model for the molecular dynamics (MD) simulation using NAMD and allowed us to predict the dynamic behavior of hCx46wt and the cataract related mutant hCx46N188T as well as two artificial mutants hCx46N188Q and hCx46N188D. Within the 50 ns simulation time the docked complex composed of the mutants dissociate while hCx46wt remains stable. The data indicates that one hCx46 molecule forms 5-7 hydrogen bonds (HBs) with the counterpart connexin of the opposing connexon. These HBs appear essential for a stable docking of the connexons as shown by the simulation of an entire gap junction channel and were lost for all the tested mutants. The data described here are related to the research article entitled "The cataract related mutation N188T in human connexin46 (hCx46) revealed a critical role for residue N188 in the docking process of gap junction channels" (Schadzek et al., 2015) [1].

  16. Analysis of the distribution and expression of claudin-1 tight junction protein in the oral cavity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouban, Abderrahman; Ahmed, Atif

    2015-07-01

    Claudins are the main sealing proteins of the intercellular tight junctions and play an important role in cancer cell progression and dissemination. The authors have previously shown that overexpression of claudin-1 is associated with angiolymphatic and perineural invasion, consistent with aggressive tumor behavior and with advanced stage disease in oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCCs). Our goal in this study was to examine claudin-1 expression in a tissue microarray of OSCCs taken from multiple sites within the oral cavity. This study examined and compared the expression of claudin-1 by immunohistochemistry in 60 tissue samples (49 OSCCs and 10 cases of non-neoplastic tissue, single core per case) were analyzed for claudin-1 expression by immunohistochemistry. The tumors included SCCs from the tongue (n=28), the cheek (n=9), gingival (n=4), lip (n=3), and oral cavity (n=5). Nonmalignant normal oral mucosa from the tongue (unmatched cases, n=2). Cancer adjacent tissue samples were taken from the tongue (n=6), gingival (n=2), and palate (n=1). This study demonstrates the expression of claudin-1 protein across a sample of OSCCs originating from multiple locations in the oral cavity. The highest expression of claudin-1 was observed in well-differentiated OSCCs, whereas poorly differentiated OSCCs exhibited mostly negative staining for claudin-1. In addition, we hereby report differential pattern of expression among tumors of different sites within the oral cavity, and between benign and cancerous samples. Our understanding of the exact function and role of claudin-1 in tumorigenesis is expanding exponentially.

  17. TLR-Activated Gap Junction Channels Protect Mice against Bacterial Infection through Extracellular UDP Release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Juliang; Zhang, Guangxu; Zhang, Xiaoyu; Tan, Binghe; Lv, Zhangsheng; Liu, Mingyao; Ren, Hua; Qian, Min; Du, Bing

    2016-02-15

    Extracellular UDP (eUDP), released as a danger signal by stressed or apoptotic cells, plays an important role in a series of physiological processes. Although the mechanism of eUDP release in apoptotic cells has been well defined, how the eUDP is released in innate immune responses remains unknown. In this study, we demonstrated that UDP was released in both Escherichia coli-infected mice and LPS- or Pam3CSK4-treated macrophages. Also, LPS-induced UDP release could be significantly blocked by selective TLR4 inhibitor Atractylenolide I and selective gap junction inhibitors carbenoxolone and flufenamic acid (FFA), suggesting the key role of TLR signaling and gap junction channels in this process. Meanwhile, eUDP protected mice from peritonitis by reducing invaded bacteria that could be rescued by MRS2578 (selective P2Y6 receptor inhibitor) and FFA. Then, connexin 43, as one of the gap junction proteins, was found to be clearly increased by LPS in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Furthermore, if we blocked LPS-induced ERK signaling by U0126, the expression of connexin 43 and UDP release was also inhibited dramatically. In addition, UDP-induced MCP-1 secretion was significantly reduced by MRS2578, FFA, and P2Y6 mutation. Accordingly, pretreating mice with U0126 and Gap26 increased invaded bacteria and aggravated mice death. Taken together, our study reveals an internal relationship between danger signals and TLR signaling in innate immune responses, which suggests a potential therapeutic significance of gap junction channel-mediated UDP release in infectious diseases. Copyright © 2016 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.

  18. Volatile Anesthetics Influence Blood-Brain Barrier Integrity by Modulation of Tight Junction Protein Expression in Traumatic Brain Injury

    OpenAIRE

    Thal, Serge C.; Clara Luh; Eva-Verena Schaible; Ralph Timaru-Kast; Jana Hedrich; Luhmann, Heiko J.; Kristin Engelhard; Zehendner, Christoph M.

    2012-01-01

    Disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) results in cerebral edema formation, which is a major cause for high mortalityrnafter traumatic brain injury (TBI). As anesthetic care is mandatory in patients suffering from severe TBI it may be importantrnto elucidate the effect of different anesthetics on cerebral edema formation. Tight junction proteins (TJ) such as zonularnoccludens-1 (ZO-1) and claudin-5 (cl5) play a central role for BBB stability. First, the influence of the volatile anesthet...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavrov, Igor; Fox, Lyle; Shen, Jun; Han, Yingchun; Cheng, Jianguo

    2016-01-01

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. Discovery of a junctional epitope antibody that stabilizes IL-6 and gp80 protein:protein interaction and modulates its downstream signaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Ralph; Burnley, Rebecca J.; Valenzano, Chiara R.; Qureshi, Omar; Doyle, Carl; Lumb, Simon; del Carmen Lopez, Maria; Griffin, Robert; McMillan, David; Taylor, Richard D.; Meier, Chris; Mori, Prashant; Griffin, Laura M.; Wernery, Ulrich; Kinne, Jörg; Rapecki, Stephen; Baker, Terry S.; Lawson, Alastair D. G.; Wright, Michael; Ettorre, Anna

    2017-01-01

    Protein:protein interactions are fundamental in living organism homeostasis. Here we introduce VHH6, a junctional epitope antibody capable of specifically recognizing a neo-epitope when two proteins interact, albeit transiently, to form a complex. Orthogonal biophysical techniques have been used to prove the “junctional epitope” nature of VHH6, a camelid single domain antibody recognizing the IL-6–gp80 complex but not the individual components alone. X-ray crystallography, HDX-MS and SPR analysis confirmed that the CDR regions of VHH6 interact simultaneously with IL-6 and gp80, locking the two proteins together. At the cellular level, VHH6 was able to alter the response of endothelial cells to exogenous IL-6, promoting a sustained STAT3 phosphorylation signal, an accumulation of IL-6 in vesicles and an overall pro-inflammatory phenotype supported further by transcriptomic analysis. Junctional epitope antibodies, like VHH6, not only offer new opportunities in screening and structure-aided drug discovery, but could also be exploited as therapeutics to modulate complex protein:protein interactions. PMID:28134246

  2. Cdc42-dependent Modulation of Tight Junctions and Membrane Protein Traffic in Polarized Madin-Darby Canine Kidney Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rojas, Raul; Ruiz, Wily G.; Leung, Som-Ming; Jou, Tzuu-Shuh; Apodaca, Gerard

    2001-01-01

    Polarized epithelial cells maintain the asymmetric composition of their apical and basolateral membrane domains by at least two different processes. These include the regulated trafficking of macromolecules from the biosynthetic and endocytic pathway to the appropriate membrane domain and the ability of the tight junction to prevent free mixing of membrane domain-specific proteins and lipids. Cdc42, a Rho family GTPase, is known to govern cellular polarity and membrane traffic in several cell types. We examined whether this protein regulated tight junction function in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells and pathways that direct proteins to the apical and basolateral surface of these cells. We used Madin-Darby canine kidney cells that expressed dominant-active or dominant-negative mutants of Cdc42 under the control of a tetracycline-repressible system. Here we report that expression of dominant-active Cdc42V12 or dominant-negative Cdc42N17 altered tight junction function. Expression of Cdc42V12 slowed endocytic and biosynthetic traffic, and expression of Cdc42N17 slowed apical endocytosis and basolateral to apical transcytosis but stimulated biosynthetic traffic. These results indicate that Cdc42 may modulate multiple cellular pathways required for the maintenance of epithelial cell polarity. PMID:11514615

  3. Biochemical requirements for inhibition of Connexin26-containing channels by natural and synthetic taurine analogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Liang; Harris, Andrew L

    2004-09-10

    Previous work has shown that protonated taurine and aminosulfonate pH buffers, including HEPES, can directly and reversibly inhibit connexin channels that contain connexin26 (Cx26) (Bevans, C. G., and Harris, A. L. (1999) J. Biol. Chem. 274, 3711-3719). The structural requirements for this inhibition were explored by studies of the effects of structural analogs of taurine on the activity of Cx26-containing reconstituted hemichannels from native tissue. Several analogs inhibited the channels, with a range of relative affinities and efficacies. Each active compound contains a protonated amine separated from an ionized sulfonate or sulfinate moiety by several methylene groups. The inhibition is eliminated if the sulfonate/sulfinate moiety or the amine is not present. Compounds that contain a protonated amine but lack a sulfonate/sulfinate moiety do not inhibit but do competitively block the effect of the active compounds. Compounds that lack the protonated amine do not significantly inhibit or antagonize inhibition. The results suggest involvement of the protonated amine in binding and of the ionized sulfur-containing moiety in effecting the inhibition. The maximal effect of the inhibitory compounds is enhanced when a carboxyl group is linked to the alpha-carbon. Inhibition but not binding is stereospecific, with l-isomers being inhibitory and the corresponding d-isomers being inactive but able to antagonize inhibition by the l-isomers. Whereas not all connexins are sensitive to aminosulfonates, the well defined structural requirements described here argue strongly for a highly specific regulatory interaction with some connexins. The finding that cytoplasmic aminosulfonates inhibit connexin channels whereas other cytoplasmic compounds antagonize the inhibition suggests that gap junction channels are regulated by a complex interplay of cytoplasmic ligands.

  4. Gap junctional protein Cx43 is involved in the communication between extracellular vesicles and mammalian cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soares, Ana Rosa; Martins-Marques, Tania; Ribeiro-Rodrigues, Teresa; Ferreira, Joao Vasco; Catarino, Steve; Pinho, Maria Joao; Zuzarte, Monica; Anjo, Sandra Isabel; Manadas, Bruno; Sluijter, Joost P. G.; Pereira, Paulo; Girao, Henrique

    2015-01-01

    Intercellular communication is vital to ensure tissue and organism homeostasis and can occur directly, between neighbour cells via gap junctions (GJ), or indirectly, at longer distances, through extracellular vesicles, including exosomes. Exosomes, as intercellular carriers of messenger molecules, m

  5. Paracellin-1, a renal tight junction protein required for paracellular Mg2+ resorption

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Simon, DB; Lu, Y; Choate, KA; Velazquez, H; Al-Sabban, E; Praga, M; Casari, C; Bettinelli, A; Colussi, C; Rodriguez-Soriano, J; McCredie, D; Milford, D; Sanjad, S; Lifton, RP

    1999-01-01

    Epithelia permit selective and regulated flux from apical to basolateral surfaces by transcellular passage through cells or paracellular flux between cells. Tight junctions constitute the barrier to paracellular conductance; however, Little is known about the specific molecules that mediate paracell

  6. Pathologic and phenotypic alterations in a mouse expressing a connexin47 missense mutation that causes Pelizaeus-Merzbacher-like disease in humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliver Tress

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Gap junction channels are intercellular conduits that allow diffusional exchange of ions, second messengers, and metabolites. Human oligodendrocytes express the gap junction protein connexin47 (Cx47, which is encoded by the GJC2 gene. The autosomal recessive mutation hCx47M283T causes Pelizaeus-Merzbacher-like disease 1 (PMLD1, a progressive leukodystrophy characterized by hypomyelination, retarded motor development, nystagmus, and spasticity. We introduced the human missense mutation into the orthologous position of the mouse Gjc2 gene and inserted the mCx47M282T coding sequence into the mouse genome via homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells. Three-week-old homozygous Cx47M282T mice displayed impaired rotarod performance but unchanged open-field behavior. 10-15-day-old homozygous Cx47M282T and Cx47 null mice revealed a more than 80% reduction in the number of cells participating in glial networks after biocytin injections into oligodendrocytes in sections of corpus callosum. Homozygous expression of mCx47M282T resulted in reduced MBP expression and astrogliosis in the cerebellum of ten-day-old mice which could also be detected in Cx47 null mice of the same age. Three-month-old homozygous Cx47M282T mice exhibited neither altered open-field behavior nor impaired rotarod performance anymore. Adult mCx47M282T expressing mice did not show substantial myelin alterations, but homozygous Cx47M282T mice, additionally deprived of connexin32, which is also expressed in oligodendrocytes, died within six weeks after birth and displayed severe myelin defects accompanied by astrogliosis and activated microglia. These results strongly suggest that PMLD1 is caused by the loss of Cx47 channel function that results in impaired panglial coupling in white matter tissue.

  7. Connexin mimetic peptides fail to inhibit vascular conducted calcium responses in renal arterioles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Charlotte Mehlin; Salomonsson, Max; Braunstein, Thomas Hartig;

    2008-01-01

    of mimetic peptides directed against one or more connexins. Preglomerular resistance vessels were microdissected from kidneys of Sprague-Dawley rats and loaded with fura 2. The vessels were stimulated locally by applying electrical current through a micropipette, and the conducted calcium response...... was measured 500 mum from the site of stimulation. Application of connexin mimetic peptides directed against Cx40, 37/43, 45, or a cocktail with equimolar amounts of each, did not inhibit the propagated response, whereas the nonselective gap junction uncoupler carbenoxolone completely abolished the propagated...... mimetic peptides directed against Cx40, 37/43, or 45. Further studies are needed to determine whether conducted vasoconstriction is mediated via previously undescribed pathways....

  8. Asymmetric expression of connexins between luminal epithelial- and myoepithelial- cells is essential for contractile function of the mammary gland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mroue, Rana; Inman, Jamie; Mott, Joni; Budunova, Irina; Bissell, Mina J

    2015-03-01

    Intercellular communication is essential for glandular functions and tissue homeostasis. Gap junctions couple cells homotypically and heterotypically and co-ordinate reciprocal responses between the different cell types. Connexins (Cxs) are the main mammalian gap junction proteins, and the distribution of some Cx subtypes in the heterotypic gap junctions is not symmetrical; in the murine mammary gland, Cx26, Cx30 and Cx32 are expressed only in the luminal epithelial cells and Cx43 is expressed only in myoepithelial cells. Expression of all four Cxs peaks during late pregnancy and throughout lactation suggesting essential roles for these proteins in the functional secretory activity of the gland. Transgenic (Tg) mice over-expressing Cx26 driven by keratin 5 promoter had an unexpected mammary phenotype: the mothers were unable to feed their pups to weaning age leading to litter starvation and demise in early to mid-lactation. The mammary gland of K5-Cx26 female mice developed normally and produced normal levels of milk protein, suggesting a defect in delivery rather than milk production. Because the mammary gland of K5-Cx26 mothers contained excessive milk, we hypothesized that the defect may be in an inability to eject the milk. Using ex vivo three-dimensional mammary organoid cultures, we showed that tissues isolated from wild-type FVB females contracted upon treatment with oxytocin, whereas, organoids from Tg mice failed to do so. Unexpectedly, we found that ectopic expression of Cx26 in myoepithelial cells altered the expression of endogenous Cx43 resulting in impaired gap junction communication, demonstrated by defective dye coupling in mammary epithelial cells of Tg mice. Inhibition of gap junction communication or knock-down of Cx43 in organoids from wild-type mice impaired contraction in response to oxytocin, recapitulating the observations from the mammary glands of Tg mice. We conclude that Cx26 acts as a trans-dominant negative for Cx43 function in

  9. The tight junction protein ZO-2 and Janus kinase 1 mediate intercellular communications in vascular smooth muscle cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tkachuk, Natalia; Tkachuk, Sergey; Patecki, Margret [Department of Nephrology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover D-30625 (Germany); Kusch, Angelika [Department of Nephrology and Intensive Care Medicine, Charite Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Berlin D-13353 (Germany); Korenbaum, Elena; Haller, Hermann [Department of Nephrology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover D-30625 (Germany); Dumler, Inna, E-mail: dumler.inna@mh-hannover.de [Department of Nephrology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover D-30625 (Germany)

    2011-07-08

    Highlights: {yields} The tight junction protein ZO-2 associates with Jak1 in vascular smooth muscle cells via ZO-2 N-terminal fragment. {yields} Jak1 mediates ZO-2 tyrosine phosphorylation and ZO-2 localization to the sites of homotypic intercellular contacts. {yields} The urokinase receptor uPAR regulates ZO-2/Jak1 functional association. {yields} The ZO-2/Jak1/uPAR signaling complex is required for vascular smooth muscle cells functional network formation. -- Abstract: Recent evidence points to a multifunctional role of ZO-2, the tight junction protein of the MAGUK (membrane-associated guanylate kinase-like) family. Though ZO-2 has been found in cell types lacking tight junction structures, such as vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), little is known about ZO-2 function in these cells. We provide evidence that ZO-2 mediates specific homotypic cell-to-cell contacts between VSMC. Using mass spectrometry we found that ZO-2 is associated with the non-receptor tyrosine kinase Jak1. By generating specific ZO-2 constructs we further found that the N-terminal fragment of ZO-2 molecule is responsible for this interaction. Adenovirus-based expression of Jak1 inactive mutant demonstrated that Jak1 mediates ZO-2 tyrosine phosphorylation. By means of RNA silencing, expression of Jak1 mutant form and fluorescently labeled ZO-2 fusion protein we further specified that active Jak1, but not Jak1 inactive mutant, mediates ZO-2 localization to the sites of intercellular contacts. We identified the urokinase receptor uPAR as a pre-requisite for these cellular events. Functional requirement of the revealed signaling complex for VSMC network formation was confirmed in experiments using Matrigel and in contraction assay. Our findings imply involvement of the ZO-2 tight junction independent signaling complex containing Jak1 and uPAR in VSMC intercellular communications. This mechanism may contribute to vascular remodeling in occlusive cardiovascular diseases and in arteriogenesis.

  10. Role of connexins and pannexins in cardiovascular physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meens, Merlijn J; Kwak, Brenda R; Duffy, Heather S

    2015-08-01

    Connexins and pannexins form connexons, pannexons and membrane channels, which are critically involved in many aspects of cardiovascular physiology. For that reason, a vast number of studies have addressed the role of connexins and pannexins in the arterial and venous systems as well as in the heart. Moreover, a role for connexins in lymphatics has recently also been suggested. This review provides an overview of the current knowledge regarding the involvement of connexins and pannexins in cardiovascular physiology.

  11. Cochlear implantation effect on deaf children with gap junction protein beta 2 gene mutation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    KONG Ying; LIU Sha; WANG Su-ju; Li Shu-jing; LIANG Shuang

    2013-01-01

    Background The popularization and promotion of gene diagnosis technology makes it possible to detect deafness genes for children with congenital hearing impairment,and the proportion of gap junction protein beta 2 (GJB2) gene mutations in cochlear implant patients is 26.5% We did follow-up evaluation on auditory rehabilitation effect for all 31 deaf children with GJB2 gene mutation after cochlear implantation to provide a reference for such patients.Methods Application of “the genetic deafness gene chip detection kit” and “gene complete sequence analysis” were applied to conduct detection on common genetic deafness gene mutation hotspots of the hearing impaired children with cochlear implantation.To conduct auditory rehabilitation effect evaluation on all 31 cases of patients with GJB2 genetic deafness after 3,6 and 12 months of the operation respectively.The single factor repeated measure analysis of variance (ANOVA) was applied to analysis whether there were significant difference among the results of initial consonant of a Chinese syllable recognition at 3 different stages after the operation,the results of vowel of a Chinese syllable recognition at 3 different stages after the operation,and the results of two-syllable recognition at 3 different stages after the operation.Results The 235delC is the high-incidence mutational site in 31 cases of patients with GJB2 genetic deafness,and the total detection rate is up to 90.3% (28/31).There were significant differences in the initial consonant and the vowel of a Chinese syllable recognition rate,and the two-syllable recognition rates at 3,6,and 12 months after the operation (P<0.01).Conclusion Cochlear implantation is a safe and effective measure for auditory reconstruction,enabling patients with GJB2 hereditary severe sensorineural deafness to achieve auditory speech recognition effectively.

  12. The tight junction protein JAM-A functions as coreceptor for rotavirus entry into MA104 cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Flores, Jesús M; Silva-Ayala, Daniela; Espinoza, Marco A; López, Susana; Arias, Carlos F

    2015-01-15

    Several molecules have been identified as receptors or coreceptors for rotavirus infection, including glycans, integrins, and hsc70. In this work we report that the tight junction proteins JAM-A, occludin, and ZO-1 play an important role during rotavirus entry into MA104 cells. JAM-A was found to function as coreceptor for rotavirus strains RRV, Wa, and UK, but not for rotavirus YM. Reassortant viruses derived from rotaviruses RRV and YM showed that the virus spike protein VP4 determines the use of JAM-A as coreceptor.

  13. Depression of Intraocular Pressure Following Inactivation of Connexin43 in the Nonpigmented Epithelium of the Ciliary Body

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calera, Mónica R.; Wang, Zhao; Sanchez-Olea, Roberto; Paul, David L.; Civan, Mortimer M.; Goodenough, Daniel A.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose Conditional inactivation of connexin43 (Cx43) in the pigmented epithelium of the mouse eye results in a reduction in aqueous humor production and complete loss of the vitreous chamber. It was proposed that gap junctions between pigmented and nonpigmented epithelia of the ciliary body are critical for the production of the aqueous humor. To form such junctions, Cx43 in the pigmented epithelium must interact with connexin(s) present in the adjacent cells of the nonpigmented epithelium. The importance of Cx43 expression in the nonpigmented epithelium for the establishment of gap junctions and the regulation of intraocular pressure was tested. Methods To inactivate Cx43 in the nonpigmented epithelium of the mouse eye, a mouse line was crossed with a floxed Cx43 locus (Cx43flox/flox) and a transgenic mouse line expressing cre recombinase under the control of the Pax6α promoter. General eye structure was evaluated by light microscopy, gap junctions were analyzed by electron microscopy, and intraocular pressure was directly assessed with micropipettes. Results In Pax6α-cre/Cx43flox/flox mice, Cx43 was partially inactivated in the nonpigmented epithelium of the ciliary body and iris. Animals developed dilatations between the pigmented and nonpigmented epithelia and displayed a significant reduction in intraocular pressure. However, gap junctions between the ciliary epithelial layers were decreased but not eliminated. Conclusions Cx43 expression in the nonpigmented epithelium of the ciliary body contributes to the formation of gap junctions with the cells of the pigmented epithelium. These gap junctions play a critical role in maintaining the physical integrity of the ciliary body epithelium. Although the partial loss of Cx43 from the nonpigmented epithelium was correlated with a measurable drop in intraocular pressure, possible changes in Cx43 in the aqueous outflow pathway may provide an additional contribution to the observed phenotype. PMID:19168903

  14. Adenovirus-mediated delivery of bFGF small interfering RNA increases levels of connexin 43 in the glioma cell line, U251

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Hongsheng

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background bFGF is an important growth factor for glioma cell proliferation and invasion, while connexin 43 is implicated in the suppression of glioma growth. Correspondingly, gliomas have been shown to have reduced, or compromised, connexin 43 expression. Methods In this study, a bFGF-targeted siRNA was delivered to the glioma cell line, U251, using adenovirus (Ad-bFGF-siRNA and the expression of connexin 43 and its phosphorylation state were evaluated. U251 cells were infected with Ad-bFGF-siRNA (100, 50, or 25 MOI, and infection with adenovirus expressing green fluorescent protein (Ad-GFP at 100 MOI served as a control. Western blotting and immunofluorescence were used to detect the expression levels, phosphorylation, and localization of connexin 43 in U251 cells infected, and not infected, with Ad-bFGF-siRNA. Results Significantly higher levels of connexin 43 were detected in U251 cells infected with Ad-bFGF-siRNA at 100 and 50 MOI than in cells infected with Ad-GFP, and the same amount of connexin 43 was detected in Ad-GFP-infected and uninfected U251 cells. Connexin 43 phosphorylation did not differ between Ad-bFGF-siRNA-infected and uninfected U251 cells. However, the ratio of phosphorylated to unphosphorylated connexin 43 in Ad-bFGF-siRNA cells was lower, and connexin 43 was predominantly localized to the cytoplasm. Using a scrape loading dye transfer assay, more Lucifer Yellow was transferred to neighboring cells in the Ad-bFGF-siRNA treated group than in the control group. Conclusion To our knowledge, this is the first description of a role for connexin 43 in the inhibition of U251 growth using Ad-bFGF-siRNA.

  15. Adenovirus-mediated delivery of bFGF small interfering RNA increases levels of connexin 43 in the glioma cell line, U251.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Biao; Feng, Xuequan; Wang, Jinhuan; Xu, Xinnu; Liu, Hongsheng; Lin, Na

    2010-01-14

    bFGF is an important growth factor for glioma cell proliferation and invasion, while connexin 43 is implicated in the suppression of glioma growth. Correspondingly, gliomas have been shown to have reduced, or compromised, connexin 43 expression. In this study, a bFGF-targeted siRNA was delivered to the glioma cell line, U251, using adenovirus (Ad-bFGF-siRNA) and the expression of connexin 43 and its phosphorylation state were evaluated. U251 cells were infected with Ad-bFGF-siRNA (100, 50, or 25 MOI), and infection with adenovirus expressing green fluorescent protein (Ad-GFP) at 100 MOI served as a control. Western blotting and immunofluorescence were used to detect the expression levels, phosphorylation, and localization of connexin 43 in U251 cells infected, and not infected, with Ad-bFGF-siRNA. Significantly higher levels of connexin 43 were detected in U251 cells infected with Ad-bFGF-siRNA at 100 and 50 MOI than in cells infected with Ad-GFP, and the same amount of connexin 43 was detected in Ad-GFP-infected and uninfected U251 cells. Connexin 43 phosphorylation did not differ between Ad-bFGF-siRNA-infected and uninfected U251 cells. However, the ratio of phosphorylated to unphosphorylated connexin 43 in Ad-bFGF-siRNA cells was lower, and connexin 43 was predominantly localized to the cytoplasm. Using a scrape loading dye transfer assay, more Lucifer Yellow was transferred to neighboring cells in the Ad-bFGF-siRNA treated group than in the control group. To our knowledge, this is the first description of a role for connexin 43 in the inhibition of U251 growth using Ad-bFGF-siRNA.

  16. Ischemic preconditioning preserves connexin 43 phosphorylation during sustained ischemia in pig hearts in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, Rainer; Gres, Petra; Skyschally, Andreas; Duschin, Alexej; Belosjorow, Sergej; Konietzka, Ina; Heusch, Gerd

    2003-07-01

    During myocardial ischemia, connexin 43 (Cx43) is dephosphorylated in vitro, and the subsequent opening of gap junctions formed by two opposing Cx43 hexamers was suggested to propagate ischemia/reperfusion injury. Reduction of infarct size (IS) by ischemic preconditioning (IP) involves activation of protein kinase C (PKC) and p38 mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK), both of which can phosphorylate Cx43. We now studied in anesthetized pigs whether IP impacts on Cx43 phosphorylation by measuring the density of non-phosphorylated and total Cx43 (confocal laser) during normoperfusion and 90-min ischemia in non-preconditioned and preconditioned hearts. Co-localization of PKCalpha, p38MAPKalpha, and p38MAPKbeta with Cx43 and the activity of p38MAPK were assessed. IP by 10 min ischemia and 15 min reperfusion reduced IS. Non-phosphorylated Cx43 remained unchanged during ischemia in preconditioned hearts, while it increased from 35+/-3 to 75+/-8 AU (P<0.05) in non-preconditioned hearts. Co-localization of PKCalpha, p38MAPKalpha, and p38MAPKbeta with Cx43 during ischemia increased only in preconditioned hearts. While the ischemia-induced increase in p38MAPKalpha activity was comparable in preconditioned and non-preconditioned hearts, p38MAPKbeta activity was increased only in preconditioned hearts. Blockade of p38MAPK by SB203580 attenuated the IS-reduction and the increased p38MAPK-Cx43 co-localization by IP. We conclude that IP increases co-localization of protein kinases with Cx43 and preserves phosphorylation of Cx43 during ischemia.

  17. Expression and function of connexin 43 in human gingival wound healing and fibroblasts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rana Tarzemany

    Full Text Available Connexins (C×s are a family of transmembrane proteins that form hemichannels and gap junctions (GJs on the cell membranes, and transfer small signaling molecules between the cytoplasm and extracellular space and between connecting cells, respectively. Among C×s, suppressing C×43 expression or function promotes skin wound closure and granulation tissue formation, and may alleviate scarring, but the mechanisms are not well understood. Oral mucosal gingiva is characterized by faster wound closure and scarless wound healing outcome as compared to skin wounds. Therefore, we hypothesized that C×43 function is down regulated during human gingival wound healing, which in fibroblasts promotes expression of genes conducive for fast and scarless wound healing. Cultured gingival fibroblasts expressed C×43 as their major connexin. Immunostaining of unwounded human gingiva showed that C×43 was abundantly present in the epithelium, and in connective tissue formed large C×43 plaques in fibroblasts. At the early stages of wound healing, C×43 was strongly down regulated in wound epithelial cells and fibroblasts, returning to the level of normal tissue by day 60 post-wounding. Blocking of C×43 function by C×43 mimetic peptide Gap27 suppressed GJ-mediated dye transfer, promoted migration, and caused significant changes in the expression of wound healing-associated genes in gingival fibroblasts. In particular, out of 54 genes analyzed, several MMPs and TGF-β1, involved in regulation of inflammation and extracellular matrix (ECM turnover, and VEGF-A, involved in angiogenesis, were significantly upregulated while pro-fibrotic ECM molecules, including Collagen type I, and cell contractility-related molecules were significantly down regulated. These responses involved MAPK, GSK3α/β and TGF-β signaling pathways, and AP1 and SP1 transcription factors. Thus, suppressed function of C×43 in fibroblasts promotes their migration, and regulates expression of

  18. Glucocorticoids upregulates transepithelial electrical resistance and expression of tight junction-related protein in human trabecular meshwork cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHUO Ye-hong; HUANG Ya-lin; WEI Yan-tao; LING Yun-lan; LIN Ming-kai; GE Jian

    2005-01-01

    @@ The trabecular meshwork is located at the anterior chamber angle, and is the main route for the outflow of aqueous humor. It is composed of perforated sheets of collagen and elastic tissue covered by trabecular meshwork (TM) cells, forming a filter with decreasing pore size as the canal of Schlemm is approached. TM cells have some endothelial properties, such as the presence of intercellular junctional complexes, particularly tight junctions (TJs). TJs form paracellular seals between adjacent cells and act as fences that segregate protein (and partially lipid) components of the apical and basolateral plasma membrane domains. Under the electron microscope, TJs appear as a series of discrete contacts between the lateral membranes of adjacent cells.

  19. Enhanced Protein Production in Escherichia coli by Optimization of Cloning Scars at the Vector-Coding Sequence Junction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mirzadeh, Kiavash; Martinez, Virginia; Toddo, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    Protein production in Escherichia coli is a fundamental activity for a large fraction of academic, pharmaceutical, and industrial research laboratories. Maximum production is usually sought, as this reduces costs and facilitates downstream purification steps. Frustratingly, many coding sequences...... are poorly expressed even when they are codon-optimized and expressed from vectors with powerful genetic elements. In this study, we show that poor expression can be caused by certain nucleotide sequences (e.g., cloning scars) at the junction between the vector and the coding sequence. Since these sequences...... lie between the Shine-Dalgarno sequence and the start codon, they are an integral part of the translation initiation region. To identify the most optimal sequences, we devised a simple and inexpensive PCR-based step that generates sequence variants at the vector-coding sequence junction...

  20. Neural progenitor cells isolated from the subventricular zone present hemichannel activity and form functional gap junctions with glial cells

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    Rocío eTalaverón

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The postnatal subventricular zone lining the walls of the lateral ventricles contains neural progenitor cells (NPCs that generate new olfactory bulb interneurons. Communication via gap junctions between cells in the subventricular zone is involved in NPC proliferation and in neuroblast migration towards the olfactory bulb. Subventricular zone NPCs can be expanded in vitro in the form of neurospheres that can be used for transplantation purposes after brain injury. We have previously reported that neurosphere-derived NPCs form heterocellular gap junctions with host glial cells when they are implanted after mechanical injury. To analyze functionality of NPC-glial cell gap junctions we performed dye coupling experiments in co-cultures of subventricular zone NPCs with astrocytes or microglia. Neurosphere-derived cells expressed mRNA for at least the hemichannel/gap junction channel proteins connexin 26 (Cx26, Cx43, Cx45 and pannexin 1. Dye coupling experiments revealed that gap junctional communication occurred among neurosphere cells (incidence of coupling: 100%. Moreover, hemichannel activity was also detected in neurosphere cells as evaluated in time-lapse measurements of ethidium bromide uptake. Heterocellular coupling between NPCs and glial cells was evidenced in co-cultures of neurospheres with astrocytes (incidence of coupling: 91.0 ± 4.7% or with microglia (incidence of coupling: 71.9 ± 6.7%. Dye coupling in neurospheres and in co-cultures was inhibited by octanol, a gap junction blocker. Altogether, these results suggest the existence of functional hemichannels and gap junction channels in postnatal subventricular zone neurospheres. In addition, they demonstrate that subventricular zone-derived NPCs can establish functional gap junctions with astrocytes or microglia. Therefore, cell-cell communication via gap junctions and hemichannels with host glial cells might subserve a role in the functional integration of NPCs after implantation in

  1. Neural progenitor cells isolated from the subventricular zone present hemichannel activity and form functional gap junctions with glial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talaverón, Rocío; Fernández, Paola; Escamilla, Rosalba; Pastor, Angel M; Matarredona, Esperanza R; Sáez, Juan C

    2015-01-01

    The postnatal subventricular zone (SVZ) lining the walls of the lateral ventricles contains neural progenitor cells (NPCs) that generate new olfactory bulb interneurons. Communication via gap junctions between cells in the SVZ is involved in NPC proliferation and in neuroblast migration towards the olfactory bulb. SVZ NPCs can be expanded in vitro in the form of neurospheres that can be used for transplantation purposes after brain injury. We have previously reported that neurosphere-derived NPCs form heterocellular gap junctions with host glial cells when they are implanted after mechanical injury. To analyze functionality of NPC-glial cell gap junctions we performed dye coupling experiments in co-cultures of SVZ NPCs with astrocytes or microglia. Neurosphere-derived cells expressed mRNA for at least the hemichannel/gap junction channel proteins connexin 26 (Cx26), Cx43, Cx45 and pannexin 1 (Panx1). Dye coupling experiments revealed that gap junctional communication occurred among neurosphere cells (incidence of coupling: 100%). Moreover, hemichannel activity was also detected in neurosphere cells as evaluated in time-lapse measurements of ethidium bromide uptake. Heterocellular coupling between NPCs and glial cells was evidenced in co-cultures of neurospheres with astrocytes (incidence of coupling: 91.0 ± 4.7%) or with microglia (incidence of coupling: 71.9 ± 6.7%). Dye coupling in neurospheres and in co-cultures was inhibited by octanol, a gap junction blocker. Altogether, these results suggest the existence of functional hemichannels and gap junction channels in postnatal SVZ neurospheres. In addition, they demonstrate that SVZ-derived NPCs can establish functional gap junctions with astrocytes or microglia. Therefore, cell-cell communication via gap junctions and hemichannels with host glial cells might subserve a role in the functional integration of NPCs after implantation in the damaged brain.

  2. Neural progenitor cells isolated from the subventricular zone present hemichannel activity and form functional gap junctions with glial cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talaverón, Rocío; Fernández, Paola; Escamilla, Rosalba; Pastor, Angel M.; Matarredona, Esperanza R.; Sáez, Juan C.

    2015-01-01

    The postnatal subventricular zone (SVZ) lining the walls of the lateral ventricles contains neural progenitor cells (NPCs) that generate new olfactory bulb interneurons. Communication via gap junctions between cells in the SVZ is involved in NPC proliferation and in neuroblast migration towards the olfactory bulb. SVZ NPCs can be expanded in vitro in the form of neurospheres that can be used for transplantation purposes after brain injury. We have previously reported that neurosphere-derived NPCs form heterocellular gap junctions with host glial cells when they are implanted after mechanical injury. To analyze functionality of NPC-glial cell gap junctions we performed dye coupling experiments in co-cultures of SVZ NPCs with astrocytes or microglia. Neurosphere-derived cells expressed mRNA for at least the hemichannel/gap junction channel proteins connexin 26 (Cx26), Cx43, Cx45 and pannexin 1 (Panx1). Dye coupling experiments revealed that gap junctional communication occurred among neurosphere cells (incidence of coupling: 100%). Moreover, hemichannel activity was also detected in neurosphere cells as evaluated in time-lapse measurements of ethidium bromide uptake. Heterocellular coupling between NPCs and glial cells was evidenced in co-cultures of neurospheres with astrocytes (incidence of coupling: 91.0 ± 4.7%) or with microglia (incidence of coupling: 71.9 ± 6.7%). Dye coupling in neurospheres and in co-cultures was inhibited by octanol, a gap junction blocker. Altogether, these results suggest the existence of functional hemichannels and gap junction channels in postnatal SVZ neurospheres. In addition, they demonstrate that SVZ-derived NPCs can establish functional gap junctions with astrocytes or microglia. Therefore, cell-cell communication via gap junctions and hemichannels with host glial cells might subserve a role in the functional integration of NPCs after implantation in the damaged brain. PMID:26528139

  3. Expression of TM4SF10, a Claudin/EMP/PMP22 family cell junction protein, during mouse kidney development and podocyte differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruggeman, Leslie A; Martinka, Scott; Simske, Jeffrey S

    2007-02-01

    Cell junctions in the nephron are highly specialized to perform specific and distinct filtration and reabsorption functions. The mature kidney forms complex cell junctions including slit diaphragms that prevent the passage of serum proteins into the filtrate, and tubule cell junctions that regulate specific paracellular ion reuptake. We have investigated the expression of TM4SF10 (Trans-Membrane tetra(4)-Span Family 10) in mouse kidneys. TM4SF10 is the vertebrate orthologue of Caenorhabditis elegans VAB-9, a tetraspan adherens junction protein in the PMP22/EMP/Claudin family of proteins. We found that TM4SF10 localizes at the basal-most region of podocyte precursors before the capillary loop stage, at some tubule precursors, and at the ureteric bud junction with S-shaped bodies. Overall expression of TM4SF10 peaked at postnatal day 4 and was virtually absent in adult kidneys. The very limited expression of TM4SF10 protein that persisted into adulthood was restricted to a few tubule segments but remained localized to the basal region of lateral membranes. In undifferentiated cultured podocytes, TM4SF10 localized to the perinuclear region and translocated to the cell membrane after Cadherin appearance at cell-cell contacts. TM4SF10 colocalized with ZO1 and p120ctn in undifferentiated confluent podocytes and also colocalized with the tips of actin filaments at cell contacts. Upon differentiation of cultured podocytes, TM4SF10 protein disappeared from cell contacts and expression ceased. These results suggest that TM4SF10 functions during differentiation of podocytes and may participate in the maturation of cell junctions from simple adherens junctions to elaborate slit diaphragms. TM4SF10 may define a new class of Claudin-like proteins that function during junctional development.

  4. 3,5,4′-tri-O-acetylresveratrol Ameliorates Seawater Exposure-Induced Lung Injury by Upregulating Connexin 43 Expression in Lung

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lijie Ma

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of 3,5,4′-tri-O-acetylresveratrol on connexin 43 (Cx43 in acute lung injury (ALI in rats induced by tracheal instillation of artificial seawater. Different doses (50, 150, and 450 mg/kg of 3,5,4′-tri-O-acetylresveratrol were administered orally for 7 days before modeling. Four hours after seawater inhalation, histological changes, contents of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-10, and the expression of Cx43 in lungs were detected. Besides, the gap junction communication in A549 cells and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs challenged by seawater was also evaluated. Histological changes, increased contents of inflammatory factors, upregulation in gene level, and deregulation in protein level of Cx43 in lungs stimulated by seawater were observed. On the other hand, pretreatment with 3,5,4′-tri-O-acetylresveratrol significantly inhibited infiltration of inflammation, development of pulmonary edema, and contents of inflammatory mediators in lungs. Above all, 3,5,4′-tri-O-acetylresveratrol upregulated the expression of Cx43 in both gene and protein levels, and its intermediate metabolite, resveratrol, also enhanced the gap junction communication in the two cell lines. The results of the present study suggested that administration of 3,5,4′-tri-O-acetylresveratrol may be beneficial for treatment of inflammatorycellsin lung.

  5. Connexin43 recruits PTEN and Csk to inhibit c-Src activity in glioma cells and astrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Sánchez, Ana; Jaraíz-Rodríguez, Myriam; Domínguez-Prieto, Marta; Herrero-González, Sandra; Medina, José M.; Tabernero, Arantxa

    2016-01-01

    Connexin43 (Cx43), the major protein forming gap junctions in astrocytes, is reduced in high-grade gliomas, where its ectopic expression exerts important effects, including the inhibition of the proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinase Src (c-Src). In this work we aimed to investigate the mechanism responsible for this effect. The inhibition of c-Src requires phosphorylation at tyrosine 527 mediated by C-terminal Src kinase (Csk) and dephosphorylation at tyrosine 416 mediated by phosphatases, such as phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN). Our results showed that the antiproliferative effect of Cx43 is reduced when Csk and PTEN are silenced in glioma cells, suggesting the involvement of both enzymes. Confocal microscopy and immunoprecipitation assays confirmed that Cx43, in addition to c-Src, binds to PTEN and Csk in glioma cells transfected with Cx43 and in astrocytes. Pull-down assays showed that region 266–283 in Cx43 is sufficient to recruit c-Src, PTEN and Csk and to inhibit the oncogenic activity of c-Src. As a result of c-Src inhibition, PTEN was increased with subsequent inactivation of Akt and reduction of proliferation of human glioblastoma stem cells. We conclude that the recruitment of Csk and PTEN to the region between residues 266 and 283 within the C-terminus of Cx43 leads to c-Src inhibition. PMID:27391443

  6. The Role of Aquaporin and Tight Junction Proteins in the Regulation of Water Movement in Larval Zebrafish (Danio rerio)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwong, Raymond W. M.; Kumai, Yusuke; Perry, Steve F.

    2013-01-01

    Teleost fish living in freshwater are challenged by passive water influx; however the molecular mechanisms regulating water influx in fish are not well understood. The potential involvement of aquaporins (AQP) and epithelial tight junction proteins in the regulation of transcellular and paracellular water movement was investigated in larval zebrafish (Danio rerio). We observed that the half-time for saturation of water influx (Ku) was 4.3±0.9 min, and reached equilibrium at approximately 30 min. These findings suggest a high turnover rate of water between the fish and the environment. Water influx was reduced by the putative AQP inhibitor phloretin (100 or 500 μM). Immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy revealed that AQP1a1 protein was expressed in cells on the yolk sac epithelium. A substantial number of these AQP1a1-positive cells were identified as ionocytes, either H+-ATPase-rich cells or Na+/K+-ATPase-rich cells. AQP1a1 appeared to be expressed predominantly on the basolateral membranes of ionocytes, suggesting its potential involvement in regulating ionocyte volume and/or water flux into the circulation. Additionally, translational gene knockdown of AQP1a1 protein reduced water influx by approximately 30%, further indicating a role for AQP1a1 in facilitating transcellular water uptake. On the other hand, incubation with the Ca2+-chelator EDTA or knockdown of the epithelial tight junction protein claudin-b significantly increased water influx. These findings indicate that the epithelial tight junctions normally act to restrict paracellular water influx. Together, the results of the present study provide direct in vivo evidence that water movement can occur through transcellular routes (via AQP); the paracellular routes may become significant when the paracellular permeability is increased. PMID:23967101

  7. The role of aquaporin and tight junction proteins in the regulation of water movement in larval zebrafish (Danio rerio.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raymond W M Kwong

    Full Text Available Teleost fish living in freshwater are challenged by passive water influx; however the molecular mechanisms regulating water influx in fish are not well understood. The potential involvement of aquaporins (AQP and epithelial tight junction proteins in the regulation of transcellular and paracellular water movement was investigated in larval zebrafish (Danio rerio. We observed that the half-time for saturation of water influx (K(u was 4.3±0.9 min, and reached equilibrium at approximately 30 min. These findings suggest a high turnover rate of water between the fish and the environment. Water influx was reduced by the putative AQP inhibitor phloretin (100 or 500 μM. Immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy revealed that AQP1a1 protein was expressed in cells on the yolk sac epithelium. A substantial number of these AQP1a1-positive cells were identified as ionocytes, either H⁺-ATPase-rich cells or Na⁺/K⁺-ATPase-rich cells. AQP1a1 appeared to be expressed predominantly on the basolateral membranes of ionocytes, suggesting its potential involvement in regulating ionocyte volume and/or water flux into the circulation. Additionally, translational gene knockdown of AQP1a1 protein reduced water influx by approximately 30%, further indicating a role for AQP1a1 in facilitating transcellular water uptake. On the other hand, incubation with the Ca²⁺-chelator EDTA or knockdown of the epithelial tight junction protein claudin-b significantly increased water influx. These findings indicate that the epithelial tight junctions normally act to restrict paracellular water influx. Together, the results of the present study provide direct in vivo evidence that water movement can occur through transcellular routes (via AQP; the paracellular routes may become significant when the paracellular permeability is increased.

  8. Morphology and the expression of connexin 43 and 40 in bundles of transition cells in the adult atrioventricular junction%成人房室交界区过渡细胞束形态学及连接蛋白43和40的表达

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    宋慧芳; 吕华; 范益民; 夏仲年; 阎八一; 高雨仁; 杨桂姣

    2011-01-01

    目的 观察临床上心律失常常见发生部位及射频消融治疗靶点部位--房室交界区和邻近区域的形态学特点及连接蛋白(Cx)43和40的表达,为心律失常发生机制及可能的有效治疗部位提供形态学依据.方法 10例正常成人心脏,选取房室交界区及其邻近部位,常规石蜡包埋,HE、Masson染色,选定目标部位行Cx43、Cx40免疫组织化学染色,并进行图像及统计学分析.结果 峡部、冠状窦口周围和远端、二尖瓣纤维环处及与右房瓣上肌环邻近的中心纤维体等处可见较多过渡细胞束走行,并从不同方向与房室结及结后延伸不同部位相连.过渡细胞组成、排布、心肌纤维走行和相互间的联系有别于普通工作心肌.Cx43、Cx40在过渡细胞束1~4及右房瓣上肌环中分布范围小但集中,而在左房近膜部处的过渡细胞中表达较多;峡部Cx43、Cx40表达较集中.结论 房室交界区及其邻近区域存在双(多)径传导的形态学基础,且与目前常用的射频消融治疗心律失常靶点部位具有对应关系.%Objective To observe the morphological feature and the expression of connexin( Cx )43 and Cx40 in the common arrhythmogenesis and radiofrequenc:y ahlation( RFA ) region, the atrioventricular junction and its surrounding area, in order to provide the morphological basis for understanding the mechanism of arrhythmogenesis and possible sites for therapy.Methods Ten fresh normal adult hearts were used in this study.The specimens containing the atrioventricular node( AVN ) was harvested, embedded in paraffin and sectioned.The sections were stained with HE.Masson staining.Expression of Cx43 and Cx40 was examined by immunohistochemistry and image analysis.Results There were the bundles of transition cells at cavo-tricuspid isthmus, around the opening and distal end of coronary sinus, at the annulus fibrosus of bicuspid valve, and at the central fibrous body( CFB ) near the annulus of right

  9. Benzalkonium chloride suppresses rabbit corneal endothelium intercellular gap junction communication.

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    Zhenhao Zhang

    Full Text Available Gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC plays a critical role in the maintenance of corneal endothelium homeostasis. We determined if benzalkonium chloride (BAK alters GJIC activity in the rabbit corneal endothelium since it is commonly used as a drug preservative in ocular eyedrop preparations even though it can have cytotoxic effects.Thirty-six adult New Zealand albino rabbits were randomly divided into three groups. BAK at 0.01%, 0.05%, and 0.1% was applied twice daily to one eye of each of the rabbits in one of the three groups for seven days. The contralateral untreated eyes were used as controls. Corneal endothelial morphological features were observed by in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM. Immunofluorescent staining resolved changes in gap junction integrity and localization. Western blot analysis and RT-PCR evaluated changes in levels of connexin43 (Cx43 and tight junction zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1 gene and protein expression, respectively. Cx43 and ZO-1 physical interaction was detected by immunoprecipitation (IP. Primary rabbit corneal endothelial cells were cultured in Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium (DMEM containing BAK for 24 hours. The scrape-loading dye transfer technique (SLDT was used to assess GJIC activity.Topical administration of BAK (0.05%, 0.1% dose dependently disrupted corneal endothelial cell morphology, altered Cx43 and ZO-1 distribution and reduced Cx43 expression. BAK also markedly induced increases in Cx43 phosphorylation status concomitant with decreases in the Cx43-ZO-1 protein-protein interaction. These changes were associated with marked declines in GJIC activity.The dose dependent declines in rabbit corneal endothelial GJIC activity induced by BAK are associated with less Cx43-ZO-1 interaction possibly arising from increases in Cx43 phosphorylation and declines in its protein expression. These novel changes provide additional evidence that BAK containing eyedrop preparations should be used with caution to

  10. Autophagy and tight junction proteins in the intestine and intestinal diseases

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    Chien-An A. Hu

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The intestinal epithelium (IE forms an indispensible barrier and interface between the intestinal interstitium and the luminal environment. The IE regulates water, ion and nutrient transport while providing a barrier against toxins, pathogens (bacteria, fungi and virus and antigens. The apical intercellular tight junctions (TJ are responsible for the paracellular barrier function and regulate trans-epithelial flux of ions and solutes between adjacent cells. Increased intestinal permeability caused by defects in the IE TJ barrier is considered an important pathogenic factor for the development of intestinal inflammation, diarrhea and malnutrition in humans and animals. In fact, defects in the IE TJ barrier allow increased antigenic penetration, resulting in an amplified inflammatory response in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD, necrotizing enterocolitis and ischemia-reperfusion injury. Conversely, the beneficial enhancement of the intestinal TJ barrier has been shown to resolve intestinal inflammation and apoptosis in both animal models of IBD and human IBD. Autophagy (self-eating mechanism is an intracellular lysosome-dependent degradation and recycling pathway essential for cell survival and homeostasis. Dysregulated autophagy has been shown to be directly associated with many pathological processes, including IBD. Importantly, the crosstalk between IE TJ and autophagy has been revealed recently. We showed that autophagy enhanced IE TJ barrier function by increasing transepithelial resistance and reducing the paracellular permeability of small solutes and ions, which is, in part, by targeting claudin-2, a cation-selective, pore-forming, transmembrane TJ protein, for lysosome (autophagy-mediated degradation. Interestingly, previous studies have shown that the inflamed intestinal mucosa in patients with active IBD has increased claudin-2 expression. In addition, inflammatory cytokines (for example, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6

  11. Phenotypic variability in gap junction syndromic skin disorders: experience from KID and Clouston syndromes' clinical diagnostics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutkowska-Kaźmierczak, Anna; Niepokój, Katarzyna; Wertheim-Tysarowska, Katarzyna; Giza, Aleksandra; Mordasewicz-Goliszewska, Maria; Bal, Jerzy; Obersztyn, Ewa

    2015-08-01

    Connexins belong to the family of gap junction proteins which enable direct cell-to-cell communication by forming channels in adjacent cells. Mutations in connexin genes cause a variety of human diseases and, in a few cases, result in skin disorders. There are significant differences in the clinical picture of two rare autosomal dominant syndromes: keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness (KID) syndrome and hidrotic ectodermal dysplasia (Clouston syndrome), which are caused by GJB2 and GJB6 mutations, respectively. This is despite the fact that, in both cases, malfunctioning of the same family proteins and some overlapping clinical features (nail dystrophy, hair loss, and palmoplantar keratoderma) is observed. KID syndrome is characterized by progressive vascularizing keratitis, ichthyosiform erythrokeratoderma, and neurosensory hearing loss, whereas Clouston syndrome is characterized by nail dystrophy, hypotrichosis, and palmoplantar keratoderma. The present paper presents a Polish patient with sporadic KID syndrome caused by the mutation of p.Asp50Asn in GJB2. The patient encountered difficulties in obtaining a correct diagnosis. The other case presented is that of a family with Clouston syndrome (caused by p.Gly11Arg mutation in GJB6), who are the first reported patients of Polish origin suffering from this disorder. Phenotype diversity among patients with the same genotypes reported to date is also summarized. The conclusion is that proper diagnosis of these syndromes is still challenging and should always be followed by molecular verification.

  12. Impaired astrocytic gap junction coupling and potassium buffering in a mouse model of tuberous sclerosis complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Lin; Zeng, Ling-Hui; Wong, Michael

    2009-05-01

    Abnormalities in astrocytes occur in the brains of patients with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) and may contribute to the pathogenesis of neurological dysfunction in this disease. Here, we report that knock-out mice with Tsc1 gene inactivation in glia (Tsc1(GFAP)CKO mice) exhibit decreased expression of the astrocytic connexin protein, Cx43, and an associated impairment in gap junction coupling between astrocytes. Correspondingly, hippocampal slices from Tsc1(GFAP)CKO mice have increased extracellular potassium concentration in response to stimulation. This impaired potassium buffering can be attributed to abnormal gap junction coupling, as a gap junction inhibitor elicits an additional increase in potassium concentration in control, but not Tsc1(GFAP)CKO slices. Furthermore, treatment with a mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor reverses the deficient Cx43 expression and impaired potassium buffering. These findings suggest that Tsc1 inactivation in astrocytes causes defects in astrocytic gap junction coupling and potassium clearance, which may contribute to epilepsy in Tsc1(GFAP)CKO mice.

  13. Butyrate Enhances the Intestinal Barrier by Facilitating Tight Junction Assembly via Activation of AMP-Activated Protein Kinase in Caco-2 Cell Monolayers12

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Luying; Li, Zhong-Rong; Green, Robert S.; Holzman, Ian R.; Lin, Jing

    2009-01-01

    Butyrate, one of the SCFA, promotes the development of the intestinal barrier. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the butyrate regulation of the intestinal barrier are unknown. To test the hypothesis that the effect of butyrate on the intestinal barrier is mediated by the regulation of the assembly of tight junctions involving the activation of the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), we determined the effect of butyrate on the intestinal barrier by measuring the transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) and inulin permeability in a Caco-2 cell monolayer model. We further used a calcium switch assay to study the assembly of epithelial tight junctions and determined the effect of butyrate on the assembly of epithelial tight junctions and AMPK activity. We demonstrated that the butyrate treatment increased AMPK activity and accelerated the assembly of tight junctions as shown by the reorganization of tight junction proteins, as well as the development of TER. AMPK activity was also upregulated by butyrate during calcium switch-induced tight junction assembly. Compound C, a specific AMPK inhibitor, inhibited the butyrate-induced activation of AMPK. The facilitating effect of butyrate on the increases in TER in standard culture media, as well as after calcium switch, was abolished by compound C. We conclude that butyrate enhances the intestinal barrier by regulating the assembly of tight junctions. This dynamic process is mediated by the activation of AMPK. These results suggest an intriguing link between SCFA and the intracellular energy sensor for the development of the intestinal barrier. PMID:19625695

  14. Butyrate enhances the intestinal barrier by facilitating tight junction assembly via activation of AMP-activated protein kinase in Caco-2 cell monolayers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Luying; Li, Zhong-Rong; Green, Robert S; Holzman, Ian R; Lin, Jing

    2009-09-01

    Butyrate, one of the SCFA, promotes the development of the intestinal barrier. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the butyrate regulation of the intestinal barrier are unknown. To test the hypothesis that the effect of butyrate on the intestinal barrier is mediated by the regulation of the assembly of tight junctions involving the activation of the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), we determined the effect of butyrate on the intestinal barrier by measuring the transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) and inulin permeability in a Caco-2 cell monolayer model. We further used a calcium switch assay to study the assembly of epithelial tight junctions and determined the effect of butyrate on the assembly of epithelial tight junctions and AMPK activity. We demonstrated that the butyrate treatment increased AMPK activity and accelerated the assembly of tight junctions as shown by the reorganization of tight junction proteins, as well as the development of TER. AMPK activity was also upregulated by butyrate during calcium switch-induced tight junction assembly. Compound C, a specific AMPK inhibitor, inhibited the butyrate-induced activation of AMPK. The facilitating effect of butyrate on the increases in TER in standard culture media, as well as after calcium switch, was abolished by compound C. We conclude that butyrate enhances the intestinal barrier by regulating the assembly of tight junctions. This dynamic process is mediated by the activation of AMPK. These results suggest an intriguing link between SCFA and the intracellular energy sensor for the development of the intestinal barrier.

  15. Mechanism for modulation of gating of connexin26-containing channels by taurine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kieken, Fabien; Tao, Liang; Sorgen, Paul L.; Harris, Andrew L.

    2011-01-01

    The mechanisms of action of endogenous modulatory ligands of connexin channels are largely unknown. Previous work showed that protonated aminosulfonates (AS), notably taurine, directly and reversibly inhibit homomeric and heteromeric channels that contain Cx26, a widely distributed connexin, but not homomeric Cx32 channels. The present study investigated the molecular mechanisms of connexin channel modulation by taurine, using hemichannels and junctional channels composed of Cx26 (homomeric) and Cx26/Cx32 (heteromeric). The addition of a 28–amino acid “tag” to the carboxyl-terminal domain (CT) of Cx26 (Cx26T) eliminated taurine sensitivity of homomeric and heteromeric hemichannels in cells and liposomes. Cleavage of all but four residues of the tag (Cx26Tc) resulted in taurine-induced pore narrowing in homomeric hemichannels, and restored taurine inhibition of heteromeric hemichannels (Cx26Tc/Cx32). Taurine actions on junctional channels were fully consistent with those on hemichannels. Taurine-induced inhibition of Cx26/Cx32T and nontagged Cx26 junctional channels was blocked by extracellular HEPES, a blocker of the taurine transporter, confirming that the taurine-sensitive site of Cx26 is cytoplasmic. Nuclear magnetic resonance of peptides corresponding to Cx26 cytoplasmic domains showed that taurine binds to the cytoplasmic loop (CL) and not the CT, and that the CT and CL directly interact. ELISA showed that taurine disrupts a pH-dependent interaction between the CT and the CT-proximal half of the CL. These studies reveal that AS disrupt a pH-driven cytoplasmic interdomain interaction in Cx26-containing channels, causing closure, and that the Cx26CT has a modulatory role in Cx26 function. PMID:21844220

  16. 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