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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

  2. 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

  3. Gap junction protein connexin43 exacerbates lung vascular permeability.

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    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.

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-04-01

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

  6. Joint diseases: from connexins to gap junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-19

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-01-15

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

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    Hyo-Jung Lee

    2012-01-01

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

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

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    Mohammad Abbasian

    2013-11-01

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

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

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    Johnson, Robert D; Camelliti, Patrizia

    2018-03-15

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

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

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    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

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

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    Harissios Vliagoftis

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-08-05

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

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    Yuan Chi

    2016-10-01

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

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

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    Qing Chang

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Connexin 39.9 Protein Is Necessary for Coordinated Activation of Slow-twitch Muscle and Normal Behavior in Zebrafish*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirata, Hiromi; Wen, Hua; Kawakami, Yu; Naganawa, Yuriko; Ogino, Kazutoyo; Yamada, Kenta; Saint-Amant, Louis; Low, Sean E.; Cui, Wilson W.; Zhou, Weibin; Sprague, Shawn M.; Asakawa, Kazuhide; Muto, Akira; Kawakami, Koichi; Kuwada, John Y.

    2012-01-01

    In many tissues and organs, connexin proteins assemble between neighboring cells to form gap junctions. These gap junctions facilitate direct intercellular communication between adjoining cells, allowing for the transmission of both chemical and electrical signals. In rodents, gap junctions are found in differentiating myoblasts and are important for myogenesis. Although gap junctions were once believed to be absent from differentiated skeletal muscle in mammals, recent studies in teleosts revealed that differentiated muscle does express connexins and is electrically coupled, at least at the larval stage. These findings raised questions regarding the functional significance of gap junctions in differentiated muscle. Our analysis of gap junctions in muscle began with the isolation of a zebrafish motor mutant that displayed weak coiling at day 1 of development, a behavior known to be driven by slow-twitch muscle (slow muscle). We identified a missense mutation in the gene encoding Connexin 39.9. In situ hybridization found connexin 39.9 to be expressed by slow muscle. Paired muscle recordings uncovered that wild-type slow muscles are electrically coupled, whereas mutant slow muscles are not. The further examination of cellular activity revealed aberrant, arrhythmic touch-evoked Ca2+ transients in mutant slow muscle and a reduction in the number of muscle fibers contracting in response to touch in mutants. These results indicate that Connexin 39.9 facilitates the spreading of neuronal inputs, which is irregular during motor development, beyond the muscle cells and that gap junctions play an essential role in the efficient recruitment of slow muscle fibers. PMID:22075003

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qin eXu

    2013-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  16. Connexin43 gene and its irradiation-induced expression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Long Xianhui; Zhou Pingkun

    2005-01-01

    Gap junctions, composed of connexin protein subunits, provide the important channel for the intercellular communication. Connexin43, the most popular component of the connexin protein family, is widely expressed in multiple tissues and cell lines and plays an important role in cell proliferation, differention and tissue homeostasis. Recently it was reported that the expression of connexin43 gene is remarkedly up-regulated by low dose ionizing radiation, the available data suggest connexin43 gene to be a poten-tial sensitive bio-marker in radiation damage. (authors)

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

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-04

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

  1. 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

  2. 17β estradiol regulation of connexin 43-based gap junction and mechanosensitivity through classical estrogen receptor pathway in osteocyte-like MLO-Y4 cells.

    KAUST Repository

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

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    Goran Christoph Söhl

    2013-06-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  5. Altered Connexin 43 and Connexin 45 protein expression in the heart as a function of social and environmental stress in the prairie vole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grippo, Angela J; Moffitt, Julia A; Henry, Matthew K; Firkins, Rachel; Senkler, Jonathan; McNeal, Neal; Wardwell, Joshua; Scotti, Melissa-Ann L; Dotson, Ashley; Schultz, Rachel

    2015-01-01

    Exposure to social and environmental stressors may influence behavior as well as autonomic and cardiovascular regulation, potentially leading to depressive disorders and cardiac dysfunction including elevated sympathetic drive, reduced parasympathetic function, and ventricular arrhythmias. The cellular mechanisms that underlie these interactions are not well understood. One mechanism may involve alterations in the expression of Connexin43 (Cx43) and Connexin45 (Cx45), gap junction proteins in the heart that play an important role in ensuring efficient cell-to-cell coupling and the maintenance of cardiac rhythmicity. The present study investigated the hypothesis that long-term social isolation, combined with mild environmental stressors, would produce both depressive behaviors and altered Cx43 and Cx45 expression in the left ventricle of prairie voles - a socially monogamous rodent model. Adult, female prairie voles were exposed to either social isolation (n = 22) or control (paired, n = 23) conditions (4 weeks), alone or in combination with chronic mild stress (CMS) (1 week). Social isolation, versus paired control conditions, produced significantly (p Social isolation (alone) reduced (p social and environmental stress in the prairie vole.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-15

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

  7. Molecular interaction of connexin 30.3 and connexin 31 suggests a dominant-negative mechanism associated with erythrokeratodermia variabilis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plantard, Laure; Huber, Marcel; Macari, Francoise

    2003-01-01

    Connexins are homologous four-transmembrane-domain proteins and major components of gap junctions. We recently identified mutations in either GJB3 or GJB4 genes, encoding respectively connexin 31 (Cx31) or 30.3 (Cx30.3), as causally involved in erythrokeratodermia variabilis (EKV), a mostly autos...

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Defective propagation of signals generated by sympathetic nerve stimulation in the liver of connexin32-deficient mice.

    OpenAIRE

    Nelles, E; Bützler, C; Jung, D; Temme, A; Gabriel, H D; Dahl, U; Traub, O; Stümpel, F; Jungermann, K; Zielasek, J; Toyka, K V; Dermietzel, R; Willecke, K

    1996-01-01

    The gap junctional protein connexin32 is expressed in hepatocytes, exocrine pancreatic cells, Schwann cells, and other cell types. We have inactivated the connexin32 gene by homologous recombination in the mouse genome and have generated homozygous connexin32-deficient mice that were viable and fertile but weighed on the average approximately 17% less than wild-type controls. Electrical stimulation of sympathetic nerves in connexin32-deficient liver triggered a 78% lower amount of glucose mob...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Qin, Yu; Han, Limin; Yang, Di

    2018-01-01

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

  14. Connexin Hemichannels in Astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    Astrocytes in the mammalian central nervous system are interconnected by gap junctions made from connexins of the subtypes Cx30 and Cx43. These proteins may exist as hemichannels in the plasma membrane in the absence of a ‘docked’ counterpart on the neighboring cell. A variety of stimuli are repo...... selectivity. We expect that some, or all, of the controversies discussed here will be resolved by future research and sincerely hope that this review serves to motivate such clarifying investigations.......Astrocytes in the mammalian central nervous system are interconnected by gap junctions made from connexins of the subtypes Cx30 and Cx43. These proteins may exist as hemichannels in the plasma membrane in the absence of a ‘docked’ counterpart on the neighboring cell. A variety of stimuli....... Published studies about astrocyte hemichannel behavior, however, have been highly variable and/or contradictory. The field of connexin hemichannel research has been complicated by great variability in the experimental preparations employed, a lack of highly specific pharmacological inhibitors...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  16. Colocalization of connexin 36 and corticotropin-releasing hormone in the mouse brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ribeiro Ana C

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Gap junction proteins, connexins, are expressed in most endocrine and exocrine glands in the body and are at least in some glands crucial for the hormonal secretion. To what extent connexins are expressed in neurons releasing hormones or neuropeptides from or within the central nervous system is, however, unknown. Previous studies provide indirect evidence for gap junction coupling between subsets of neuropeptide-containing neurons in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN of the hypothalamus. Here we employ double labeling and retrograde tracing methods to investigate to what extent neuroendocrine and neuropeptide-containing neurons of the hypothalamus and brainstem express the neuronal gap junction protein connexin 36. Results Western blot analysis showed that connexin 36 is expressed in the PVN. In bacterial artificial chromosome transgenic mice, which specifically express the reporter gene Enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein (EGFP under the control of the connexin 36 gene promoter, EGFP expression was detected in magnocellular (neuroendocrine and in parvocellular neurons of the PVN. Although no EGFP/connexin36 expression was seen in neurons containing oxytocin or vasopressin, EGFP/connexin36 was found in subsets of PVN neurons containing corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH, and in somatostatin neurons located along the third ventricle. Moreover, CRH neurons in brainstem areas, including the lateral parabrachial nucleus, also expressed EGFP/connexin 36. Conclusion Our data indicate that connexin 36 is expressed in subsets of neuroendocrine and CRH neurons in specific nuclei of the hypothalamus and brainstem.

  17. Connexins and Disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Delmar, Mario; Laird, Dale W; Naus, Christian C

    2017-01-01

    Inherited or acquired alterations in the structure and function of connexin proteins have long been associated with disease. In the present work, we review current knowledge on the role of connexins in diseases associated with the heart, nervous system, cochlea, and skin, as well as cancer...... of connexins are fundamental components in the pathophysiology of multiple connexin related disorders, many of them highly debilitating and life threatening. Improved understanding of connexin biology has the potential to advance our understanding of mechanisms, diagnosis, and treatment of disease....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Defective propagation of signals generated by sympathetic nerve stimulation in the liver of connexin32-deficient mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelles, E; Bützler, C; Jung, D; Temme, A; Gabriel, H D; Dahl, U; Traub, O; Stümpel, F; Jungermann, K; Zielasek, J; Toyka, K V; Dermietzel, R; Willecke, K

    1996-09-03

    The gap junctional protein connexin32 is expressed in hepatocytes, exocrine pancreatic cells, Schwann cells, and other cell types. We have inactivated the connexin32 gene by homologous recombination in the mouse genome and have generated homozygous connexin32-deficient mice that were viable and fertile but weighed on the average approximately 17% less than wild-type controls. Electrical stimulation of sympathetic nerves in connexin32-deficient liver triggered a 78% lower amount of glucose mobilization from glycogen stores, when compared with wild-type liver. Thus, connexin32-containing gap junctions are essential in mouse liver for maximal intercellular propagation of the noradrenaline signal from the periportal (upstream) area, where it is received from sympathetic nerve endings, to perivenous (downstream) hepatocytes. In connexin32-defective liver, the amount of connexin26 protein expressed was found to be lower than in wild-type liver, and the total area of gap junction plaques was approximately 1000-fold smaller than in wild-type liver. In contrast to patients with connexin32 defects suffering from X chromosome-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMTX) due to demyelination in Schwann cells of peripheral nerves, connexin32-deficient mice did not show neurological abnormalities when analyzed at 3 months of age. It is possible, however, that they may develop neurodegenerative symptoms at older age.

  2. 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.

  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. 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

  5. Garlic (Allium sativum) feeding impairs Sertoli cell junctional proteins in male Wistar rat testis: microscopy study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammami, I; Nahdi, A; Atig, F; El May, A; El May, M V

    2016-12-01

    Sertoli cell junctions, such as adhesion junction (AJ), gap junction (GJ) and tight junction (TJ), are important for maintaining spermatogenesis. In previous studies, we showed the inhibitory effect of crude garlic (Allium sativum, As) on spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis. The aim of this work was to complete our investigation on the impact of this plant, especially on Sertoli cell junctional proteins (SCJPs). During 1 month, 24 male rats were divided into groups: group control (0% of As) and treated groups fed 5%, 10% and 15% of As. Light and electron microscopy observations were performed to localise junctional proteins: connexin-43, Zona Occluding-1 and N-cadherin (immunohistochemistry) and to describe junctions. We showed that the specific cells involved in the localisation of the SCJP were similar in both control and treated groups, but with different immunoreactivity intensity between them. The electron microscopy observation focused on TJs between Sertoli cells, constituting the blood-testis barrier, showed ultrastructural changes such as fragmentation of TJs between adjacent Sertoli cell membranes and dilatation of rough endoplasmic reticulum saccules giving an aspect of scale to these junctions. We concluded that crude garlic consumption during 1 month induces perturbations on Sertoli cell junctions. These alterations can explain apoptosis in testicular germ cells previously showed. © 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  6. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. Disruption of gap junctional intercellular communication by antibiotic gentamicin is associated with aberrant localization of occludin, N-cadherin, connexin 43, and vimentin in SerW3 Sertoli cells in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bekheet, Souad H M; Stahlmann, Ralf

    2009-09-01

    Spermatogenesis is a very complex process by which male germ cells differentiate into mature spermatozoa. The sophisticated communication network that controls spermatogenesis can be derailed so that dysfunction of one cell type propagates to all types as a cascade. This accounts for the particular vulnerability of the testis to environmental factors such as drugs and xenobiotics. Sertoli cells play an important role in protecting developing germ cells by forming a physiological barrier, limiting exposure to potentially toxic substrates, or conversely, facilitating uptake of xenobiotics within the testis. In this study, cells from the rat Sertoli line (SerW3) were incubated for 3, 6 and 9 subsequent days in serum free DMEM (SFDM) composed of DMEM supplemented with three different concentrations of antibiotic gentamicin (10, 30, and 100 μg). The effect of the three different concentrations of this antibiotic was determined on Sertoli cell-cell interaction through impaired expression of their constitutive tight junction proteins as early targets for different toxicants in vitro by immunochemistry analysis. The Sertoli SerW3 cell line illustrated the cytotoxicity of GS, as the intercellular junction proteins such as occludin, N-cadherin, connexin 43, and vimentin were delocalized from the membrane to the cytoplasmic compartment during exposure to the antibiotic. This study underlines the potential deleterious effects of the routine use of antibiotics during continuous cell culture.

  11. Expression of connexin 37, 40 and 43 in rat mesenteric arterioles and resistance arteries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gustafsson, Finn; Mikkelsen, Hanne B; Arensbak, Birgitte

    2003-01-01

    Connexins are the protein constituents of gap junctions which mediate intercellular communication in most tissues. In arterioles gap junctions appear to be important for conduction of vasomotor responses along the vessel. Studies of the expression pattern of connexin isoforms in the microcirculat......Connexins are the protein constituents of gap junctions which mediate intercellular communication in most tissues. In arterioles gap junctions appear to be important for conduction of vasomotor responses along the vessel. Studies of the expression pattern of connexin isoforms...... in the microcirculation are sparse. We investigated the expression of the three major vascular connexins in mesenteric arterioles (diameter micro m) from male Sprague-Dawley rats, since conducted vasomotor responses have been described in these vessels. The findings were compared with those obtained from upstream...... small resistance arteries. Indirect immunofluorescence techniques were used on whole mounts of mesenteric arterioles and on frozen sections of resistance arteries (diameter approximately 300 micro m). Mesenteric arterioles expressed Cx40 and Cx43 in the endothelial layer, and Cx37 was found in most...

  12. Studies on level of cytokines and expression of connexin43 in tumor and normal cells in culture conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asati, V.; Pandey, B.N.

    2016-01-01

    Factors secreted from the tumor cells in culture medium have been known to facilitate the growth of fresh cultures and also to affect the cellular radio-sensitivity. Moreover, expression of gap junction proteins like connexin-43 is known as a key player in cell survival and proliferation. The present study is aimed to evaluate the effects of conditioned medium on the growth of respective tumor/normal cells and the expression of connexin-43 in these cells

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

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    Mika Tanaka

    2008-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Background 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. Objectives 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). Methods 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. Results 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. Conclusion 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. PMID:28678925

  15. ‘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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  17. 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

  18. Cloning, embryonic expression, and functional characterization of two novel connexins from Xenopus laevis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Boer, Teun P.; Kok, Bart; Roël, Giulietta; van Veen, Toon A. B.; Destrée, Olivier H. J.; Rook, Martin B.; Vos, Marc A.; de Bakker, Jacques M. T.; van der Heyden, Marcel A. G.

    2006-01-01

    Vertebrate gap junctions are constituted of connexin (Cx) proteins. In Xenopus laevis, only seven different Cxs have been described so far. Here, we identify two new Cxs from X. laevis. Cx28.6 displays > 60% amino acid identity with human Cx25, Cx29 displays strong homology with mouse Cx26 and Cx30.

  19. Connexin 43 (GJA1) mutations cause the pleiotropic phenotype of oculodentodigital dysplasia.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Paznekas, W.A.; Boyadjiev, S.A.; Shapiro, R.E.; Daniëls, O.; Wollnik, B.; Keegan, C.E.; Innis, J.W.; Dinulos, M.B.; Christian, C.; Hannibal, M.C.; Jabs, E.W.

    2003-01-01

    Gap junctions are assemblies of intercellular channels that regulate a variety of physiologic and developmental processes through the exchange of small ions and signaling molecules. These channels consist of connexin family proteins that allow for diversity of channel composition and conductance

  20. 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

  1. Response of thyroid follicular cells to gamma irradiation compared to proton irradiation: II. The role of connexin 32

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, L. M.; Tran, D. T.; Murray, D. K.; Rightnar, S. S.; Todd, S.; Nelson, G. A.

    2002-01-01

    The objective of this study was to determine whether connexin 32-type gap junctions contribute to the "contact effect" in follicular thyrocytes and whether the response is influenced by radiation quality. Our previous studies demonstrated that early-passage follicular cultures of Fischer rat thyroid cells express functional connexin 32 gap junctions, with later-passage cultures expressing a truncated nonfunctional form of the protein. This model allowed us to assess the role of connexin 32 in radiation responsiveness without relying solely on chemical manipulation of gap junctions. The survival curves generated after gamma irradiation revealed that early-passage follicular cultures had significantly lower values of alpha (0.04 Gy(-1)) than later-passage cultures (0.11 Gy(-1)) (P 0.1, n = 9). This strongly suggests that the presence of functional connexin 32-type gap junctions was contributing to radiation resistance in gamma-irradiated thyroid follicles. Survival curves from proton-irradiated cultures had alpha values that were not significantly different whether cells expressed functional connexin 32 (0.10 Gy(-1)), did not express connexin 32 (0.09 Gy(-1)), or were down-regulated (early-passage plus heptanol, 0.09 Gy(-1); late-passage plus heptanol, 0.12 Gy(-1)) (P > 0.1, n = 19). Thus, for proton irradiation, the presence of connexin 32-type gap junctional channels did not influence their radiosensitivity. Collectively, the data support the following conclusions. (1) The lower alpha values from the gamma-ray survival curves of the early-passage cultures suggest greater repair efficiency and/or enhanced resistance to radiation-induced damage, coincident with the expression of connexin 32-type gap junctions. (2) The increased sensitivity of FRTL-5 cells to proton irradiation was independent of their ability to communicate through connexin 32 gap junctions. (3) The fact that the beta components of the survival curves from both gamma rays and proton beams were

  2. Expression of connexin 37, 40, and 43 mRNA and protein in renal preglomerular arterioles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arensbak, B; Mikkelsen, Hanne Birte; Gustafsson, F

    2001-01-01

    arterioles in frozen sections was evaluated. SMC were isolated from kidneys using an iron oxide sieve method and explant technique. Total RNA from these cultures was tested by RT-PCR analysis for the expression of the three connexins mRNA. Using immunofluorescence we examined whether the expression pattern...

  3. Novel Functional Role of Heat Shock Protein 90 in Mitochondrial Connexin 43-Mediated Hypoxic Postconditioning

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    Rong-Hui Tu

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Previous studies have shown that heat shock protein 90 (HSP90-mediated mitochondrial import of connexin 43 (Cx43 is critical in preconditioning cardioprotection. The present study was designed to test whether postconditioning has the same effect as preconditioning in promoting Cx43 translocation to mitochondria and whether mitochondrial HSP90 modulates this effect. Methods: Cellular models of hypoxic postconditioning (HPC from rat heart-derived H9c2 cells and neonatal rat cardiomyocytes were employed. The effects of HPC on cardiomyocytes apoptosis were examined by flow cytometry and Hoechst 33342 fluorescent staining. Reactive oxidative species (ROS production was assessed with the peroxide-sensitive fluorescent probe 2′,7′-dichlorofluorescin in diacetate (DCFH-DA. The anti- and pro-apoptotic markers Bcl-2 and Bax, HSP90 and Cx43 protein levels were studied by Western blot analysis in total cell homogenate and sarcolemmal and mitochondrial fractions. The effects on HPC of the HSP90 inhibitor geldanamycin (GA, ROS scavengers superoxide dismutase (SOD and catalase (CAT, and small interfering RNA (siRNA targeting Cx43 and HSP90 were also investigated. Results: HPC significantly reduced hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis. These beneficial effects were accompanied by an increase in Bcl-2 levels and a decrease in Bax levels in both sarcolemmal and mitochondrial fractions. HPC with siRNA targeting Cx43 or the ROS scavengers SOD plus CAT significantly prevented ROS generation and HPC cardioprotection, but HPC with either SOD or CAT did not. These data strongly supported the involvement of Cx43 in HPC cardioprotection, likely via modulation of the ROS balance which plays a central role in HPC protection. Furthermore, HPC increased total and mitochondrial levels of HSP90 and the mitochondria-to-sarcolemma ratio of Cx43; blocking the function of HSP90 with the HSP90 inhibitor geldanamycin (GA or siRNA targeting

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Old cogs, new tricks: a scaffolding role for connexin43 and a junctional role for sodium channels?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veeraraghavan, Rengasayee; Poelzing, Steven; Gourdie, Robert G

    2014-04-17

    Cardiac conduction is the process by which electrical excitation is communicated from cell to cell within the heart, triggering synchronous contraction of the myocardium. The role of conduction defects in precipitating life-threatening arrhythmias in various disease states has spurred scientific interest in the phenomenon. While the understanding of conduction has evolved greatly over the last century, the process has largely been thought to occur via movement of charge between cells via gap junctions. However, it has long been hypothesized that electrical coupling between cardiac myocytes could also occur ephaptically, without direct transfer of ions between cells. This review will focus on recent insights into cardiac myocyte intercalated disk ultrastructure and their implications for conduction research, particularly the ephaptic coupling hypothesis. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  9. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  12. Connexin31.1 deficiency in the mouse impairs object memory and modulates open-field exploration, acetylcholine esterase levels in the striatum, and cAMP response element-binding protein levels in the striatum and piriform cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dere, E; Zheng-Fischhöfer, Q; Viggiano, D; Gironi Carnevale, U A; Ruocco, L A; Zlomuzica, A; Schnichels, M; Willecke, K; Huston, J P; Sadile, A G

    2008-05-02

    Neuronal gap junctions in the brain, providing intercellular electrotonic signal transfer, have been implicated in physiological and behavioral correlates of learning and memory. In connexin31.1 (Cx31.1) knockout (KO) mice the coding region of the Cx31.1 gene was replaced by a LacZ reporter gene. We investigated the impact of Cx31.1 deficiency on open-field exploration, the behavioral response to an odor, non-selective attention, learning and memory performance, and the levels of memory-related proteins in the hippocampus, striatum and the piriform cortex. In terms of behavior, the deletion of the Cx31.1 coding DNA in the mouse led to increased exploratory behaviors in a novel environment, and impaired one-trial object recognition at all delays tested. Despite strong Cx31.1 expression in the peripheral and central olfactory system, Cx31.1 KO mice exhibited normal behavioral responses to an odor. We found increased levels of acetylcholine esterase (AChE) and cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) in the striatum of Cx31.1 KO mice. In the piriform cortex the Cx31.1 KO mice had an increased heterogeneity of CREB expression among neurons. In conclusion, gap-junctions featuring the Cx31.1 protein might be involved in open-field exploration as well as object memory and modulate levels of AChE and CREB in the striatum and piriform cortex.

  13. Intercellular communications within the rat anterior pituitary. XVI: postnatal changes of distribution of S-100 protein positive cells, connexin 43 and LH-RH positive sites in the pars tuberalis of the rat pituitary gland. An immunohistochemical and electron microscopic study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wada, Ikuo; Sakuma, Eisuke; Shirasawa, Nobuyuki; Wakabayashi, Kenjiro; Otsuka, Takanobu; Hattori, Kazuki; Yashiro, Takashi; Herbert, Damon C; Soji, Tsuyoshi

    2014-02-01

    The architecture of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) nerve ends and the S-100 protein containing folliculo-stellate cells forming gap junctions in the pars tuberalis is basically important in understanding the regulation of the hormone producing mechanism of anterior pituitary glands. In this study, intact male rats 5-60 days old were prepared for immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. From immunostained sections, the S-100 containing cells in pars tuberalis were first detected on day 30 and increased in number to day 60; this was parallel to the immunohistochemical staining of gap junction protein, connexin 43. LH-RH positive sites were clearly observed on just behind the optic chiasm and on the root of pituitary stalk on day 30. On day 60, the width of layer increased, while follicles and gap junctions were frequently observed between agranular cells in 10 or more layers of pars tuberalis. In the present study, we investigated the sexual maturation of the anterior pituitary glands through the postnatal development of S-100 positive cells, connexin 43 and LH-RH nerves. It is suggested that the folliculo-stellate cell system including the LH-RH neurons in the pars tuberalis participates in the control of LH secretion along with the portal vein system. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Immunohistochemistry of connexin 43 throughout anterior pituitary gland in a transgenic rat with green fluorescent protein-expressing folliculo-stellate cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

    Folliculo-stellate (FS) cells in the anterior pituitary gland have been speculated to possess multifunctional properties. Because gap junctions (GJ) have been identified between FS cells, FS cells may be interconnected electrophysiologically by GJ and serve as signal transmission networks to modulate hormone release in the anterior pituitary gland. But whether GJ are localized among FS cells from the pars tuberalis through the pars distalis is unclear. The S100b-GFP transgenic rat has recently been generated, which expresses green fluorescent protein (GFP) specifically in FS cells in the anterior pituitary. This model is expected to be a powerful tool for studies of FS cells. The purpose of the present paper was therefore to examine the localization of GJ on connexin 43 immunohistochemistry throughout the anterior pituitary gland of S100b-GFP rats under confocal laser microscopy. The localization patterns of FS cells was also observed in primary culture of anterior pituitary cells and the question of whether GJ between FS cells are reconstructed in vitro was investigated. In vivo studies showed that GJ were present specifically between FS cells from the pars tuberalis to the pars distalis in the anterior pituitary gland. The appearance of FS cells was distinguished into two types, with localization of GJ differing between types. In vitro, it was observed for the first time that FS cells in primary culture could be categorized into two types. In vivo localization of GJ between FS cells was reconstructed in vitro. These morphological observations are consistent with the hypothesis that FS cells form an electrophysiological network throughout the anterior pituitary for signal transmission.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  16. 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, G

    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....

  17. Connexin Communication Compartments and Wound Repair in Epithelial Tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chanson, Marc; Watanabe, Masakatsu; O'Shaughnessy, Erin M; Zoso, Alice; Martin, Patricia E

    2018-05-03

    Epithelial tissues line the lumen of tracts and ducts connecting to the external environment. They are critical in forming an interface between the internal and external environment and, following assault from environmental factors and pathogens, they must rapidly repair to maintain cellular homeostasis. These tissue networks, that range from a single cell layer, such as in airway epithelium, to highly stratified and differentiated epithelial surfaces, such as the epidermis, are held together by a junctional nexus of proteins including adherens, tight and gap junctions, often forming unique and localised communication compartments activated for localised tissue repair. This review focuses on the dynamic changes that occur in connexins, the constituent proteins of the intercellular gap junction channel, during wound-healing processes and in localised inflammation, with an emphasis on the lung and skin. Current developments in targeting connexins as corrective therapies to improve wound closure and resolve localised inflammation are also discussed. Finally, we consider the emergence of the zebrafish as a concerted whole-animal model to study, visualise and track the events of wound repair and regeneration in real-time living model systems.

  18. Connexin Communication Compartments and Wound Repair in Epithelial Tissue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Chanson

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Epithelial tissues line the lumen of tracts and ducts connecting to the external environment. They are critical in forming an interface between the internal and external environment and, following assault from environmental factors and pathogens, they must rapidly repair to maintain cellular homeostasis. These tissue networks, that range from a single cell layer, such as in airway epithelium, to highly stratified and differentiated epithelial surfaces, such as the epidermis, are held together by a junctional nexus of proteins including adherens, tight and gap junctions, often forming unique and localised communication compartments activated for localised tissue repair. This review focuses on the dynamic changes that occur in connexins, the constituent proteins of the intercellular gap junction channel, during wound-healing processes and in localised inflammation, with an emphasis on the lung and skin. Current developments in targeting connexins as corrective therapies to improve wound closure and resolve localised inflammation are also discussed. Finally, we consider the emergence of the zebrafish as a concerted whole-animal model to study, visualise and track the events of wound repair and regeneration in real-time living model systems.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Glial and neuronal connexin expression patterns in the rat spinal cord during development and following injury

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lee, I. Hui; Lindqvist, Eva; Kiehn, Ole

    2005-01-01

    Spinal cord injury induces a complex cascade of degenerative and remodeling events evolving over time. The possible roles of changed intercellular communication via gap junctions after spinal cord injury (SCI) have remained relatively unexplored. We investigated the temporospatial expression...... patterns of gap junctional genes and proteins, connexin 43 (Cx43), Cx36, and Cx32, by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry in the rat neonatal, adult normal, and adult injured spinal cord. Cx36 was strongly expressed in immature neurons, and levels declined markedly during development, whereas Cx...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-12

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Regulation of connexin26 and connexin43 expression in rat endometrium by ovarian steroid hormones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grümmer, R; Chwalisz, K; Mulholland, J; Traub, O; Winterhager, E

    1994-12-01

    A distinct spatial and temporal pattern of connexin26 and connexin43 (cx26 and cx43) expression was observed in the rat endometrium in response to embryo implantation; however, connexin expression was suppressed during the preimplantation period. Pseudopregnant rats did not show connexin mRNA, while artificial decidualization induced by a scratch led to a strong expression of cx26 and cx43 in the endometrium of these animals. In order to examine the regulatory effects of ovarian steroid hormones on connexin expression, ovariectomized rats were treated with progesterone (P) and/or estradiol-17 beta (E2). Untreated, ovariectomized animals expressed mRNA for cx43, but not for cx26. Endometrial expression of mRNA for both connexins was strongly enhanced by E2 treatment; immunolabeling revealed protein for cx26 in the uterine luminal epithelial cells and for cx43 in the uterine stromal cells. P treatment, either alone or in combination with E2, suppressed expression of connexin mRNA. P suppression in the presence of E2 was reversible when P was withdrawn. When administered on Days 0-2 of pregnancy, the antiprogestin onapristone inhibited the effect of P and gave rise to strong expression of both connexin transcripts. These results demonstrate that expression of cx26 and cx43 in the rat uterine endometrium is differentially regulated by E2 and P during early pregnancy.

  4. A cataract-causing connexin 50 mutant is mislocalized to the ER due to loss of the fourth transmembrane domain and cytoplasmic domain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somaraju Chalasani, Madhavi Latha; Muppirala, Madhavi; G Ponnam, Surya Prakash; Kannabiran, Chitra; Swarup, Ghanshyam

    2013-01-01

    Mutations in the eye lens gap junction protein connexin 50 cause cataract. Earlier we identified a frameshift mutant of connexin 50 (c.670insA; p.Thr203AsnfsX47) in a family with autosomal recessive cataract. The mutant protein is smaller and contains 46 aberrant amino acids at the C-terminus after amino acid 202. Here, we have analysed this frameshift mutant and observed that it localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) but not in the plasma membrane. Moreover, overexpression of the mutant resulted in disintegration of the ER-Golgi intermediate compartment (ERGIC), reduction in the level of ERGIC-53 protein and breakdown of the Golgi in many cells. Overexpression of the frameshift mutant partially inhibited the transport of wild type connexin 50 to the plasma membrane. A deletion mutant lacking the aberrant sequence showed predominant localization in the ER and inhibited anterograde protein transport suggesting, therefore, that the aberrant sequence is not responsible for improper localization of the frameshift mutant. Further deletion analysis showed that the fourth transmembrane domain and a membrane proximal region (231-294 amino acids) of the cytoplasmic domain are needed for transport from the ER and localization to the plasma membrane. Our results show that a frameshift mutant of connexin 50 mislocalizes to the ER and causes disintegration of the ERGIC and Golgi. We have also identified a sequence of connexin 50 crucial for transport from the ER and localization to the plasma membrane.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  6. STIM proteins and the endoplasmic reticulum-plasma membrane junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrasco, Silvia; Meyer, Tobias

    2011-01-01

    Eukaryotic organelles can interact with each other through stable junctions where the two membranes are kept in close apposition. The junction that connects the endoplasmic reticulum to the plasma membrane (ER-PM junction) is unique in providing a direct communication link between the ER and the PM. In a recently discovered signaling process, STIM (stromal-interacting molecule) proteins sense a drop in ER Ca(2+) levels and directly activate Orai PM Ca(2+) channels across the junction space. In an inverse process, a voltage-gated PM Ca(2+) channel can directly open ER ryanodine-receptor Ca(2+) channels in striated-muscle cells. Although ER-PM junctions were first described 50 years ago, their broad importance in Ca(2+) signaling, as well as in the regulation of cholesterol and phosphatidylinositol lipid transfer, has only recently been realized. Here, we discuss research from different fields to provide a broad perspective on the structures and unique roles of ER-PM junctions in controlling signaling and metabolic processes.

  7. Tunneling explains efficient electron transport via protein junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fereiro, Jerry A; Yu, Xi; Pecht, Israel; Sheves, Mordechai; Cuevas, Juan Carlos; Cahen, David

    2018-05-15

    Metalloproteins, proteins containing a transition metal ion cofactor, are electron transfer agents that perform key functions in cells. Inspired by this fact, electron transport across these proteins has been widely studied in solid-state settings, triggering the interest in examining potential use of proteins as building blocks in bioelectronic devices. Here, we report results of low-temperature (10 K) electron transport measurements via monolayer junctions based on the blue copper protein azurin (Az), which strongly suggest quantum tunneling of electrons as the dominant charge transport mechanism. Specifically, we show that, weakening the protein-electrode coupling by introducing a spacer, one can switch the electron transport from off-resonant to resonant tunneling. This is a consequence of reducing the electrode's perturbation of the Cu(II)-localized electronic state, a pattern that has not been observed before in protein-based junctions. Moreover, we identify vibronic features of the Cu(II) coordination sphere in transport characteristics that show directly the active role of the metal ion in resonance tunneling. Our results illustrate how quantum mechanical effects may dominate electron transport via protein-based junctions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-04-02

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

  9. Gating of Connexin Channels by transjunctional-voltage: Conformations and models of open and closed states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bargiello, Thaddeus A; Oh, Seunghoon; Tang, Qingxiu; Bargiello, Nicholas K; Dowd, Terry L; Kwon, Taekyung

    2018-01-01

    Voltage is an important physiologic regulator of channels formed by the connexin gene family. Connexins are unique among ion channels in that both plasma membrane inserted hemichannels (undocked hemichannels) and intercellular channels (aggregates of which form gap junctions) have important physiological roles. The hemichannel is the fundamental unit of gap junction voltage-gating. Each hemichannel displays two distinct voltage-gating mechanisms that are primarily sensitive to a voltage gradient formed along the length of the channel pore (the transjunctional voltage) rather than sensitivity to the absolute membrane potential (V m or V i-o ). These transjunctional voltage dependent processes have been termed V j - or fast-gating and loop- or slow-gating. Understanding the mechanism of voltage-gating, defined as the sequence of voltage-driven transitions that connect open and closed states, first and foremost requires atomic resolution models of the end states. Although ion channels formed by connexins were among the first to be characterized structurally by electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction in the early 1980's, subsequent progress has been slow. Much of the current understanding of the structure-function relations of connexin channels is based on two crystal structures of Cx26 gap junction channels. Refinement of crystal structure by all-atom molecular dynamics and incorporation of charge changing protein modifications has resulted in an atomic model of the open state that arguably corresponds to the physiologic open state. Obtaining validated atomic models of voltage-dependent closed states is more challenging, as there are currently no methods to solve protein structure while a stable voltage gradient is applied across the length of an oriented channel. It is widely believed that the best approach to solve the atomic structure of a voltage-gated closed ion channel is to apply different but complementary experimental and computational methods and to use

  10. Behavior of tight-junction, adherens-junction and cell polarity proteins during HNF-4α-induced epithelial polarization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Satohisa, Seiro; Chiba, Hideki; Osanai, Makoto; Ohno, Shigeo; Kojima, Takashi; Saito, Tsuyoshi; Sawada, Norimasa

    2005-01-01

    We previously reported that expression of tight-junction molecules occludin, claudin-6 and claudin-7, as well as establishment of epithelial polarity, was triggered in mouse F9 cells expressing hepatocyte nuclear factor (HNF)-4α [H. Chiba, T. Gotoh, T. Kojima, S. Satohisa, K. Kikuchi, M. Osanai, N. Sawada. Hepatocyte nuclear factor (HNF)-4α triggers formation of functional tight junctions and establishment of polarized epithelial morphology in F9 embryonal carcinoma cells, Exp. Cell Res. 286 (2003) 288-297]. Using these cells, we examined in the present study behavior of tight-junction, adherens-junction and cell polarity proteins and elucidated the molecular mechanism behind HNF-4α-initiated junction formation and epithelial polarization. We herein show that not only ZO-1 and ZO-2, but also ZO-3, junctional adhesion molecule (JAM)-B, JAM-C and cell polarity proteins PAR-3, PAR-6 and atypical protein kinase C (aPKC) accumulate at primordial adherens junctions in undifferentiated F9 cells. In contrast, CRB3, Pals1 and PATJ appeared to exhibit distinct subcellular localization in immature cells. Induced expression of HNF-4α led to translocation of these tight-junction and cell polarity proteins to beltlike tight junctions, where occludin, claudin-6 and claudin-7 were assembled, in differentiated cells. Interestingly, PAR-6, aPKC, CRB3 and Pals1, but not PAR-3 or PATJ, were also concentrated on the apical membranes in differentiated cells. These findings indicate that HNF-4α provokes not only expression of tight-junction adhesion molecules, but also modulation of subcellular distribution of junction and cell polarity proteins, resulting in junction formation and epithelial polarization

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Santiquet

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

  12. Design and Characterization of a Human Monoclonal Antibody that Modulates Mutant Connexin 26 Hemichannels Implicated in Deafness and Skin Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liang Xu

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: Mutations leading to changes in properties, regulation, or expression of connexin-made channels have been implicated in 28 distinct human hereditary diseases. Eight of these result from variants of connexin 26 (Cx26, a protein critically involved in cell-cell signaling in the inner ear and skin. Lack of non-toxic drugs with defined mechanisms of action poses a serious obstacle to therapeutic interventions for diseases caused by mutant connexins. In particular, molecules that specifically modulate connexin hemichannel function without affecting gap junction channels are considered of primary importance for the study of connexin hemichannel role in physiological as well as pathological conditions. Monoclonal antibodies developed in the last three decades have become the most important class of therapeutic biologicals. Recombinant methods permit rapid selection and improvement of monoclonal antibodies from libraries with large diversity.Methods: By screening a combinatorial library of human single-chain fragment variable (scFv antibodies expressed in phage, we identified a candidate that binds an extracellular epitope of Cx26. We characterized antibody action using a variety of biochemical and biophysical assays in HeLa cells, organotypic cultures of mouse cochlea and human keratinocyte-derived cells.Results: We determined that the antibody is a remarkably efficient, non-toxic, and completely reversible inhibitor of hemichannels formed by connexin 26 and does not affect direct cell-cell communication via gap junction channels. Importantly, we also demonstrate that the antibody efficiently inhibits hyperative mutant Cx26 hemichannels implicated in autosomal dominant non-syndromic hearing impairment accompanied by keratitis and hystrix-like ichthyosis-deafness (KID/HID syndrome. We solved the crystal structure of the antibody, identified residues that are critical for binding and used molecular dynamics to uncover its mechanism of action

  13. impairs gap junction function causing congenital cataract

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Navya

    2017-03-24

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

  14. Gap junctions-guards of excitability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Role of the Adherens Junction Protein Fascin in the Regulation of Tight Junction Permeability in the Mouse Mammary Gland

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Beeman, Neal

    2001-01-01

    .... Transduced cells are morphologically normal and produce milk. This gene delivery system was used to express an N-terminally truncated mutant of the tight junction protein occluding in the mammary gland and in cultured cells...

  16. Multifaceted Roles of Connexin 43 in Stem Cell Niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genet, Nafiisha; Bhatt, Neha; Bourdieu, Antonin; Hirschi, Karen K

    2018-01-01

    Considerable progress has been made in the field of stem cell research; nonetheless, the use of stem cells for regenerative medicine therapies, for either endogenous tissue repair or cellular grafts post injury, remains a challenge. To better understand how to maintain stem cell potential in vivo and promote differentiation ex vivo, it is fundamentally important to elucidate the interactions between stem cells and their surrounding partners within their distinct niches. Among the vast array of proteins depicted as mediators for cell-to-cell interactions, connexin-comprised gap junctions play pivotal roles in the regulation of stem cell fate both in vivo and in vitro. This review summarizes and illustrates the current knowledge regarding the multifaceted roles of Cx43, specifically, in various stem cell niches.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  18. Differential Connexin Function Enhances Self-Renewal in Glioblastoma

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    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.

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

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    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.

  20. Connexin30-deficient mice show increased emotionality and decreased rearing activity in the open-field along with neurochemical changes.

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    Dere, E; De Souza-Silva, M A; Frisch, C; Teubner, B; Söhl, G; Willecke, K; Huston, J P

    2003-08-01

    Gap-junction channels in the brain, formed by connexin (Cx) proteins with a distinct regional/cell-type distribution, allow intercellular electrical and metabolic communication. In astrocytes, mainly the connexins 43, 26 and 30 are expressed. In addition, connexin30 is expressed in ependymal and leptomeningeal cells, as well as in skin and cochlea. The functional implications of the astrocytic gap-junctional network are not well understood and evidence regarding their behavioural relevance is lacking. Thus, we have tested groups of Cx30-/-, Cx30+/-, and Cx30+/+ mice in the open-field, an object exploration task, in the graded anxiety test and on the rotarod. The Cx30-/- mice showed reduced exploratory activity in terms of rearings but not locomotion in the open-field and object exploration task. Furthermore, Cx30-/- mice exhibited anxiogenic behaviour as shown by higher open-field centre avoidance and corner preference. Graded anxiety test and rotarod performance was similar across groups. The Cx30-/- mice had elevated choline levels in the ventral striatum, possibly related to their aberrant behavioural phenotypes. The Cx30+/- mice had lower dopamine and metabolite levels in the amygdala and ventral striatum and lower hippocampal 5-hydroxyindole acid (5-HIAA) concentrations relative to Cx30+/+ mice. Furthermore, the Cx30+/- mice had lower acetylcholine concentrations in the ventral striatum and higher choline levels in the neostriatum, relative to Cx30+/+ mice. Our data suggest that the elimination of connexin30 can alter the reactivity to novel environments, pointing to the importance of gap-junctional signalling in behavioural processes.

  1. Anchored PKA as a gatekeeper for gap junctions.

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    Pidoux, Guillaume; Taskén, Kjetil

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Specific protein-protein interactions of calsequestrin with junctional sarcoplasmic reticulum of skeletal muscle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Damiani, E.; Margreth, A.

    1990-01-01

    Minor protein components of triads and of sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) terminal cisternae (TC), i.e. 47 and 37 kDa peptides and 31-30 kDa and 26-25 kDa peptide doublets, were identified from their ability to bind 125 I calsequestrin (CS) in the presence of EGTA. The CS-binding peptides are specifically associated with the junctional membrane of TC, since they could not be detected in junctional transverse tubules and in longitudinal SR fragments. The 31-30 kDa peptide doublet, exclusively, did not bind CS in the presence of Ca 2+ . Thus, different types of protein-protein interactions appear to be involved in selective binding of CS to junctional TC

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

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

    2012-11-01

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

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

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    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

  5. Tight junction proteins contribute to barrier properties in human pleura.

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    Markov, Alexander G; Voronkova, Maria A; Volgin, George N; Yablonsky, Piotr K; Fromm, Michael; Amasheh, Salah

    2011-03-15

    The permeability of pleural mesothelium helps to control the volume and composition of the liquid lubricating pleural surfaces. Information on pleural barrier function in health and disease, however, is scarce. Tissue specimens of human pleura were mounted in Ussing chambers for measurement of transmesothelial resistance. Expression of tight junction (TJ) proteins was studied by Western blots and immune fluorescence confocal microscopy. Both visceral and parietal pleura showed barrier properties represented by transmesothelial resistance. Occludin, claudin-1, -3, -5, and -7, were detected in visceral pleura. In parietal pleura, the same TJ proteins were detected, except claudin-7. In tissues from patients with pleural inflammation these tightening claudins were decreased and in visceral pleura claudin-2, a paracellular channel former, became apparent. We report that barrier function in human pleura coincides with expression of claudins known to be key determinants of epithelial barrier properties. In inflamed tissue, claudin expression indicates a reduced barrier function. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Connexins, diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.

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    Hamelin, Romain; Allagnat, Florent; Haefliger, Jacques-Antoine; Meda, Paolo

    2009-02-01

    Diabetes and the related metabolic syndrome are multi system disorders that result from improper interactions between various cell types. Even though the underlying mechanism remains to be fully understood, it is most likely that both the long and the short distance range cell interactions, which normally ensure the physiologic functioning of the pancreas, and its relationships with the insulin-targeted organs, are altered. This review focuses on the short-range type of interactions that depend on the contact between adjacent cells and, specifically, on the interactions that are dependent on connexins. The widespread distribution of these membrane proteins, their multiple modes of action, and their interactions with conditions/molecules associated to both the pathogenesis and the treatment of the 2 main forms of diabetes and the metabolic syndrome, make connexins an essential part of the chain of events that leads to metabolic diseases. Here, we review the present state of knowledge about the molecular and cell biology of the connexin genes and proteins, their general mechanisms of action, the roles specific connexin species play in the endocrine pancreas and the major insulin-targeted organs, under physiological and patho-physiological conditions.

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

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    Aida Salameh

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

  9. Connexin-based intercellular communication and astrocyte heterogeneity.

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    Theis, Martin; Giaume, Christian

    2012-12-03

    This review gives an overview of the current knowledge on connexin-mediated communication in astrocytes, covering gap junction and hemichannel functions mediated by connexins. Astroglia is the main brain cell type that expresses the largest amount of connexin and exhibits high level of gap junctional communication compared to neurons and oligodendrocytes. However, in certain developmental and regional situations, astrocytes are also coupled with oligodendrocytes and neurons. This heterotypic coupling is infrequent and minor in terms of extent of the coupling area, which does not mean that it is not important in terms of cell interaction. Here, we present an update on heterogeneity of connexin expression and function at the molecular, subcellular, cellular and networking levels. Interestingly, while astrocytes were initially considered as a homogenous population, there is now increasing evidence for morphological, developmental, molecular and physiological heterogeneity of astrocytes. Consequently, the specificity of gap junction channel- and hemichannel-mediated communication, which tends to synchronize cell populations, is also a parameter to take into account when neuroglial interactions are investigated. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Electrical Synapses. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Connexin 32 and connexin 43 are involved in lineage restriction of hepatic progenitor cells to hepatocytes

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    Haiyun Pei

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bi-potential hepatic progenitor cells can give rise to both hepatocytes and cholangiocytes, which is the last phase and critical juncture in terms of sequentially hepatic lineage restriction from any kind of stem cells. If their differentiation can be controlled, it might access to functional hepatocytes to develop pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries as well as cell therapies for end-stage liver diseases. Methods In this study, we investigated the influence of Cx32 and Cx43 on hepatocyte differentiation of WB-F344 cells by in vitro gain and loss of function analyses. An inhibitor of Cx32 was also used to make further clarification. To reveal p38 MAPK pathway is closely related to Cxs, rats with 70% partial hepatectomy were injected intraperitoneally with a p38 inhibitor, SB203580. Besides, the effects of p38 MAPK pathway on differentiation of hepatoblasts isolated from fetal rat livers were evaluated by addition of SB203580 in culture medium. Results In vitro gain and loss of function analyses showed overexpression of Connexin 32 and knockdown of Connexin 43 promoted hepatocytes differentiation from hepatic progenitor cells. In addition, in vitro and ex vivo research revealed inhibition of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway can improve hepatocytes differentiation correlating with upregulation of Connexin 32 expression and downregulation of Connexin 43 expression. Conclusions Here we demonstrate that Connexins play crucial roles in facilitating differentiation of hepatic progenitors. Our work further implicates that regulators of Connexins and their related pathways might provide new insights to improve lineage restriction of stem cells to mature hepatocytes.

  11. 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

  12. Dynamic changes in connexin expression following engraftment of neural stem cells to striatal tissue

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaederstad, Johan; Jaederstad, Linda Maria; Herlenius, Eric

    2011-01-01

    Gap-junctional intercellular communication between grafted neural stem cells (NSCs) and host cells seem to be essential for many of the beneficial effects associated with NSC engraftment. Utilizing murine NSCs (mNSCs) grafted into an organotypic ex vivo model system for striatal tissue we examined the prerequisites for formation of gap-junctional couplings between graft and host cells at different time points following implantation. We utilized flow cytometry (to quantify the proportion of connexin (Cx) 26 and 43 expressing cells), immunohistochemistry (for localization of the gap-junctional proteins in graft and host cells), dye-transfer studies with and without pharmacological gap-junctional blockers (assaying the functionality of the formed gap-junctional couplings), and proliferation assays (to estimate the role of gap junctions for NSC well-being) to this end. Immunohistochemical staining and dye-transfer studies revealed that the NSCs already form functional gap junctions prior to engraftment, thereby creating a substrate for subsequent graft and host communication. The expression of Cx43 by grafted NSCs was decreased by neurotrophin-3 overexpression in NSCs and culturing of grafted tissue in serum-free Neurobasal B27 medium. Cx43 expression in NSC-derived cells also changed significantly following engraftment. In host cells the expression of Cx43 peaked following traumatic stimulation and then declined within two weeks, suggesting a window of opportunity for successful host cell rescue by NSC engraftment. Further investigation of the dynamic changes in gap junction expression in graft and host cells and the associated variations in intercellular communication between implanted and endogenous cells might help to understand and control the early positive and negative effects evident following neural stem cell transplantation and thereby optimize the outcome of future clinical NSC transplantation therapies.

  13. Interleukin-4 and interleukin-13 compromise the sinonasal epithelial barrier and perturb intercellular junction protein expression.

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    Wise, Sarah K; Laury, Adrienne M; Katz, Elizabeth H; Den Beste, Kyle A; Parkos, Charles A; Nusrat, Asma

    2014-05-01

    Altered expression of epithelial intercellular junction proteins has been observed in sinonasal biopsies from nasal polyps and epithelial layers cultured from nasal polyp patients. These alterations comprise a "leaky" epithelial barrier phenotype. We hypothesize that T helper 2 (Th2) cytokines interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13 modulate epithelial junction proteins, thereby contributing to the leaky epithelial barrier. Differentiated primary sinonasal epithelial layers cultured at the air-liquid interface were exposed to IL-4, IL-13, and controls for 24 hours at 37°C. Epithelial resistance measurements were taken every 4 hours during cytokine exposure. Western blot and immunofluorescence staining/confocal microscopy were used to assess changes in a panel of tight and adherens junction proteins. Western blot densitometry was quantified with image analysis. IL-4 and IL-13 exposure resulted in a mean decrease in transepithelial resistance at 24 hours to 51.6% (n = 6) and 68.6% (n = 8) of baseline, respectively. Tight junction protein junctional adhesion molecule-A (JAM-A) expression decreased 42.2% with IL-4 exposure (n = 9) and 37.5% with IL-13 exposure (n = 9). Adherens junction protein E-cadherin expression decreased 35.3% with IL-4 exposure (n = 9) and 32.9% with IL-13 exposure (n = 9). Tight junction protein claudin-2 showed more variability but had a trend toward higher expression with Th2 cytokine exposure. There were no appreciable changes in claudin-1, occludin, or zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) with IL-4 or IL-13 exposure. Sinonasal epithelial exposure to Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 results in alterations in intercellular junction proteins, reflecting increased epithelial permeability. Such changes may explain some of the phenotypic manifestations of Th2-mediated sinonasal disease, such as edema, nasal discharge, and environmental reactivity. © 2014 ARS-AAOA, LLC.

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

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

    2013-05-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Connexin-Dependent Neuroglial Networking as a New Therapeutic Target

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    Mathieu Charvériat

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes and neurons dynamically interact during physiological processes, and it is now widely accepted that they are both organized in plastic and tightly regulated networks. Astrocytes are connected through connexin-based gap junction channels, with brain region specificities, and those networks modulate neuronal activities, such as those involved in sleep-wake cycle, cognitive, or sensory functions. Additionally, astrocyte domains have been involved in neurogenesis and neuronal differentiation during development; they participate in the “tripartite synapse” with both pre-synaptic and post-synaptic neurons by tuning down or up neuronal activities through the control of neuronal synaptic strength. Connexin-based hemichannels are also involved in those regulations of neuronal activities, however, this feature will not be considered in the present review. Furthermore, neuronal processes, transmitting electrical signals to chemical synapses, stringently control astroglial connexin expression, and channel functions. Long-range energy trafficking toward neurons through connexin-coupled astrocytes and plasticity of those networks are hence largely dependent on neuronal activity. Such reciprocal interactions between neurons and astrocyte networks involve neurotransmitters, cytokines, endogenous lipids, and peptides released by neurons but also other brain cell types, including microglial and endothelial cells. Over the past 10 years, knowledge about neuroglial interactions has widened and now includes effects of CNS-targeting drugs such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, psychostimulants, or sedatives drugs as potential modulators of connexin function and thus astrocyte networking activity. In physiological situations, neuroglial networking is consequently resulting from a two-way interaction between astrocyte gap junction-mediated networks and those made by neurons. As both cell types are modulated by CNS drugs we postulate that neuroglial

  18. Connexin-Dependent Neuroglial Networking as a New Therapeutic Target.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charvériat, Mathieu; Naus, Christian C; Leybaert, Luc; Sáez, Juan C; Giaume, Christian

    2017-01-01

    Astrocytes and neurons dynamically interact during physiological processes, and it is now widely accepted that they are both organized in plastic and tightly regulated networks. Astrocytes are connected through connexin-based gap junction channels, with brain region specificities, and those networks modulate neuronal activities, such as those involved in sleep-wake cycle, cognitive, or sensory functions. Additionally, astrocyte domains have been involved in neurogenesis and neuronal differentiation during development; they participate in the "tripartite synapse" with both pre-synaptic and post-synaptic neurons by tuning down or up neuronal activities through the control of neuronal synaptic strength. Connexin-based hemichannels are also involved in those regulations of neuronal activities, however, this feature will not be considered in the present review. Furthermore, neuronal processes, transmitting electrical signals to chemical synapses, stringently control astroglial connexin expression, and channel functions. Long-range energy trafficking toward neurons through connexin-coupled astrocytes and plasticity of those networks are hence largely dependent on neuronal activity. Such reciprocal interactions between neurons and astrocyte networks involve neurotransmitters, cytokines, endogenous lipids, and peptides released by neurons but also other brain cell types, including microglial and endothelial cells. Over the past 10 years, knowledge about neuroglial interactions has widened and now includes effects of CNS-targeting drugs such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, psychostimulants, or sedatives drugs as potential modulators of connexin function and thus astrocyte networking activity. In physiological situations, neuroglial networking is consequently resulting from a two-way interaction between astrocyte gap junction-mediated networks and those made by neurons. As both cell types are modulated by CNS drugs we postulate that neuroglial networking may emerge as

  19. IL-4 and IL-13 Compromise the Sinonasal Epithelial Barrier and Perturb Intercellular Junction Protein Expression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, Sarah K.; Laury, Adrienne M.; Katz, Elizabeth H.; Den Beste, Kyle A.; Parkos, Charles A.; Nusrat, Asma

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Altered expression of epithelial intercellular junction proteins has been observed in sinonasal biopsies from nasal polyps and epithelial layers cultured from nasal polyp patients. These alterations comprise a “leaky” epithelial barrier phenotype. We hypothesize that Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 modulate epithelial junction proteins thereby contributing to the leaky epithelial barrier. Methods Differentiated primary sinonasal epithelial layers cultured at the air-liquid interface were exposed to IL-4, IL-13, and controls for 24 hours at 37°C. Epithelial resistance measurements were taken every 4 hours during cytokine exposure. Western blot and immunofluorescence staining/confocal microscopy were used to assess changes in a panel of tight and adherens junction proteins. Western blot densitometry was quantified with image analysis. Results IL-4 and IL-13 exposure resulted in a mean decrease in transepithelial resistance at 24 hours to 51.6% (n=6) and 68.6% (n=8) of baseline, respectively. Tight junction protein JAM-A expression decreased 42.2% with IL-4 exposure (n=9) and 37.5% with IL-13 exposure (n=9). Adherens junction protein E-cadherin expression decreased 35.3% with IL-4 exposure (n=9) and 32.9% with IL-13 exposure (n=9). Tight junction protein claudin-2 showed more variability but had a trend toward higher expression with Th2 cytokine exposure. There were no appreciable changes in claudin-1, occludin, or ZO-1 with IL-4 or IL-13 exposure. Conclusion Sinonasal epithelial exposure to Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 results in alterations in intercellular junction proteins, reflecting increased epithelial permeability. Such changes may explain some of the phenotypic manifestations of Th2-mediated sinonasal disease, such as edema, nasal discharge, and environmental reactivity. PMID:24510479

  20. Surfing the wave, cycle, life history, and genes/proteins expressed by testicular germ cells. Part 5: intercellular junctions and contacts between germs cells and Sertoli cells and their regulatory interactions, testicular cholesterol, and genes/proteins associated with more than one germ cell generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermo, Louis; Pelletier, R-Marc; Cyr, Daniel G; Smith, Charles E

    2010-04-01

    In the testis, cell adhesion and junctional molecules permit specific interactions and intracellular communication between germ and Sertoli cells and apposed Sertoli cells. Among the many adhesion family of proteins, NCAM, nectin and nectin-like, catenins, and cadherens will be discussed, along with gap junctions between germ and Sertoli cells and the many members of the connexin family. The blood-testis barrier separates the haploid spermatids from blood borne elements. In the barrier, the intercellular junctions consist of many proteins such as occludin, tricellulin, and claudins. Changes in the expression of cell adhesion molecules are also an essential part of the mechanism that allows germ cells to move from the basal compartment of the seminiferous tubule to the adluminal compartment thus crossing the blood-testis barrier and well-defined proteins have been shown to assist in this process. Several structural components show interactions between germ cells to Sertoli cells such as the ectoplasmic specialization which are more closely related to Sertoli cells and tubulobulbar complexes that are processes of elongating spermatids embedded into Sertoli cells. Germ cells also modify several Sertoli functions and this also appears to be the case for residual bodies. Cholesterol plays a significant role during spermatogenesis and is essential for germ cell development. Lastly, we list genes/proteins that are expressed not only in any one specific generation of germ cells but across more than one generation. Copyright 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarrouilhe, D; Dejean, C

    2015-11-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mélanie Busby

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  5. Detailed regulatory mechanism of the interaction between ZO-1 PDZ2 and connexin43 revealed by MD simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fei Xiao

    Full Text Available The gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43 binds to the second PDZ domain of Zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1 through its C-terminal tail, mediating the regulation of gap junction plaque size and dynamics. Biochemical study demonstrated that the very C-terminal 12 residues of Cx43 are necessary and sufficient for ZO-1 PDZ2 binding and phosphorylation at residues Ser (-9 and Ser (-10 of the peptide can disrupt the association. However, only a crystal structure of ZO-1 PDZ2 in complex with a shorter 9 aa peptide of connexin43 was solved experimentally. Here, the interactions between ZO-1 PDZ2 and the short, long and phosphorylated Cx43 peptides were studied using molecular dynamics (MD simulations and free energy calculation. The short peptide bound to PDZ2 exhibits large structural variations, while the extension of three upstream residues stabilizes the peptide conformation and enhanced the interaction. Phosphorylation at Ser(-9 significantly weakens the binding and results in conformational flexibility of the peptide. Glu210 of ZO-1 PDZ2 was found to be a key regulatory point in Cx43 binding and phosphorylation induced dissociation.

  6. 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. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  7. Astrocyte and Oligodendrocyte Connexins of the Glial Syncytium in Relation to Astrocyte Anatomical Domains and Spatial Buffering

    OpenAIRE

    NAGY, JAMES I.; RASH, JOHN E.

    2003-01-01

    Astroctyes express a set of three connexins (Cx26, Cx30, and Cx43) that are contained in astrocyte-to-astrocyte (A/A) gap junctions; oligodendrocytes express a different set of three connexins (Cx29, Cx32, and Cx47) that are contained in the oligodendrocyte side of necessarily heterotypic astrocyte-to-oligodendrocyte (A/O) gap junctions, and there is little ultrastructural evidence for gap junction formation between individual oligodendrocytes. In addition, primarily Cx29 and Cx32 are contain...

  8. 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.

  9. impairs gap junction function causing congenital cataract

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    LIJUAN CHEN

    2017-12-20

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

  10. The importance of connexin hemichannels during chondroprogenitor cell differentiation in hydrogel versus microtissue culture models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrobback, Karsten; Klein, Travis Jacob; Woodfield, Tim B F

    2015-06-01

    Appropriate selection of scaffold architecture is a key challenge in cartilage tissue engineering. Gap junction-mediated intercellular contacts play important roles in precartilage condensation of mesenchymal cells. However, scaffold architecture could potentially restrict cell-cell communication and differentiation. This is particularly important when choosing the appropriate culture platform as well as scaffold-based strategy for clinical translation, that is, hydrogel or microtissues, for investigating differentiation of chondroprogenitor cells in cartilage tissue engineering. We, therefore, studied the influence of gap junction-mediated cell-cell communication on chondrogenesis of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-MSCs) and articular chondrocytes. Expanded human chondrocytes and BM-MSCs were either (re-) differentiated in micromass cell pellets or encapsulated as isolated cells in alginate hydrogels. Samples were treated with and without the gap junction inhibitor 18-α glycyrrhetinic acid (18αGCA). DNA and glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content and gene expression levels (collagen I/II/X, aggrecan, and connexin 43) were quantified at various time points. Protein localization was determined using immunofluorescence, and adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP) was measured in conditioned media. While GAG/DNA was higher in alginate compared with pellets for chondrocytes, there were no differences in chondrogenic gene expression between culture models. Gap junction blocking reduced collagen II and extracellular ATP in all chondrocyte cultures and in BM-MSC hydrogels. However, differentiation capacity was not abolished completely by 18αGCA. Connexin 43 levels were high throughout chondrocyte cultures and peaked only later during BM-MSC differentiation, consistent with the delayed response of BM-MSCs to 18αGCA. Alginate hydrogels and microtissues are equally suited culture platforms for the chondrogenic (re-)differentiation of expanded human articular

  11. 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].

  12. 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

  13. Protein kinase C isoforms at the neuromuscular junction: localization and specific roles in neurotransmission and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanuza, Maria A; Santafe, Manel M; Garcia, Neus; Besalduch, Núria; Tomàs, Marta; Obis, Teresa; Priego, Mercedes; Nelson, Phillip G; Tomàs, Josep

    2014-01-01

    The protein kinase C family (PKC) regulates a variety of neural functions including neurotransmitter release. The selective activation of a wide range of PKC isoforms in different cells and domains is likely to contribute to the functional diversity of PKC phosphorylating activity. In this review, we describe the isoform localization, phosphorylation function, regulation and signalling of the PKC family at the neuromuscular junction. Data show the involvement of the PKC family in several important functions at the neuromuscular junction and in particular in the maturation of the synapse and the modulation of neurotransmission in the adult. © 2013 Anatomical Society.

  14. Expression of Tight Junction Protein Claudin-1 in Human Crescentic Glomerulonephritis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryo Koda

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The origin of crescent forming cells in human glomerulonephritis (GN remains unknown. Some animal studies demonstrated that parietal epithelial cells of Bowman’s capsule (PECs were the main component of proliferating cells and PEC-specific tight junction protein claudin-1 was expressed in crescentic lesions. We investigated the expression of claudin-1 in human GN. Immunohistochemistry for claudin-1 was performed on 17 kidney biopsy samples with crescent formation. Colocalization of claudin-1 with intracellular tight junction protein ZO-1 was also evaluated by immunofluorescence double staining. Claudin-1 is expressed mainly at the cell to cell contact site of proliferating cells in cellular crescentic lesions in patients with these forms of human GN. Small numbers of crescent forming cells showed extrajunctional localization of claudin-1. Colocalization of claudin-1 with ZO-1 was found at cell to cell contact sites of adjacent proliferating cells. In control samples, staining of claudin-1 was positive in PECs, but not in podocytes. Our findings suggest that claudin-1 contributes to crescent formation as a component of the tight junction protein complex that includes ZO-1. Co-localization of claudin-1 with ZO-1 implies the formation of functional tight junction complexes in crescentic lesions to prevent the interstitial damage caused by penetration of filtered molecules from Bowman’s space.

  15. Characterization of the Tetraspan Junctional Complex (4JC) superfamily.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, Amy; Lee, Andre; Hendargo, Kevin J; Reddy, Vamsee S; Shlykov, Maksim A; Kuppusamykrishnan, Harikrishnan; Medrano-Soto, Arturo; Saier, Milton H

    2017-03-01

    Connexins or innexins form gap junctions, while claudins and occludins form tight junctions. In this study, statistical data, derived using novel software, indicate that these four junctional protein families and eleven other families of channel and channel auxiliary proteins are related by common descent and comprise the Tetraspan (4 TMS) Junctional Complex (4JC) Superfamily. These proteins all share similar 4 transmembrane α-helical (TMS) topologies. Evidence is presented that they arose via an intragenic duplication event, whereby a 2 TMS-encoding genetic element duplicated tandemly to give 4 TMS proteins. In cases where high resolution structural data were available, the conclusion of homology was supported by conducting structural comparisons. Phylogenetic trees reveal the probable relationships of these 15 families to each other. Long homologues containing fusions to other recognizable domains as well as internally duplicated or fused domains are reported. Large "fusion" proteins containing 4JC domains proved to fall predominantly into family-specific patterns as follows: (1) the 4JC domain was N-terminal; (2) the 4JC domain was C-terminal; (3) the 4JC domain was duplicated or occasionally triplicated and (4) mixed fusion types were present. Our observations provide insight into the evolutionary origins and subfunctions of these proteins as well as guides concerning their structural and functional relationships. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. A potential role for neuronal connexin 36 in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belousov, Andrei B; Nishimune, Hiroshi; Denisova, Janna V; Fontes, Joseph D

    2018-02-14

    Neuronal gap junctional protein connexin 36 (Cx36) contributes to neuronal death following a range of acute brain insults such as ischemia, traumatic brain injury and epilepsy. Whether Cx36 contributes to neuronal death and pathological outcomes in chronic neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is not known. We show here that the expression of Cx36 is significantly decreased in lumbar segments of the spinal cord of both human ALS subjects and SOD1 G93A mice as compared to healthy human and wild-type mouse controls, respectively. In purified neuronal cultures prepared from the spinal cord of wild-type mice, knockdown of Cx36 reduces neuronal death caused by overexpression of the mutant human SOD1-G93A protein. Taken together, these data suggest a possible contribution of Cx36 to ALS pathogenesis. A perspective for the use of blockers of Cx36 gap junction channels for ALS therapy is discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua eKaufman

    2013-09-01

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

  18. Evidence for differential changes of junctional complex proteins in murine neurocysticercosis dependent upon CNS vasculature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez, Jorge I; Teale, Judy M

    2007-09-12

    The delicate balance required to maintain homeostasis of the central nervous system (CNS) is controlled by the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Upon injury, the BBB is disrupted compromising the CNS. BBB disruption has been represented as a uniform event. However, our group has shown in a murine model of neurocysticercosis (NCC) that BBB disruption varies depending upon the anatomical site/vascular bed analyzed. In this study further understanding of the mechanisms of BBB disruption was explored in blood vessels located in leptomeninges (pial vessels) and brain parenchyma (parenchymal vessels) by examining the expression of junctional complex proteins in murine brain infected with Mesocestoides corti. Both pial and parenchymal vessels from mock infected animals showed significant colocalization of junctional proteins and displayed an organized architecture. Upon infection, the patterned organization was disrupted and in some cases, particular tight junction and adherens junction proteins were undetectable or appeared to be undergoing proteolysis. The extent and timing of these changes differed between both types of vessels (pial vessel disruption within days versus weeks for parenchymal vessels). To approach potential mechanisms, the expression and activity of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) were evaluated by in situ zymography. The results indicated an increase in MMP-9 activity at sites of BBB disruption exhibiting leukocyte infiltration. Moreover, the timing of MMP activity in pial and parenchymal vessels correlated with the timing of permeability disruption. Thus, breakdown of the BBB is a mutable process despite the similar structure of the junctional complex between pial and parenchymal vessels and involvement of MMP activity.

  19. Connexin hemichannel-mediated CO2-dependent release of ATP in the medulla oblongata contributes to central respiratory chemosensitivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huckstepp, Robert T R; id Bihi, Rachid; Eason, Robert; Spyer, K Michael; Dicke, Nikolai; Willecke, Klaus; Marina, Nephtali; Gourine, Alexander V; Dale, Nicholas

    2010-01-01

    Arterial , a major determinant of breathing, is detected by chemosensors located in the brainstem. These are important for maintaining physiological levels of in the blood and brain, yet the mechanisms by which the brain senses CO2 remain controversial. As ATP release at the ventral surface of the brainstem has been causally linked to the adaptive changes in ventilation in response to hypercapnia, we have studied the mechanisms of CO2-dependent ATP release in slices containing the ventral surface of the medulla oblongata. We found that CO2-dependent ATP release occurs in the absence of extracellular acidification and correlates directly with the level of . ATP release is independent of extracellular Ca2+ and may occur via the opening of a gap junction hemichannel. As agents that act on connexin channels block this release, but compounds selective for pannexin-1 have no effect, we conclude that a connexin hemichannel is involved in CO2-dependent ATP release. We have used molecular, genetic and immunocytochemical techniques to demonstrate that in the medulla oblongata connexin 26 (Cx26) is preferentially expressed near the ventral surface. The leptomeninges, subpial astrocytes and astrocytes ensheathing penetrating blood vessels at the ventral surface of the medulla can be loaded with dye in a CO2-dependent manner, suggesting that gating of a hemichannel is involved in ATP release. This distribution of CO2-dependent dye loading closely mirrors that of Cx26 expression and colocalizes to glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive cells. In vivo, blockers with selectivity for Cx26 reduce hypercapnia-evoked ATP release and the consequent adaptive enhancement of breathing. We therefore propose that Cx26-mediated release of ATP in response to changes in is an important mechanism contributing to central respiratory chemosensitivity. PMID:20736421

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. Intraepithelial lymphocytes express junctional molecules in murine small intestine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Inagaki-Ohara, Kyoko; Sawaguchi, Akira; Suganuma, Tatsuo; Matsuzaki, Goro; Nawa, Yukifumi

    2005-01-01

    Intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) that reside at basolateral site regulate the proliferation and differentiation of epithelial cells (EC) for providing a first line of host defense in intestine. However, it remains unknown how IEL interact and communicate with EC. Here, we show that IEL express junctional molecules like EC. We identified mRNA expression of the junctional molecules in IEL such as zonula occludens (ZO)-1, occludin and junctional adhesion molecule (JAM) (tight junction), β-catenin and E-cadherin (adherens junction), and connexin26 (gap junction). IEL constitutively expressed occludin and E-cadherin at protein level, while other T cells in the thymus, spleen, liver, mesenteric lymph node, and Peyer's patches did not. γδ IEL showed higher level of these expressions than αβ IEL. The expression of occludin was augmented by anti-CD3 Ab stimulation. These results suggest the possibility of a novel role of IEL concerning epithelial barrier and communication between IEL and EC

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-09-17

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hijazi, Assia; Haenlin, Marc; Waltzer, Lucas; Roch, Fernando

    2011-03-15

    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. 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. 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.

  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. Altered expressions of endothelial junction protein of placental capillaries in premature infants with intraventricular hemorrhage

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    Maria Ekawati

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Placental hypoxia may lead to oxidative stress, which inflicts damage to capillary protein junction. The aim of this study was to evaluate altered expression of endothelial junction protein of capillaries in hypoxia condition and to observe its correlation with the incidence of  intraventricular hemorrhage in premature infants.Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted by using placental tissues of premature infants as amodel of capillary integrity (29 hypoxic and 29 non-hypoxic. Hypoxia inducible factor (HIF-1α was measured to define placental tissue response to hypoxia; malondialdehyde (MDA and glutathione (GSH served as markers of oxidative stress. The expressions of junctional proteins, N-cadherin and occludin were analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH was detected by cranial ultrasound at the third day. Unpaired t test, Mann-Whitney, and Chi-square tests were used to analyze the data.Results: The HIF-1α and MDA levels were slightly, but not significantly, higher in hypoxia group {13.64±8.70 pg/mg protein and 10.31 pmol/mg tissue (ranged 1.92–93.61, respectively}  compared to non- hypoxia group {10.65±5.35 pg/mg protein and 9.77 pmol/mg tissue (ranged 2.42–93.31}. GSH levels were not different in both groups (38.14 (ranged 9.44–118.91 and  38.47(ranged 16.49–126.76 ng/mg protein, respectively. mRNA expression of N-cadherin (0.13 and occludin (0.096 were significantly lower in hypoxia comparedto non-hypoxia group (p=0,001, while protein expression of  N-cadherin (3.4; 75.9; 6.9; 13.8% and occludin  (20.7; 3.4; 69.0; 3.4; 6.9%  in hypoxia group was not associated with IVH (p=0.783 and p=0.743.Conclusion: Hypoxia altered expression of endothelial junction protein in placental capillaries, but no association with intraventricular hemorrhage was observed.

  8. The novel protein kinase C epsilon isoform modulates acetylcholine release in the rat neuromuscular junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obis, Teresa; Hurtado, Erica; Nadal, Laura; Tomàs, Marta; Priego, Mercedes; Simon, Anna; Garcia, Neus; Santafe, Manel M; Lanuza, Maria A; Tomàs, Josep

    2015-12-01

    Various protein kinase C (PKC) isoforms contribute to the phosphorylating activity that modulates neurotransmitter release. In previous studies we showed that nPKCε is confined in the presynaptic site of the neuromuscular junction and its presynaptic function is activity-dependent. Furthermore, nPKCε regulates phorbol ester-induced acetylcholine release potentiation, which further indicates that nPKCε is involved in neurotransmission. The present study is designed to examine the nPKCε involvement in transmitter release at the neuromuscular junction. We use the specific nPKCε translocation inhibitor peptide εV1-2 and electrophysiological experiments to investigate the involvement of this isoform in acetylcholine release. We observed that nPKCε membrane translocation is key to the synaptic potentiation of NMJ, being involved in several conditions that upregulate PKC isoforms coupling to acetylcholine (ACh) release (incubation with high Ca(2+), stimulation with phorbol esters and protein kinase A, stimulation with adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphorothioate, 8-Bromo-, Rp-isomer, sodium salt -Sp-8-BrcAMP-). In all these conditions, preincubation with the nPKCε translocation inhibitor peptide (εV1-2) impairs PKC coupling to acetylcholine release potentiation. In addition, the inhibition of nPKCε translocation and therefore its activity impedes that presynaptic muscarinic autoreceptors and adenosine autoreceptors modulate transmitter secretion. Together, these results point to the importance of nPKCε isoform in the control of acetylcholine release in the neuromuscular junction.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  11. Particulate matter air pollution disrupts endothelial cell barrier via calpain-mediated tight junction protein degradation

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    Wang Ting

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Exposure to particulate matter (PM is a significant risk factor for increased cardiopulmonary morbidity and mortality. The mechanism of PM-mediated pathophysiology remains unknown. However, PM is proinflammatory to the endothelium and increases vascular permeability in vitro and in vivo via ROS generation. Objectives We explored the role of tight junction proteins as targets for PM-induced loss of lung endothelial cell (EC barrier integrity and enhanced cardiopulmonary dysfunction. Methods Changes in human lung EC monolayer permeability were assessed by Transendothelial Electrical Resistance (TER in response to PM challenge (collected from Ft. McHenry Tunnel, Baltimore, MD, particle size >0.1 μm. Biochemical assessment of ROS generation and Ca2+ mobilization were also measured. Results PM exposure induced tight junction protein Zona occludens-1 (ZO-1 relocation from the cell periphery, which was accompanied by significant reductions in ZO-1 protein levels but not in adherens junction proteins (VE-cadherin and β-catenin. N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC, 5 mM reduced PM-induced ROS generation in ECs, which further prevented TER decreases and atteneuated ZO-1 degradation. PM also mediated intracellular calcium mobilization via the transient receptor potential cation channel M2 (TRPM2, in a ROS-dependent manner with subsequent activation of the Ca2+-dependent protease calpain. PM-activated calpain is responsible for ZO-1 degradation and EC barrier disruption. Overexpression of ZO-1 attenuated PM-induced endothelial barrier disruption and vascular hyperpermeability in vivo and in vitro. Conclusions These results demonstrate that PM induces marked increases in vascular permeability via ROS-mediated calcium leakage via activated TRPM2, and via ZO-1 degradation by activated calpain. These findings support a novel mechanism for PM-induced lung damage and adverse cardiovascular outcomes.

  12. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  14. Different expressions of connexin 43 and 32 in the fibroblasts of human dental pulp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibuki, N; Yamaoka, Y; Sawa, Y; Kawasaki, T; Yoshida, S

    2002-06-01

    The expression and localization of gap junctional proteins connexin (Cx) 26, 32, and 43 was examined in human dental pulp. Dental pulp tissues were obtained from human third molars immediately after extraction. Some pulp tissues were used for cell culture, and the rest for histological observations. Immunostaining for cultured dental pulp fibroblasts (DPFs) showed that Cx32 and 43 were expressed in human DPFs, and proteins corresponding to 27 (Cx32) and 43kDa (Cx43) were identified by Western blot analysis. Immunostaining for tissue sections showed that the expression of Cx32 and 43 was observed in the entire region of the pulp and further strong expression of Cx32 was established beneath the cell-rich zone. Considering the close relationship between Cx types and cell functions, the results indicate that DPFs beneath the cell-rich zone may have specific, Cx32-related functions. The cell rich zone is thought to contain progenitor odontoblasts that can be induced to differentiate into mature odontoblasts in response to wounding. Therefore, it may be hypothesized that DPFs just beneath the cell-rich zone produce proteins and induce odontoblast differentiation from the cells in the cell-rich zone.

  15. Neurons and satellite glial cells in adult rat lumbar dorsal root ganglia express connexin 36.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez Armendariz, E Martha; Norcini, Monica; Hernández-Tellez, Beatriz; Castell-Rodríguez, Andrés; Coronel-Cruz, Cristina; Alquicira, Raquel Guerrero; Sideris, Alexandra; Recio-Pinto, Esperanza

    2018-04-01

    Previous studies have shown that following peripheral nerve injury there was a downregulation of the gap junction protein connexin 36 (Cx36) in the spinal cord; however, it is not known whether Cx36 protein is expressed in the dorsal root ganglia (DRGs), nor if its levels are altered following peripheral nerve injuries. Here we address these aspects in the adult rat lumbar DRG. Cx36 mRNA was detected using qRT-PCR, and Cx36 protein was identified in DRG sections using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and immunofluorescence (IF). Double staining revealed that Cx36 co-localizes with both anti-β-III tubulin, a neuronal marker, and anti-glutamine synthetase, a satellite glial cell (SGC) marker. In neurons, Cx36 staining was mostly uniform in somata and fibers of all sizes and its intensity increased at the cell membranes. This labeling pattern was in contrast with Cx36 IF dots mainly found at junctional membranes in islet beta cells used as a control tissue. Co-staining with anti-Cx43 and anti-Cx36 showed that whereas mostly uniform staining of Cx36 was found throughout neurons and SGCs, Cx43 IF puncta were localized to SGCs. Cx36 mRNA was expressed in normal lumbar DRG, and it was significantly down-regulated in L4 DRG of rats that underwent sciatic nerve injury resulting in persistent hypersensitivity. Collectively, these findings demonstrated that neurons and SGCs express Cx36 protein in normal DRG, and suggested that perturbation of Cx36 levels may contribute to chronic neuropathic pain resulting from a peripheral nerve injury. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  17. Uterine inactivation of muscle segment homeobox (Msx) genes alters epithelial cell junction proteins during embryo implantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xiaofei; Park, Craig B; Deng, Wenbo; Potter, S Steven; Dey, Sudhansu K

    2016-04-01

    Embryo implantation requires that the uterus differentiate into the receptive state. Failure to attain uterine receptivity will impede blastocyst attachment and result in a compromised pregnancy. The molecular mechanism by which the uterus transitions from the prereceptive to the receptive stage is complex, involving an intricate interplay of various molecules. We recently found that mice with uterine deletion ofMsxgenes (Msx1(d/d)/Msx2(d/d)) are infertile because of implantation failure associated with heightened apicobasal polarity of luminal epithelial cells during the receptive period. However, information on Msx's roles in regulating epithelial polarity remains limited. To gain further insight, we analyzed cell-type-specific gene expression by RNA sequencing of separated luminal epithelial and stromal cells by laser capture microdissection fromMsx1(d/d)/Msx2(d/d)and floxed mouse uteri on d 4 of pseudopregnancy. We found that claudin-1, a tight junction protein, and small proline-rich (Sprr2) protein, a major component of cornified envelopes in keratinized epidermis, were substantially up-regulated inMsx1(d/d)/Msx2(d/d)uterine epithelia. These factors also exhibited unique epithelial expression patterns at the implantation chamber (crypt) inMsx1(f/f)/Msx2(f/f)females; the patterns were lost inMsx1(d/d)/Msx2(d/d)epithelia on d 5, suggesting important roles during implantation. The results suggest thatMsxgenes play important roles during uterine receptivity including modulation of epithelial junctional activity.-Sun, X., Park, C. B., Deng, W., Potter, S. S., Dey, S. K. Uterine inactivation of muscle segment homeobox (Msx) genes alters epithelial cell junction proteins during embryo implantation. © FASEB.

  18. impairs gap junction function causing congenital cataract

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Navya

    2017-03-24

    Mar 24, 2017 ... ... applied to analyze the expression and subcellular localization of recombinant ... Cx46. The fluorescent localization assay revealed the plaque formation ... composed of six trans-membrane protein subunits called connexins ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Zengyang; Gong, Chenyuan; Lu, Bin; Yang, Li; Sheng, Yuchen; Ji, Lili; Wang, Zhengtao

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25685822

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

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    Hajnalka Rajnai

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Estrogen decreases tight junction protein ZO-1 expression in human primary gut tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Zejun; Zhang, Lumin; Ding, Miao; Luo, Zhenwu; Yuan, Shao; Bansal, Meena B; Gilkeson, Gary; Lang, Ren; Jiang, Wei

    2017-10-01

    Females have a higher prevalence of most autoimmune diseases; however, the mechanism is unknown. In this study, we examined the expression of tight junction protein zonula occludens 1 (ZO-1) and estrogen receptor (ER)-α/β in human primary gut tissues by immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence and qPCR. The expression of ZO-1 and ER-β but not ER-α was present in both male and female gut tissues. There was no sex difference in ER-β expression, but ZO-1 expression was decreased in females compared to males. In vitro, estrogen treatment decreased ZO-1 mRNA and protein expression, ZO-1 promoter activity, IL-6 production, and NF-κB activation in human primary gut tissues or the Caco-2 cells, but increased the ER-β expression in Caco-2 cells. Consistently, plasma IL-6 levels in females were reduced relative to males in vivo. Our finding indicates that estrogen may play a role in gut tight junction expression and permeability. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Intracellular trafficking pathways of Cx43 gap junction channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epifantseva, Irina; Shaw, Robin M

    2018-01-01

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

  3. Fluoxetin Upregulates Connexin 43 Expression in Astrocyte

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    Hossein Mostafavi

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Recent studies have shown that astrocytes play major roles in normal and disease condition of the central nervous system including multiple sclerosis (MS. Molecular target therapy studies in MS have revealed that connexin-43 (Cx43 and Aquaporin-4 (AQP4 contents of astrocytes undergo expression alteration. Fluoxetine had some effects in MS patients unrelated to its known antidepressant effects. Some of fluoxetine effects were attributed to its capability of cAMP signaling pathway stimulation. This study aimed to investigate possible acute effects of fluoxetine on Cx43 and AQP4 expression in astrocyte.  Methods: Astrocytoma cells were treated for 24 hours with fluoxetine (10 and 20 &mug/ml with or without adenyl cyclase (AC and protein kinase A (PKA inhibition. Cx43 expression at both mRNA and protein levels and AQP4 expression at mRNA level were evaluated.  Results: Acquired results showed that fluoxetine with and without AC and PKA inhibition resulted in Cx43 up-regulation both in mRNA and protein levels, whereas AQP4 expression have not changed.  Discussion: In conclusion, data showed that fluoxetine alone and in the absence of serotonin acutely up-regulated Cx43 expression in astrocytes that can be assumed in molecular target therapy of MS patients. It seems that cAMP involvement in fluoxetine effects need more researches.

  4. 7-Ketocholesterol modulates intercellular communication through gap-junction in bovine lens epithelial cells

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    Pereira Paulo

    2004-06-01

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

  5. Junction region of EWS-FLI1 fusion protein has a dominant negative effect in Ewing's sarcoma in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jully, Babu; Vijayalakshmi, Ramshankar; Gopal, Gopisetty; Sabitha, Kesavan; Rajkumar, Thangarajan

    2012-11-12

    Ewing's sarcoma is a malignancy characterized by a specific 11:22 chromosomal translocation which generates a novel EWS-FLI1 fusion protein functioning as an aberrant transcription factor. In the present study, we have further characterized the junction region of the EWS-FLI1 fusion protein. In-silico model of EWS-FLI1 fusion protein was analysed for ligand binding sites, and a putative region (amino acid (aa) 251-343 of the type 1 fusion protein) in the vicinity of the fusion junction was cloned and expressed using bacterial expression. The recombinant protein was characterized by Circular Dichroism (CD). We then expressed aa 251-280 ectopically in Ewing's sarcoma cell-line and its effect on cell proliferation, tumorigenicity and expression of EWS-FLI1 target genes were analysed. Our modelling analysis indicated that Junction region (aa 251-343) encompasses potential ligand biding sites in the EWS-FLI1 protein and when expressed in bacteria was present as soluble form. Ectopically expressing this region in Ewing's sarcoma cells inhibited tumorigenicity, and EWS-FLI1 target genes indicating a dominant negative biological effect. Junction region can be exploited further as target for drug development in future to specifically target EWS-FLI1 in Ewing's Sarcoma.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

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

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

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

    2016-10-01

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

  8. Four novel connexin 32 mutations in X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Phenotypic variability and central nervous system involvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. 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

    A single layer of enterocytes and tight junctions (intercellular multiprotein complexes) form the intestinal epithelial barrier that controls transport of molecules through transcellular and paracellular pathways. A dysfunctional or "leaky" intestinal tight junction barrier allows augmented perme...

  10. Nance-Horan syndrome protein, NHS, associates with epithelial cell junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Shiwani; Ang, Sharyn L; Shaw, Marie; Mackey, David A; Gécz, Jozef; McAvoy, John W; Craig, Jamie E

    2006-06-15

    Nance-Horan syndrome, characterized by congenital cataracts, craniofacial, dental abnormalities and mental disturbances, is an X-linked disorder with significant phenotypic heterogeneity. Affected individuals have mutations in the NHS (Nance-Horan syndrome) gene typically resulting in premature truncation of the protein. This report underlines the complexity of the regulation of the NHS gene that transcribes several isoforms. We demonstrate the differential expression of the two NHS isoforms, NHS-A and NHS-1A, and differences in the subcellular localization of the proteins encoded by these isoforms. This may in part explain the pleiotropic features of the syndrome. We show that the endogenous and exogenous NHS-A isoform localizes to the cell membrane of mammalian cells in a cell-type-dependent manner and that it co-localizes with the tight junction (TJ) protein ZO-1 in the apical aspect of cell membrane in epithelial cells. We also show that the NHS-1A isoform is a cytoplasmic protein. In the developing mammalian lens, we found continuous expression of NHS that became restricted to the lens epithelium in pre- and postnatal lens. Consistent with the in vitro findings, the NHS-A isoform associates with the apical cell membrane in the lens epithelium. This study suggests that disturbances in intercellular contacts underlie cataractogenesis in the Nance-Horan syndrome. NHS is the first gene localized at TJs that has been implicated in congenital cataracts.

  11. Inhibition by Commercial Aminoglycosides of Human Connexin Hemichannels Expressed in Bacteria

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    Mariana C. Fiori

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available In addition to gap junctional channels that mediate cell-to-cell communication, connexins form hemichannels that are present at the plasma membrane. Since hemichannels are permeable to small hydrophilic compounds, including metabolites and signaling molecules, their abnormal opening can cause or contribute to cell damage in disorders such as cardiac infarct, stroke, deafness, skin diseases, and cataracts. Therefore, hemichannels are potential pharmacological targets. A few aminoglycosides, well-known broad-spectrum antibiotics, have been shown to inhibit hemichannels. Here, we tested several commercially available aminoglycosides for inhibition of human connexin hemichannels using a cell-based bacterial growth complementation assay that we developed recently. We found that kanamycin A, kanamycin B, geneticin, neomycin, and paromomycin are effective inhibitors of hemichannels formed by connexins 26, 43, and 46 (Cx26, Cx43, and Cx46. Because of the >70 years of clinical experience with aminoglycosides and the fact that several of the aminoglycosides tested here have been used in humans, they are promising starting points for the development of effective connexin hemichannel inhibitors.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  13. Tight junction protein ZO-2 expression and relative function of ZO-1 and ZO-2 during mouse blastocyst formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sheth, Bhavwanti; Nowak, Rachael L.; Anderson, Rebecca; Kwong, Wing Yee; Papenbrock, Thomas; Fleming, Tom P.

    2008-01-01

    Apicolateral tight junctions (TJs) between epithelial cells are multiprotein complexes regulating membrane polarity and paracellular transport and also contribute to signalling pathways affecting cell proliferation and gene expression. ZO-2 and other ZO family members form a sub-membranous scaffold for binding TJ constituents. We investigated ZO-2 contribution to TJ biogenesis and function during trophectoderm epithelium differentiation in mouse preimplantation embryos. Our data indicate that ZO-2 is expressed from maternal and embryonic genomes with maternal ZO-2 protein associated with nuclei in zygotes and particularly early cleavage stages. Embryonic ZO-2 assembled at outer blastomere apicolateral junctional sites from the late 16-cell stage. Junctional ZO-2 first co-localised with E-cadherin in a transient complex comprising adherens junction and TJ constituents before segregating to TJs after their separation from the blastocyst stage (32-cell onwards). ZO-2 siRNA microinjection into zygotes or 2-cell embryos resulted in specific knockdown of ZO-2 mRNA and protein within blastocysts. Embryos lacking ZO-2 protein at trophectoderm TJs exhibited delayed blastocoel cavity formation but underwent normal cell proliferation and outgrowth morphogenesis. Quantitative analysis of trophectoderm TJs in ZO-2-deficient embryos revealed increased assembly of ZO-1 but not occludin, indicating ZO protein redundancy as a compensatory mechanism contributing to the mild phenotype observed. In contrast, ZO-1 knockdown, or combined ZO-1 and ZO-2 knockdown, generated a more severe inhibition of blastocoel formation indicating distinct roles for ZO proteins in blastocyst morphogenesis

  14. 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.

  15. The tight junction protein Z O-2 has several functional nuclear export signals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonzalez-Mariscal, Lorenza; Ponce, Arturo; Alarcon, Lourdes; Jaramillo, Blanca Estela

    2006-01-01

    The tight junction (TJ) protein ZO-2 changes its subcellular distribution according to the state of confluency of the culture. Thus in confluent monolayers, it localizes at the TJ region whereas in sparse cultures it concentrates at the nucleus. The canine sequence of ZO-2 displays four putative nuclear export signals (NES), two at the second PDZ domain (NES-0 and NES-1) and the rest at the GK region (NES-2 and NES-3). The functionality of NES-0 and NES-3 was unknown, hence here we have explored it with a nuclear export assay, injecting into the nucleus of MDCK cells peptides corresponding to the ZO-2 NES sequences chemically coupled to ovalbumin. We show that both NES-0 and NES-3 are functional and sensitive to leptomycin B. We also demonstrate that NES-1, previously characterized as a non functional NES, is rendered capable of nuclear export upon the acquisition of a negative charge at its Ser369 residue. Experiments performed injecting at the nucleus WT and mutated ZO-2-GST fusion proteins revealed the need of both NES-0 and NES-1, and NES-2 and NES-3 for attaining an efficient nuclear exit of the respective amino and middle segments of ZO-2. Moreover, the transfection of MDCK cells with full-length ZO-2 revealed that the mutation of any of the NES present in the molecule was sufficient to induce nuclear accumulation of the protein

  16. Dioscorin protects tight junction protein expression in A549 human airway epithelium cells from dust mite damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Lin Shien; Ko, Ying Hsien; Lin, Kuo Wei; Hsu, Jeng Yuan; Chu, Jao Jia; Chi, Chin Shiang

    2009-12-01

    In addition to being an allergen, the trypsin activity of dust mite extract also destroys the tight junctions of bronchial epithelium. Such damage can lead to airway leakage, which increases airway exposure to allergens, irritants, and other pathogens. Dioscorin, the storage protein of yam, demonstrates anti-trypsin activity, as well as other potential anti-inflammatory effects. This study investigated the protective role of dioscorin for tight junctions. The immunofluorescence stains of zonula occludens (ZO-1), E-cadherin (EC) and desmoplakin (DP) proteins were compared. A cultured A549 cell line was used as a control and A549 cells were incubated with mite extract 100 mg/mL for 16 h, with or without dioscorin 100 mg/mL pretreatment for 8 h and with dioscorin 100 mg/mL alone for 16 h. Western blot was performed to detect changes in ZO-1, EC, and DP in the treated A549 cell lines. Loss of tight junction protein expression (ZO-1, EC, DP) was demonstrated after 16-h mite extract incubation. The defect could be restored if cells were pretreated with dioscorin for 8 h. In addition, dioscorin did not cause damage to the A549 cell lines in terms of cell survival or morphology. Western blot showed no change in the amount of tight junction protein under various conditions. Dioscorin is a potential protector of airway damage caused by mite extract.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  19. Prolongation of atrio-ventricular node conduction in a rabbit model of ischaemic cardiomyopathy: Role of fibrosis and connexin remodelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nisbet, Ashley M; Camelliti, Patrizia; Walker, Nicola L; Burton, Francis L; Cobbe, Stuart M; Kohl, Peter; Smith, Godfrey L

    2016-05-01

    Conduction abnormalities are frequently associated with cardiac disease, though the mechanisms underlying the commonly associated increases in PQ interval are not known. This study uses a chronic left ventricular (LV) apex myocardial infarction (MI) model in the rabbit to create significant left ventricular dysfunction (LVD) 8weeks post-MI. In vivo studies established that the PQ interval increases by approximately 7ms (10%) with no significant change in average heart rate. Optical mapping of isolated Langendorff perfused rabbit hearts recapitulated this result: time to earliest activation of the LV was increased by 14ms (16%) in the LVD group. Intra-atrial and LV transmural conduction times were not altered in the LVD group. Isolated AVN preparations from the LVD group demonstrated a significantly longer conduction time (by approximately 20ms) between atrial and His electrograms than sham controls across a range of pacing cycle lengths. This difference was accompanied by increased effective refractory period and Wenckebach cycle length, suggesting significantly altered AVN electrophysiology post-MI. The AVN origin of abnormality was further highlighted by optical mapping of the isolated AVN. Immunohistochemistry of AVN preparations revealed increased fibrosis and gap junction protein (connexin43 and 40) remodelling in the AVN of LVD animals compared to sham. A significant increase in myocyte-non-myocyte connexin co-localization was also observed after LVD. These changes may increase the electrotonic load experienced by AVN muscle cells and contribute to slowed conduction velocity within the AVN. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  20. Lymphocytes accelerate epithelial tight junction assembly: role of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK.

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    Xiao Xiao Tang

    2010-08-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongyan Xie

    2017-01-01

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

  3. 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

    2017-10-15

    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 the greatest abundance of ocln in the 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 - ] decreased, but not [Ca 2+ ], and carcass moisture content increased. In association, Ocln abundance increased in the skin and kidney, but reduced in the 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 were 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.

  4. Decaffeinated coffee consumption induces expression of tight junction proteins in high fat diet fed rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mazzone G

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: Recent evidence indicates that gut microbiota plays a key role in the development of NAFLD through the gut-liver axis. An altered gut permeability induced by alterations of tight junction (TJ proteins allows the passage of bacteria and substances leading to liver inflammation, hepatocyte damage and fibrosis. This study aims to evaluate the influence of decaffeinated coffee on gut permeability in a rat model of fat liver damage induced by a high fat diet (HFD. Methods: Twelve male Wistar rats were assigned to 3 groups. The first group received HFD for 5 months and drank water. The second group received HFD for 5 months and drank water added with 1.2mL decaffeinated coffee/day starting from the 4th month. The third group received standard diet (SD and drank water. Protein and mRNA expression levels of Toll-Like Receptor- 4 (TLR-4, Occludin and Zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1 were assessed in rat intestines. Results: A significant reduction of Occludin and ZO-1 was observed in HFD fed rats (0.97±0.05 vs 0.15±0.08 p˂0.01, and 0.97±0.05 vs 0.57±0.14 p˂0.001 respectively. This reduction was reverted in HFD+COFFEE rats (0.15±0.08 vs 0.83±0.27 p˂0.01 and 0.57±0.14 vs 0.85±0.12 p˂0.01 respectively. The TLR-4 expression up-regulated by HFD was partially reduced by coffee administration. Conclusions: HFD impairs the intestinal TJ barrier integrity. Coffee increases the expression of TJ proteins, reverting the altered gut permeability and reducing TLR-4 expression.

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

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    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.

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

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    Claire E. Hills

    2013-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-01

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

  8. 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

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

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    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.

  10. Leptospira interrogans causes quantitative and morphological disturbances in adherens junctions and other biological groups of proteins in human endothelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Hiromi; Coburn, Jenifer

    2017-07-01

    Pathogenic Leptospira transmits from animals to humans, causing the zoonotic life-threatening infection called leptospirosis. This infection is reported worldwide with higher risk in tropical regions. Symptoms of leptospirosis range from mild illness to severe illness such as liver damage, kidney failure, respiratory distress, meningitis, and fatal hemorrhagic disease. Invasive species of Leptospira rapidly disseminate to multiple tissues where this bacterium damages host endothelial cells, increasing vascular permeability. Despite the burden in humans and animals, the pathogenic mechanisms of Leptospira infection remain to be elucidated. The pathogenic leptospires adhere to endothelial cells and permeabilize endothelial barriers in vivo and in vitro. In this study, human endothelial cells were infected with the pathogenic L. interrogans serovar Copenhageni or the saprophyte L. biflexa serovar Patoc to investigate morphological changes and other distinctive phenotypes of host cell proteins by fluorescence microscopy. Among those analyzed, 17 proteins from five biological classes demonstrated distinctive phenotypes in morphology and/or signal intensity upon infection with Leptospira. The affected biological groups include: 1) extracellular matrix, 2) intercellular adhesion molecules and cell surface receptors, 3) intracellular proteins, 4) cell-cell junction proteins, and 5) a cytoskeletal protein. Infection with the pathogenic strain most profoundly disturbed the biological structures of adherens junctions (VE-cadherin and catenins) and actin filaments. Our data illuminate morphological disruptions and reduced signals of cell-cell junction proteins and filamentous actin in L. interrogans-infected endothelial cells. In addition, Leptospira infection, regardless of pathogenic status, influenced other host proteins belonging to multiple biological classes. Our data suggest that this zoonotic agent may damage endothelial cells via multiple cascades or pathways

  11. Leptospira interrogans causes quantitative and morphological disturbances in adherens junctions and other biological groups of proteins in human endothelial cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiromi Sato

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Pathogenic Leptospira transmits from animals to humans, causing the zoonotic life-threatening infection called leptospirosis. This infection is reported worldwide with higher risk in tropical regions. Symptoms of leptospirosis range from mild illness to severe illness such as liver damage, kidney failure, respiratory distress, meningitis, and fatal hemorrhagic disease. Invasive species of Leptospira rapidly disseminate to multiple tissues where this bacterium damages host endothelial cells, increasing vascular permeability. Despite the burden in humans and animals, the pathogenic mechanisms of Leptospira infection remain to be elucidated. The pathogenic leptospires adhere to endothelial cells and permeabilize endothelial barriers in vivo and in vitro. In this study, human endothelial cells were infected with the pathogenic L. interrogans serovar Copenhageni or the saprophyte L. biflexa serovar Patoc to investigate morphological changes and other distinctive phenotypes of host cell proteins by fluorescence microscopy. Among those analyzed, 17 proteins from five biological classes demonstrated distinctive phenotypes in morphology and/or signal intensity upon infection with Leptospira. The affected biological groups include: 1 extracellular matrix, 2 intercellular adhesion molecules and cell surface receptors, 3 intracellular proteins, 4 cell-cell junction proteins, and 5 a cytoskeletal protein. Infection with the pathogenic strain most profoundly disturbed the biological structures of adherens junctions (VE-cadherin and catenins and actin filaments. Our data illuminate morphological disruptions and reduced signals of cell-cell junction proteins and filamentous actin in L. interrogans-infected endothelial cells. In addition, Leptospira infection, regardless of pathogenic status, influenced other host proteins belonging to multiple biological classes. Our data suggest that this zoonotic agent may damage endothelial cells via multiple cascades or

  12. Leptospira interrogans causes quantitative and morphological disturbances in adherens junctions and other biological groups of proteins in human endothelial cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Hiromi

    2017-01-01

    Pathogenic Leptospira transmits from animals to humans, causing the zoonotic life-threatening infection called leptospirosis. This infection is reported worldwide with higher risk in tropical regions. Symptoms of leptospirosis range from mild illness to severe illness such as liver damage, kidney failure, respiratory distress, meningitis, and fatal hemorrhagic disease. Invasive species of Leptospira rapidly disseminate to multiple tissues where this bacterium damages host endothelial cells, increasing vascular permeability. Despite the burden in humans and animals, the pathogenic mechanisms of Leptospira infection remain to be elucidated. The pathogenic leptospires adhere to endothelial cells and permeabilize endothelial barriers in vivo and in vitro. In this study, human endothelial cells were infected with the pathogenic L. interrogans serovar Copenhageni or the saprophyte L. biflexa serovar Patoc to investigate morphological changes and other distinctive phenotypes of host cell proteins by fluorescence microscopy. Among those analyzed, 17 proteins from five biological classes demonstrated distinctive phenotypes in morphology and/or signal intensity upon infection with Leptospira. The affected biological groups include: 1) extracellular matrix, 2) intercellular adhesion molecules and cell surface receptors, 3) intracellular proteins, 4) cell-cell junction proteins, and 5) a cytoskeletal protein. Infection with the pathogenic strain most profoundly disturbed the biological structures of adherens junctions (VE-cadherin and catenins) and actin filaments. Our data illuminate morphological disruptions and reduced signals of cell-cell junction proteins and filamentous actin in L. interrogans-infected endothelial cells. In addition, Leptospira infection, regardless of pathogenic status, influenced other host proteins belonging to multiple biological classes. Our data suggest that this zoonotic agent may damage endothelial cells via multiple cascades or pathways

  13. Conflicting Roles of Connexin43 in Tumor Invasion and Growth in the Central Nervous System

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    Miaki Uzu

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The tumor microenvironment is known to have increased levels of cytokines and metabolites, such as glutamate, due to their release from the surrounding cells. A normal cell around the tumor that responds to the inflammatory environment is likely to be subsequently altered. We discuss how these abnormalities will support tumor survival via the actions of gap junctions (GJs and hemichannels (HCs which are composed of hexamer of connexin43 (Cx43 protein. In particular, we discuss how GJ intercellular communication (GJIC in glioma cells, the primary brain tumor, is a regulatory factor and its attenuation leads to tumor invasion. In contrast, the astrocytes, which are normal cells around the glioma, are “hijacked” by tumor cells, either by receiving the transmission of malignant substances from the cancer cells via GJIC, or perhaps via astrocytic HC activity through the paracrine signaling which enable the delivery of these substances to the distal astrocytes. This astrocytic signaling would promote tumor expansion in the brain. In addition, brain metastasis from peripheral tissues has also been known to be facilitated by GJs formed between cerebral vascular endothelial cells and cancer cells. Astrocytes and microglia are generally thought to eliminate cancer cells at the blood–brain barrier. In contrast, some reports suggest they facilitate tumor progression as tumor cells take advantage of the normal functions of astrocytes that support the survival of the neurons by exchanging nutrients and metabolites. In summary, GJIC is essential for the normal physiological function of growth and allowing the diffusion of physiological substances. Therefore, whether GJIC is cancer promoting or suppressing may be dependent on what permeates through GJs, when it is active, and to which cells. The nature of GJs, which has been ambiguous in brain tumor progression, needs to be revisited and understood together with new findings on Cx proteins and HC

  14. Structural organization of intercellular channels II. Amino terminal domain of the connexins: sequence, functional roles, and structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beyer, Eric C; Lipkind, Gregory M; Kyle, John W; Berthoud, Viviana M

    2012-08-01

    The amino terminal domain (NT) of the connexins consists of their first 22-23 amino acids. Site-directed mutagenesis studies have demonstrated that NT amino acids are determinants of gap junction channel properties including unitary conductance, permeability/selectivity, and gating in response to transjunctional voltage. The importance of this region has also been emphasized by the identification of multiple disease-associated connexin mutants affecting amino acid residues in the NT region. The first part of the NT is α-helical. The structure of the Cx26 gap junction channel shows that the NT α-helix localizes within the channel, and lines the wall of the pore. Interactions of the amino acid residues in the NT with those in the transmembrane helices may be critical for holding the channel open. The predicted sites of these interactions and the applicability of the Cx26 structure to the NT of other connexins are considered. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The Communicating junctions, composition, structure and characteristics. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuan; Tan, Xiaoming; Xue, Lianfang

    2018-01-01

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

  16. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-12-10

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-06-01

    T-box factors Tbx2 and Tbx3 play key roles in the development of the cardiac conduction system, atrioventricular canal, and outflow tract of the heart. They regulate the gap-junction-encoding gene Connexin43 (Cx43) and other genes critical for heart development and function. Discovering protein partners of Tbx2 and Tbx3 will shed light on the mechanisms by which these factors regulate these gene programs. Employing an yeast 2-hybrid screen and subsequent in vitro pull-down experiments we demonstrate that muscle segment homeobox genes Msx1 and Msx2 are able to bind the cardiac T-box proteins Tbx2, Tbx3, and Tbx5. This interaction, as that of the related Nkx2.5 protein, is supported by the T-box and homeodomain alone. Overlapping spatiotemporal expression patterns of Msx1 and Msx2 together with the T-box genes during cardiac development in mouse and chicken underscore the biological significance of this interaction. We demonstrate that Msx proteins together with Tbx2 and Tbx3 suppress Cx43 promoter activity and down regulate Cx43 gene activity in a rat heart-derived cell line. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis we demonstrate that Msx1 can bind the Cx43 promoter at a conserved binding site located in close proximity to a previously defined T-box binding site, and that the activity of Msx proteins on this promoter appears dependent in the presence of Tbx3. Msx1 and Msx2 can function in concert with the T-box proteins to suppress Cx43 and other working myocardial genes.

  20. Na,K-ATPase regulates intercellular communication in the vascular wall via cSrc kinase dependent connexin43 phosphorylation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hangaard, Lise; Bouzinova, Elena; Stæhr, Christian Albeck

    2017-01-01

    Communication between vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) is dependent on gap junctions and is regulated by the Na-K-ATPase. The Na-K-ATPase is therefore important for synchronized VSMC oscillatory activity, i.e., vasomotion. The signaling between the Na-K-ATPase and gap junctions is unknown. We...... coupling in rat mesenteric small arteries in vitro. Phosphorylation of cSrc kinase and connexin43 (Cx43) were semiquantified by Western blotting. Micromole concentration of ouabain reduced the amplitude of norepinephrine-induced vasomotion and desynchronized Ca2+ transients in VSMC in the arterial wall...

  1. Ouabain Increases Gap Junctional Communication in Epithelial Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arturo Ponce

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  3. A high-grain diet alters the omasal epithelial structure and expression of tight junction proteins in a goat model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jun-Hua; Xu, Ting-Ting; Zhu, Wei-Yun; Mao, Sheng-Yong

    2014-07-01

    The omasal epithelial barrier plays important roles in maintaining nutrient absorption and immune homeostasis in ruminants. However, little information is currently available about the changes in omasal epithelial barrier function at the structural and molecular levels during feeding of a high-grain (HG) diet. Ten male goats were randomly assigned to two groups, fed either a hay diet (0% grain; n = 5) or HG diet (65% grain; n = 5). Changes in omasal epithelial structure and expression of tight junction (TJ) proteins were determined via electron microscopy and Western blot analysis. After 7 weeks on each diet, omasal contents in the HG group showed significantly lower pH (P diet showed profound alterations in omasal epithelial structure and TJ proteins, corresponding to depression of thickness of total epithelia, stratum granulosum, and the sum of the stratum spinosum and stratum basale, marked epithelial cellular damage, erosion of intercellular junctions and down-regulation in expression of the TJ proteins, claudin-4 and occludin. The study demonstrates that feeding a HG diet is associated with omasal epithelial cellular damage and changes in expression of TJ proteins. These research findings provide an insight into the possible significance of diet on the omasal epithelial barrier in ruminants. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

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    Zahra Moinfar

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

  5. Differential expression and localization of four connexins in the ovary of the ayu (Plecoglossus Altivelis)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

    The post-vitellogenic oocytes of teleost fish are generally unresponsive to maturation-inducing hormone (MIH) until a luteinizing hormone (LH) surge stimulates sensitivity via the acquisition of oocyte-maturational competence (OMC). Heterologous gap junctions (GJs) between granulosa cells and the oocyte have been previously implicated in the regulation of oocyte maturation in various vertebrate species. Although heterologous GJ are present in ovarian follicles of ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis), their role in maturation remains unclear. In the present study, we cloned and characterized complementary DNAs for GJ protein connexin (Cx), and examined the expression pattern of Cx messenger RNAs in the ayu ovary. Four Cx cDNAs with predicted molecular masses of 32.1 (Cx32.1), 34.9 (Cx34.9), 44.1 (Cx44.1), and 44.2 (Cx44.2) kDa, respectively, were cloned. Northern blot analysis revealed that the levels of Cx44.1 and Cx44.2 transcripts were similar during the vitellogenic and ovulatory stages. Cx32.1 transcripts were more abundant during the vitellogenic stage, but their levels declined thereafter. Cx34.9 transcript levels increased during the vitellogenic stage and remained high during the acquisition of OMC. In situ hybridization revealed that Cx44.1 and Cx44.2 signals were restricted to the oocyte, whereas the Cx32.1 and Cx34.9 signals were detected in both cellular fractions. Furthermore, a dye-transfer assay revealed the presence of functional GJs between the oocytes and follicle cells. These results suggest that Cx34.9 contributes to the formation of heterologous GJs between oocytes and granulosa cells. Moreover, GJs formed by Cx34.9 may function during the LH-dependent acquisition of OMC and the MIH-dependent resumption of meiosis in ayu. ?? 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  6. Three novel GJB2 (connexin 26) variants associated with autosomal dominant syndromic and nonsyndromic hearing loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMille, Desiree; Carlston, Colleen M; Tam, Oliver H; Palumbos, Janice C; Stalker, Heather J; Mao, Rong; Zori, Roberto T; Viskochil, David H; Park, Albert H; Carey, John C

    2018-04-01

    Connexin 26 (Cx26), encoded by the GJB2 gene, is a key protein involved in the formation of gap junctions in epithelial organs including the inner ear and palmoplantar epidermis. Pathogenic variants in GJB2 are responsible for approximately 50% of inherited sensorineural deafness. The majority of these variants are associated with autosomal recessive inheritance; however, rare reports of dominantly co-segregating variants have been published. Since we began offering GJB2 testing in 2003, only about 2% of detected GJB2 variants from our laboratory have been classified as dominant. Here we report three novel dominant GJB2 variants (p.Thr55Ala, p.Gln57_Pro58delinsHisSer, and p.Trp44Gly); two associated with syndromic sensorineural hearing loss and one with nonsyndromic hearing loss. In the kindred with the p.Thr55Ala variant, the proband and his father present with only leukonychia as a cutaneous finding of their syndromic hearing loss. This phenotype has been previously documented in conjunction with palmoplantar hyperkeratosis, but isolated leukonychia is a novel finding likely associated with the unique threonine to alanine change at codon 55 (other variants at this codon have been reported in cases of nonsyndromic hearing loss). This report contributes to the short list of GJB2 variants associated with autosomal dominant hearing loss, highlights the variability of skin and nail findings associated with such cases, and illustrates the occurrence of both syndromic and nonsyndromic presentations with changes in the same gene. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Effects of topical steroids on tight junction proteins and spongiosis in esophageal epithelia of patients with eosinophilic esophagitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katzka, David A; Tadi, Ravikanth; Smyrk, Thomas C; Katarya, Eesha; Sharma, Anamay; Geno, Deborah M; Camilleri, Michael; Iyer, Prasad G; Alexander, Jeffrey A; Buttar, Navtej S

    2014-11-01

    The allergic response associated with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) occurs when food antigens permeate tight junction-mediated epithelial dilated intercellular spaces. We assessed whether levels of tight junction proteins correlate with the dilation of intercellular spaces (spongiosis) and the effects of topical steroids on these parameters. We assessed esophageal biopsy samples from 10 patients with active EoE treated with topical fluticasone, 10 untreated patients, and 10 patients without esophageal disease (controls) for degree of spongiosis. Immunohistochemical assays were used to determine the levels of the tight junction proteins filaggrin, zonula occludens (ZO)-1, ZO-2, ZO-3, and claudin-1. Histology and immunohistochemistry results were assessed blindly, with levels of tight junction proteins and degree of spongiosis rated on scales of 0 to 3. The mean degrees of spongiosis in untreated and treated patients with EoE were 1.3 and 0.4, respectively (P = .016). Esophageal epithelia did not stain significantly for ZO-1 or ZO-2. Filaggrin was observed in a predominant cytoplasmic pattern, compared with the cytoplasmic and membranous patterns of ZO-3 and claudin-1. In biopsy specimens from patients with active EoE, the mean staining intensities for filaggrin, ZO-3, and claudin-1 were 1.6, 1.4, and 0.7, respectively. In biopsy specimens from patients treated with fluticasone, levels of filaggrin, ZO-3, and claudin-1 were 2.8 (P = .002 compared with untreated patients), 1.7 (P = .46 compared with untreated patients), and 1.3 (P = .25 compared with untreated patients), respectively. The correlation between the level of filaggrin and the degree of spongiosis was r = 0.23, and between ZO-3 staining and the degree of spongiosis was r = .016 (P = .001 for filaggrin vs ZO-3 staining). Filaggrin, ZO-3, and claudin-1 (but not ZO-1 or ZO-2) are detected in the esophageal mucosa of patients with EoE treated with steroids and individuals without esophageal disease

  8. Genomic instability induced in distant progeny of bystander cells depends on the connexins expressed in the irradiated cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Toledo, Sonia M; Buonanno, Manuela; Harris, Andrew L; Azzam, Edouard I

    2017-10-01

    To examine the time window during which intercellular signaling though gap junctions mediates non-targeted (bystander) effects induced by moderate doses of ionizing radiation; and to investigate the impact of gap junction communication on genomic instability in distant progeny of bystander cells. A layered cell culture system was developed to investigate the propagation of harmful effects from irradiated normal or tumor cells that express specific connexins to contiguous bystander normal human fibroblasts. Irradiated cells were exposed to moderate mean absorbed doses from 3.7 MeV α particle, 1000 MeV/u iron ions, 600 MeV/u silicon ions, or 137 Cs γ rays. Following 5 h of co-culture, pure populations of bystander cells, unexposed to secondary radiation, were isolated and DNA damage and oxidative stress was assessed in them and in their distant progeny (20-25 population doublings). Increased frequency of micronucleus formation and enhanced oxidative changes were observed in bystander cells co-cultured with confluent cells exposed to either sparsely ionizing ( 137 Cs γ rays) or densely ionizing (α particles, energetic iron or silicon ions) radiations. The irradiated cells propagated signals leading to biological changes in bystander cells within 1 h of irradiation, and the effect required cellular coupling by gap junctions. Notably, the distant progeny of isolated bystander cells also exhibited increased levels of spontaneous micronuclei. This effect was dependent on the type of junctional channels that coupled the irradiated donor cells with the bystander cells. Previous work showed that gap junctions composed of connexin26 (Cx26) or connexin43 (Cx43) mediate toxic bystander effects within 5 h of co-culture, whereas gap junctions composed of connexin32 (Cx32) mediate protective effects. In contrast, the long-term progeny of bystander cells expressing Cx26 or Cx43 did not display elevated DNA damage, whereas those coupled by Cx32 had enhanced DNA

  9. Cardiomyopathy-Associated Gene 1-Sensitive PKC-Dependent Connexin 43 Expression and Phosphorylation in Left Ventricular Noncompaction Cardiomyopathy

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    Yuanyuan Xie

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Cardiomyopathy-associated gene 1 (CMYA1 plays an important role in embryonic cardiac development, postnatal cardiac remodeling and myocardial injury repair. Abnormal CMYA1 expression may be involved in cardiac dysplasia and primary cardiomyopathy. Our study aims to establish the relationship between CMYA1 and Left ventricular noncompaction cardiomyopathy (LVNC pathogenesis. Methods: We explored the effects of CMYA1 on connexins (Cx, which contribute to gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC, and the underlying signaling pathway in human normal tissues, LVNC myocardial tissues and HL1 cells by means of western blotting, RT-qPCR, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, co-immunoprecipitation and scrape loading-dye transfer. Results: CMYA1 expression was inversely associated with Cx43 and Cx40 expression, as determined by gap junction PCR array analysis. An increased expression and disordered distribution of CMYA1 at the intercalated discs in LVNC myocardial tissue was also observed. CMYA1 and Cx43 are co-expressed and interact in myocardial cells. CMYA1 expression was positively correlated with p-Cx43 (S368 via the Protein kinase C (PKC signaling pathway in myocardial tissue and HL1 cells. The diffusion distance of Lucifer Yellow in the HL1 cells in which CMYA1 was over-expressed or knocked down was significantly less or more than that of the control group, respectively. Conclusion: Abnormal CMYA1 expression affects the expression and phosphorylation of Cx43 through the PKC signaling pathway, which is involved in the regulation of GJIC. CMYA1 participates in the molecular mechanism of LVNC pathogenesis.

  10. Possible role of HIWI2 in modulating tight junction proteins in retinal pigment epithelial cells through Akt signaling pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sivagurunathan, Suganya; Palanisamy, Karthikka; Arunachalam, Jayamuruga Pandian; Chidambaram, Subbulakshmi

    2017-03-01

    PIWI subfamily of proteins is shown to be primarily expressed in germline cells. They maintain the genomic integrity by silencing the transposable elements. Although the role of PIWI proteins in germ cells has been documented, their presence and function in somatic cells remains unclear. Intriguingly, we detected all four members of PIWI-like proteins in human ocular tissues and somatic cell lines. When HIWI2 was knocked down in retinal pigment epithelial cells, the typical honeycomb morphology was affected. Further analysis showed that the expression of tight junction (TJ) proteins, CLDN1, and TJP1 were altered in HIWI2 knockdown. Moreover, confocal imaging revealed disrupted TJP1 assembly at the TJ. Previous studies report the role of GSK3β in regulating TJ proteins. Accordingly, phospho-kinase proteome profiler array indicated increased phosphorylation of Akt and GSK3α/β in HIWI2 knockdown, suggesting that HIWI2 might affect TJ proteins through Akt-GSK3α/β signaling axis. Moreover, treating the HIWI2 knockdown cells with wortmannin increased the levels of TJP1 and CLDN1. Taken together, our study demonstrates the presence of PIWI-like proteins in somatic cells and the possible role of HIWI2 in preserving the functional integrity of epithelial cells probably by modulating the phosphorylation status of Akt.

  11. Connexin 43-Mediated Astroglial Metabolic Networks Contribute to the Regulation of the Sleep-Wake Cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clasadonte, Jerome; Scemes, Eliana; Wang, Zhongya; Boison, Detlev; Haydon, Philip G

    2017-09-13

    Astrocytes produce and supply metabolic substrates to neurons through gap junction-mediated astroglial networks. However, the role of astroglial metabolic networks in behavior is unclear. Here, we demonstrate that perturbation of astroglial networks impairs the sleep-wake cycle. Using a conditional Cre-Lox system in mice, we show that knockout of the gap junction subunit connexin 43 in astrocytes throughout the brain causes excessive sleepiness and fragmented wakefulness during the nocturnal active phase. This astrocyte-specific genetic manipulation silenced the wake-promoting orexin neurons located in the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) by impairing glucose and lactate trafficking through astrocytic networks. This global wakefulness instability was mimicked with viral delivery of Cre recombinase to astrocytes in the LHA and rescued by in vivo injections of lactate. Our findings propose a novel regulatory mechanism critical for maintaining normal daily cycle of wakefulness and involving astrocyte-neuron metabolic interactions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Eye lens membrane junctional microdomains: a comparison between healthy and pathological cases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buzhynskyy, Nikolay; Scheuring, Simon [Institut Curie, Equipe Inserm Avenir, UMR168-CNRS, 26 Rue d' Ulm, 75248 Paris Cedex 05 (France); Sens, Pierre [ESPCI, CNRS-UMR 7083, 75231 Paris (France); Behar-Cohen, Francine, E-mail: simon.scheuring@curie.fr [UMRS Inserm 872, Universite Paris Descartes, Centre de Recherches des Cordeliers, 15 rue de l' Ecole de Medecine, 75270 Paris Cedex 06 (France)

    2011-08-15

    The eye lens is a transparent tissue constituted of tightly packed fiber cells. To maintain homeostasis and transparency of the lens, the circulation of water, ions and metabolites is required. Junctional microdomains connect the lens cells and ensure both tight cell-to-cell adhesion and intercellular flow of fluids through a microcirculation system. Here, we overview membrane morphology and tissue functional requirements of the mammalian lens. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has opened up the possibility of visualizing the junctional microdomains at unprecedented submolecular resolution, revealing the supramolecular assembly of lens-specific aquaporin-0 (AQP0) and connexins (Cx). We compare the membrane protein assembly in healthy lenses with senile and diabetes-II cataract cases and novel data of the lens membranes from a congenital cataract. In the healthy case, AQP0s form characteristic square arrays confined by connexons. In the cases of senile and diabetes-II cataract patients, connexons were degraded, leading to malformation of AQP0 arrays and breakdown of the microcirculation system. In the congenital cataract, connexons are present, indicating probable non-membranous grounds for lens opacification. Further, we discuss the energetic aspects of the membrane organization in junctional microdomains. The AFM hence becomes a biomedical nano-imaging tool for the analysis of single-membrane protein supramolecular association in healthy and pathological membranes.

  13. Eye lens membrane junctional microdomains: a comparison between healthy and pathological cases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buzhynskyy, Nikolay; Sens, Pierre; Behar-Cohen, Francine; Scheuring, Simon

    2011-08-01

    The eye lens is a transparent tissue constituted of tightly packed fiber cells. To maintain homeostasis and transparency of the lens, the circulation of water, ions and metabolites is required. Junctional microdomains connect the lens cells and ensure both tight cell-to-cell adhesion and intercellular flow of fluids through a microcirculation system. Here, we overview membrane morphology and tissue functional requirements of the mammalian lens. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has opened up the possibility of visualizing the junctional microdomains at unprecedented submolecular resolution, revealing the supramolecular assembly of lens-specific aquaporin-0 (AQP0) and connexins (Cx). We compare the membrane protein assembly in healthy lenses with senile and diabetes-II cataract cases and novel data of the lens membranes from a congenital cataract. In the healthy case, AQP0s form characteristic square arrays confined by connexons. In the cases of senile and diabetes-II cataract patients, connexons were degraded, leading to malformation of AQP0 arrays and breakdown of the microcirculation system. In the congenital cataract, connexons are present, indicating probable non-membranous grounds for lens opacification. Further, we discuss the energetic aspects of the membrane organization in junctional microdomains. The AFM hence becomes a biomedical nano-imaging tool for the analysis of single-membrane protein supramolecular association in healthy and pathological membranes.

  14. The effect of platelet rich plasma from bone marrow aspirate with added bone morphogenetic protein-2 on the Achilles tendon-bone junction in rabbits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hak Jun; Nam, Hyok-Woo; Hur, Chang-Yong; Park, Misu; Yang, Hee Seok; Kim, Byung-Soo; Park, Jung-Ho

    2011-12-01

    To determine if exogenously injected bone marrow derived platelet-rich plasma (PRP) plus bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2 could accelerate the healing of bone-tendon junction injuries and increase the junction holding strength during the early regeneration period. A direct injury model of the bone-tendon junction was made using an Achilles tendon-calcaneus bone junction in a rabbit. In the PRP/BMP-2/fibrin group, 0.05 mL of bone marrow derived PRP and 100 ng/mL of BMP-2 both incorporated into 0.1 mL of fibrin glue were injected into Achilles tendon-calcaneus bone junctions. The effect of the intervention was tested by comparing the results of an intervention group to a control group. The results of biomechanical testing, and histological and gross analyses were compared between the 2 groups at the following time points after surgery: 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks. Histologic examinations showed that woven bone developed in tendon-bone junctions at 2 weeks after surgery in the PRP/BMP-2/fibrin group. Mechanical test results showed no significant difference between the PRP/BMP-2/fibrin and control groups at 2 and 4 weeks after surgery, but the mean maximal load in the PRP/BMP-2/fibrin group was significantly higher than in the control group (p rabbit model of tendon-bone junction injury.

  15. Junction region of EWS-FLI1 fusion protein has a dominant negative effect in Ewing’s Sarcoma in vitro

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jully, Babu; Vijayalakshmi, Ramshankar; Gopal, Gopisetty; Sabitha, Kesavan; Rajkumar, Thangarajan

    2012-01-01

    Ewing’s sarcoma is a malignancy characterized by a specific 11:22 chromosomal translocation which generates a novel EWS-FLI1 fusion protein functioning as an aberrant transcription factor. In the present study, we have further characterized the junction region of the EWS-FLI1 fusion protein. In-silico model of EWS-FLI1 fusion protein was analysed for ligand binding sites, and a putative region (amino acid (aa) 251–343 of the type 1 fusion protein) in the vicinity of the fusion junction was cloned and expressed using bacterial expression. The recombinant protein was characterized by Circular Dichroism (CD). We then expressed aa 251–280 ectopically in Ewing’s sarcoma cell-line and its effect on cell proliferation, tumorigenicity and expression of EWS-FLI1 target genes were analysed. Our modelling analysis indicated that Junction region (aa 251–343) encompasses potential ligand biding sites in the EWS-FLI1 protein and when expressed in bacteria was present as soluble form. Ectopically expressing this region in Ewing’s sarcoma cells inhibited tumorigenicity, and EWS-FLI1 target genes indicating a dominant negative biological effect. Junction region can be exploited further as target for drug development in future to specifically target EWS-FLI1 in Ewing’s Sarcoma

  16. Microfluidic chips with multi-junctions: an advanced tool in recovering proteins from inclusion bodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaguchi, Hiroshi; Miyazaki, Masaya

    2015-01-01

    Active recombinant proteins are used for studying the biological functions of genes and for the development of therapeutic drugs. Overexpression of recombinant proteins in bacteria often results in the formation of inclusion bodies, which are protein aggregates with non-native conformations. Protein refolding is an important process for obtaining active recombinant proteins from inclusion bodies. However, the conventional refolding method of dialysis or dilution is time-consuming and recovered active protein yields are often low, and a cumbersome trial-and-error process is required to achieve success. To circumvent these difficulties, we used controllable diffusion through laminar flow in microchannels to regulate the denaturant concentration. This method largely aims at reducing protein aggregation during the refolding procedure. This Commentary introduces the principles of the protein refolding method using microfluidic chips and the advantage of our results as a tool for rapid and efficient recovery of active recombinant proteins from inclusion bodies.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime Cofre

    2007-03-01

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

  18. Knockdown of connexin43-mediated regulation of the zone of polarizing activity in the developing chick limb leads to digit truncation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, Lee Yong; Lin, Jun Sheng; Becker, David L; Green, Colin R

    2002-12-01

    In the developing chick wing, the use of antisense oligodeoxynucleotides to transiently knock down the expression of the gap junction protein, connexin43 (Cx43), results in limb patterning defects, including deletion of the anterior digits. To understand more about how such defects arise, the effects of transient Cx43 knockdown on the expression patterns of several genes known to play pivotal roles in limb formation were examined. Sonic hedgehog (Shh), which is normally expressed in the zone of polarizing activity (ZPA) and is required to maintain both the ZPA and the apical ectodermal ridge (AER), was found to be downregulated in treated limbs within 30 h. Bone morphogenetic protein-2 (Bmp-2), a gene downstream of Shh, was similarly downregulated. Fibroblast growth factor-8 expression, however, was unaltered 30 h after treatment but was greatly reduced at 48 h post-treatment, when the AER begins to regress. Expressions of Bmp-4 and Muscle segment homeobox-like gene (Msx-1) were not affected at any of the time points examined. Cx43 expression is therefore involved in some, but not all patterning cascades, and appears to play a role in the regulation of ZPA activity.

  19. The long-term effects of FSH and triiodothyronine administration during the pubertal period on Connexin 43 expression and spermatogenesis efficiency in adult rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchlewska, Katarzyna; Slowikowska-Hilczer, Jolanta; Walczak-Jedrzejowska, Renata; Oszukowska, Elzbieta; Filipiak, Eliza; Kula, Krzysztof

    2015-04-01

    Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and triiodothyronine (T3) are known regulatory factors of spermatogenesis initiation. Hyperstimulation of both hormones evokes regressional changes in connexin 43 expression and the seminiferous epithelium in young rats during testicular maturation. However, separate treatments with T3 reduce Sertoli cell number, which seems to be closely connected with the maturation of connexin 43 gap junctions. FSH elevates Sertoli cell number and function, but this effect may take place regardless of the presence of connexin 43-dependent intercellular communication. The aim of the study was to evaluate the later effects of such treatments. Newborn, male Wistar rats were divided randomly into experimental groups receiving daily subcutaneous injections of either 7.5 IU/animal FSH, or 100 mg/kg b.w. T3, or both substances or the same volume of vehicle (control group) until day 15 of life. The animals were sacrificed on day 50. Morphometric analysis and immunohistochemical reactions were performed using antibodies against Vimentin, Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen and Connexin 43 in the testis. Sertoli cell count, efficiency of spermatogenesis, and hormonal pattern were examined. Disturbances in the connexin 43 expression reduced the number of Sertoli cells, the efficiency of spermatogenesis and impaired endocrine function of testes in adult rats treated with FSH and T3 during puberty. Stimulation with FSH alone increased Sertoli cell number, but was associated with a negative effect on cell-to-cell connexin 43-dependent communication, with a consequential reduction of spermatogenesis efficiency. J. Exp. Zool. 323A: 256-265, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Connexins in Prostate Cancer Initiation and Progression

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-01

    Connexin43 in the Failing Heart . Circ Res, 106, 1153-1163. 69. Bejiarno,E., Girao,H., Yuste,A., Patel,B., Marques,C., Spray,D., Pereira,P., and...Roth C, Warkany J (1953) An analysis of the syndrome of malformations induced by maternal vitam A deficeincy. Effects of restoriation of vitamin A at...the syndrome of malformations induced by maternal vitamin A deficeincy. Effects of restoriation of vitamin A at varruous times during gestation. Am J

  1. Regional differences in endothelial cell cytoskeleton, junctional proteins and phosphorylated tyrosine labeling in the porcine vortex vein system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Priscilla Ern Zhi; Yu, Paula K; Yang, Hongfang; Cringle, Stephen J; Yu, Dao-Yi

    2018-07-01

    We previously demonstrated endothelial phenotype heterogeneity in the vortex vein system. This study is to further determine whether regional differences are present in the cytoskeleton, junctional proteins and phosphorylated tyrosine labeling within the system. The vortex vein system of twenty porcine eyes was perfused with labels for f-actin, claudin-5, VE-Cadherin, phosphorylated tyrosine and nucleic acid. The endothelial cells of eight different regions (choroidal veins, pre-ampulla, anterior ampulla, mid-ampulla, posterior ampulla, post-ampulla, intra-scleral canal and the extra-ocular vortex vein) were studied using confocal microscopy. There were regional differences in the endothelial cell structures. Cytoskeleton labeling was relatively even in intensity throughout Regions 1 to 6. Overall VE-Cadherin had a non-uniform distribution and thicker width endothelial cell border staining than claudin-5. Progressing downstream there was an increased variation in thickness of VE-cadherin labeling. There was an overlap in phosphorylated tyrosine and VE-Cadherin labeling in the post-ampulla, intra-scleral canal and extra-ocular vortex vein. Intramural cells were observed that were immune-positive for VE-Cadherin and phosphorylated tyrosine. There were significant differences in the number of intramural cells in different regions. Significant regional differences with endothelial cell labeling of cytoskeleton, junction proteins, and phosphorylated tyrosine were found within the vortex vein system. These findings support existing data on endothelial cell phenotype heterogeneity, and may aid in the knowledge of venous pathologies by understanding regions of vulnerability to endothelial damage within the vortex vein system. It could be valuable to further investigate and characterize the VE-cadherin and phosphotyrosine immune-positive intramural cells. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Disruption in connexin-based communication is associated with intracellular Ca²⁺ signal alterations in astrocytes from Niemann-Pick type C mice.

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    Pablo J Sáez

    Full Text Available Reduced astrocytic gap junctional communication and enhanced hemichannel activity were recently shown to increase astroglial and neuronal vulnerability to neuroinflammation. Moreover, increasing evidence suggests that neuroinflammation plays a pivotal role in the development of Niemann-Pick type C (NPC disease, an autosomal lethal neurodegenerative disorder that is mainly caused by mutations in the NPC1 gene. Therefore, we investigated whether the lack of NPC1 expression in murine astrocytes affects the functional state of gap junction channels and hemichannels. Cultured cortical astrocytes of NPC1 knock-out mice (Npc1⁻/⁻ showed reduced intercellular communication via gap junctions and increased hemichannel activity. Similarly, astrocytes of newborn Npc1⁻/⁻ hippocampal slices presented high hemichannel activity, which was completely abrogated by connexin 43 hemichannel blockers and was resistant to inhibitors of pannexin 1 hemichannels. Npc1⁻/⁻ astrocytes also showed more intracellular Ca²⁺ signal oscillations mediated by functional connexin 43 hemichannels and P2Y₁ receptors. Therefore, Npc1⁻/⁻ astrocytes present features of connexin based channels compatible with those of reactive astrocytes and hemichannels might be a novel therapeutic target to reduce neuroinflammation in NPC disease.

  3. Disruption in connexin-based communication is associated with intracellular Ca²⁺ signal alterations in astrocytes from Niemann-Pick type C mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sáez, Pablo J; Orellana, Juan A; Vega-Riveros, Natalia; Figueroa, Vania A; Hernández, Diego E; Castro, Juan F; Klein, Andrés D; Jiang, Jean X; Zanlungo, Silvana; Sáez, Juan C

    2013-01-01

    Reduced astrocytic gap junctional communication and enhanced hemichannel activity were recently shown to increase astroglial and neuronal vulnerability to neuroinflammation. Moreover, increasing evidence suggests that neuroinflammation plays a pivotal role in the development of Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease, an autosomal lethal neurodegenerative disorder that is mainly caused by mutations in the NPC1 gene. Therefore, we investigated whether the lack of NPC1 expression in murine astrocytes affects the functional state of gap junction channels and hemichannels. Cultured cortical astrocytes of NPC1 knock-out mice (Npc1⁻/⁻) showed reduced intercellular communication via gap junctions and increased hemichannel activity. Similarly, astrocytes of newborn Npc1⁻/⁻ hippocampal slices presented high hemichannel activity, which was completely abrogated by connexin 43 hemichannel blockers and was resistant to inhibitors of pannexin 1 hemichannels. Npc1⁻/⁻ astrocytes also showed more intracellular Ca²⁺ signal oscillations mediated by functional connexin 43 hemichannels and P2Y₁ receptors. Therefore, Npc1⁻/⁻ astrocytes present features of connexin based channels compatible with those of reactive astrocytes and hemichannels might be a novel therapeutic target to reduce neuroinflammation in NPC disease.

  4. Splenectomy after partial hepatectomy accelerates liver regeneration in mice by promoting tight junction formation via polarity protein Par 3-aPKC.

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    Liu, Guoxing; Xie, Chengzhi; Fang, Yu; Qian, Ke; Liu, Qiang; Liu, Gao; Cao, Zhenyu; Du, Huihui; Fu, Jie; Xu, Xundi

    2018-01-01

    Several experimental studies have demonstrated that removal of the spleen accelerates liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy. While the mechanism of splenectomy promotes liver regeneration by the improvement of the formation of tight junction and the establishment of hepatocyte polarity is still unknown. We analyzed the cytokines, genes and proteins expression between 70% partial hepatectomy mice (PHx) and simultaneous 70% partial hepatectomy and splenectomy mice (PHs) at predetermined timed points. Compared with the PHx group mice, splenectomy accelerated hepatocyte proliferation in PHs group. The expression of Zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) indicated that splenectomy promotes the formation of tight junction during liver regeneration. TNF-α, IL-6, HGF, TSP-1 and TGF-β1 were essential factors for the formation of tight junction and the establishment of hepatocytes polarity in liver regeneration. After splenectomy, Partitioning defective 3 homolog (Par 3) and atypical protein kinase C (aPKC) regulate hepatocyte localization and junctional structures in regeneration liver. Our data suggest that the time course expression of TNF-α, IL-6, HGF, TSP-1, and TGF-β1 and the change of platelets take part in liver regeneration. Combination with splenectomy accelerates liver regeneration by improvement of the tight junction formation which may help to establish hepatocyte polarity via Par 3-aPKC. This may provide a clue for us that splenectomy could accelerate liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy of hepatocellular carcinoma and living donor liver transplantation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-01

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

  7. Nonmechanical Roles of Dystrophin and Associated Proteins in Exercise, Neuromuscular Junctions, and Brains

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    Bailey Nichols

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Dystrophin-glycoprotein complex (DGC is an important structural unit in skeletal muscle that connects the cytoskeleton (f-actin of a muscle fiber to the extracellular matrix (ECM. Several muscular dystrophies, such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Becker muscular dystrophy, congenital muscular dystrophies (dystroglycanopathies, and limb-girdle muscular dystrophies (sarcoglycanopathies, are caused by mutations in the different DGC components. Although many early studies indicated DGC plays a crucial mechanical role in maintaining the structural integrity of skeletal muscle, recent studies identified novel roles of DGC. Beyond a mechanical role, these DGC members play important signaling roles and act as a scaffold for various signaling pathways. For example, neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS, which is localized at the muscle membrane by DGC members (dystrophin and syntrophins, plays an important role in the regulation of the blood flow during exercise. DGC also plays important roles at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ and in the brain. In this review, we will focus on recently identified roles of DGC particularly in exercise and the brain.

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

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    Mindaugas Snipas

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

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    Laura Walrave

    2016-12-01

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

  11. Connexins and M3 Muscarinic Receptors Contribute to Heterogeneous Ca2+ Signaling in Mouse Aortic Endothelium

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    François-Xavier Boittin

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Smooth muscle tone is controlled by Ca2+ signaling in the endothelial layer. Mouse endothelial cells are interconnected by gap junctions made of Connexin40 (Cx40 and Cx37, which allow the exchange of signaling molecules to coordinate their activity. Here, we investigated the role of Cx40 in the endothelial Ca2+ signaling of the mouse aorta. Methods: Ca2+ imaging was performed on intact aortic endothelium from both wild type (Cx40+/+ and Connexin40-deficient (Cx40 -/- mice. Results: Acetylcholine (ACh induced early fast and high amplitude Ca2+ transients in a fraction of endothelial cells expressing the M3 muscarinic receptors. Inhibition of intercellular communication using carbenoxolone or octanol fully blocked the propagation of ACh-induced Ca2+ transients toward adjacent cells in WT and Cx40-/- mice. As compared to WT, Cx40-/- mice displayed a reduced propagation of ACh-induced Ca2+ waves, indicating that Cx40 contributes to the spreading of Ca2+ signals. The propagation of those Ca2+ responses was not blocked by suramin, a blocker of purinergic ATP receptors, indicating that there is no paracrine effect of ATP release on the Ca2+ waves. Conclusions: Altogether our data show that Cx40 and Cx37 contribute to the propagation and amplification of the Ca2+ signaling triggered by ACh in endothelial cells expressing the M3 muscarinic receptors.

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

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    Miaki Uzu

    2015-05-01

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

  13. Prophylactic effect of rebamipide on aspirin-induced gastric lesions and disruption of tight junctional protein zonula occludens-1 distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Takahiro; Yoshida, Norimasa; Nakabe, Nami; Isozaki, Yutaka; Kajikawa, Hirokazu; Takagi, Tomohisa; Handa, Osamu; Kokura, Satoshi; Ichikawa, Hiroshi; Naito, Yuji; Matsui, Hirofumi; Yoshikawa, Toshikazu

    2008-03-01

    Aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents are known to induce gastroduodenal complications such as ulcer, bleeding, and dyspepsia. In this study, we examined the prophylactic effect of rebamipide, an anti-ulcer agent with free-radical scavenging and anti-inflammatory effect, on acidified aspirin-induced gastric mucosal injury in rats. In addition, we investigated the mucosal barrier functions disrupted by aspirin. Oral administration of acidified aspirin resulted in linear hemorrhagic erosions with increasing myeloperoxidase activity and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance concentrations in the gastric mucosa. Rebamipide suppressed these acidified aspirin-induced gastric lesions and inflammatory changes significantly, and its protective effect was more potent in the case of repeated (twice daily for 3 days) treatment than single treatment before aspirin administration. Immunostaining of zonula occludens (ZO)-1, one of the tight junctional proteins, was strengthened in rat gastric mucosa after repeated administration of rebamipide. In addition, aspirin induced the increasing transport of fluorescine isothiocyanate-labeled dextrans with localized disruption and decreased expression of ZO-1 protein on rat gastric mucosal cell line RGM-1. Rebamipide effectively prevented aspirin-induced permeability changes and disruption of ZO-1 distribution. These results suggest that rebamipide protects against aspirin-induced gastric mucosal lesions by preserving gastric epithelial cell-to cell integrity in addition to the anti-inflammatory effects.

  14. Resolution of Holliday junctions in Escherichia coli: identification of the ruvC gene product as a 19-kilodalton protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharples, G J; Lloyd, R G

    1991-12-01

    The ruvC gene of Escherichia coli specifies a nuclease that resolves Holliday junction intermediates in genetic recombination (B. Connolly, C.A. Parsons, F.E. Benson, H.J. Dunderdale, G.J. Sharples, R.G. Lloyd, and S.C. West, Proc. Natl. Acad, Sci. USA 88:6063-6067, 1991). The gene was located between aspS and the ruvAB operon by DNA sequencing and deletion analysis of ruvC plasmids and was shown to encode a protein of 18,747 Da. Analysis of the DNA flanking ruvC indicated that the gene is transcribed independently of the LexA-regulated ruvAB operon and is not under direct SOS control. ruvC lies downstream of an open reading frame, orf-33, for a protein which migrates during sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis as a 33-kDa polypeptide. These two genes probably form an operon. However, expression of ruvC was found to be very poor relative to that of orf-33. A double ribosomal frameshift between these genes is proposed as a possible reason for the low level of RuvC. Two further open reading frames of unknown function were identified, one on either side of the orf-33-ruvC operon.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-09-01

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

  16. Extracellular gentamicin reduces the activity of connexin hemichannels and interferes with purinergic Ca2+ signaling in HeLa cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueroa, Vania A.; Retamal, Mauricio A.; Cea, Luis A.; Salas, José D.; Vargas, Aníbal A.; Verdugo, Christian A.; Jara, Oscar; Martínez, Agustín D.; Sáez, Juan C.

    2014-01-01

    Gap junction channels (GJCs) and hemichannels (HCs) are composed of protein subunits termed connexins (Cxs) and are permeable to ions and small molecules. In most organs, GJCs communicate the cytoplasm of adjacent cells, while HCs communicate the intra and extracellular compartments. In this way, both channel types coordinate physiological responses of cell communities. Cx mutations explain several genetic diseases, including about 50% of autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss. However, the possible involvement of Cxs in the etiology of acquired hearing loss remains virtually unknown. Factors that induce post-lingual hearing loss are diverse, exposure to gentamicin an aminoglycoside antibiotic, being the most common. Gentamicin has been proposed to block GJCs, but its effect on HCs remains unknown. In this work, the effect of gentamicin on the functional state of HCs was studied and its effect on GJCs was reevaluated in HeLa cells stably transfected with Cxs. We focused on Cx26 because it is the main Cx expressed in the cochlea of mammals where it participates in purinergic signaling pathways. We found that gentamicin applied extracellularly reduces the activity of HCs, while dye transfer across GJCs was not affected. HCs were also blocked by streptomycin, another aminoglycoside antibiotic. Gentamicin also reduced the adenosine triphosphate release and the HC-dependent oscillations of cytosolic free-Ca2+ signal. Moreover, gentamicin drastically reduced the Cx26 HC-mediated membrane currents in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Therefore, the extracellular gentamicin-induced inhibition of Cx HCs may adversely affect autocrine and paracrine signaling, including the purinergic one, which might partially explain its ototoxic effects. PMID:25237294

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

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    Katsuhisa Masaki

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

  18. Scutellaria barbata attenuates diabetic retinopathy by preventing retinal inflammation and the decreased expression of tight junction protein

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    Xi-Yu Mei

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available AIM: To observe the attenuation of ethanol extract of Herba Scutellaria barbata (SE against diabetic retinopathy (DR and its engaged mechanism. METHODS: C57BL/6J mice were intraperitoneally injected with streptozotocin (STZ, 55 mg/kg for 5 consecutive days to induce diabetes. The diabetic mice were orally given with SE (100, 200 mg/kg for 1mo at 1mo after STZ injection. Blood-retinal barrier (BRB breakdown was detected by using Evans blue permeation assay. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR, Western blot and immunofluorescence staining were used to detect mRNA and protein expression. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA was used to detect serum contents of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α and interleukin (IL-1β. RESULTS: SE (100, 200 mg/kg reversed the breakdown of BRB in STZ-induced diabetic mice. The decreased expression of retinal claudin-1 and claudin-19, which are both tight junction (TJ proteins, was reversed by SE. SE decreased the increased serum contents and retinal mRNA expression of TNF-α and IL-1β. SE also decreased the increased retinal expression of intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1. SE reduced the increased phosphorylation of nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB p65 and its subsequent nuclear translocation in retinas from STZ-induced diabetic mice. Results of Western blot and retinal immunofluorescence staining of ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 (Iba1 demonstrated that SE abrogated the activation of microglia cells in STZ-induced diabetic mice. CONCLUSION: SE attenuates the development of DR by inhibiting retinal inflammation and restoring the decreased expression of TJ proteins including claudin-1 and claudin-19.

  19. Connexin43 Mediated Delivery of ADAMTS5 Targeting siRNAs from Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Synovial Fibroblasts.

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    Shuo Liu

    Full Text Available Osteoarthritis is a joint-destructive disease that has no effective cure. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs could offer therapeutic benefit in the treatment of arthritic diseases by suppressing inflammation and permitting tissue regeneration, but first these cells must overcome the catabolic environment of the diseased joint. Likewise, gene therapy also offers therapeutic promise given its ability to directly modulate key catabolic factors that mediate joint deterioration, although it too has limitations. In the current study, we explore an approach that combines hMSCs and gene therapy. Specifically, we test the use of hMSC as a vehicle to deliver ADAMTS5 (an aggrecanase with a key role in osteoarthritis-targeting siRNAs to SW982 synovial fibroblast-like cells via connexin43 containing gap junctions. Accordingly, we transduced hMSCs with ADAMTS5-targeting shRNA or non-targeted shRNA, and co-cultured them with synovial fibroblasts to allow delivery of siRNAs from hMSC to synovial fibroblasts. We found that co-culture of hMSCs-shRNA-ADAMTS5 and synovial fibroblasts reduced ADAMTS5 expression relative to co-culture of hMSCs-shRNA-control and synovial fibroblasts. Furthermore, ADAMTS5 was specifically reduced in the synovial fibroblasts populations as determined by fluorescence-activated cell sorting, suggesting transfer of the siRNA between cells. To test if Cx43-containing gap junctions are involved in the transfer of siRNA, we co-cultured hMSCs-shRNA-ADAMTS5 cells with synovial fibroblasts in which connexin43 was knocked down. Under these conditions, ADAMTS5 levels were not inhibited by co-culture, indicating that connexin43 mediates the delivery of siRNA from hMSCs to synovial fibroblasts. In total, our findings demonstrate that hMSCs can function as donor cells to host and deliver siRNAs to synovial fibroblasts via connexin43 gap junction in vitro. These data may have implications in the combination of hMSCs and gene therapy to treat diseases

  20. Connexin43 Mediated Delivery of ADAMTS5 Targeting siRNAs from Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Synovial Fibroblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shuo; Niger, Corinne; Koh, Eugene Y; Stains, Joseph P

    2015-01-01

    Osteoarthritis is a joint-destructive disease that has no effective cure. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) could offer therapeutic benefit in the treatment of arthritic diseases by suppressing inflammation and permitting tissue regeneration, but first these cells must overcome the catabolic environment of the diseased joint. Likewise, gene therapy also offers therapeutic promise given its ability to directly modulate key catabolic factors that mediate joint deterioration, although it too has limitations. In the current study, we explore an approach that combines hMSCs and gene therapy. Specifically, we test the use of hMSC as a vehicle to deliver ADAMTS5 (an aggrecanase with a key role in osteoarthritis)-targeting siRNAs to SW982 synovial fibroblast-like cells via connexin43 containing gap junctions. Accordingly, we transduced hMSCs with ADAMTS5-targeting shRNA or non-targeted shRNA, and co-cultured them with synovial fibroblasts to allow delivery of siRNAs from hMSC to synovial fibroblasts. We found that co-culture of hMSCs-shRNA-ADAMTS5 and synovial fibroblasts reduced ADAMTS5 expression relative to co-culture of hMSCs-shRNA-control and synovial fibroblasts. Furthermore, ADAMTS5 was specifically reduced in the synovial fibroblasts populations as determined by fluorescence-activated cell sorting, suggesting transfer of the siRNA between cells. To test if Cx43-containing gap junctions are involved in the transfer of siRNA, we co-cultured hMSCs-shRNA-ADAMTS5 cells with synovial fibroblasts in which connexin43 was knocked down. Under these conditions, ADAMTS5 levels were not inhibited by co-culture, indicating that connexin43 mediates the delivery of siRNA from hMSCs to synovial fibroblasts. In total, our findings demonstrate that hMSCs can function as donor cells to host and deliver siRNAs to synovial fibroblasts via connexin43 gap junction in vitro. These data may have implications in the combination of hMSCs and gene therapy to treat diseases like

  1. Cell polarity development and protein trafficking in hepatocytes lacking E-cadherin/beta-catenin-based adherens junctions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Theard, Delphine; Steiner, Magdalena; Kalicharan, Dharamdajal; Hoekstra, Dick; van IJzendoorn, Sven C. D.

    Using a mutant hepatocyte cell line in which E-cadherin and ss-catenin are completely depleted from the cell surface, and, consequently, fail to form adherens junctions, we have investigated adherens junction requirement for apical-basolateral polarity development and polarized membrane trafficking.

  2. Attenuated expression of the tight junction proteins is involved in clopidogrel-induced gastric injury through p38 MAPK activation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, Hai-Lu; Gao, Xin; Jiang, Zong-Dan; Duan, Zhao-Tao; Wang, Shu-Kui; He, Bang-Shun; Zhang, Zhen-Yu; Xie, Hong-Guang

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: ► Clopidogrel suppressed GES-1 cell viability in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. ► Clopidogrel significantly increased dextran permeability, reduced occludin and ZO-1 expression, and induced cell apoptosis. ► Clopidogrel activated p38 MAPK signaling pathway. ► Activation of p38 activity was involved in clopidogrel-induced increase in gastric epithelial cells permeability and disruption of TJ. -- Abstract: Bleeding complications and delayed healing of gastric ulcer associated with use of clopidogrel is a common clinical concern; however, the underlying mechanisms remain to be determined. This study aimed to clarify whether clopidogrel could cause the damage of the human gastric epithelial cells and to further elucidate the mechanisms involved. After human gastric epithelial cell line GES-1 had been treated with clopidogrel (0.5–2.5 mM), the cell proliferation was examined by MTT assay, apoptosis was measured with DAPI staining and flow cytometry analysis, and the barrier function of the tight junctions (TJ) was evaluated by permeability measurement and transmission electron microscopy. Moreover, expression of the TJ proteins occludin and ZO-1 and the phosphorylation of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) p38, ERK, and JNK were examined by western blot. In addition, three MAPK inhibitors specific to p38, ERK and JNK were used, respectively, to verify the signaling pathways responsible for regulating the expression of the TJ proteins being tested. Results showed that clopidogrel significantly increased dextran permeability, induced apoptosis, suppressed GES-1 cell viability, and reduced the expression of the TJ proteins (occludin and ZO-1), acting through p38 MAPK phosphorylation. Furthermore, these observed effects were partially abolished by SB-203580 (a p38 MAPK inhibitor), rather than by either U-0126 (an ERK inhibitor) or SP-600125 (a JNK inhibitor), suggesting that clopidogrel-induced disruption in the gastric

  3. MOSFET-BJT hybrid mode of the gated lateral bipolar junction transistor for C-reactive protein detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Heng; Kwon, Hyurk-Choon; Yeom, Se-Hyuk; Kwon, Dae-Hyuk; Kang, Shin-Won

    2011-10-15

    In this study, we propose a novel biosensor based on a gated lateral bipolar junction transistor (BJT) for biomaterial detection. The gated lateral BJT can function as both a BJT and a metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) with both the emitter and source, and the collector and drain, coupled. C-reactive protein (CRP), which is an important disease marker in clinical examinations, can be detected using the proposed device. In the MOSFET-BJT hybrid mode, the sensitivity, selectivity, and reproducibility of the gated lateral BJT for biosensors were evaluated in this study. According to the results, in the MOSFET-BJT hybrid mode, the gated lateral BJT shows good selectivity and reproducibility. Changes in the emitter (source) current of the device for CRP antigen detection were approximately 0.65, 0.72, and 0.80 μA/decade at base currents of -50, -30, and -10 μA, respectively. The proposed device has significant application in the detection of certain biomaterials that require a dilution process using a common biosensor, such as a MOSFET-based biosensor. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Changes of Tight Junction Protein Claudins in Small Intestine and Kidney Tissues of Mice Fed a DDC Diet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abiko, Yukie; Kojima, Takashi; Murata, Masaki; Tsujiwaki, Mitsuhiro; Takeuchi, Masaya; Sawada, Norimasa; Mori, Michio

    2013-12-01

    DDC (3,5-diethoxycarbonyl-1,4-dihydrocollidine)-fed mice are widely used as a model for cholestatic liver disease. We examined the expression of tight junction protein claudin subspecies by immunofluorescent histochemistry in small intestine and kidney tissues of mice fed a DDC diet for 12 weeks. In the small intestine, decreases in claudin-3, claudin-7 and claudin-15 were observed in villous epithelial cells corresponding to the severity of histological changes while leaving the abundance of these claudin subspecies unchanged in crypt cells. Nevertheless, the proliferative activity of intestinal crypt cells measured by immunohistochemistry for Ki-67 decreased in the mice fed the DDC diet compared with that of control mice. These results suggest the possibility that DDC feeding affects the barrier function of villous epithelial cells and thus inhibits the proliferative activity of crypt epithelial cells. On the other hand, in the kidney, remarkable changes were found in the subcellular localization of claudin subspecies in a segment-specific manner, although histological changes of renal epithelial cells were quite minimal. These results indicate that immunohistochemistry for claudin subspecies can serve as a useful tool for detecting minute functional alterations of intestinal and renal epithelial cells.

  5. Volatile anesthetics influence blood-brain barrier integrity by modulation of tight junction protein expression in traumatic brain injury.

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    Serge C Thal

    Full Text Available Disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB results in cerebral edema formation, which is a major cause for high mortality after traumatic brain injury (TBI. As anesthetic care is mandatory in patients suffering from severe TBI it may be important to elucidate the effect of different anesthetics on cerebral edema formation. Tight junction proteins (TJ such as zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1 and claudin-5 (cl5 play a central role for BBB stability. First, the influence of the volatile anesthetics sevoflurane and isoflurane on in-vitro BBB integrity was investigated by quantification of the electrical resistance (TEER in murine brain endothelial monolayers and neurovascular co-cultures of the BBB. Secondly brain edema and TJ expression of ZO-1 and cl5 were measured in-vivo after exposure towards volatile anesthetics in native mice and after controlled cortical impact (CCI. In in-vitro endothelial monocultures, both anesthetics significantly reduced TEER within 24 hours after exposure. In BBB co-cultures mimicking the neurovascular unit (NVU volatile anesthetics had no impact on TEER. In healthy mice, anesthesia did not influence brain water content and TJ expression, while 24 hours after CCI brain water content increased significantly stronger with isoflurane compared to sevoflurane. In line with the brain edema data, ZO-1 expression was significantly higher in sevoflurane compared to isoflurane exposed CCI animals. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed disruption of ZO-1 at the cerebrovascular level, while cl5 was less affected in the pericontusional area. The study demonstrates that anesthetics influence brain edema formation after experimental TBI. This effect may be attributed to modulation of BBB permeability by differential TJ protein expression. Therefore, selection of anesthetics may influence the barrier function and introduce a strong bias in experimental research on pathophysiology of BBB dysfunction. Future research is required to investigate

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palatinus, Joseph A; Gourdie, Robert G

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Mixed electrical-chemical synapses in adult rat hippocampus are primarily glutamatergic and coupled by connexin-36

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farid eHamzei-Sichani

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Dendrodendritic electrical signaling via gap junctions is now an accepted feature of neuronal communication in the mammalian brain, whereas axodendritic and axosomatic gap junctions have rarely been described. We present ultrastructural, immunocytochemical, and dye-coupling evidence for mixed (electrical/chemical synapses in adult rat hippocampus on both principal cells and interneurons. Thin-section electron microscopic images of small gap junction-like appositions were found at mossy fiber (MF terminals on thorny excrescences of CA3 pyramidal neurons (CA3pyr, apparently forming glutamatergic mixed synapses. Lucifer Yellow injected into four weakly-fixed CA3pyr was detected in MF axons that contacted the injected CA3pyr, supporting gap junction-mediated coupling between those two types of principal cells. Freeze-fracture replica immunogold-labeling revealed diverse sizes and morphologies of connexin36-containing gap junctions throughout hippocampus. Of 20 immunogold-labeled gap junctions, seven were large (328-1140 connexons, three of which were consistent with electrical synapses between interneurons; but nine were at axon terminal synapses, three of which were immediately adjacent to distinctive glutamate receptor-containing postsynaptic densities, forming mixed glutamatergic synapses. Four others were adjacent to small clusters of immunogold-labeled 10-nm E-face intramembrane particles, apparently representing extrasynaptic glutamate receptor particles. Gap junctions also were on spines in stratum lucidum, stratum oriens, dentate gyrus, and hilus, on both interneurons and unidentified neurons. In addition, one putative GABAergic mixed synapse was found in thin section images of a CA3pyr, but none found by immunogold-labeling were at GABAergic mixed synapses, suggesting their rarity. Cx36-containing gap junctions throughout hippocampus suggest the possibility of reciprocal modulation of electrical and chemical signals in diverse hippocampal

  9. The effects of electromagnetic pulse on the protein levels of tight junction associated-proteins in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, heart, lung, and testis of rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, LianBo; Chen, Chen; Ding, GuiRong; Zhou, Yan; Zhang, MengYao

    2011-08-01

    To investigate changes in the expression of tight junction (TJ) proteins in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, heart, lung, and testes of rats after exposure to electromagnetic pulse (EMP). Eighteen adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into sham and exposure groups. The exposure groups received EMP at 200 kV/m for 200 pulses with a repetition rate of 1 Hz. The expression of TJ proteins (ZO-1, occludin, actin) in the several organs was examined by western blotting. ZO-1 levels in the cerebral cortex decreased 1 h and 3 h after EMP exposure compared with sham group (P<0.05). No significant difference was observed for occludin and actin. ZO-1 levels in the hippocampus increased 1 h and 3 h post-exposure (P<0.05), and occludin decreased after 3 h (P<0.05); however, actin was unaffected. ZO-1 levels in the heart increased 3 h post-exposure (P<0.05), occludin decreased 3 h post-exposure (P<0.05), and actin increased 1 h and 3 h post-exposure (P<0.05). ZO-1, occludin and actin levels in the lung decreased compared with those in the sham group (P<0.05). ZO-1 and occludin levels in the testes decreased 1 h and 3 h post-exposure (P<0.05), but actin showed no significant change. Exposure to EMP altered the expression levels of TJ proteins, particularly ZO-1, in the organs of adult male rats, which may induce changes in barrier structure and function. Copyright © 2011 The Editorial Board of Biomedical and Environmental Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Effect of Beta-Carotene on Oxidative Stress and Expression of Cardiac Connexin 43

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Novo, Rosangela; Azevedo, Paula S.; Minicucci, Marcos F.; Zornoff, Leonardo A. M., E-mail: lzornoff@fmb.unesp.br; Paiva, Sergio A. R. [Faculdade de Medicina de Botucatu - Universidade Estadual Paulista ' Júlio de Mesquita Filho' , Botucatu, SP (Brazil)

    2013-09-15

    Intervention studies have shown an increased mortality in patients who received beta-carotene. However, the mechanisms involved in this phenomenon are still unknown. Evaluate the influence of beta-carotene on oxidative stress and the expression of connexin 43 in rat hearts. Wistar rats, weighing approximately 100 g, were allocated in two groups: Control Group (n = 30), that received the diet routinely used in our laboratory, and Beta-Carotene Group (n = 28), which received beta-carotene (in crystal form, added and mixed to the diet) at a dose of 500 mg of beta carotene/kg of diet. The animals received the treatment until they reached 200-250g, when they were sacrificed. Samples of blood, liver and heart were collected to perform Western blotting and immunohistochemistry for connexin 43; morphometric studies, dosages of beta carotene by high performance liquid chromatography as well as reduced glutathione, oxidized glutathione and lipids hydroperoxides were performed by biochemical analysis. Beta-carotene was detected only in the liver of Beta-Carotene Group animals (288 ± 94.7 μg/kg). Levels of reduced/ oxidized glutathione were higher in the liver and heart of Beta-Carotene Group animals (liver - Control Group: 42.60 ± 1.62; liver - Beta-Carotene Group: 57.40 ± 5.90; p = 0.04; heart: - Control Group: 117.40 ± 1.01; heart - Beta-Carotene Group: 121.81 ± 1.32 nmol/mg protein; p = 0.03). The content of total connexin 43 was larger in Beta-Carotene Group. Beta-carotene demonstrated a positive effect, characterized by the increase of intercellular communication and improvement of anti-oxidizing defense system. In this model, mechanism does not explain the increased mortality rate observed with the beta-carotene supplementation in clinical studies.

  13. Gap junctions and motor behavior

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiehn, Ole; Tresch, Matthew C.

    2002-01-01

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

  14. Interaction of Ddc1 and RPA with single-stranded/double-stranded DNA junctions in yeast whole cell extracts: Proteolytic degradation of the large subunit of replication protein A in ddc1Δ strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sukhanova, Maria V; D'Herin, Claudine; Boiteux, Serge; Lavrik, Olga I

    2014-10-01

    To characterize proteins that interact with single-stranded/double-stranded (ss/ds) DNA junctions in whole cell free extracts of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we used [(32)P]-labeled photoreactive partial DNA duplexes containing a 3'-ss/ds-junction (3'-junction) or a 5'-ss/ds-junction (5'-junction). Identification of labeled proteins was achieved by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry peptide mass fingerprinting and genetic analysis. In wild-type extract, one of the components of the Ddc1-Rad17-Mec3 complex, Ddc1, was found to be preferentially photocrosslinked at a 3'-junction. On the other hand, RPAp70, the large subunit of the replication protein A (RPA), was the predominant crosslinking product at a 5'-junction. Interestingly, ddc1Δ extracts did not display photocrosslinking of RPAp70 at a 5'-junction. The results show that RPAp70 crosslinked to DNA with a 5'-junction is subject to limited proteolysis in ddc1Δ extracts, whereas it is stable in WT, rad17Δ, mec3Δ and mec1Δ extracts. The degradation of the RPAp70-DNA adduct in ddc1Δ extract is strongly reduced in the presence of the proteasome inhibitor MG 132. We also addressed the question of the stability of free RPA, using anti-RPA antibodies. The results show that RPAp70 is also subject to proteolysis without photocrosslinking to DNA upon incubation in ddc1Δ extract. The data point to a novel property of Ddc1, modulating the turnover of DNA binding proteins such as RPAp70 by the proteasome. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Tight junctions and human diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawada, Norimasa; Murata, Masaki; Kikuchi, Keisuke; Osanai, Makoto; Tobioka, Hirotoshi; Kojima, Takashi; Chiba, Hideki

    2003-09-01

    Tight junctions are intercellular junctions adjacent to the apical end of the lateral membrane surface. They have two functions, the barrier (or gate) function and the fence function. The barrier function of tight junctions regulates the passage of ions, water, and various macromolecules, even of cancer cells, through paracellular spaces. The barrier function is thus relevant to edema, jaundice, diarrhea, and blood-borne metastasis. On the other hand, the fence function maintains cell polarity. In other words, tight junctions work as a fence to prevent intermixing of molecules in the apical membrane with those in the lateral membrane. This function is deeply involved in cancer cell biology, in terms of loss of cell polarity. Of the proteins comprising tight junctions, integral membrane proteins occludin, claudins, and JAMs have been recently discovered. Of these molecules, claudins are exclusively responsible for the formation of tight-junction strands and are connected with the actin cytoskeleton mediated by ZO-1. Thus, both functions of tight junctions are dependent on the integrity of the actin cytoskeleton as well as ATP. Mutations in the claudin14 and the claudin16 genes result in hereditary deafness and hereditary hypomagnesemia, respectively. Some pathogenic bacteria and viruses target and affect the tight-junction function, leading to diseases. In this review, the relationship between tight junctions and human diseases is summarized.

  16. Distinct moieties underlie biphasic H+ gating of connexin43 channels, producing a pH optimum for intercellular communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garciarena, Carolina D.; Malik, Akif; Swietach, Pawel; Moreno, Alonso P.; Vaughan-Jones, Richard D.

    2018-01-01

    Most mammalian cells can intercommunicate via connexin-assembled, gap-junctional channels. To regulate signal transmission, connexin (Cx) channel permeability must respond dynamically to physiological and pathophysiological stimuli. One key stimulus is intracellular pH (pHi), which is modulated by a tissue’s metabolic and perfusion status. Our understanding of the molecular mechanism of H+ gating of Cx43 channels—the major isoform in the heart and brain—is incomplete. To interrogate the effects of acidic and alkaline pHi on Cx43 channels, we combined voltage-clamp electrophysiology with pHi imaging and photolytic H+ uncaging, performed over a range of pHi values. We demonstrate that Cx43 channels expressed in HeLa or N2a cell pairs are gated biphasically by pHi via a process that consists of activation by H+ ions at alkaline pHi and inhibition at more acidic pHi. For Cx43 channel–mediated solute/ion transmission, the ensemble of these effects produces a pHi optimum, near resting pHi. By using Cx43 mutants, we demonstrate that alkaline gating involves cysteine residues of the C terminus and is independent of motifs previously implicated in acidic gating. Thus, we present a molecular mechanism by which cytoplasmic acid–base chemistry fine tunes intercellular communication and establishes conditions for the optimal transmission of solutes and signals in tissues, such as the heart and brain.—Garciarena, C. D., Malik, A., Swietach, P., Moreno, A. P., Vaughan-Jones, R. D. Distinct moieties underlie biphasic H+ gating of connexin43 channels, producing a pH optimum for intercellular communication. PMID:29183963

  17. 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

    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...

  18. Structure-Function Correlation Analysis of Connexin50 Missense Mutations Causing Congenital Cataract: Electrostatic Potential Alteration Could Determine Intracellular Trafficking Fate of Mutants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Devroop Sarkar

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Connexin50 (Cx50 mutations are reported to cause congenital cataract probably through the disruption of intercellular transport in the lens. Cx50 mutants that undergo mistrafficking have generally been associated with failure to form functional gap junction channels; however, sometimes even properly trafficked mutants were found to undergo similar consequences. We hereby wanted to elucidate any structural bases of the varied functional consequences of Cx50 missense mutations through in silico approach. Computational studies have been done based on a Cx50 homology model to assess conservation, solvent accessibility, and 3-dimensional localization of mutated residues as well as mutation-induced changes in surface electrostatic potential, H-bonding, and steric clash. This was supplemented with meta-analysis of published literature on the functional properties of connexin missense mutations. Analyses revealed that the mutation-induced critical alterations of surface electrostatic potential in Cx50 mutants could determine their fate in intracellular trafficking. A similar pattern was observed in case of mutations involving corresponding conserved residues in other connexins also. Based on these results the trafficking fates of 10 uncharacterized Cx50 mutations have been predicted. Further experimental analyses are needed to validate the observed correlation.

  19. Disruption of Intracellular ATP Generation and Tight Junction Protein Expression during the Course of Brain Edema Induced by Subacute Poisoning of 1,2-Dichloroethane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaoyang Wang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to explore changes in intracellular ATP generation and tight junction protein expression during the course of brain edema induced by subacute poisoning of 1,2-dichloroethane (1,2-DCE. Mice were exposed to 1.2 g/m3 1,2-DCE for 3.5 h per day for 1, 2, or 3 days, namely group A, B, and C. Na+-K+-ATPase and Ca2+-ATPase activity, ATP and lactic acid content, intracellular free Ca2+ concentration and ZO-1 and occludin expression in the brain were measured. Results of present study disclosed that Ca2+-ATPase activities in group B and C, and Na+/K+-ATPase activity in group C decreased, whereas intracellular free Ca2+ concentrations in group B and C increased significantly compared with control. Moreover, ATP content decreased, whereas lactic acid content increased significantly in group C compared with control. On the other hand, expressions of ZO-1 and occludin at both the protein and gene levels in group B and C decreased significantly compared with control. In conclusion, findings from this study suggest that calcium overload and depressed expression of tight junction associated proteins, such as ZO-1 and occludin might play an important role in the early phase of brain edema formation induced by subacute poisoning of 1,2-DCE.

  20. Role of connexin 32 hemichannels in the release of ATP from peripheral nerves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nualart-Marti, Anna; del Molino, Ezequiel Mas; Grandes, Xènia; Bahima, Laia; Martin-Satué, Mireia; Puchal, Rafel; Fasciani, Ilaria; González-Nieto, Daniel; Ziganshin, Bulat; Llobet, Artur; Barrio, Luis C; Solsona, Carles

    2013-12-01

    Extracellular purines elicit strong signals in the nervous system. Adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP) does not spontaneously cross the plasma membrane, and nervous cells secrete ATP by exocytosis or through plasma membrane proteins such as connexin hemichannels. Using a combination of imaging, luminescence and electrophysiological techniques, we explored the possibility that Connexin 32 (Cx32), expressed in Schwann cells (SCs) myelinating the peripheral nervous system could be an important source of ATP in peripheral nerves. We triggered the release of ATP in vivo from mice sciatic nerves by electrical stimulation and from cultured SCs by high extracellular potassium concentration-evoked depolarization. No ATP was detected in the extracellular media after treatment of the sciatic nerve with Octanol or Carbenoxolone, and ATP release was significantly inhibited after silencing Cx32 from SCs cultures. We investigated the permeability of Cx32 to ATP by expressing Cx32 hemichannels in Xenopus laevis oocytes. We found that ATP release is coupled to the inward tail current generated after the activation of Cx32 hemichannels by depolarization pulses, and it is sensitive to low extracellular calcium concentrations. Moreover, we found altered ATP release in mutated Cx32 hemichannels related to the X-linked form of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, suggesting that purinergic-mediated signaling in peripheral nerves could underlie the physiopathology of this neuropathy. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard David Veenstra

    2013-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li eXin

    2013-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Adenovirus Vector E4 Gene Regulates Connexin 40 and 43 Expression in Endothelial Cells via PKA and PI3K Signal Pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fan; Cheng, Joseph; Lam, George; Jin, David K.; Vincent, Loïc; Hackett, Neil R.; Wang, Shiyang; Young, Lauren M.; Hempstead, Barbara; Crystal, Ronald G.; Rafii, Shahin

    2010-01-01

    Connexins (Cxs) provide a means for intercellular communication and play important roles in the pathophysiology of vascular cardiac diseases. Infection of endothelial cells (ECs) with first-generation E1/E3-deleted E4+ adenovirus (AdE4+) selectively modulates the survival and angiogenic potential of ECs by as of yet unrecognized mechanisms. We show here that AdE4+ vectors potentiate Cx expression in ECs in vitro and in mouse heart tissue. Infection of ECs with AdE4+, but not AdE4−, resulted in a time- and dose-dependent induction of junctional Cx40 expression and suppression of Cx43 protein and mRNA expression. Treatment of ECs with PKA inhibitor H89 or PI3K inhibitor LY294002 prevented the AdE4+-mediated regulation of Cx40 and Cx43 that was associated with diminished AdE4+-mediated survival of ECs. Moreover, both PKA activity and cAMP-response element (CRE)-binding activity were enhanced by treatment of ECs with AdE4+. However, there is no causal evidence of a cross-talk between the 2 modulatory pathways, PKA and PI3K. Remarkably, Cx40 immunostaining was markedly increased and Cx43 was decreased in the heart tissue of mice treated with intratracheal AdE4+. Taken together, these results suggest that AdE4+ may play an important role in the regulation of Cx expression in ECs, and that these effects are mediated by both the PKA/CREB and PI3K signaling pathways. PMID:15831817

  7. Additive Effects of Rebamipide Plus Proton Pump Inhibitors on the Expression of Tight Junction Proteins in a Rat Model of Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gweon, Tae-Geun; Park, Jong-Hyung; Kim, Byung-Wook; Choi, Yang Kyu; Kim, Joon Sung; Park, Sung Min; Kim, Chang Whan; Kim, Hyung-Gil; Chung, Jun-Won

    2018-01-15

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of rebamipide on tight junction proteins in the esophageal mucosa in a rat model of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD was created in rats by tying the proximal stomach. The rats were divided into a control group, a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) group, and a PPI plus rebamipide (PPI+R) group. Pantoprazole (5 mg/kg) was administered intraperitoneally to the PPI and PPI+R groups. An additional dose of rebamipide (100 mg/kg) was administered orally to the PPI+R group. Mucosal erosions, epithelial thickness, and leukocyte infiltration into the esophageal mucosa were measured in isolated esophagi 14 days after the procedure. A Western blot analysis was conducted to measure the expression of claudin-1, -3, and -4. The mean surface area of mucosal erosions, epithelial thickness, and leukocyte infiltration were lower in the PPI group and the PPI+R group than in the control group. Western blot analysis revealed that the expression of claudin-3 and -4 was significantly higher in the PPI+R group than in the control group. Rebamipide may exert an additive effect in combination with PPI to modify the tight junction proteins of the esophageal mucosa in a rat model of GERD. This treatment might be associated with the relief of GERD symptoms.

  8. Cytotoxic effect of the Her-2/Her-1 inhibitor PKI-166 on renal cancer cells expressing the connexin 32 gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujimoto, Eriko; Yano, Tomohiro; Sato, Hiromi; Hagiwara, Kiyokazu; Yamasaki, Hiroshi; Shirai, Sumiko; Fukumoto, Keiko; Hagiwara, Hiromi; Negishi, Etsuko; Ueno, Koichi

    2005-02-01

    We have reported that connexin (Cx) 32 acts as a tumor suppressor gene in renal cancer cells partly due to Her-2 inactivation. Here, we determined if a Her-2/Her-1 inhibitor (PKI-166) can enhance the tumor-suppressive effect of Cx32 in Caki-2 cells from human renal cell carcinoma. The expression of Cx32 in Caki-2 cells was required for PKI-166-induced cytotoxic effect at lower doses. The cyctotoxicity was dependent on the occurrence of apoptosis and partly mediated by Cx32-driven gap junction intercellular communications. These results suggest that PKI-166 further supports the tumor-suppressive effect of the Cx32 gene in renal cancer cells through the induction of apoptosis.

  9. Connexin 50 Mutation Lowers Blood Pressure in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šeda, Ondřej; Liška, F.; Pravenec, Michal; Vernerová, Z.; Kazdová, L.; Křenová, D.; Zídek, Václav; Šedová, Lucie; Krupková, M.; Křen, V.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 66, č. 1 (2017), s. 15-28 ISSN 0862-8408 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP301/12/0696 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 ; RVO:67985823 Keywords : Connexin * Hypertension * Transcriptome * Animal models * Insulin resistance Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Cardiac and Cardiovascular systems; Cardiac and Cardiovascular systems (FGU-C) Impact factor: 1.461, year: 2016

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  12. Molecular determinants of magnesium-dependent synaptic plasticity at electrical synapses formed by connexin36

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palacios-Prado, Nicolás; Chapuis, Sandrine; Panjkovich, Alejandro; Fregeac, Julien; Nagy, James I.; Bukauskas, Feliksas F.

    2014-08-01

    Neuronal gap junction (GJ) channels composed of connexin36 (Cx36) play an important role in neuronal synchronization and network dynamics. Here we show that Cx36-containing electrical synapses between inhibitory neurons of the thalamic reticular nucleus are bidirectionally modulated by changes in intracellular free magnesium concentration ([Mg2+]i). Chimeragenesis demonstrates that the first extracellular loop of Cx36 contains a Mg2+-sensitive domain, and site-directed mutagenesis shows that the pore-lining residue D47 is critical in determining high Mg2+-sensitivity. Single-channel analysis of Mg2+-sensitive chimeras and mutants reveals that [Mg2+]i controls the strength of electrical coupling mostly via gating mechanisms. In addition, asymmetric transjunctional [Mg2+]i induces strong instantaneous rectification, providing a novel mechanism for electrical rectification in homotypic Cx36 GJs. We suggest that Mg2+-dependent synaptic plasticity of Cx36-containing electrical synapses could underlie neuronal circuit reconfiguration via changes in brain energy metabolism that affects neuronal levels of intracellular ATP and [Mg2+]i.

  13. The Expression of Connexins and SOX2 Reflects the Plasticity of Glioma Stem-Like Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joana Balça-Silva

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Glioblastoma (GBM is the most malignant primary brain tumor, with an average survival rate of 15 months. GBM is highly refractory to therapy, and such unresponsiveness is due, primarily, but not exclusively, to the glioma stem-like cells (GSCs. This subpopulation express stem-like cell markers and is responsible for the heterogeneity of GBM, generating multiple differentiated cell phenotypes. However, how GBMs maintain the balance between stem and non-stem populations is still poorly understood. We investigated the GBM ability to interconvert between stem and non-stem states through the evaluation of the expression of specific stem cell markers as well as cell communication proteins. We evaluated the molecular and phenotypic characteristics of GSCs derived from differentiated GBM cell lines by comparing their stem-like cell properties and expression of connexins. We showed that non-GSCs as well as GSCs can undergo successive cycles of gain and loss of stem properties, demonstrating a bidirectional cellular plasticity model that is accompanied by changes on connexins expression. Our findings indicate that the interconversion between non-GSCs and GSCs can be modulated by extracellular factors culminating on differential expression of stem-like cell markers and cell-cell communication proteins. Ultimately, we observed that stem markers are mostly expressed on GBMs rather than on low-grade astrocytomas, suggesting that the presence of GSCs is a feature of high-grade gliomas. Together, our data demonstrate the utmost importance of the understanding of stem cell plasticity properties in a way to a step closer to new strategic approaches to potentially eliminate GSCs and, hopefully, prevent tumor recurrence.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Immunohistochemical quantification of expression of a tight junction protein, claudin-7, in human lung cancer samples using digital image analysis method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Zhe; Liu, Yi; Xu, Junfeng; Yin, Hongping; Yuan, Haiying; Gu, Jinjing; Chen, Yan-Hua; Shi, Liyun; Chen, Dan; Xie, Bin

    2018-03-01

    Tight junction proteins are correlated with cancer development. As the pivotal proteins in epithelial cells, altered expression and distribution of different claudins have been reported in a wide variety of human malignancies. We have previously reported that claudin-7 was strongly expressed in benign bronchial epithelial cells at the cell-cell junction while expression of claudin-7 was either altered with discontinued weak expression or completely absent in lung cancers. Based on these results, we continued working on the expression pattern of claudin-7 and its relationship with lung cancer development. We herein proposed a new Digital Image Classification, Fragmentation index, Morphological analysis (DICFM) method for differentiating the normal lung tissues and lung cancer tissues based on the claudin-7 immunohistochemical staining. Seventy-seven lung cancer samples were obtained from the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University and claudin-7 immunohistochemical staining was performed. Based on C++ and Open Source Computer Vision Library (OpenCV, version 2.4.4), the DICFM processing module was developed. Intensity and fragmentation of claudin-7 expression, as well as the morphological parameters of nuclei were calculated. Evaluation of results was performed using Receiver Operator Characteristic (ROC) analysis. Agreement between these computational results and the results obtained by two pathologists was demonstrated. The intensity of claudin-7 expression was significantly decreased while the fragmentation was significantly increased in the lung cancer tissues compared to the normal lung tissues and the intensity was strongly positively associated with the differentiation of lung cancer cells. Moreover, the perimeters of the nuclei of lung cancer cells were significantly greater than that of the normal lung cells, while the parameters of area and circularity revealed no statistical significance. Taken together, our DICFM approach may be applied as an

  16. Acrolein Disrupts Tight Junction Proteins and Causes Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress-Mediated Epithelial Cell Death Leading to Intestinal Barrier Dysfunction and Permeability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Wei-Yang; Wang, Min; Zhang, Jingwen; Barve, Shirish S; McClain, Craig J; Joshi-Barve, Swati

    2017-12-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that environmental and dietary factors can affect intestinal epithelial integrity leading to gut permeability and bacterial translocation. Intestinal barrier dysfunction is a pathogenic process associated with many chronic disorders. Acrolein is an environmental and dietary pollutant and a lipid-derived endogenous metabolite. The impact of acrolein on the intestine has not been investigated before and is evaluated in this study, both in vitro and in vivo. Our data demonstrate that oral acrolein exposure in mice caused damage to the intestinal epithelial barrier, resulting in increased permeability and subsequently translocation of bacterial endotoxin-lipopolysaccharide into the blood. Similar results were seen in vitro using established Caco-2 cell monolayers wherein acrolein decreased barrier function and increased permeability. Acrolein also caused the down-regulation and/or redistribution of three representative tight junction proteins (ie, zonula occludens-1, Occludin, Claudin-1) that critically regulate epithelial paracellular permeability. In addition, acrolein induced endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated death of epithelial cells, which is an important mechanism contributing to intestinal barrier damage/dysfunction, and gut permeability. Overall, we demonstrate that exposure to acrolein affects the intestinal epithelium by decrease/redistribution of tight junction proteins and endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated epithelial cell death, thereby resulting in loss of barrier integrity and function. Our findings highlight the adverse consequences of environmental and dietary pollutants on intestinal barrier integrity/function with relevance to gut permeability and the development of disease. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Downregulation of tight junction-associated MARVEL protein marvelD3 during epithelial-mesenchymal transition in human pancreatic cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojima, Takashi; Takasawa, Akira; Kyuno, Daisuke; Ito, Tatsuya; Yamaguchi, Hiroshi; Hirata, Koichi; Tsujiwaki, Mitsuhiro; Murata, Masaki; Tanaka, Satoshi; Sawada, Norimasa

    2011-10-01

    The novel tight junction protein marvelD3 contains a conserved MARVEL (MAL and related proteins for vesicle trafficking and membrane link) domain like occludin and tricellulin. However, little is yet known about the detailed role and regulation of marvelD3 in normal epithelial cells and cancer cells, including pancreatic cancer. In the present study, we investigated marvelD3 expression in well and poorly differentiated human pancreatic cancer cell lines and normal pancreatic duct epithelial cells in which the hTERT gene was introduced into human pancreatic duct epithelial cells in primary culture, and the changes of marvelD3 during Snail-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) under hypoxia, TGF-β treatment and knockdown of FOXA2 in well differentiated pancreatic cancer HPAC cells. MarvelD3 was transcriptionally downregulated in poorly differentiated pancreatic cancer cells and during Snail-induced EMT of pancreatic cancer cells in which Snail was highly expressed and the fence function downregulated, whereas it was maintained in well differentiated human pancreatic cancer cells and normal pancreatic duct epithelial cells. Depletion of marvelD3 by siRNAs in HPAC cells resulted in downregulation of barrier functions indicated as a decrease in transepithelial electric resistance and an increase of permeability to fluorescent dextran tracers, whereas it did not affect fence function of tight junctions. In conclusion, marvelD3 is transcriptionally downregulated in Snail-induced EMT during the progression for the pancreatic cancer. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Role of Connexin40 in the autoregulatory response of the afferent arteriole

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Charlotte Mehlin; Giese, Isaiah; Braunstein, Thomas Hartig

    2012-01-01

    Connexins in renal arterioles affect autoregulation of arteriolar tonus and renal blood flow and are believed to be involved in the transmission of the tubuloglomerular feedback (TGF) response across the cells of the juxtaglomerular apparatus. Connexin40 (Cx40) also plays a significant role in th...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Yomi

    2012-04-03

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

  1. Export of a Toxoplasma gondii rhoptry neck protein complex at the host cell membrane to form the moving junction during invasion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sébastien Besteiro

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available One of the most conserved features of the invasion process in Apicomplexa parasites is the formation of a moving junction (MJ between the apex of the parasite and the host cell membrane that moves along the parasite and serves as support to propel it inside the host cell. The MJ was, up to a recent period, completely unknown at the molecular level. Recently, proteins originated from two distinct post-Golgi specialised secretory organelles, the micronemes (for AMA1 and the neck of the rhoptries (for RON2/RON4/RON5 proteins, have been shown to form a complex. AMA1 and RON4 in particular, have been localised to the MJ during invasion. Using biochemical approaches, we have identified RON8 as an additional member of the complex. We also demonstrated that all RON proteins are present at the MJ during invasion. Using metabolic labelling and immunoprecipitation, we showed that RON2 and AMA1 were able to interact in the absence of the other members. We also discovered that all MJ proteins are subjected to proteolytic maturation during trafficking to their respective organelles and that they could associate as non-mature forms in vitro. Finally, whereas AMA1 has previously been shown to be inserted into the parasite membrane upon secretion, we demonstrated, using differential permeabilization and loading of RON-specific antibodies into the host cell, that the RON complex is targeted to the host cell membrane, where RON4/5/8 remain associated with the cytoplasmic face. Globally, these results point toward a model of MJ organization where the parasite would be secreting and inserting interacting components on either side of the MJ, both at the host and at its own plasma membranes.

  2. Expressions of tight junction proteins Occludin and Claudin-1 are under the circadian control in the mouse large intestine: implications in intestinal permeability and susceptibility to colitis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oh-oka Kyoko

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND & AIMS: The circadian clock drives daily rhythms in behavior and physiology. A recent study suggests that intestinal permeability is also under control of the circadian clock. However, the precise mechanisms remain largely unknown. Because intestinal permeability depends on tight junction (TJ that regulates the epithelial paracellular pathway, this study investigated whether the circadian clock regulates the expression levels of TJ proteins in the intestine. METHODS: The expression levels of TJ proteins in the large intestinal epithelium and colonic permeability were analyzed every 4, 6, or 12 hours between wild-type mice and mice with a mutation of a key clock gene Period2 (Per2; mPer2(m/m. In addition, the susceptibility to dextran sodium sulfate (DSS-induced colitis was compared between wild-type mice and mPer2(m/m mice. RESULTS: The mRNA and protein expression levels of Occludin and Claudin-1 exhibited daily variations in the colonic epithelium in wild-type mice, whereas they were constitutively high in mPer2(m/m mice. Colonic permeability in wild-type mice exhibited daily variations, which was inversely associated with the expression levels of Occludin and Claudin-1 proteins, whereas it was constitutively low in mPer2(m/m mice. mPer2(m/m mice were more resistant to the colonic injury induced by DSS than wild-type mice. CONCLUSIONS: Occludin and Claudin-1 expressions in the large intestine are under the circadian control, which is associated with temporal regulation of colonic permeability and also susceptibility to colitis.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen Li

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

  4. Gonadotropin suppression in men leads to a reduction in claudin-11 at the Sertoli cell tight junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCabe, M J; Tarulli, G A; Laven-Law, G; Matthiesson, K L; Meachem, S J; McLachlan, R I; Dinger, M E; Stanton, P G

    2016-04-01

    Are Sertoli cell tight junctions (TJs) disrupted in men undergoing hormonal contraception? Localization of the key Sertoli cell TJ protein, claudin-11, was markedly disrupted by 8 weeks of gonadotropin suppression, the degree of which was related to the extent of adluminal germ cell suppression. Sertoli cell TJs are vital components of the blood-testis barrier (BTB) that sequester developing adluminal meiotic germ cells and spermatids from the vascular compartment. Claudin-11 knockout mice are infertile; additionally claudin-11 is spatially disrupted in chronically gonadotropin-suppressed rats coincident with a loss of BTB function, and claudin-11 is disorganized in various human testicular disorders. These data support the Sertoli cell TJ as a potential site of hormonal contraceptive action. BTB proteins were assessed by immunohistochemistry (n = 16 samples) and mRNA (n = 18 samples) expression levels in available archived testis tissue from a previous study of 22 men who had undergone 8 weeks of gonadotropin suppression and for whom meiotic and post-meiotic germ cell numbers were available. The gonadotropin suppression regimens were (i) testosterone enanthate (TE) plus the GnRH antagonist, acyline (A); (ii) TE + the progestin, levonorgestrel, (LNG); (iii) TE + LNG + A or (iv) TE + LNG + the 5α-reductase inhibitor, dutasteride (D). A control group consisted of seven additional men, with three archived samples available for this study. Immunohistochemical localization of claudin-11 (TJ) and other junctional type markers [ZO-1 (cytoplasmic plaque), β-catenin (adherens junction), connexin-43 (gap junction), vinculin (ectoplasmic specialization) and β-actin (cytoskeleton)] and quantitative PCR was conducted using matched frozen testis tissue. Claudin-11 formed a continuous staining pattern at the BTB in control men. Regardless of gonadotropin suppression treatment, claudin-11 localization was markedly disrupted and was broadly associated with the extent of meiotic

  5. Air-Stimulated ATP Release from Keratinocytes Occurs through Connexin Hemichannels

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    Barr, Travis P.; Albrecht, Phillip J.; Hou, Quanzhi; Mongin, Alexander A.; Strichartz, Gary R.; Rice, Frank L.

    2013-01-01

    Cutaneous ATP release plays an important role in both epidermal stratification and chronic pain, but little is known about ATP release mechanisms in keratinocytes that comprise the epidermis. In this study, we analyzed ATP release from cultured human neonatal keratinocytes briefly exposed to air, a process previously demonstrated to trigger ATP release from these cells. We show that exposing keratinocytes to air by removing media for 15 seconds causes a robust, long-lasting ATP release. This air-stimulated ATP release was increased in calcium differentiated cultures which showed a corresponding increase in connexin 43 mRNA, a major component of keratinocyte hemichannels. The known connexin hemichannel inhibitors 1-octanol and carbenoxolone both significantly reduced air-stimulated ATP release, as did two drugs traditionally used as ABC transporter inhibitors (glibenclamide and verapamil). These same 4 inhibitors also prevented an increase in the uptake of a connexin permeable dye induced by air exposure, confirming that connexin hemichannels are open during air-stimulated ATP release. In contrast, activity of the MDR1 ABC transporter was reduced by air exposure and the drugs that inhibited air-stimulated ATP release had differential effects on this transporter. These results indicate that air exposure elicits non-vesicular release of ATP from keratinocytes through connexin hemichannels and that drugs used to target connexin hemichannels and ABC transporters may cross-inhibit. Connexins represent a novel, peripheral target for the treatment of chronic pain and dermatological disease. PMID:23457608

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

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

    2016-04-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  9. Methamphetamine transiently increases the blood-brain barrier permeability in the hippocampus: role of tight junction proteins and matrix metalloproteinase-9.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, Tânia; Baptista, Sofia; Gonçalves, Joana; Leal, Ermelindo; Milhazes, Nuno; Borges, Fernanda; Ribeiro, Carlos F; Quintela, Oscar; Lendoiro, Elena; López-Rivadulla, Manuel; Ambrósio, António F; Silva, Ana P

    2011-09-09

    Methamphetamine (METH) is a powerful stimulant drug of abuse that has steadily gained popularity worldwide. It is known that METH is highly neurotoxic and causes irreversible damage of brain cells leading to neurological and psychiatric abnormalities. Recent studies suggested that METH-induced neurotoxicity might also result from its ability to compromise blood-brain barrier (BBB) function. Due to the crucial role of BBB in the maintenance of brain homeostasis and protection against toxic molecules and pathogenic organisms, its dysfunction could have severe consequences. In this study, we investigated the effect of an acute high dose of METH (30mg/kg) on BBB permeability after different time points and in different brain regions. For that, young adult mice were sacrificed 1h, 24h or 72h post-METH administration. METH increased BBB permeability, but this effect was detected only at 24h after administration, being therefore a transitory effect. Interestingly, we also found that the hippocampus was the most susceptible brain region to METH, comparing to frontal cortex and striatum. Moreover, in an attempt to identify the key players in METH-induced BBB dysfunction we further investigated potential alterations in tight junction (TJ) proteins and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9). METH was able to decrease the protein levels of zonula occludens (ZO)-1, claudin-5 and occludin in the hippocampus 24h post-injection, and increased the activity and immunoreactivity of MMP-9. The pre-treatment with BB-94 (30mg/kg), a matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor, prevented the METH-induced increase in MMP-9 immunoreactivity in the hippocampus. Overall, the present data demonstrate that METH transiently increases the BBB permeability in the hippocampus, which can be explained by alterations on TJ proteins and MMP-9. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Mena associates with Rac1 and modulates connexin 43 remodeling in cardiomyocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ram, Rashmi; Wescott, Andrew P; Varandas, Katherine; Dirksen, Robert T; Blaxall, Burns C

    2014-01-01

    Mena, a member of the Ena/VASP family of actin regulatory proteins, modulates microfilaments and interacts with cytoskeletal proteins associated with heart failure. Mena is localized at the intercalated disc (ICD) of adult cardiac myocytes, colocalizing with numerous cytoskeletal proteins. Mena's role in the maintainence of mechanical myocardial stability at the cardiomyocyte ICD remains unknown. We hypothesized that Mena may modulate signals from the sarcolemma to the actin cytoskeleton at the ICD to regulate the expression and localization of connexin 43 (Cx43). The small GTPase Rac1 plays a pivotal role in the regulation of actin cytoskeletal reorganization and mediating morphological and transcriptional changes in cardiomyocytes. We found that Mena is associated with active Rac1 in cardiomyocytes and that RNAi knockdown of Mena increased Rac1 activity significantly. Furthermore, Mena knockdown increased Cx43 expression and altered Cx43 localization and trafficking at the ICD, concomitant with faster intercellular communication, as assessed by dye transfer between cardiomyocyte pairs. In mice overexpressing constitutively active Rac1, left ventricular Mena expression was increased significantly, concomitant with lateral redistribution of Cx43. These results suggest that Mena is a critical regulator of the ICD and is required for normal localization of Cx43 in part via regulation of Rac1.

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

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    Jie Wu

    2016-06-01

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

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

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-02-13

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

  15. Influence of Th2 Cytokines on the Cornified Envelope, Tight Junction Proteins, and ß-Defensins in Filaggrin-Deficient Skin Equivalents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hönzke, Stefan; Wallmeyer, Leonie; Ostrowski, Anja; Radbruch, Moritz; Mundhenk, Lars; Schäfer-Korting, Monika; Hedtrich, Sarah

    2016-03-01

    Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition with complex etiology. It is characterized by skin barrier defects and T helper type 2 (Th2)-polarized inflammation. Although mutations in the filaggrin gene are known to be prominent genetic risk factors for the development of atopic dermatitis, the interdependency between these and an altered cytokine milieu is not fully understood. In this study, we evaluated the direct effects of filaggrin deficiency on the cornified envelope, tight junction proteins, and innate immune response, and report the effects of Th2 cytokines in normal and filaggrin-deficient skin equivalents. Supplementation with IL-4 and IL-13 led to distinct histologic changes and significantly increased skin surface pH, both of which were enhanced in filaggrin knockdown skin equivalents. We detected a compensatory up-regulation of involucrin and occludin in filaggrin-deficient skin that was dramatically disturbed when simultaneous inflammation occurred. Furthermore, we found that a lack of filaggrin triggered an up-regulation of human ?-defensin 2 via an unknown mechanism, which was abolished by Th2 cytokine supplementation. Taken together, these results indicate that defects in the epidermal barrier, skin permeability, and cutaneous innate immune response are not primarily linked to filaggrin deficiency but are rather secondarily induced by Th2 inflammation. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. E. coli O124 K72 alters the intestinal barrier and the tight junctions proteins of guinea pig intestine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Xiaomeng; Zhu, Yanyan; Gamallat, Yaser; Ma, Shenhao; Chiwala, Gift; Meyiah, Abdo; Xin, Yi

    2017-10-01

    Our research group previously isolated and identified a strain of pathogenic Escherichia coli from clinical samples called E. coli O124 K72. The present study was aimed at determining the potential effects of E. coli O124 K72 on intestinal barrier functions and structural proteins integrity in guinea pig. Guinea pigs were grouped into three groups; control (CG); E. coli O124 K72 (E. coli); and probiotics Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG). Initially, we create intestinal dysbiosis by giving all animals Levofloxacin for 10days, but the control group (CG) received the same volume of saline. Then, the animals received either E. coli O124 K72 (E. coli) or Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG) according to their assigned group. E. coli O124 K72 treatment significantly affected colon morphology and distorted intestinal barrier function by up-regulating Claudin2 and down-regulating Occludin. In addition, E. coli upregulated the mRNA expression of MUC1, MUC2, MUC13 and MUC15. Furthermore, suspected tumor was found in the E. coli treated animals. Our results suggested that E. coli O124 K72 strain has adverse effects on intestinal barrier functions and is capable of altering integrity of structural proteins in guinea pig model while at same time it may have a role in colon carcinogenesis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  17. Expression and distribution of connexin 32 in rat liver with experimentally induced fibrosis Expressão e distribuição da conexina 32 em fígados de ratos com fibrose induzida experimentalmente

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandro dos S. Rodrigues

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available The connexin 32 (Cx32 is a protein that forms the channels that promote the gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC in the liver, allowing the diffusion of small molecules through cytosol from cell-to-cell. Hepatic fibrosis is characterized by a disruption of normal tissue architeture by cellular lesions, and may alter the GJIC. This work aimed to study the expression and distribution of Cx32 in liver fibrosis induced by the oral administration of dimethylnitrosamine in female Wistar rats. The necropsy of the rats was carried out after five weeks of drug administration. They presented a hepatic fibrosis state. Sections from livers with fibrosis and from control livers were submitted to immunohistochemical, Real Time-PCR and Western-Blot analysis to Cx32. In fibrotic livers the Cxs were diffusely scattered in the cytoplasm, contrasting with the control livers, where the Cx32 formed junction plaques at the cell membrane. Also it was found a decrease in the gene expression of Cx32 without reduction in the protein quantity when compared with controls. These results suggest that there the mechanism of intercellular communication between hepatocytes was reduced by the fibrotic process, which may predispose to the occurrence of a neoplastic process, taken in account that connexins are considered tumor suppressing genes.A conexina 32 (Cx32 é uma proteína que constitui os canais que promovem as comunicações intercelulares via junções comunicantes (CIJC no fígado, permitindo difusão de pequenas moléculas citoplasmáticas de uma célula à outra. A fibrose hepática caracteriza-se pela alteração da arquitetura normal do fígado e podem alterar as CIJCs. O objetivo deste trabalho foi estudar a expressão e distribuição de Cx32 na fibrose hepática. O objetivo do presente trabalho foi estudar a expressão e distribuição da Cx32 em fígados com fibrose induzida pela administração oral de dimetilnitrosamina em fêmeas de ratos Wistar. A

  18. Moderate hypoxia followed by reoxygenation results in blood-brain barrier breakdown via oxidative stress-dependent tight-junction protein disruption.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph M Zehendner

    Full Text Available Re-canalization of cerebral vessels in ischemic stroke is pivotal to rescue dysfunctional brain areas that are exposed to moderate hypoxia within the penumbra from irreversible cell death. Goal of the present study was to evaluate the effect of moderate hypoxia followed by reoxygenation (MHR on the evolution of reactive oxygen species (ROS and blood-brain barrier (BBB integrity in brain endothelial cells (BEC. BBB integrity was assessed in BEC in vitro and in microvessels of the guinea pig whole brain in situ preparation. Probes were exposed to MHR (2 hours 67-70 mmHg O2, 3 hours reoxygenation, BEC or towards occlusion of the arteria cerebri media (MCAO with or without subsequent reperfusion in the whole brain preparation. In vitro BBB integrity was evaluated using trans-endothelial electrical resistance (TEER and transwell permeability assays. ROS in BEC were evaluated using 2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (DCF, MitoSox and immunostaining for nitrotyrosine. Tight-junction protein (TJ integrity in BEC, stainings for nitrotyrosine and FITC-albumin extravasation in the guinea pig brain preparation were assessed by confocal microscopy. Diphenyleneiodonium (DPI was used to investigate NADPH oxidase dependent ROS evolution and its effect on BBB parameters in BEC. MHR impaired TJ proteins zonula occludens 1 (ZO-1 and claudin 5 (Cl5, decreased TEER, and significantly increased cytosolic ROS in BEC. These events were blocked by the NADPH oxidase inhibitor DPI. MCAO with or without subsequent reoxygenation resulted in extravasation of FITC-albumin and ROS generation in the penumbra region of the guinea pig brain preparation and confirmed BBB damage. BEC integrity may be impaired through ROS in MHR on the level of TJ and the BBB is also functionally impaired in moderate hypoxic conditions followed by reperfusion in a complex guinea pig brain preparation. These findings suggest that the BBB is susceptible towards MHR and that ROS play a key role

  19. Arsenic downregulates tight junction claudin proteins through p38 and NF-κB in intestinal epithelial cell line, HT-29

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeong, Chang Hee; Seok, Jin Sil; Petriello, Michael C.; Han, Sung Gu

    2017-01-01

    Arsenic is a naturally occurring metalloid that often is found in foods and drinking water. Human exposure to arsenic is associated with the development of gastrointestinal problems such as fluid loss, diarrhea and gastritis. Arsenic is also known to induce toxic responses including oxidative stress in cells of the gastrointestinal track. Tight junctions (TJs) regulate paracellular permeability and play a barrier role by inhibiting the movement of water, solutes and microorganisms in the paracellular space. Since oxidative stress and TJ damage are known to be associated, we examined whether arsenic produces TJ damage such as downregulation of claudins in the human colorectal cell line, HT-29. To confirm the importance of oxidative stress in arsenic-induced TJ damage, effects of the antioxidant compound (e.g., N-acetylcysteine (NAC)) were also determined in cells. HT-29 cells were treated with arsenic trioxide (40 μM, 12 h) to observe the modified expression of TJ proteins. Arsenic decreased expression of TJ proteins (i.e., claudin-1 and claudin-5) and transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) whereas pretreatment of NAC (5–10 mM, 1 h) attenuated the observed claudins downregulation and TEER. Arsenic treatment produced cellular oxidative stress via superoxide generation and lowering glutathione (GSH) levels, while NAC restored cellular GSH levels and decreased oxidative stress. Arsenic increased phosphorylation of p38 and nuclear translocation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) p65, while NAC attenuated these intracellular events. Results demonstrated that arsenic can damage intestinal epithelial cells by proinflammatory process (oxidative stress, p38 and NF-κB) which resulted in the downregulation of claudins and NAC can protect intestinal TJs from arsenic toxicity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Expression pattern of adhesion molecules in junctional epithelium differs from that in other gingival epithelia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatakeyama, S; Yaegashi, T; Oikawa, Y; Fujiwara, H; Mikami, T; Takeda, Y; Satoh, M

    2006-08-01

    The gingival epithelium is the physiologically important interface between the bacterially colonized gingival sulcus and periodontal soft and mineralized connective tissues, requiring protection from exposure to bacteria and their products. However, of the three epithelia comprising the gingival epithelium, the junctional epithelium has much wider intercellular spaces than the sulcular epithelium and oral gingival epithelium. Hence, the aim of the present study was to characterize the cell adhesion structure in the junctional epithelium compared with the other two epithelia. Gingival epithelia excised at therapeutic flap surgery from patients with periodontitis were examined for expression of adhesion molecules by immunofluorescence. In the oral gingival epithelium and sulcular epithelium, but not in the junctional epithelium, desmoglein 1 and 2 in cell-cell contact sites were more abundant in the upper than the suprabasal layers. E-cadherin, the main transmembranous molecule of adherens junctions, was present in spinous layers of the oral gingival epithelium and sulcular epithelium, but was scarce in the junctional epithelium. In contrast, desmoglein 3 and P-cadherin were present in all layers of the junctional epithelium as well as the oral gingival epithelium and sulcular epithelium. Connexin 43 was clearly localized to spinous layers of the oral gingival epithelium, sulcular epithelium and parts of the junctional epithelium. Claudin-1 and occludin were expressed in the cell membranes of a few superficial layers of the oral gingival epithelium. These findings indicated that the junctional epithelium contains only a few desmosomes, composed of only desmoglein 3; adherens junctions are probably absent because of defective E-cadherin. Thus, the anchoring junctions connecting junctional epithelium cells are lax, causing widened intercellular spaces. In contrast, the oral gingival epithelium, which has a few tight junctions, functions as a barrier.

  2. Proximal tubule proteins are significantly elevated in bladder urine of patients with ureteropelvic junction obstruction and may represent novel biomarkers: A pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerber, Claire; Harel, Miriam; Lynch, Miranda L; Herbst, Katherine W; Ferrer, Fernando A; Shapiro, Linda H

    2016-04-01

    Ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJO) is the major cause of hydronephrosis in children and may lead to renal injury and early renal dysfunction. However, diagnosis of the degree of obstruction and severity of renal injury relies on invasive and often inconclusive renal scans. Biomarkers from voided urine that detect early renal injury are highly desirable because of their noninvasive collection and their potential to assist in earlier and more reliable diagnosis of the severity of obstruction. Early in response to UPJO, increased intrarenal pressure directly impacts the proximal tubule brush border. We hypothesize that single-pass, apically expressed proximal tubule brush border proteins will be shed into the urine early and rapidly and will be reliable noninvasive urinary biomarkers, providing the tools for a more reliable stratification of UPJO patients. We performed a prospective cohort study at Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Bladder urine samples from 12 UPJO patients were obtained prior to surgical intervention. Control urine samples were collected from healthy pediatric patients presenting with primary nocturnal enuresis. We determined levels of NGAL, KIM-1 (previously identified biomarkers), CD10, CD13, and CD26 (potentially novel biomarkers) by ELISA in control and experimental urine samples. Urinary creatinine levels were used to normalize the urinary protein levels measured by ELISA. Each of the proximal tubule proteins outperformed the previously published biomarkers. No differences in urinary NGAL and KIM-1 levels were observed between control and obstructed patients (p = 0.932 and p = 0.799, respectively). However, levels of CD10, CD13, and CD26 were significantly higher in the voided urine of obstructed individuals when compared with controls (p = 0.002, p = 0.024, and p = 0.007, respectively) (Figure). Targeted identification of reliable, noninvasive biomarkers of renal injury is critical to aid in diagnosing patients at risk, guiding

  3. Lycopene ameliorates neuropathic pain by upregulating spinal astrocytic connexin 43 expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fang Fang; Morioka, Norimitsu; Kitamura, Tomoya; Fujii, Shiori; Miyauchi, Kazuki; Nakamura, Yoki; Hisaoka-Nakashima, Kazue; Nakata, Yoshihiro

    2016-06-15

    Peripheral nerve injury upregulates tumor necrosis factor (TNF) expression. In turn, connexin 43 (Cx43) expression in spinal astrocytes is downregulated by TNF. Therefore, restoration of spinal astrocyte Cx43 expression to normal level could lead to the reduction of nerve injury-induced pain. While the non-provitaminic carotenoid lycopene reverses thermal hyperalgesia in mice with painful diabetic neuropathy, the antinociceptive mechanism is not entirely clear. The current study evaluated whether the antinociceptive effect of lycopene is mediated through the modulation of Cx43 expression in spinal astrocytes. The effect of lycopene on Cx43 expression was examined in cultured rat spinal astrocytes. The effect of intrathecal lycopene on Cx43 expression and neuropathic pain were evaluated in mice with partial sciatic nerve ligation (PSNL). Treatment of cultured rat spinal astrocytes with lycopene reversed TNF-induced downregulation of Cx43 protein expression through a transcription-independent mechanism. By contrast, treatment of cultured spinal astrocytes with either pro-vitamin A carotenoid β-carotene or antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine had no effect on TNF-induced downregulation of Cx43 protein expression. In addition, repeated, but not single, intrathecal treatment with lycopene of mice with a partial sciatic nerve ligation significantly prevented not only the downregulation of Cx43 expression in spinal dorsal horn but mechanical hypersensitivity as well. The current findings suggest a significant spinal mechanism that mediates the analgesic effect of lycopene, through the restoration of normal spinal Cx43 expression. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Inverse relationship between tumour proliferation markers and connexin expression in a malignant cardiac tumour originating from mesenchymal stem cell engineered tissue in a rat in-vivo model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cathleen eSpath

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: Recently, we demonstrated the beneficial effects of engineered heart tissues for the treatment of dilated cardiomyopathy in rats. For further development of this technique we started to produce engineered tissue (ET from mesenchymal stem cells. Interestingly, we observed a malignant tumour invading the heart with an inverse relationship between proliferation markers and connexin-expression.Methods: Commercial CD54+/CD90+/CD34-/CD45- bone marrow derived mesenchymal rat stem cells (cBM-MSC, characterized were used for production of mesenchymal stem-cell-ET (MSC-ET by suspending them in a collagen-I, matrigel-mixture and cultivating for 14 days with electrical stimulation. 3 MSC-ET were implanted around the beating heart of adult rats for days. Another 3 MSC-ET were produced from freshly isolated rat bone marrow derived stem cells (sBM-MSC.Results: 3 weeks after implantation of the MSC-ETs the hearts were surgically excised. While in 5/6 cases the ET was clearly distinguishable and was found as a ring containing mostly connective tissue around the heart, in 1/6 the heart was completely surrounded by a huge, undifferentiated, pleomorphic tumour originating from the cMSC-ET (cBM-MSC, classified as a high grade malignant sarcoma. Quantitatively we found a clear inverse relationship between cardiac connexin-expression (Cx43, Cx40 or Cx45 and increased Ki-67 expression (Cx43: p<0.0001, Cx45: p<0.03, Cx40: p<0.014. At the tumour-heart border there were significantly more Ki-67 positive cells (p=0.001, and only 2% Cx45 and Ki-67-expressing cells, while the other connexins were nearly completely absent (p<0.0001.Conclusions and hypothesis: These observations strongly suggest the hypothesis, that invasive tumour growth is accompanied by reduction in connexins. This implicates that gap junction communication between tumour and normal tissue is reduced or absent, which could mean that growth and differentiation signals can not be exchanged.

  5. Connexin Hemichannel Blockade Is Neuroprotective after Asphyxia in Preterm Fetal Sheep

    OpenAIRE

    Davidson, Joanne O.; Drury, Paul P.; Green, Colin R.; Nicholson, Louise F.; Bennet, Laura; Gunn, Alistair J.

    2014-01-01

    Asphyxia around the time of preterm birth is associated with neurodevelopmental disability. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that blockade of connexin hemichannels would improve recovery of brain activity and reduce cell loss after asphyxia in preterm fetal sheep. Asphyxia was induced by 25 min of complete umbilical cord occlusion in preterm fetal sheep (103-104 d gestational age). Connexin hemichannels were blocked by intracerebroventricular infusion of mimetic peptide starting 90 min...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-12

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

  8. Membrane Receptor-Induced Changes of the Protein Kinases A and C Activity May Play a Leading Role in Promoting Developmental Synapse Elimination at the Neuromuscular Junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomàs, Josep M; Garcia, Neus; Lanuza, Maria A; Nadal, Laura; Tomàs, Marta; Hurtado, Erica; Simó, Anna; Cilleros, Víctor

    2017-01-01

    Synapses that are overproduced during histogenesis in the nervous system are eventually lost and connectivity is refined. Membrane receptor signaling leads to activity-dependent mutual influence and competition between axons directly or with the involvement of the postsynaptic cell and the associated glial cell/s. Presynaptic muscarinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptors (subtypes mAChR; M 1 , M 2 and M 4 ), adenosine receptors (AR; A 1 and A 2A ) and the tropomyosin-related kinase B receptor (TrkB), among others, all cooperate in synapse elimination. Between these receptors there are several synergistic, antagonic and modulatory relations that clearly affect synapse elimination. Metabotropic receptors converge in a limited repertoire of intracellular effector kinases, particularly serine protein kinases A and C (PKA and PKC), to phosphorylate protein targets and bring about structural and functional changes leading to axon loss. In most cells A 1 , M 1 and TrkB operate mainly by stimulating PKC whereas A 2A , M 2 and M 4 inhibit PKA. We hypothesize that a membrane receptor-induced shifting in the protein kinases A and C activity (inhibition of PKA and/or stimulation of PKC) in some nerve endings may play an important role in promoting developmental synapse elimination at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). This hypothesis is supported by: (i) the tonic effect (shown by using selective inhibitors) of several membrane receptors that accelerates axon loss between postnatal days P5-P9; (ii) the synergistic, antagonic and modulatory effects (shown by paired inhibition) of the receptors on axonal loss; (iii) the fact that the coupling of these receptors activates/inhibits the intracellular serine kinases; and (iv) the increase of the PKA activity, the reduction of the PKC activity or, in most cases, both situations simultaneously that presumably occurs in all the situations of singly and paired inhibition of the mAChR, AR and TrkB receptors. The use of transgenic animals and

  9. Membrane Receptor-Induced Changes of the Protein Kinases A and C Activity May Play a Leading Role in Promoting Developmental Synapse Elimination at the Neuromuscular Junction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josep M. Tomàs

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Synapses that are overproduced during histogenesis in the nervous system are eventually lost and connectivity is refined. Membrane receptor signaling leads to activity-dependent mutual influence and competition between axons directly or with the involvement of the postsynaptic cell and the associated glial cell/s. Presynaptic muscarinic acetylcholine (ACh receptors (subtypes mAChR; M1, M2 and M4, adenosine receptors (AR; A1 and A2A and the tropomyosin-related kinase B receptor (TrkB, among others, all cooperate in synapse elimination. Between these receptors there are several synergistic, antagonic and modulatory relations that clearly affect synapse elimination. Metabotropic receptors converge in a limited repertoire of intracellular effector kinases, particularly serine protein kinases A and C (PKA and PKC, to phosphorylate protein targets and bring about structural and functional changes leading to axon loss. In most cells A1, M1 and TrkB operate mainly by stimulating PKC whereas A2A, M2 and M4 inhibit PKA. We hypothesize that a membrane receptor-induced shifting in the protein kinases A and C activity (inhibition of PKA and/or stimulation of PKC in some nerve endings may play an important role in promoting developmental synapse elimination at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ. This hypothesis is supported by: (i the tonic effect (shown by using selective inhibitors of several membrane receptors that accelerates axon loss between postnatal days P5–P9; (ii the synergistic, antagonic and modulatory effects (shown by paired inhibition of the receptors on axonal loss; (iii the fact that the coupling of these receptors activates/inhibits the intracellular serine kinases; and (iv the increase of the PKA activity, the reduction of the PKC activity or, in most cases, both situations simultaneously that presumably occurs in all the situations of singly and paired inhibition of the mAChR, AR and TrkB receptors. The use of transgenic animals and various

  10. Baicalin Protects against TNF-α-Induced Injury by Down-Regulating miR-191a That Targets the Tight Junction Protein ZO-1 in IEC-6 Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Li; Zhang, Ren; Chen, Jian; Wu, Qihui; Kuang, Zaoyuan

    2017-04-01

    Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) plays an important role in the developing process of inflammatory bowel disease. Tight junction protein zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1), one of epithelial junctional proteins, maintains the permeability of intestinal barrier. The objective of this study was to investigate the mechanism of the protective effect of baicalin on TNF-α-induced injury and ZO-1 expression in intestinal epithelial cells (IECs). We found that baicalin pretreatment significantly improved cell viability and cell migration following TNF-α stimulation. miR-191a inhibitor increased the protective effect of baicalin on cell motility injured by TNF-α. In addition, miR-191a down-regulated the mRNA and protein level of its target gene ZO-1. TNF-α stimulation increased miR-191a expression, leading to the decline of ZO-1 mRNA and protein. Moreover, pretreatment with baicalin reversed TNF-α induced decrease of ZO-1 and increase of miR-191a, miR-191a inhibitor significantly enhanced ZO-1 protein expression restored by baicalin. These results indicate that baicalin exerts a protective effect on IEC-6 (rat small intestinal epithelial cells) cells against TNF-α-induced injury, which is at least partly via inhibiting the expression of miR-191a, thus increasing ZO-1 mRNA and protein levels.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-04-17

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annalucia Carbone

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  14. Cardiotonic steroid ouabain stimulates expression of blood-testis barrier proteins claudin-1 and -11 and formation of tight junctions in Sertoli cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietze, Raimund; Shihan, Mazen; Stammler, Angelika; Konrad, Lutz; Scheiner-Bobis, Georgios

    2015-04-15

    The interaction of ouabain with the sodium pump induces signalling cascades resembling those triggered by hormone/receptor interactions. In the rat Sertoli cell line 93RS2, ouabain at low concentrations stimulates the c-Src/c-Raf/Erk1/2 signalling cascade via its interaction with the α4 isoform of the sodium pump expressed in these cells, leading to the activation of the transcription factor CREB. As a result of this signalling sequence, ouabain stimulates expression of claudin-1 and claudin-11, which are also controlled by a CRE promoter. Both of these proteins are known to be essential constituents of tight junctions (TJ) between Sertoli cells, and as a result of the ouabain-induced signalling TJ formation between neighbouring Sertoli cells is significantly enhanced by the steroid. Thus, ouabain-treated cell monolayers display higher transepithelial resistance and reduced free diffusion of FITC-coupled dextran in tracer diffusion assays. Taking into consideration that the formation of TJ is indispensable for the maintenance of the blood-testis barrier (BTB) and therefore for male fertility, the actions of ouabain described here and the fact that this and other related cardiotonic steroids (CTS) are produced endogenously suggest a direct influence of ouabain/sodium pump interactions on the maintenance of the BTB and thereby an effect on male fertility. Since claudin-1 and claudin-11 are also present in other blood-tissue barriers, one can speculate that ouabain and perhaps other CTS influence the dynamics of these barriers as well. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. L-type calcium channels play a critical role in maintaining lens transparency by regulating phosphorylation of aquaporin-0 and myosin light chain and expression of connexins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maddala, Rupalatha; Nagendran, Tharkika; de Ridder, Gustaaf G; Schey, Kevin L; Rao, Ponugoti Vasantha

    2013-01-01

    Homeostasis of intracellular calcium is crucial for lens cytoarchitecture and transparency, however, the identity of specific channel proteins regulating calcium influx within the lens is not completely understood. Here we examined the expression and distribution profiles of L-type calcium channels (LTCCs) and explored their role in morphological integrity and transparency of the mouse lens, using cDNA microarray, RT-PCR, immunoblot, pharmacological inhibitors and immunofluorescence analyses. The results revealed that Ca (V) 1.2 and 1.3 channels are expressed and distributed in both the epithelium and cortical fiber cells in mouse lens. Inhibition of LTCCs with felodipine or nifedipine induces progressive cortical cataract formation with time, in association with decreased lens weight in ex-vivo mouse lenses. Histological analyses of felodipine treated lenses revealed extensive disorganization and swelling of cortical fiber cells resembling the phenotype reported for altered aquaporin-0 activity without detectable cytotoxic effects. Analysis of both soluble and membrane rich fractions from felodipine treated lenses by SDS-PAGE in conjunction with mass spectrometry and immunoblot analyses revealed decreases in β-B1-crystallin, Hsp-90, spectrin and filensin. Significantly, loss of transparency in the felodipine treated lenses was preceded by an increase in aquaporin-0 serine-235 phosphorylation and levels of connexin-50, together with decreases in myosin light chain phosphorylation and the levels of 14-3-3ε, a phosphoprotein-binding regulatory protein. Felodipine treatment led to a significant increase in gene expression of connexin-50 and 46 in the mouse lens. Additionally, felodipine inhibition of LTCCs in primary cultures of mouse lens epithelial cells resulted in decreased intracellular calcium, and decreased actin stress fibers and myosin light chain phosphorylation, without detectable cytotoxic response. Taken together, these observations reveal a crucial

  16. Molecular electronic junction transport

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solomon, Gemma C.; Herrmann, Carmen; Ratner, Mark

    2012-01-01

    Whenasinglemolecule,oracollectionofmolecules,isplacedbetween two electrodes and voltage is applied, one has a molecular transport junction. We discuss such junctions, their properties, their description, and some of their applications. The discussion is qualitative rather than quantitative, and f...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianyong Xiao

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zongqi Zhang

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  20. Role of connexin43 and ATP in long-range bystander radiation damage and oncogenesis in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancuso, M; Pasquali, E; Leonardi, S; Rebessi, S; Tanori, M; Giardullo, P; Borra, F; Pazzaglia, S; Naus, C C; Di Majo, V; Saran, A

    2011-11-10

    Ionizing radiation is a genotoxic agent and human carcinogen. Recent work has questioned long-held dogmas by showing that cancer-associated genetic alterations occur in cells and tissues not directly exposed to radiation, questioning the robustness of the current system of radiation risk assessment. In vitro, diverse mechanisms involving secreted soluble factors, gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) and oxidative metabolism are proposed to mediate these indirect effects. In vivo, the mechanisms behind long-range 'bystander' responses remain largely unknown. Here, we investigate the role of GJIC in propagating radiation stress signals in vivo, and in mediating radiation-associated bystander tumorigenesis in mouse central nervous system using a mouse model in which intercellular communication is downregulated by targeted deletion of the connexin43 (Cx43) gene. We show that GJIC is critical for transmission of oncogenic radiation damage to the non-targeted cerebellum, and that a mechanism involving adenosine triphosphate release and upregulation of Cx43, the major GJIC constituent, regulates transduction of oncogenic damage to unirradiated tissues in vivo. Our data provide a novel hypothesis for transduction of distant bystander effects and suggest that the highly branched nervous system, similar to the vascular network, has an important role.

  1. [Effect of eicosapentaenoic acid on mRNA expression of tight junction protein ZO-1 in intestinal epithelial cells after Escherichia coli LF82 infection].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao, Li-Jun; Lin, Yan; Zhang, Wei; Tian, Jiao; Wang, Ya; Chen, Peng-De; Hu, Chong-Kang; Zeng, Ling-Chao; Yang, Jie; Wang, Bao-Xi; Jiang, Xun

    2017-06-01

    To investigate the change in the expression of tight junction protein ZO-1 in intestinal epithelial cells (Caco-2 cells) and the protective effect of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) after adherent-invasive Escherichia coli (E.coli) LF82 infection. The Caco-2 cell line was used to establish an in vitro model of tight junction of intestinal epithelial cells. Caco-2 cells were divided into EPA treatment groups (0, 25, 50, 100, and 200 μmol/L EPA) and EPA (0, 25, 50, 100, and 200 μmol/L EPA)+E.coli LF82 treatment (0, 6, and 12 hours) groups. A microscope was used to observe the morphological characteristics of the cells. MTT assay was used to determine the cell growth curve. The activity of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) at both sides of the cell membrane was compared to evaluate the Caco-2 cell model. MTT assay and flow cytometry were used to investigate the effects of different concentrations of EPA on the survival rate and apoptosis rate of Caco-2 cells. RT-qPCR was used to measure the mRNA expression of ZO-1 in Caco-2 cells after EPA and/or E.coli LF82 treatment. ELISA was used to measure the change in the level of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in culture supernatant. After EPA treatment (25 and 50 μmol/L), the proliferation of Caco-2 cells was induced in a dose-dependent manner. The survival rates of the cells were significantly higher than those in the control group (PE.coli LF82 treatment groups had decreasing mRNA expression of ZO-1 in Caco-2 cells over the time of treatment and had significantly lower mRNA expression of ZO-1 than the untreated group (PE.coli LF82 and 25 or 50 μmol/L EPA for 6 or 12 hours showed an increase in the mRNA expression of ZO-1 with the increasing concentration of EPA, as well as significantly higher mRNA expression of ZO-1 than the Caco-2 cells treated with E.coli LF82 alone (PE.coli LF82 alone for 6 or 12 hours had increasing secretion of TNF-α over the time of treatment and had significantly higher secretion than the untreated

  2. Mycobacterium tuberculosis nucleoid-associated DNA-binding protein H-NS binds with high-affinity to the Holliday junction and inhibits strand exchange promoted by RecA protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharadamma, N; Harshavardhana, Y; Singh, Pawan; Muniyappa, K

    2010-06-01

    A number of studies have shown that the structure and composition of bacterial nucleoid influences many a processes related to DNA metabolism. The nucleoid-associated proteins modulate not only the DNA conformation but also regulate the DNA metabolic processes such as replication, recombination, repair and transcription. Understanding of how these processes occur in the context of Mycobacterium tuberculosis nucleoid is of considerable medical importance because the nucleoid structure may be constantly remodeled in response to environmental signals and/or growth conditions. Many studies have concluded that Escherichia coli H-NS binds to DNA in a sequence-independent manner, with a preference for A-/T-rich tracts in curved DNA; however, recent studies have identified the existence of medium- and low-affinity binding sites in the vicinity of the curved DNA. Here, we show that the M. tuberculosis H-NS protein binds in a more structure-specific manner to DNA replication and repair intermediates, but displays lower affinity for double-stranded DNA with relatively higher GC content. Notably, M. tuberculosis H-NS was able to bind Holliday junction (HJ), the central recombination intermediate, with substantially higher affinity and inhibited the three-strand exchange promoted by its cognate RecA. Likewise, E. coli H-NS was able to bind the HJ and suppress DNA strand exchange promoted by E. coli RecA, although much less efficiently compared to M. tuberculosis H-NS. Our results provide new insights into a previously unrecognized function of H-NS protein, with implications for blocking the genome integration of horizontally transferred genes by homologous and/or homeologous recombination.

  3. Dietary fat and bile juice, but not obesity, are responsible for the increase in small intestinal permeability induced through the suppression of tight junction protein expression in LETO and OLETF rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzuki Takuya

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An increase in the intestinal permeability is considered to be associated with the inflammatory tone and development in the obesity and diabetes, however, the pathogenesis of the increase in the intestinal permeability is poorly understood. The present study was performed to determine the influence of obesity itself as well as dietary fat on the increase in intestinal permeability. Methods An obese rat strain, Otsuka Long Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF, and the lean counter strain, Long Evans Tokushima Otsuka (LETO, were fed standard or high fat diets for 16 weeks. Glucose tolerance, intestinal permeability, intestinal tight junction (TJ proteins expression, plasma bile acids concentration were evaluated. In addition, the effects of rat bile juice and dietary fat, possible mediators of the increase in the intestinal permeability in the obesity, on TJ permeability were explored in human intestinal Caco-2 cells. Results The OLETF rats showed higher glucose intolerance than did the LETO rats, which became more marked with the prolonged feeding of the high fat diet. Intestinal permeability in the OLETF rats evaluated by the urinary excretion of intestinal permeability markers (Cr-EDTA and phenolsulfonphthalein was comparable to that in the LETO rats. Feeding the high fat diet increased intestinal permeability in both the OLETF and LETO rats, and the increases correlated with decreases in TJ proteins (claudin-1, claudin-3, occludin and junctional adhesion molecule-1 expression in the small, but not in the large intestine (cecum or colon. The plasma bile acids concentration was higher in rats fed the high fat diet. Exposure to bile juice and the fat emulsion increased TJ permeability with concomitant reductions in TJ protein expression (claudin-1, claudin-3, and junctional adhesion molecule-1 in the Caco-2 cell monolayers. Conclusion Excessive dietary fat and/or increased levels of luminal bile juice, but not genetic obesity, are

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  5. Junction and circuit fabrication

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jackel, L.D.

    1980-01-01

    Great strides have been made in Josephson junction fabrication in the four years since the first IC SQUID meeting. Advances in lithography have allowed the production of devices with planar dimensions as small as a few hundred angstroms. Improved technology has provided ultra-high sensitivity SQUIDS, high-efficiency low-noise mixers, and complex integrated circuits. This review highlights some of the new fabrication procedures. The review consists of three parts. Part 1 is a short summary of the requirements on junctions for various applications. Part 2 reviews intergrated circuit fabrication, including tunnel junction logic circuits made at IBM and Bell Labs, and microbridge radiation sources made at SUNY at Stony Brook. Part 3 describes new junction fabrication techniques, the major emphasis of this review. This part includes a discussion of small oxide-barrier tunnel junctions, semiconductor barrier junctions, and microbridge junctions. Part 3 concludes by considering very fine lithography and limitations to miniaturization. (orig.)

  6. The potential prognostic value of connexin 26 and 46 expression in neoadjuvant-treated breast cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teleki Ivett

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Several classification systems are available to assess pathological response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer, but reliable biomarkers to predict the efficiency of primary systemic therapy (PST are still missing. Deregulation of gap junction channel forming connexins (Cx has been implicated in carcinogenesis and tumour progression through loss of cell cycle control. In this study we correlated Cx expression and cell proliferation with disease survival and pathological response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancers using existing classification systems. Methods The expression of Cx26, Cx32, Cx43, Cx46 and Ki67 was evaluated in 96 breast cancer patients prior to and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy using duplicate cores in tissue microarrays (TMA. Cx plaques of Results In our cohort dominated by hormone receptor (ER/PR positive and HER2 negative cases, only the CPS-EG classification showed prognostic relevance: cases with scores 1–2 had significantly better overall survival (p=0.015 than cases with scores 3–5. Pre-chemotherapy Cx43 expression correlated positively with hormone receptor status both before and after chemotherapy and had a negative correlation with HER2 expression pre-chemotherapy. There was a positive correlation between Cx32 and HER2 expression pre-chemotherapy and between Cx32 and Ki67 expression post-chemotherapy. A negative correlation was found between post-chemotherapy Cx46 and Ki67 expression. Decreased post-chemotherapy Cx26 expression (20% pre- and post-chemotherapy correlated with significantly better survival in the intermediate prognostic subgroups of EWGBSP TR2b (ppre-chemo=0.006; Sataloff TB (ppre-chemo=0.005; ppost-chemo=0.029 and in Miller-Payne G3 (ppre-chemo=0.002; ppost-chemo=0.012 classifications. Pre-chemotherapy, Cx46 expression was the only marker that correlated with overall survival within these subgroups. Conclusion Our results suggest that Cx46 and Cx26 expression

  7. The potential prognostic value of connexin 26 and 46 expression in neoadjuvant-treated breast cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teleki, Ivett; Varga, Zsuzsanna; Krenacs, Tibor; Szasz, Marcell A; Kulka, Janina; Wichmann, Barna; Leo, Cornelia; Papassotiropoulos, Barbel; Riemenschnitter, Cosima; Moch, Holger

    2013-01-01

    Several classification systems are available to assess pathological response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer, but reliable biomarkers to predict the efficiency of primary systemic therapy (PST) are still missing. Deregulation of gap junction channel forming connexins (Cx) has been implicated in carcinogenesis and tumour progression through loss of cell cycle control. In this study we correlated Cx expression and cell proliferation with disease survival and pathological response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancers using existing classification systems. The expression of Cx26, Cx32, Cx43, Cx46 and Ki67 was evaluated in 96 breast cancer patients prior to and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy using duplicate cores in tissue microarrays (TMA). Cx plaques of <1μm were detected with multilayer, multichannel fluorescence digital microscopy. Current classifications to assess residual tumour burden after primary systemic therapy included the EWGBSP, CPS-EG, Miller-Payne, Sataloff and NSABP systems. In our cohort dominated by hormone receptor (ER/PR) positive and HER2 negative cases, only the CPS-EG classification showed prognostic relevance: cases with scores 1–2 had significantly better overall survival (p=0.015) than cases with scores 3–5. Pre-chemotherapy Cx43 expression correlated positively with hormone receptor status both before and after chemotherapy and had a negative correlation with HER2 expression pre-chemotherapy. There was a positive correlation between Cx32 and HER2 expression pre-chemotherapy and between Cx32 and Ki67 expression post-chemotherapy. A negative correlation was found between post-chemotherapy Cx46 and Ki67 expression. Decreased post-chemotherapy Cx26 expression (<5%) statistically correlated with better overall survival (p=0.011). Moderate or higher Cx46 expression (>20%) pre- and post-chemotherapy correlated with significantly better survival in the intermediate prognostic subgroups of EWGBSP TR2b (p pre-chemo =0

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  9. Josephson junction arrays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bindslev Hansen, J.; Lindelof, P.E.

    1985-01-01

    In this review we intend to cover recent work involving arrays of Josephson junctions. The work on such arrays falls naturally into three main areas of interest: 1. Technical applications of Josephson junction arrays for high-frequency devices. 2. Experimental studies of 2-D model systems (Kosterlitz-Thouless phase transition, commensurate-incommensurate transition in frustrated (flux) lattices). 3. Investigations of phenomena associated with non-equilibrium superconductivity in and around Josephson junctions (with high current density). (orig./BUD)

  10. Equivalent Josephson junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boyadzhiev, T.L.; ); Semerdzhieva, E.G.; Shukrinov, Yu.M.; Fiziko-Tekhnicheskij Inst., Dushanbe

    2008-01-01

    The magnetic field dependences of critical current are numerically constructed for a long Josephson junction with a shunt- or resistor-type microscopic inhomogeneities and compared to the critical curve of a junction with exponentially varying width. The numerical results show that it is possible to replace the distributed inhomogeneity of a long Josephson junction by an inhomogeneity localized at one of its ends, which has certain technological advantages. It is also shown that the critical curves of junctions with exponentially varying width and inhomogeneities localized at the ends are unaffected by the mixed fluxon-antifluxon distributions of the magnetic flux [ru

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aiqing Zhang

    2015-06-01

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

  12. N-cadherin in adult rat cardiomyocytes in culture. II. Spatio-temporal appearance of proteins involved in cell-cell contact and communication. Formation of two distinct N-cadherin/catenin complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertig, C M; Butz, S; Koch, S; Eppenberger-Eberhardt, M; Kemler, R; Eppenberger, H M

    1996-01-01

    The spatio-temporal appearance and distribution of proteins forming the intercalated disc were investigated in adult rat cardiomyocytes (ARC). The 'redifferentiation model' of ARC involves extensive remodelling of the plasma membrane and of the myofibrillar apparatus. It represents a valuable system to elucidate the formation of cell-cell contact between cardiomyocytes and to assess the mechanisms by which different proteins involved in the cell-cell adhesion process are sorted in a precise manner to the sites of function. Appearance of N-cadherin, the catenins and connexin43 within newly formed adherens and gap junctions was studied. Here first evidence is provided for a formation of two distinct and separable N-cadherin/catenin complexes in cardiomyocytes. Both complexes are composed of N-cadherin and alpha-catenin which bind to either beta-catenin or plakoglobin in a mutually exclusive manner. The two N-cadherin/catenin complexes are assumed to be functionally involved in the formation of cell-cell contacts in ARC; however, the differential appearance and localization of the two types of complexes may also point to a specific role during ARC differentiation. The newly synthesized beta-catenin containing complex is more abundant during the first stages in culture after ARC isolation, while the newly synthesized plakoglobin containing complex progressively accumulates during the morphological changes of ARC. ARC formed a tissue-like pattern in culture whereby the new cell-cell contacts could be dissolved through Ca2+ depletion. Presence of cAMP and replenishment of Ca2+ content in the culture medium not only allowed reformation of cell-cell contacts but also affected the relative protein ratio between the two N-cadherin/catenin complexes, increasing the relative amount of newly synthesized beta-catenin over plakoglobin at a particular stage of ARC differentiation. The clustered N-cadherin/catenin complexes at the plasma membrane appear to be a prerequisite for the

  13. Cumulus expansion, nuclear maturation and connexin 43, cyclooxygenase-2 and FSH receptor mRNA expression in equine cumulus-oocyte complexes cultured in vitro in the presence of FSH and precursors for hyaluronic acid synthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aiudi Giulio

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The aim of this study was to investigate cumulus expansion, nuclear maturation and expression of connexin 43, cyclooxygenase-2 and FSH receptor transcripts in equine cumuli oophori during in vivo and in vitro maturation in the presence of equine FSH (eFSH and precursors for hyaluronic acid synthesis. Equine cumulus-oocyte complexes (COC were cultured in a control defined medium supplemented with eFSH (0 to 5 micrograms/ml, Fetal Calf Serum (FCS, precursors for hyaluronic acid synthesis or glutamine according to the experiments. After in vitro maturation, the cumulus expansion rate was increased with 1 microgram/ml eFSH, and was the highest with 20% FCS. It was not influenced by precursors for hyaluronic acid synthesis or glutamine. The expression of transcripts related to cumulus expansion was analyzed in equine cumulus cells before maturation, and after in vivo and in vitro maturation, by using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR with specific primers. Connexin 43, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2 and FSH receptor (FSHr mRNA were detected in equine cumulus cells before and after maturation. Their level did not vary during in vivo or in vitro maturation and was influenced neither by FSH nor by precursors for hyaluronic acid synthesis. Results indicate that previously reported regulation of connexin 43 and COX-2 proteins during equine COC maturation may involve post-transcriptional mechanisms.

  14. Supramolecular tunneling junctions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wimbush, K.S.

    2012-01-01

    In this study a variety of supramolecular tunneling junctions were created. The basis of these junctions was a self-assembled monolayer of heptathioether functionalized ß-cyclodextrin (ßCD) formed on an ultra-flat Au surface, i.e., the bottom electrode. This gave a well-defined hexagonally packed

  15. Molecular dynamics simulation of the thermosensitivity of the human connexin 26 hemichannel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alizadeh, Hadi; Davoodi, Jamal; Zeilinger, Carsten; Rafii-Tabar, Hashem

    2018-01-01

    Connexin hemichannels mediate cytoplasm and extracellular milieu communication by exchanging a variety of cytoplasmic molecules and ions. These hemichannels can be regulated by external stimuli such as mechanical stress, applied voltage, pH and temperature changes. Although there are many studies on structures and functions of connexin 26 in contexts of pH, ion concentration and voltage, employing computational methods, no such study has been performed so far involving temperature changes. In this study, using molecular dynamics simulation, we investigate thermosensitivity of the human Connexin 26 hemichannel. Our results show that the channel approaches a structurally closed state at lower temperature compared to higher temperature. This is in fair agreement with experimental results that indicate channel closure at lower temperature. Furthermore, our MD simulation results show that some regions of connexin 26 hemichannel are more sensitive to temperature compared to other regions. Whereas the intercellular half of the channel does not show any considerable response to temperature during the simulation time accessible in this study, the cytoplasmic half approaches a closed structural state at lower temperature compared to the higher temperature. Specifically, our results suggest that the cytoplasmic loop, the cytoplasmic half of the second transmembrane helix, and the N-terminus helix play a dominant role in temperature gating.

  16. Cardiac cell therapy: overexpression of connexin43 in skeletal myoblasts and prevention of ventricular arrhythmias

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fernandes, Sarah; van Rijen, Harold V. M.; Forest, Virginie; Evain, Stéphane; Leblond, Anne-Laure; Mérot, Jean; Charpentier, Flavien; de Bakker, Jacques M. T.; Lemarchand, Patricia

    2009-01-01

    Cell-based therapies have great potential for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Recently, using a transgenic mouse model Roell et al. reported that cardiac engraftment of connexin43 (Cx43)-overexpressing myoblasts in vivo prevents post-infarct arrhythmia, a common cause of death in patients

  17. Cell proliferation and expression of connexins differ in melanotic and amelanotic canine oral melanomas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Tarso Felipe; Gentile, Luciana Boffoni; da Silva, Tereza Cristina; Mennecier, Gregory; Chaible, Lucas Martins; Cogliati, Bruno; Roman, Marco Antonio Leon; Gioso, Marco Antonio; Dagli, Maria Lucia Zaidan

    2014-03-01

    Melanoma is a malignant neoplasm occurring in several animal species, and is the most frequently found tumor in the oral cavity in dogs. Melanomas are classified into two types: melanotic and amelanotic. Prior research suggests that human amelanotic melanomas are more aggressive than their melanotic counterparts. This study evaluates the behavior of canine melanotic and amelanotic oral cavity melanomas and quantifies cell proliferation and the expression of connexins. Twenty-five melanomas (16 melanotic and 9 amelanotic) were collected from dogs during clinical procedures at the Veterinary Hospital of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science of the University of São Paulo, Brazil. After diagnosis, dogs were followed until death or euthanasia. Histopathology confirmed the gross melanotic or amelanotic characteristics and tumors were classified according to the WHO. HMB45 or Melan A immunostainings were performed to confirm the diagnosis of amelanotic melanomas. Cell proliferation was quantified both by counting mitotic figures and PCNA positive nuclei. Expressions of connexins 26 and 43 were evaluated by immunohistochemistry, qRT-PCR and Western blot. Dogs bearing amelanotic melanomas presented a shorter lifespan in comparison to those with melanotic melanomas. Cell proliferation was significantly higher in amelanotic melanomas. Expressions of Connexins 26 and 43 were significantly reduced in amelanotic melanomas. The results presented here suggest that oral cavity melanotic and amelanotic melanomas differ regarding their behavior, cell proliferation and connexin expression in dogs, indicating a higher aggressiveness of amelanotic variants.

  18. The Effects of Glucagon-like Peptide-2 on the Tight Junction and Barrier Function in IPEC-J2 Cells through Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase–Protein Kinase B–Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Signaling Pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Changsong Yu

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2 is important for intestinal barrier function and regulation of tight junction (TJ proteins, but the intracellular mechanisms of action remain undefined. The purpose of this research was to determine the protective effect of GLP-2 mediated TJ and transepithelial electrical resistance (TER in lipopolysaccharide (LPS stressed IPEC-J2 cells and to test the hypothesis that GLP-2 regulate TJ and TER through the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K-protein kinase B (Akt-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR signaling pathway in IPEC-J2 cells. Wortmannin and LY294002 are specific inhibitors of PI3K. The results showed that 100 μg/mL LPS stress decreased TER and TJ proteins occludin, claudin-1 and zonula occludens protein 1 (ZO-1 mRNA, proteins expressions (p<0.01 respectively. GLP-2 (100 nmol/L promote TER and TJ proteins occludin, claudin-1, and zo-1 mRNA, proteins expressions in LPS stressed and normal IPEC-J2 cells (p<0.01 respectively. In normal cells, both wortmannin and LY294002, PI3K inhibitors, prevented the mRNA and protein expressions of Akt and mTOR increase induced by GLP-2 (p<0.01 following with the significant decreasing of occludin, claudin-1, ZO-1 mRNA and proteins expressions and TER (p<0.01. In conclusion, these results indicated that GLP-2 can promote TJ’s expression and TER in LPS stressed and normal IPEC-J2 cells and GLP-2 could regulate TJ and TER through the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Impact of Genetic Counseling and Connexin-26 and Connexin-30 Testing on Deaf Identity and Comprehension of Genetic Test Results in a Sample of Deaf Adults: A Prospective, Longitudinal Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, Christina G. S.; Boudreault, Patrick; Baldwin, Erin E.; Sinsheimer, Janet S.

    2014-01-01

    Using a prospective, longitudinal study design, this paper addresses the impact of genetic counseling and testing for deafness on deaf adults and the Deaf community. This study specifically evaluated the effect of genetic counseling and Connexin-26 and Connexin-30 genetic test results on participants' deaf identity and understanding of their genetic test results. Connexin-26 and Connexin-30 genetic testing was offered to participants in the context of linguistically and culturally appropriate genetic counseling. Questionnaire data collected from 209 deaf adults at four time points (baseline, immediately following pre-test genetic counseling, 1-month following genetic test result disclosure, and 6-months after result disclosure) were analyzed. Four deaf identity orientations (hearing, marginal, immersion, bicultural) were evaluated using subscales of the Deaf Identity Development Scale-Revised. We found evidence that participants understood their specific genetic test results following genetic counseling, but found no evidence of change in deaf identity based on genetic counseling or their genetic test results. This study demonstrated that culturally and linguistically appropriate genetic counseling can improve deaf clients' understanding of genetic test results, and the formation of deaf identity was not directly related to genetic counseling or Connexin-26 and Connexin-30 genetic test results. PMID:25375116

  1. Biochemical characterization of a heterotrimeric G(i)-protein activator peptide designed from the junction between the intracellular third loop and sixth transmembrane helix in the m4 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terawaki, Shin-ichi; Matsubayashi, Rina; Hara, Kanako; Onozuka, Tatsuki; Kohno, Toshiyuki; Wakamatsu, Kaori

    Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) are G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) that are activated by acetylcholine released from parasympathetic nerves. The mAChR family comprises 5 subtypes, m1-m5, each of which has a different coupling selectivity for heterotrimeric GTP-binding proteins (G-proteins). m4 mAChR specifically activates the Gi/o family by enhancing the guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) reaction with the Gα subunit through an interaction that occurs via intracellular segments. Here, we report that the m4 mAChR mimetic peptide m4i3c(14)Gly, comprising 14 residues in the junction between the intracellular third loop (i3c) and transmembrane helix VI (TM-VI) extended with a C-terminal glycine residue, presents GEF activity toward the Gi1 α subunit (Gαi1). The m4i3c(14)Gly forms a stable complex with guanine nucleotide-free Gαi1 via three residues in the VTI(L/F) motif, which is conserved within the m2/4 mAChRs. These results suggest that this m4 mAChR mimetic peptide, which comprises the amino acid of the mAChR intracellular segments, is a useful tool for understanding the interaction between GPCRs and G-proteins. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Permeant-specific gating of connexin 30 hemichannels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Brian Skriver; Alstrom, Jette Skov; Nicholson, Bruce

    2017-01-01

    Gap junctions confer interconnectivity of the cytoplasm in neighboring cells via docking of two connexons expressed in each of the adjacent membranes. Undocked connexons, referred to as hemichannels, may open and connect the cytoplasm with the extracellular fluid. The hemichannel configuration......)ethyl] methane thiosulfonate bromide (MTS-ET) increased Cx30-mediated currents, with unperturbed ethidium permeability. In summary, our results demonstrate that the permeability of hemichannels is regulated in a permeant-specific manner, and underscores that hemichannels are selective rather than non...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-01

    Ru N, Morton RA, Robinson JC, Wheelock,M.J., Johnson KR, Barrett JC, and Isaacs WB (1995) Chromosome 5 suppresses tumorigenicity of PC3 prostate...individually tracking the movement and disappearance of puncta at cell-cell contact areas, we found that most Cx32220-EGFP puncta moved and disappeared within...10 min, whereas most Cx32-WT-EGFP gap junction puncta moved slowly and did not disappear even up to 2 h (Fig. 10, supplemental Movies S1 and S2). For

  4. Primary Tunnel Junction Thermometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pekola, Jukka P.; Holmqvist, Tommy; Meschke, Matthias

    2008-01-01

    We describe the concept and experimental demonstration of primary thermometry based on a four-probe measurement of a single tunnel junction embedded within four arrays of junctions. We show that in this configuration random sample specific and environment-related errors can be avoided. This method relates temperature directly to Boltzmann constant, which will form the basis of the definition of temperature and realization of official temperature scales in the future

  5. Quantum Junction Solar Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Tang, Jiang

    2012-09-12

    Colloidal quantum dot solids combine convenient solution-processing with quantum size effect tuning, offering avenues to high-efficiency multijunction cells based on a single materials synthesis and processing platform. The highest-performing colloidal quantum dot rectifying devices reported to date have relied on a junction between a quantum-tuned absorber and a bulk material (e.g., TiO 2); however, quantum tuning of the absorber then requires complete redesign of the bulk acceptor, compromising the benefits of facile quantum tuning. Here we report rectifying junctions constructed entirely using inherently band-aligned quantum-tuned materials. Realizing these quantum junction diodes relied upon the creation of an n-type quantum dot solid having a clean bandgap. We combine stable, chemically compatible, high-performance n-type and p-type materials to create the first quantum junction solar cells. We present a family of photovoltaic devices having widely tuned bandgaps of 0.6-1.6 eV that excel where conventional quantum-to-bulk devices fail to perform. Devices having optimal single-junction bandgaps exhibit certified AM1.5 solar power conversion efficiencies of 5.4%. Control over doping in quantum solids, and the successful integration of these materials to form stable quantum junctions, offers a powerful new degree of freedom to colloidal quantum dot optoelectronics. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  8. Mechanism of Mitochondrial Connexin43′s Protection of the Neurovascular Unit under Acute Cerebral Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuai Hou

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available We observed mitochondrial connexin43 (mtCx43 expression under cerebral ischemia-reperfusion (I/R injury, analyzed its regulation, and explored its protective mechanisms. Wistar rats were divided into groups based on injections received before middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO. Cerebral infarction volume was detected by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolim chloride staining, and cell apoptosis was observed by transferase dUTP nick end labeling. We used transmission electron microscopy to observe mitochondrial morphology and determined superoxide dismutase (SOD activity and malondialdehyde (MDA content. MtCx43, p-mtCx43, protein kinase C (PKC, and p-PKC expression were detected by Western blot. Compared with those in the IR group, cerebral infarction volumes in the carbenoxolone (CBX and diazoxide (DZX groups were obviously smaller, and the apoptosis indices were down-regulated. Mitochondrial morphology was damaged after I/R, especially in the IR and 5-hydroxydecanoic acid (5-HD groups. Similarly, decreased SOD activity and increased MDA were observed after MCAO; CBX, DZX, and phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA reduced mitochondrial functional injury. Expression of mtCx43 and p-mtCx43 and the p-Cx43/Cx43 ratio were significantly lower in the IR group than in the sham group. These abnormalities were ameliorated by CBX, DZX, and PMA. MtCx43 may protect the neurovascular unit from acute cerebral IR injury via PKC activation induced by mitoKATP channel agonists.

  9. Sex differences in connexin-43 expression in left ventricles of aging rats

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tribulová, N.; Dupont, E.; Soukup, Tomáš; Okruhlicová, L.; Severs, N. J.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 54, č. 6 (2005), s. 705-708 ISSN 0862-8408 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA304/05/0327 Grant - others:MYORES(XE) 511978; CZ-SK(CZ) 02-2004-05 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50110509 Keywords : connexin-43 * rat cardiomyocytes * male and female specificity Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 1.806, year: 2005

  10. Connexin hemichannel blockade is neuroprotective after asphyxia in preterm fetal sheep.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanne O Davidson

    Full Text Available Asphyxia around the time of preterm birth is associated with neurodevelopmental disability. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that blockade of connexin hemichannels would improve recovery of brain activity and reduce cell loss after asphyxia in preterm fetal sheep. Asphyxia was induced by 25 min of complete umbilical cord occlusion in preterm fetal sheep (103-104 d gestational age. Connexin hemichannels were blocked by intracerebroventricular infusion of mimetic peptide starting 90 min after asphyxia at a concentration of 50 µM/h for one hour followed by 50 µM/24 hour for 24 hours (occlusion-peptide group, n = 6 or vehicle infusion for controls (occlusion-vehicle group, n = 7. Peptide infusion was associated with earlier recovery of electroencephalographic power after asphyxia compared to occlusion-vehicle (p<0.05, with reduced neuronal loss in the caudate and putamen (p<0.05, but not in the hippocampus. In the intragyral and periventricular white matter, peptide administration was associated with an increase in total oligodendrocyte numbers (p<0.05 and immature/mature oligodendrocytes compared to occlusion-vehicle (p<0.05, with a significant increase in proliferation (p<0.05. Connexin hemichannel blockade was neuroprotective and reduced oligodendrocyte death and improved recovery of oligodendrocyte maturation in preterm fetuses after asphyxia.

  11. Connexin Hemichannel Blockade Is Neuroprotective after Asphyxia in Preterm Fetal Sheep

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Joanne O.; Drury, Paul P.; Green, Colin R.; Nicholson, Louise F.; Bennet, Laura; Gunn, Alistair J.

    2014-01-01

    Asphyxia around the time of preterm birth is associated with neurodevelopmental disability. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that blockade of connexin hemichannels would improve recovery of brain activity and reduce cell loss after asphyxia in preterm fetal sheep. Asphyxia was induced by 25 min of complete umbilical cord occlusion in preterm fetal sheep (103–104 d gestational age). Connexin hemichannels were blocked by intracerebroventricular infusion of mimetic peptide starting 90 min after asphyxia at a concentration of 50 µM/h for one hour followed by 50 µM/24 hour for 24 hours (occlusion-peptide group, n = 6) or vehicle infusion for controls (occlusion-vehicle group, n = 7). Peptide infusion was associated with earlier recovery of electroencephalographic power after asphyxia compared to occlusion-vehicle (p<0.05), with reduced neuronal loss in the caudate and putamen (p<0.05), but not in the hippocampus. In the intragyral and periventricular white matter, peptide administration was associated with an increase in total oligodendrocyte numbers (p<0.05) and immature/mature oligodendrocytes compared to occlusion-vehicle (p<0.05), with a significant increase in proliferation (p<0.05). Connexin hemichannel blockade was neuroprotective and reduced oligodendrocyte death and improved recovery of oligodendrocyte maturation in preterm fetuses after asphyxia. PMID:24865217

  12. [Connexin gene 26 (GJB2) mutations in patients with hereditary non-syndromic sensorineural loss of hearing in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barashkov, N A; Dzhemileva, L U; Fedorova, S A; Maksimova, N R; Khusnutdinova, E K

    2008-01-01

    The aim of the study was to elucidate the causes of hereditary non-syndromic loss of hearing, a frequent monogene pathology in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). A search for mutations in the coding sequence of the connexin 26 gene gap-junction B2 (GJB2) was undertaken in 79 members of 65 unrelated families with the diagnosis of grade III-IV non-syndromic bilateral sensorineural loss of hearing. Five recessive mutations (35delG, V371, 312-326del14, 333-334delAA, R127H) and three polymorphic variants (V271, M34T, E114G) were identified in Yakut patients. Mutations 35delG (41.7%), 312-326dell4 (4.2%), and 333-334delAA (4.2%) were found in Caucasian patients (Russians, Ukrainians, Inguish). Yakuts were carriers of mutations 35delG (2.1%), V371 (2.1%), R127H (1.0%) and sequence variants V271 (6.3%), M34T (1.0%), E114G (1.0%). GJB2 mutations were identified in 50.1% of the Caucasian patients and in 7.2% of the Yakut patients. The low frequency of GJB2 mutations in Yakuts with non-syndromic sensorineural loss of hearing testifies to the presence of mutations of other genes controlling sound perception in this population.

  13. Four-junction superconducting circuit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Yueyin; Xiong, Wei; He, Xiao-Ling; Li, Tie-Fu; You, J. Q.

    2016-01-01

    We develop a theory for the quantum circuit consisting of a superconducting loop interrupted by four Josephson junctions and pierced by a magnetic flux (either static or time-dependent). In addition to the similarity with the typical three-junction flux qubit in the double-well regime, we demonstrate the difference of the four-junction circuit from its three-junction analogue, including its advantages over the latter. Moreover, the four-junction circuit in the single-well regime is also investigated. Our theory provides a tool to explore the physical properties of this four-junction superconducting circuit. PMID:27356619

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-22

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

  16. Tunable Nitride Josephson Junctions.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Missert, Nancy A. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Henry, Michael David [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Lewis, Rupert M. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Howell, Stephen W. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Wolfley, Steven L. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Brunke, Lyle Brent [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Wolak, Matthaeus [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2017-12-01

    We have developed an ambient temperature, SiO2/Si wafer - scale process for Josephson junctions based on Nb electrodes and Ta x N barriers with tunable electronic properties. The films are fabricated by magnetron sputtering. The electronic properties of the TaxN barriers are controlled by adjusting the nitrogen flow during sputtering. This technology offers a scalable alternative to the more traditional junctions based on AlOx barriers for low - power, high - performance computing.

  17. Molecular anatomy of interendothelial junctions in human blood-brain barrier microvessels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrzej W Vorbrodt

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available Immunogold cytochemical procedure was used to study the localization at the ultrastructural level of interendothelial junction-associated protein molecules in the human brain blood microvessels, representing the anatomic site of the blood-brain barrier (BBB. Ultrathin sections of Lowicryl K4M-embedded biopsy specimens of human cerebral cortex obtained during surgical procedures were exposed to specific antibodies, followed by colloidal gold-labeled secondary antibodies. All tight junction-specific integral membrane (transmembrane proteins--occludin, junctional adhesion molecule (JAM-1, and claudin-5--as well as peripheral zonula occludens protein (ZO-1 were highly expressed. Immunoreactivity of the adherens junction-specific transmembrane protein VE-cadherin was of almost similar intensity. Immunolabeling of the adherens junction-associated peripheral proteins--alpha-catenin, beta-catenin, and p120 catenin--although positive, was evidently less intense. The expression of gamma-catenin (plakoglobin was considered questionable because solitary immunosignals (gold particles appeared in only a few microvascular profiles. Double labeling of some sections made possible to observe strict colocalization of the junctional molecules, such as occludin and ZO-1 or JAM-1 and VE-cadherin, in the interendothelial junctions. We found that in human brain microvessels, the interendothelial junctional complexes contain molecular components specific for both tight and adherens junctions. It is assumed that the data obtained can help us find the immunodetectable junctional molecules that can serve as sensitive markers of normal or abnormal function of the BBB.

  18. Quantum Junction Solar Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Tang, Jiang; Liu, Huan; Zhitomirsky, David; Hoogland, Sjoerd; Wang, Xihua; Furukawa, Melissa; Levina, Larissa; Sargent, Edward H.

    2012-01-01

    -performing colloidal quantum dot rectifying devices reported to date have relied on a junction between a quantum-tuned absorber and a bulk material (e.g., TiO 2); however, quantum tuning of the absorber then requires complete redesign of the bulk acceptor, compromising

  19. Linoleic Acid Permeabilizes Gastric Epithelial Cells by Increasing Connexin43 Levels in the Cell Membrane Via a GPR40- and Akt-Dependent Mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puebla, Carlos; Cisterna, Bruno A.; Salas, Daniela P.; Delgado-López, Fernando; Lampe, Paul D.; Sáez, Juan C.

    2016-01-01

    Linoleic acid (LA) is known to activate G-protein coupled receptors and connexin hemichannels (Cx HCs) but possible interlinks between these two responses remain unexplored. Here, we evaluated the mechanism of action of LA on the membrane permeability mediated by Cx HCs in MKN28 cells. These cells were found to express connexins, GPR40, GPR120, and CD36 receptors. The Cx HC activity of these cells increased after 5 min of treatment with LA or GW9508, an agonist of GPR40/GPR120; or exposure to extracellular divalent cation-free solution (DCFS), known to increase the open probability of Cx HCs, yields an immediate increase in Cx HC of similar intensity and additive with LA-induced change. Treatment with a CD36 blocker or transfection with siRNA-GPR120 maintain the LA-induced Cx HC activity. However, cells transfected with siRNA-GPR40 did not show LA-induced Cx HC activity but activity was increased upon exposure to DCFS, confirming the presence of activatable Cx HCs in the cell membrane. Treatment with AKTi (Akt inhibitor) abrogated the LA-induced Cx HC activity. In HeLa cells transfected with Cx43 (HeLa-Cx43), LA induced phosphorylation of surface Cx43 at serine 373 (S373), site for Akt phosphorylation. HeLa-Cx43 but not HeLa-Cx43 cells with a S373A mutation showed a LA-induced Cx HC activity directly related to an increase in cell surface Cx43 levels. Thus, the increase in membrane permeability induced by LA is mediated by an intracellular signaling pathway activated by GPR40 that leads to an increase in membrane levels of Cx43 phosphorylated at serine 373 via Akt. PMID:26869446

  20. 热应激对奶山羊瘤胃黏膜紧密连接蛋白表达的影响%Effects of Heat Stress on Expressions of Tight Junction Proteins in Ruminal Mucosa of Dairy Goats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    马燕芬; 杜瑞平; 高民

    2014-01-01

    本试验旨在研究热应激对奶山羊瘤胃黏膜紧密连接蛋白表达的影响。将8只体况良好,体重、年龄、胎次和产奶量相近,处于泌乳中后期的奶山羊随机分为对照组和热应激组,每组4只羊。饲养环境采取人工控温控湿。试验期45 d,在试验30和45 d时,采集瘤胃背囊和腹囊组织,分别采用免疫组化法、实时定量PCR法和蛋白质免疫印迹法检测其闭合蛋白( claudin )、闭锁小带蛋白1( ZO-1)蛋白的结构分布、基因mRNA表达量和蛋白表达量。结果表明:与对照组相比,热应激组(30 d)背囊和腹囊中claudin、ZO-1蛋白的信号强度和表达量均有所下降,而热应激组(45 d)下降更为严重。与对照组相比,热应激组(30 d)背囊和腹囊中claudin、ZO-1基因mRNA表达量均显著下降(P<0.05),而热应激组(45 d)则显著低于热应激组(30 d)(P<0.05)。结果提示,热应激对瘤胃黏膜的结构和完整性的破坏与瘤胃黏膜紧密连接蛋白表达量下降有关。%This study was conducted to study the effects of heat stress ( HS) on expressions of tight junction proteins in ruminal mucosa of dairy goats. Eight healthy dietary goats with similar body weight, age, parity and milk yield at mid to late-locating period were randomly divided into control group and heat stress ( HS ) group with 4 goats in each group. Environmental temperature and humidity during feeding period were artifi-cially controlled. The experiment lasted for 45 days. Knapsack and abdominal sac samples were collected at 30 and 45 days of experiment to determine protein structural distribution, gene mRNA expression levels and pro-tein expression levels of claudin and zonula occluden 1 ( ZO-1 ) using the methods of immunohistochemisty, real-time quantitative PCR and West-bloting, respectively. The results showed as follows: compared with the control group, expression levels and signal intensity of claudin and ZO-1 proteins in knapsack and abdominal in HS

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  2. Pado, a fluorescent protein with proton channel activity can optically monitor membrane potential, intracellular pH, and map gap junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Bok Eum; Baker, Bradley J

    2016-04-04

    An in silico search strategy was developed to identify potential voltage-sensing domains (VSD) for the development of genetically encoded voltage indicators (GEVIs). Using a conserved charge distribution in the S2 α-helix, a single in silico search yielded most voltage-sensing proteins including voltage-gated potassium channels, voltage-gated calcium channels, voltage-gated sodium channels, voltage-gated proton channels, and voltage-sensing phosphatases from organisms ranging from mammals to bacteria and plants. A GEVI utilizing the VSD from a voltage-gated proton channel identified from that search was able to optically report changes in membrane potential. In addition this sensor was capable of manipulating the internal pH while simultaneously reporting that change optically since it maintains the voltage-gated proton channel activity of the VSD. Biophysical characterization of this GEVI, Pado, demonstrated that the voltage-dependent signal was distinct from the pH-dependent signal and was dependent on the movement of the S4 α-helix. Further investigation into the mechanism of the voltage-dependent optical signal revealed that inhibiting the dimerization of the fluorescent protein greatly reduced the optical signal. Dimerization of the FP thereby enabled the movement of the S4 α-helix to mediate a fluorescent response.

  3. Josephson junctions array resonators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gargiulo, Oscar; Muppalla, Phani; Mirzaei, Iman; Kirchmair, Gerhard [Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, Innsbruck (Austria)

    2016-07-01

    We present an experimental analysis of the self- and cross-Kerr effect of extended plasma resonances in Josephson junction chains. The chain consists of 1600 individual junctions and we can measure quality factors in excess of 10000. The Kerr effect manifests itself as a frequency shift that depends linearly on the number of photons in a resonant mode. By changing the input power we are able to measure this frequency shift on a single mode (self-kerr). By changing the input power on another mode while measuring the same one, we are able to evaluate the cross-kerr effect. We can measure the cross-Kerr effect by probing the resonance frequency of one mode while exciting another mode of the array with a microwave drive.

  4. Curved Josephson junction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dobrowolski, Tomasz

    2012-01-01

    The constant curvature one and quasi-one dimensional Josephson junction is considered. On the base of Maxwell equations, the sine–Gordon equation that describes an influence of curvature on the kink motion was obtained. It is showed that the method of geometrical reduction of the sine–Gordon model from three to lower dimensional manifold leads to an identical form of the sine–Gordon equation. - Highlights: ► The research on dynamics of the phase in a curved Josephson junction is performed. ► The geometrical reduction is applied to the sine–Gordon model. ► The results of geometrical reduction and the fundamental research are compared.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-17

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

  6. Indigenous lactobacilli strains of food and human sources reverse enteropathogenic E. coli O26:H11-induced damage in intestinal epithelial cell lines: effect on redistribution of tight junction proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jariwala, Ruchi; Mandal, Hemanti; Bagchi, Tamishraha

    2017-09-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate the neutralizing effect of lactobacilli isolated from indigenous food and human sources on enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) O26 : H11-induced epithelial barrier dysfunction in vitro. This was assessed by transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) and permeability assays using intestinal cell lines, HT-29 and Caco-2. Furthermore, the expression and distribution of tight junction (TJ) proteins were analysed by qRT-PCR and immunofluorescence assay, respectively. The nine strains used in the study were from different species viz. Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillushelveticus, Lactobacillus salivarius and Lactobacillus plantarum. All strains were able to reverse the decrease in TEER and corresponding increase in permeability across E. coli-infected monolayers. Maximum reversal was observed after 18 h [up to 93.8±2.0 % by L. rhamnosus GG followed by L. fermentum IIs11.2 (92.6±2.2 %) and L. plantarum GRI-2 (91.9±0.9 %)] of lactobacilli exposure following EPEC O26 : H11 infection. All strains were able to redistribute the TJ proteins to the cell periphery either partially or completely. Moreover, L. helveticus FA-7 was also able to significantly increase the mRNA expression of ZO-1 and claudin-1 (2.5-fold and 3.0-fold, respectively; PGRI-2 were good in all the aspects studied, and the other strains were good in some aspects. L. helveticus FA-7, L. fermentum FA-1 and L. plantarum GRI-2 can therefore be used for potential therapeutic purpose against intestinal epithelial dysfunction.

  7. Protein: FBA7 [TP Atlas

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available FBA7 claudin-zona occluden Tjp1 Zo1 Tight junction protein ZO-1 Tight junction protein 1, Zona occludens pr...otein 1, Zonula occludens protein 1 10090 Mus musculus 21872 P39447 2RRM P39447 21431884 ...

  8. Virus interaction with the apical junctional complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Mariscal, Lorenza; Garay, Erika; Lechuga, Susana

    2009-01-01

    In order to infect pathogens must breach the epithelial barriers that separate the organism from the external environment or that cover the internal cavities and ducts of the body. Epithelia seal the passage through the paracellular pathway with the apical junctional complex integrated by tight and adherens junctions. In this review we describe how viruses like coxsackie, swine vesicular disease virus, adenovirus, reovirus, feline calcivirus, herpes viruses 1 and 2, pseudorabies, bovine herpes virus 1, poliovirus and hepatitis C use as cellular receptors integral proteins present at the AJC of epithelial cells. Interaction with these proteins contributes in a significant manner in defining the particular tropism of each virus. Besides these proteins, viruses exhibit a wide range of cellular co-receptors among which proteins present in the basolateral cell surface like integrins are often found. Therefore targeting proteins of the AJC constitutes a strategy that might allow viruses to bypass the physical barrier that blocks their access to receptors expressed on the basolateral surface of epithelial cells.

  9. Connexin43 Hemichannels in Satellite Glial Cells, Can They Influence Sensory Neuron Activity?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauricio A. Retamal

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available In this review article, we summarize the current insight on the role of Connexin- and Pannexin-based channels as modulators of sensory neurons. The somas of sensory neurons are located in sensory ganglia (i.e., trigeminal and nodose ganglia. It is well known that within sensory ganglia, sensory neurons do not form neither electrical nor chemical synapses. One of the reasons for this is that each soma is surrounded by glial cells, known as satellite glial cells (SGCs. Recent evidence shows that connexin43 (Cx43 hemichannels and probably pannexons located at SGCs have an important role in paracrine communication between glial cells and sensory neurons. This communication may be exerted via the release of bioactive molecules from SGCs and their subsequent action on receptors located at the soma of sensory neurons. The glio-neuronal communication seems to be relevant for the establishment of chronic pain, hyperalgesia and pathologies associated with tissue inflammation. Based on the current literature, it is possible to propose that Cx43 hemichannels expressed in SGCs could be a novel pharmacological target for treating chronic pain, which need to be directly evaluated in future studies.

  10. The human myotendinous junction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, A B; Larsen, M; Mackey, Abigail

    2015-01-01

    The myotendinous junction (MTJ) is a specialized structure in the musculotendinous system, where force is transmitted from muscle to tendon. Animal models have shown that the MTJ takes form of tendon finger-like processes merging with muscle tissue. The human MTJ is largely unknown and has never...... been described in three dimensions (3D). The aim of this study was to describe the ultrastructure of the human MTJ and render 3D reconstructions. Fourteen subjects (age 25 ± 3 years) with isolated injury of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), scheduled for reconstruction with a semitendinosus...

  11. The first de novo mutation of the connexin 32 gene associated with X linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meggouh, F.; Benomar, A.; Rouger, H.; Tardieu, S.; Birouk, N.; Tassin, J.; Barhoumi, C.; Yahyaoui, M.; Chkili, T.; Brice, A.; LeGuern, E.

    1998-01-01

    X linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMTX) is a hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy caused by mutations in the connexin 32 gene (Cx32). Using the SSCP technique and direct sequencing of PCR amplified genomic DNA fragments of the Cx32 gene from a Moroccan patient and her relatives, we identified

  12. Modulation of cardiac connexin-43 by omega-3 fatty acid ethyl-ester supplementation demonstrated in spontaneously diabetic rats

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Radošinská, J.; Kurahara, L. H.; Hiraishi, K.; Viczenczová, C.; Egan Beňová, T.; Szeiffová Bačová, B.; Dosenko, V.; Navarová, J.; Obšitník, B.; Imanaga, I.; Soukup, Tomáš; Tribulová, N.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 64, č. 6 (2015), s. 795-806 ISSN 0862-8408 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) 7AMB14SK123 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : diabetes * omega-3 fatty acids * cardiac connexin-43 * PKC * ultrastructure Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 1.643, year: 2015

  13. [Cochlear implantation in a child with congenital sensorineural deafness due to 35 DELG mutation in GJB2 (connexin 26) gene].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teriutin, F M; Barashkov, N A; Dzhemileva, L U; Posukh, O L; Fedotova, E E; Gurinova, E E; Fedorova, S A; Tavartkiladze, G A; Khusnutdinova, E K

    2009-01-01

    This paper reports the first case of cochlear implantation performed in this country in a child with congenital non-syndromic sensorineural loss of hearing having hereditary etiology and attributable to autosomal-recessive 35 delG mutation in locus DFNB1 (13q.11-q12) of GJB2 (connexin 26) gene.

  14. Charge Transport Phenomena in Peptide Molecular Junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luchini, A.; Petricoin, E.F.; Geho, D.H.; Liotta, L.A.; Long, D.P.; Vaisman, I.I.

    2008-01-01

    Inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy (IETS) is a valuable in situ spectroscopic analysis technique that provides a direct portrait of the electron transport properties of a molecular species. In the past, IETS has been applied to small molecules. Using self-assembled nano electronic junctions, IETS was performed for the first time on a large polypeptide protein peptide in the phosphorylated and native form, yielding interpretable spectra. A reproducible 10-fold shift of the I/V characteristics of the peptide was observed upon phosphorylation. Phosphorylation can be utilized as a site-specific modification to alter peptide structure and thereby influence electron transport in peptide molecular junctions. It is envisioned that kinases and phosphatases may be used to create tunable systems for molecular electronics applications, such as biosensors and memory devices.

  15. Junctional epidermolysis bullosa(non-herlitz type)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhinder, M. A.; Arshad, M. W.; Shabbir, M. I.; Zahoor, M. Y.; Shehzad, W.; Tariq, M.

    2017-01-01

    Junctional epidermolysis bullosa (JEB) is a recessively inherited skin blistering disease and is caused due to abnormalities in proteins that hold layers of the skin. Herlitz JEB is the severe form and non-Herlitz JEB is the milder form. This report describes a case of congenitally affected male child aged 5 years, with skin blistering. He has mitten-like hands and soft skin blistering on hands, legs and knees. Symptoms almost disappeared at the age of 3 years but reappeared with increased severity after 6 months. Histopathological examination showed epidermal detachment with intact basal cell layer and sparse infiltrate of lymphocytes with few eosinophils in the dermis. There was no blistering on the moist lining of the mouth and digestive tract. Localized symptoms with less lethality and histopathological examination indicated the presence of non-Herlitz type of JEB. This is the first report which confirms the presence of non-Herlitz junctional epidermolysis bullosa in Pakistan. (author)

  16. Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa (Non-Herlitz Type).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhinder, Munir Ahmad; Arshad, Muhammad Waqar; Zahoor, Muhammad Yasir; Shehzad, Wasim; Tariq, Muhammad; Shabbir, Muhammad Imran

    2017-05-01

    Junctional epidermolysis bullosa (JEB) is a recessively inherited skin blistering disease and is caused due to abnormalities in proteins that hold layers of the skin. Herlitz JEB is the severe form and non-Herlitz JEB is the milder form. This report describes a case of congenitally affected male child aged 5 years, with skin blistering. He has mitten-like hands and soft skin blistering on hands, legs and knees. Symptoms almost disappeared at the age of 3 years but reappeared with increased severity after 6 months. Histopathological examination showed epidermal detachment with intact basal cell layer and sparse infiltrate of lymphocytes with few eosinophils in the dermis. There was no blistering on the moist lining of the mouth and digestive tract. Localized symptoms with less lethality and histopathological examination indicated the presence of non-Herlitz type of JEB. This is the first report which confirms the presence of non-Herlitz junctional epidermolysis bullosa in Pakistan.

  17. Cell junction protein armadillo repeat gene deleted in velo-cardio-facial syndrome is expressed in the skin and colocalizes with autoantibodies of patients affected by a new variant of endemic pemphigus foliaceus in Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abreu-Velez, Ana Maria; Yi, Hong; Howard, Michael S

    2017-10-01

    We previously described a new variant of endemic pemphigus foliaceus in El Bagre, Colombia, South America (El Bagre-EPF, or pemphigus Abreu-Manu). El Bagre-EPF differs from other types of EPF clinically, epidemiologically, immunologically and in its target antigens. We reported the presence of patient autoantibodies colocalizing with armadillo repeat gene deleted in velo-cardio-facial syndrome (ARVCF), a catenin cell junction protein colocalizing with El Bagre-EPF autoantibodies in the heart and within pilosebaceous units along their neurovascular supply routes. Here we investigate the presence of ARVCF in skin and its possibility as a cutaneous El Bagre-EPF antigen. We used a case-control study, testing sera of 45 patients and 45 controls via direct and indirect immunofluorescence (DIF/IIF), confocal microscopy, immunoelectron microscopy and immunoblotting for the presence of ARVCF and its relationship with El Bagre-EPF autoantibodies in the skin. We also immunoadsorbed samples with desmoglein 1 (Dsg1) ectodomain (El Bagre-EPF antigen) by incubating with the positive ARVCF samples from DIF and IIF. ARVCF was expressed in all the samples from the cases and controls. Immunoadsorption with Dsg1 on positive ARVCF immunofluorescence DIF/IIF cases showed that the immune response was present against non-desmoglein 1 antigen(s). Overall, 40/45 patients showed colocalization of their autoantibodies with ARVCF in the epidermis; no controls from the endemic area displayed colocalization. We demonstrate that ARVCF is expressed in many areas of human skin, and colocalizes with the majority of El Bagre-EPF autoantibodies as a putative antigen.

  18. Irradiation-Induced Cardiac Connexin-43 and miR-21 Responses Are Hampered by Treatment with Atorvastatin and Aspirin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Csilla Viczenczova

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Radiation of the chest during cancer therapy is deleterious to the heart, mostly due to oxidative stress and inflammation related injury. A single sub-lethal dose of irradiation has been shown to result in compensatory up-regulation of the myocardial connexin-43 (Cx43, activation of the protein kinase C (PKC signaling along with the decline of microRNA (miR-1 and an increase of miR-21 levels in the left ventricle (LV. We investigated whether drugs with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory or vasodilating properties, such as aspirin, atorvastatin, and sildenafil, may affect myocardial response in the LV and right ventricle (RV following chest irradiation. Adult, male Wistar rats were subjected to a single sub-lethal dose of chest radiation at 25 Gy and treated with aspirin (3 mg/day, atorvastatin (0.25 mg/day, and sildenafil (0.3 mg/day for six weeks. Cx43, PKCε and PKCδ proteins expression and levels of miR-1 as well as miR-21 were determined in the LV and RV. Results showed that the suppression of miR-1 was associated with an increase of total and phosphorylated forms of Cx43 as well as PKCε expression in the LV while having no effect in the RV post-irradiation as compared to the non-irradiated rats. Treatment with aspirin and atorvastatin prevented an increase in the expression of Cx43 and PKCε without change in the miR-1 levels. Furthermore, treatment with aspirin, atorvastatin, and sildenafil completely prevented an increase of miR-21 in the LV while having partial effect in the RV post irradiation. The increase in pro-apoptotic PKCδ was not affected by any of the used treatment. In conclusion, irradiation and drug-induced changes were less pronounced in the RV as compared to the LV. Treatment with aspirin and atorvastatin interfered with irradiation-induced compensatory changes in myocardial Cx43 protein and miR-21 by preventing their elevation, possibly via amelioration of oxidative stress and inflammation.

  19. Junction detection and pathway selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peck, Alex N.; Lim, Willie Y.; Breul, Harry T.

    1992-02-01

    The ability to detect junctions and make choices among the possible pathways is important for autonomous navigation. In our script-based navigation approach where a journey is specified as a script of high-level instructions, actions are frequently referenced to junctions, e.g., `turn left at the intersection.' In order for the robot to carry out these kind of instructions, it must be able (1) to detect an intersection (i.e., an intersection of pathways), (2) know that there are several possible pathways it can take, and (3) pick the pathway consistent with the high level instruction. In this paper we describe our implementation of the ability to detect junctions in an indoor environment, such as corners, T-junctions and intersections, using sonar. Our approach uses a combination of partial scan of the local environment and recognition of sonar signatures of certain features of the junctions. In the case where the environment is known, we use additional sensor information (such as compass bearings) to help recognize the specific junction. In general, once a junction is detected and its type known, the number of possible pathways can be deduced and the correct pathway selected. Then the appropriate behavior for negotiating the junction is activated.

  20. Mixing in T-junctions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kok, Jacobus B.W.; van der Wal, S.

    1996-01-01

    The transport processes that are involved in the mixing of two gases in a T-junction mixer are investigated. The turbulent flow field is calculated for the T-junction with the k- turbulence model by FLOW3D. In the mathematical model the transport of species is described with a mixture fraction

  1. Dynamics of Josephson junction arrays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hadley, P.

    1989-01-01

    The dynamics of Josephson junction arrays is a topic that lies at the intersection of the fields of nonlinear dynamics and Josephson junction technology. The series arrays considered here consist of several rapidly oscillating Josephson junctions where each junction is coupled equally to every other junction. The purpose of this study is to understand phaselocking and other cooperative dynamics of this system. Previously, little was known about high dimensional nonlinear systems of this sort. Numerical simulations are used to study the dynamics of these arrays. Three distinct types of periodic solutions to the array equations were observed as well as period doubled and chaotic solutions. One of the periodic solutions is the symmetric, in-phase solution where all of the junctions oscillate identically. The other two periodic solutions are symmetry-broken solutions where all of the junction do not oscillate identically. The symmetry-broken solutions are highly degenerate. As many as (N - 1) stable solutions can coexist for an array of N junctions. Understanding the stability of these several solutions and the transitions among them is vital to the design of useful devices

  2. Androgen Signaling Disruption during Fetal and Postnatal Development Affects Androgen Receptor and Connexin 43 Expression and Distribution in Adult Boar Prostate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Hejmej

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available To date, limited knowledge exists regarding the role of the androgen signaling during specific periods of development in the regulation of androgen receptor (AR and connexin 43 (Cx43 in adult prostate. Therefore, in this study we examined mRNA and protein expression, and tissue distribution of AR and Cx43 in adult boar prostates following fetal (GD20, neonatal (PD2, and prepubertal (PD90 exposure to an antiandrogen flutamide (50 mg/kg bw. In GD20 and PD2 males we found the reduction of the luminal compartment, inflammatory changes, decreased AR and increased Cx43 expression, and altered localization of both proteins. Moreover, enhanced apoptosis and reduced proliferation were detected in the prostates of these animals. In PD90 males the alterations were less evident, except that Cx43 expression was markedly upregulated. The results presented herein indicate that in boar androgen action during early fetal and neonatal periods plays a key role in the maintenance of normal phenotype and functions of prostatic cells at adulthood. Furthermore, we demonstrated that modulation of Cx43 expression in the prostate could serve as a sensitive marker of hormonal disruption during different developmental stages.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-09

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-30

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mally, Angela; Chipman, James Kevin

    2002-01-01

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

  6. Trichomonas vaginalis perturbs the junctional complex in epithelial cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    Trichomonas vaginalis, a protist parasite of the urogenital tract in humans, is the causative agent of trichomonosis,which in recent years have been associated with the cervical cancer development. In the present study we analyzed the modifications at the junctional complex level of Caco-2 cells after interaction with two isolates of T. vaginalis and the influence of the iron concentration present in the parasite's culture medium on the interaction effects. Our results show that T. vaginalis adheres to the epithelial cell causing alterations in the junctional complex, such as: (a) a decrease in transepithelial electrical resistance; (b) alteration in the pattern of junctional complex proteins distribution as obseryed for E-cadherin, occludin and ZO-1; and (c) enlargement of the spaces between epithelial cells. These effects were dependent on (a) the degree of the parasite virulence isolate, (b) the iron concentration in the culture medium, and (c) the expression of adhesin proteins on the parasite surface.

  7. Connexin 50 Expression in Ependymal Stem Progenitor Cells after Spinal Cord Injury Activation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Javier Rodriguez-Jimenez

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Ion channels included in the family of Connexins (Cx help to control cell proliferation and differentiation of neuronal progenitors. Here we explored the role of Connexin 50 (Cx50 in cell fate modulation of adult spinal cord derived neural precursors located in the ependymal canal (epSPC. epSPC from non-injured animals showed high expression levels of Cx50 compared to epSPC from animals with spinal cord injury (SCI (epSPCi. When epSPC or epSPCi were induced to spontaneously differentiate in vitro we found that Cx50 favors glial cell fate, since higher expression levels, endogenous or by over-expression of Cx50, augmented the expression of the astrocyte marker GFAP and impaired the neuronal marker Tuj1. Cx50 was found in both the cytoplasm and nucleus of glial cells, astrocytes and oligodendrocyte-derived cells. Similar expression patterns were found in primary cultures of mature astrocytes. In addition, opposite expression profile for nuclear Cx50 was observed when epSPC and activated epSPCi were conducted to differentiate into mature oligodendrocytes, suggesting a different role for this ion channel in spinal cord beyond cell-to-cell communication. In vivo detection of Cx50 by immunohistochemistry showed a defined location in gray matter in non-injured tissues and at the epicenter of the injury after SCI. epSPCi transplantation, which accelerates locomotion regeneration by a neuroprotective effect after acute SCI is associated with a lower signal of Cx50 within the injured area, suggesting a minor or detrimental contribution of this ion channel in spinal cord regeneration by activated epSPCi.

  8. Breaking into the epithelial apical-junctional complex--news from pathogen hackers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogelmann, Roger; Amieva, Manuel R; Falkow, Stanley; Nelson, W James

    2004-02-01

    The epithelial apical-junctional complex is a key regulator of cellular functions. In addition, it is an important target for microbial pathogens that manipulate the cell to survive, proliferate and sometimes persist within a host. Out of a myriad of potential molecular targets, some bacterial and viral pathogens have selected a subset of protein targets at the apical-junctional complex of epithelial cells. Studying how microbes use these targets also teaches us about the inherent physiological properties of host molecules in the context of normal junctional structure and function. Thus, we have learned that three recently uncovered components of the apical-junctional complex of the Ig superfamily--junctional adhesion molecule, Nectin and the coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor--are important regulators of junction structure and function and represent critical targets of microbial virulence gene products.

  9. Breaking into the epithelial apical–junctional complex — news from pathogen hackers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogelmann, Roger; Amieva, Manuel R; Falkow, Stanley; Nelson, W James

    2012-01-01

    The epithelial apical–junctional complex is a key regulator of cellular functions. In addition, it is an important target for microbial pathogens that manipulate the cell to survive, proliferate and sometimes persist within a host. Out of a myriad of potential molecular targets, some bacterial and viral pathogens have selected a subset of protein targets at the apical–junctional complex of epithelial cells. Studying how microbes use these targets also teaches us about the inherent physiological properties of host molecules in the context of normal junctional structure and function. Thus, we have learned that three recently uncovered components of the apical–junctional complex of the Ig superfamily — junctional adhesion molecule, Nectin and the coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor — are important regulators of junction structure and function and represent critical targets of microbial virulence gene products. PMID:15037310

  10. Vinculin but not alpha-actinin is a target of PKC phosphorylation during junctional assembly induced by calcium

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perez-Moreno, M; Avila, A; Islas, S

    1998-01-01

    and alpha-actinin, two actin binding proteins of the adherent junctions. We found that during the junctional sealing induced by Ca2+, both proteins move towards the cell periphery and, while there is a significant increase in the phosphorylation of vinculin, alpha-actinin remains unchanged. The increased...

  11. Human zonulin, a potential modulator of intestinal tight junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, W; Uzzau, S; Goldblum, S E; Fasano, A

    2000-12-01

    Intercellular tight junctions are dynamic structures involved in vectorial transport of water and electrolytes across the intestinal epithelium. Zonula occludens toxin derived from Vibrio cholerae interacts with a specific intestinal epithelial surface receptor, with subsequent activation of a complex intracellular cascade of events that regulate tight junction permeability. We postulated that this toxin may mimic the effect of a functionally and immunologically related endogenous modulator of intestinal tight junctions. Affinity-purified anti-zonula occludens toxin antibodies and the Ussing chamber assay were used to screen for one or more mammalian zonula occludens toxin analogues in both fetal and adult human intestine. A novel protein, zonulin, was identified that induces tight junction disassembly in non-human primate intestinal epithelia mounted in Ussing chambers. Comparison of amino acids in the active zonula occludens toxin fragment and zonulin permitted the identification of the putative receptor binding domain within the N-terminal region of the two proteins. Zonulin likely plays a pivotal role in tight junction regulation during developmental, physiological, and pathological processes, including tissue morphogenesis, movement of fluid, macromolecules and leukocytes between the intestinal lumen and the interstitium, and inflammatory/autoimmune disorders.

  12. Instabilities in thin tunnel junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Konkin, M.K.; Adler, J.G.

    1978-01-01

    Tunnel junctions prepared for inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy are often plagued by instabilities in the 0-500-meV range. This paper relates the bias at which the instability occurs to the barrier thickness

  13. The Control of Junction Flows

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Smith, Charles

    1997-01-01

    An experimental study of the effects of spatially-limited (i.e. localized) surface suction on unsteady laminar and turbulent junction flows was performed using hydrogen bubble flow visualization and Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV...

  14. Argirein alleviates stress-induced and diabetic hypogonadism in rats via normalizing testis endothelin receptor A and connexin 43.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Ming; Hu, Chen; Khan, Hussein-hamed; Shi, Fang-hong; Cong, Xiao-dong; Li, Qing; Dai, Yin; Dai, De-zai

    2016-02-01

    Argirein (rhein-arginine) is a derivative of rhein isolated from Chinese rhubarb (Rheum Officinale Baill.) that exhibits antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. In the present study we investigated the effects of argirein on stress-induced (hypergonadotrophic) and diabetic (hypogonadotrophic) hypogonadism in male rats. Stress-induced and diabetic hypogonadism was induced in male rats via injection of isoproterenol (ISO) or streptozotocin (STZ). ISO-injected rats were treated with argirein (30 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1), po) or testosterone replacement (0.5 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1), sc) for 5 days, and STZ-injected rats were treated with argirein (40-120 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1), po) or aminoguanidine (100 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1), po) for 4 weeks. After the rats were euthanized, blood samples and testes were collected. Serum hormone levels were measured, and the expression of endothelin receptor A (ETA), connexin 43 (Cx43) and other proteins in testes was detected. For in vitro experiments, testis homogenate was prepared from normal male rats, and incubated with ISO (1 μmol/L) or high glucose (27 mmol/L). ISO injection induced hyper-gonadotrophic hypogonadism characterized by low testosterone and high FSH and LH levels in the serum, whereas STZ injection induced hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism as evidenced by low testosterone and low FSH and LH levels in the serum. In the testes of ISO- and STZ-injected rats, the expression of ETA, MMP-9, NADPH oxidase and pPKCε was significantly increased, and the expression of Cx43 was decreased. Administration of argirein attenuated both the abnormal serum hormone levels and the testis changes in ISO- and STZ-injected rats, and aminoguanidine produced similar actions in STZ-injected rats; testosterone replacement reversed the abnormal serum hormone levels, but did not affect the testis changes in ISO-injected rats. Argirein (0.3-3 μmol/L) exerted similar effects in testis homogenate incubated with ISO or high glucose in vitro. Two types of

  15. Enteric Glia Mediate Neuron Death in Colitis Through Purinergic Pathways That Require Connexin-43 and Nitric OxideSummary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isola A.M. Brown

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background & Aims: The concept of enteric glia as regulators of intestinal homeostasis is slowly gaining acceptance as a central concept in neurogastroenterology. Yet how glia contribute to intestinal disease is still poorly understood. Purines generated during inflammation drive enteric neuron death by activating neuronal P2X7 purine receptors (P2X7R; triggering adenosine triphosphate (ATP release via neuronal pannexin-1 channels that subsequently recruits intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i in surrounding enteric glia. We tested the hypothesis that the activation of enteric glia contributes to neuron death during inflammation. Methods: We studied neuroinflammation in vivo using the 2,4-dinitrobenzene sulfonic acid model of colitis and in situ using whole-mount preparations of human and mouse intestine. Transgenic mice with a targeted deletion of glial connexin-43 (Cx43 [GFAP::CreERT2+/−/Cx43f/f] were used to specifically disrupt glial signaling pathways. Mice deficient in inducible nitric oxide (NO synthase (iNOS−/− were used to study NO production. Protein expression and oxidative stress were measured using immunohistochemistry and in situ Ca2+ and NO imaging were used to monitor glial [Ca2+]i and [NO]i. Results: Purinergic activation of enteric glia drove [Ca2+]i responses and enteric neuron death through a Cx43-dependent mechanism. Neurotoxic Cx43 activity, driven by NO production from glial iNOS, was required for neuron death. Glial Cx43 opening liberated ATP and Cx43-dependent ATP release was potentiated by NO. Conclusions: Our results show that the activation of glial cells in the context of neuroinflammation kills enteric neurons. Mediators of inflammation that include ATP and NO activate neurotoxic pathways that converge on glial Cx43 hemichannels. The glial response to inflammatory mediators might contribute to the development of motility disorders. Keywords: Enteric Nervous System, Hemichannels

  16. Josephson junctions with ferromagnetic interlayer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wild, Georg Hermann

    2012-01-01

    We report on the fabrication of superconductor/insulator/ferromagnetic metal/superconductor (Nb/AlO x /Pd 0.82 Ni 0.18 /Nb) Josephson junctions (SIFS JJs) with high critical current densities, large normal resistance times area products, and high quality factors. For these junctions, a transition from 0- to π-coupling is observed for a thickness d F =6 nm of the ferromagnetic Pd 0.82 Ni 0.18 interlayer. The magnetic field dependence of the critical current of the junctions demonstrates good spatial homogeneity of the tunneling barrier and ferromagnetic interlayer. Magnetic characterization shows that the Pd 0.82 Ni 0.18 has an out-of-plane anisotropy and large saturation magnetization indicating negligible dead layers at the interfaces. A careful analysis of Fiske modes up to about 400 GHz provides valuable information on the junction quality factor and the relevant damping mechanisms. Whereas losses due to quasiparticle tunneling dominate at low frequencies, at high frequencies the damping is explained by the finite surface resistance of the junction electrodes. High quality factors of up to 30 around 200 GHz have been achieved. They allow to study the junction dynamics, in particular the switching probability from the zero-voltage into the voltage state with and without microwave irradiation. The experiments with microwave irradiation are well explained within semi-classical models and numerical simulations. In contrast, at mK temperature the switching dynamics without applied microwaves clearly shows secondary quantum effects. Here, we could observe for the first time macroscopic quantum tunneling in Josephson junctions with a ferromagnetic interlayer. This observation excludes fluctuations of the critical current as a consequence of an unstable magnetic domain structure of the ferromagnetic interlayer and affirms the suitability of SIFS Josephson junctions for quantum information processing.

  17. Josephson junctions with ferromagnetic interlayer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wild, Georg Hermann

    2012-03-04

    We report on the fabrication of superconductor/insulator/ferromagnetic metal/superconductor (Nb/AlO{sub x}/Pd{sub 0.82}Ni{sub 0.18}/Nb) Josephson junctions (SIFS JJs) with high critical current densities, large normal resistance times area products, and high quality factors. For these junctions, a transition from 0- to {pi}-coupling is observed for a thickness d{sub F}=6 nm of the ferromagnetic Pd{sub 0.82}Ni{sub 0.18} interlayer. The magnetic field dependence of the critical current of the junctions demonstrates good spatial homogeneity of the tunneling barrier and ferromagnetic interlayer. Magnetic characterization shows that the Pd{sub 0.82}Ni{sub 0.18} has an out-of-plane anisotropy and large saturation magnetization indicating negligible dead layers at the interfaces. A careful analysis of Fiske modes up to about 400 GHz provides valuable information on the junction quality factor and the relevant damping mechanisms. Whereas losses due to quasiparticle tunneling dominate at low frequencies, at high frequencies the damping is explained by the finite surface resistance of the junction electrodes. High quality factors of up to 30 around 200 GHz have been achieved. They allow to study the junction dynamics, in particular the switching probability from the zero-voltage into the voltage state with and without microwave irradiation. The experiments with microwave irradiation are well explained within semi-classical models and numerical simulations. In contrast, at mK temperature the switching dynamics without applied microwaves clearly shows secondary quantum effects. Here, we could observe for the first time macroscopic quantum tunneling in Josephson junctions with a ferromagnetic interlayer. This observation excludes fluctuations of the critical current as a consequence of an unstable magnetic domain structure of the ferromagnetic interlayer and affirms the suitability of SIFS Josephson junctions for quantum information processing.

  18. Electronic thermometry in tunable tunnel junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maksymovych, Petro

    2016-03-15

    A tunable tunnel junction thermometry circuit includes a variable width tunnel junction between a test object and a probe. The junction width is varied and a change in thermovoltage across the junction with respect to the change in distance across the junction is determined. Also, a change in biased current with respect to a change in distance across the junction is determined. A temperature gradient across the junction is determined based on a mathematical relationship between the temperature gradient, the change in thermovoltage with respect to distance and the change in biased current with respect to distance. Thermovoltage may be measured by nullifying a thermoelectric tunneling current with an applied voltage supply level. A piezoelectric actuator may modulate the probe, and thus the junction width, to vary thermovoltage and biased current across the junction. Lock-in amplifiers measure the derivatives of the thermovoltage and biased current modulated by varying junction width.

  19. Cardiac Connexin-43 and PKC Signaling in Rats With Altered Thyroid Status Without and With Omega-3 Fatty Acids Intake

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Szeiffová Bačová, B.; Egan Beňová, T.; Viczenczová, C.; Soukup, Tomáš; Rauchová, Hana; Pavelka, Stanislav; Knezl, V.; Barančík, M.; Tribulová, N.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 65, Suppl.1 (2016), S77-S90 ISSN 0862-8408 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA305/09/1228; GA ČR(CZ) GAP304/12/0259 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : thyroid hormones * cardiac arrhythmias * Connexin-43 * omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 1.461, year: 2016

  20. Peltier cooling in molecular junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Longji; Miao, Ruijiao; Wang, Kun; Thompson, Dakotah; Zotti, Linda Angela; Cuevas, Juan Carlos; Meyhofer, Edgar; Reddy, Pramod

    2018-02-01

    The study of thermoelectricity in molecular junctions is of fundamental interest for the development of various technologies including cooling (refrigeration) and heat-to-electricity conversion1-4. Recent experimental progress in probing the thermopower (Seebeck effect) of molecular junctions5-9 has enabled studies of the relationship between thermoelectricity and molecular structure10,11. However, observations of Peltier cooling in molecular junctions—a critical step for establishing molecular-based refrigeration—have remained inaccessible. Here, we report direct experimental observations of Peltier cooling in molecular junctions. By integrating conducting-probe atomic force microscopy12,13 with custom-fabricated picowatt-resolution calorimetric microdevices, we created an experimental platform that enables the unified characterization of electrical, thermoelectric and energy dissipation characteristics of molecular junctions. Using this platform, we studied gold junctions with prototypical molecules (Au-biphenyl-4,4'-dithiol-Au, Au-terphenyl-4,4''-dithiol-Au and Au-4,4'-bipyridine-Au) and revealed the relationship between heating or cooling and charge transmission characteristics. Our experimental conclusions are supported by self-energy-corrected density functional theory calculations. We expect these advances to stimulate studies of both thermal and thermoelectric transport in molecular junctions where the possibility of extraordinarily efficient energy conversion has been theoretically predicted2-4,14.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brook T Chernet

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Transport properties of molecular junctions

    CERN Document Server

    Zimbovskaya, Natalya A

    2013-01-01

    A comprehensive overview of the physical mechanisms that control electron transport and the characteristics of metal-molecule-metal (MMM) junctions is presented. As far as possible, methods and formalisms presented elsewhere to analyze electron transport through molecules are avoided. This title introduces basic concepts—a description of the electron transport through molecular junctions—and briefly describes relevant experimental methods. Theoretical methods commonly used to analyze the electron transport through molecules are presented. Various effects that manifest in the electron transport through MMMs, as well as the basics of density-functional theory and its applications to electronic structure calculations in molecules are presented. Nanoelectronic applications of molecular junctions and similar systems are discussed as well. Molecular electronics is a diverse and rapidly growing field. Transport Properties of Molecular Junctions presents an up-to-date survey of the field suitable for researchers ...

  3. NbN tunnel junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Villegier, J.C.; Vieux-Rochaz, L.; Goniche, M.; Renard, P.; Vabre, M.

    1984-09-01

    All-niobium nitride Josephon junctions have been prepared successfully using a new processing called SNOP: Selective Niobium (nitride) Overlap Process. Such a process involves the ''trilayer'' deposition on the whole wafer before selective patterning of the electrodes by optically controlled dry reactive ion etching. Only two photomask levels are need to define an ''overlap'' or a ''cross-type'' junction with a good accuracy. The properties of the niobium nitride films deposited by DC-magnetron sputtering and the surface oxide growth are analysed. The most critical point to obtain high quality and high gap value junctions resides in the early stage of the NbN counterelectrode growth. Some possibilities to overcome such a handicap exist even if the fabrication needs substrate temperatures below 250 0 C

  4. Gravitation at the Josephson Junction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor Atanasov

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available A geometric potential from the kinetic term of a constrained to a curved hyperplane of space-time quantum superconducting condensate is derived. An energy conservation relation involving the geometric field at every material point in the superconductor is demonstrated. At a Josephson junction the energy conservation relation implies the possibility of transforming electric energy into geometric field energy, that is, curvature of space-time. Experimental procedures to verify that the Josephson junction can act as a voltage-to-curvature converter are discussed.

  5. Connexin 43 Gene Therapy Delivered by Polymer-Modified Salmonella in Murine Tumor Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei-Kuang Wang

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The use of preferentially tumor-targeting bacteria as vectors is one of the most innovative approaches for the treatment of cancer. This method is based on the observation that some obligate or facultative anaerobic bacteria are capable of selectively multiplying in tumors and inhibiting their growth. Previously, we found that the tumor-targeting efficiency of Salmonella could be modulated by modifying the immune response to these bacteria by coating them with poly(allylamine hydrochloride (PAH, and these organisms are designated PAH-S.C. (S. choleraesuis. PAH can provide a useful platform for the chemical modification of Salmonella, perhaps by allowing a therapeutic gene to bind to tumor-targeting Salmonella. This study aimed to investigate the benefits of the use of PAH-S.C. for gene delivery. To evaluate this modulation, the invasion activity and gene transfer of DNA-PAH-S.C. were measured in vitro and in vivo. Treatment with PAH-S.C. carrying a tumor suppressor gene (connexin 43 resulted in inhibition of tumor growth, which suggested that tumor-targeted gene therapy using PAH-S.C. carrying a therapeutic gene could exert antitumor activities. This technique represents a promising strategy for the treatment of tumors.

  6. Cardiotoxic Effects of Short-Term Doxorubicin Administration: Involvement of Connexin 43 in Calcium Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pecoraro, Michela; Rodríguez-Sinovas, Antonio; Marzocco, Stefania; Ciccarelli, Michele; Iaccarino, Guido; Pinto, Aldo; Popolo, Ada

    2017-10-11

    The use of Doxorubicin (DOXO), a potent antineoplastic agent, is limited by the development of cardiotoxicity. DOXO-induced cardiotoxicity is multifactorial, although alterations in calcium homeostasis, seem to be involved. Since even the Connexin43 (Cx43) plays a pivotal role in these two phenomena, in this study we have analyzed the effects of DOXO on Cx43 expression and localization. Damage caused by anthracyclines on cardiomyocytes is immediate after each injection, in the present study we used a short-term model of DOXO-induced cardiomyopathy. C57BL/6j female mice were randomly divided in groups and injected with DOXO (2 or 10 mg/kg i.p.) for 1-3 or 7 days once every other day. Cardiac function was assessed by Echocardiography. Sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca 2+ -ATPase (SERCAII) and phospholamban (PLB) expression were assessed by Western blot analysis, intracellular [Ca 2+ ] were detected spectrofluorometrically by means of Fura-2 pentakis (acetoxymethyl) ester (FURA-2AM), and Cx43 and pCx43 expression and localization was analyzed by Western blot and confirmed by immunofluorescence analysis. DOXO induces impairment in Ca 2+ homeostasis, already evident after a single administration, and affects Cx43 expression and localization. Our data suggest that DOXO-induced alterations in Ca 2+ homeostasis causes in the cells the induction of compensatory mechanisms until a certain threshold, above which cardiac injury is triggered.

  7. Effects of androgen on immunohistochemical localization of androgen receptor and Connexin 43 in mouse ovary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Mei; Li, Jianhua; An, Yulin; Zhang, Shuiwen

    2015-10-01

    Androgens have essential roles in the regulation of follicular development and female fertility. Androgen excess is the leading defect in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) patients and involved in the ovarian dysfunction. The aim of this study was to elucidate the regarding regulatory role of androgen in the follicular development of female mouse. Immunohistochemical staining and Western blot analyses were performed to detect androgen receptor (AR) and Connexin 43 (Cx43) expression in ovaries from both control and testosterone-treated group mice. In this study, localizations of AR and Cx43 were dramatically altered in testosterone-treated mouse ovaries. In addition, AR expression was significantly increased, whereas Cx43 expression was markedly decreased after testosterone treatment. Alterations of AR and Cx43 expression by testosterone with concomitant reduction of MII oocytes. Overall, these results suggest the involvement of androgen in the regulation of AR and Cx43 localizations in mouse ovary. Alterations of AR and Cx43 expression by testosterone may affect normal folliculogenesis. Together these findings will enable us to begin understanding the important roles of AR and Cx43 actions in the regulation of follicular development, as well as providing insights into the role of AR and Cx43 actions in the androgen-associated reproductive diseases such as PCOS. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Impaired osteogenic differentiation associated with connexin43/microRNA-206 in steroid-induced avascular necrosis of the femoral head.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Gang; Luo, Gaobin; Bo, Zhandong; Liang, Xiaonan; Huang, Jie; Li, Donghui

    2016-08-01

    Connexin(Cx)43 and microRNA(miR)-206 play an important role in osteogenesis. However, their role in steroid-induced femoral head osteonecrosis (SANFH) is still ambiguous. The present study aimed to establish a rabbit model and investigate osteogenesis in steroid-induced femoral head osteonecrosis occurring via Cx43/miR-206 and the changes of Wnt/β-catenin signal pathway-related proteins. A total of 72 adult New Zealand white rabbits were divided randomly into a model group (Group A) and a control group (Group B) of 36 rabbits each. Group A was injected intravenously with lipopolysaccharide (10μg/kg body weight, once per day). After 48h, three injections of methylprednisolone (MPS; 20mg/kg body weight) were administered intramuscularly at 24-hour intervals. Group B were fed and housed under identical conditions but received saline injections. All animals were sacrificed at two, four, and eight weeks from the first MPS injection. Typical early osteonecrosis symptoms were observed in Group A. The expression of miR-206 in Group A was significantly higher than that of Group B. The mRNA and protein levels of Cx43, β-catenin, runt-related transcription factor 2, and alkaline phosphatase gradually decreased while Dickkopf-1 (Dkk-1) gradually increased in Group A compared with Group B. These findings indicated that Cx43/miR-206 is involved in the pathogenesis of early stage SANFH and may be associate with Wnt/β-catenin signal pathway. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Electronic noise of superconducting tunnel junction detectors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jochum, J.; Kraus, H.; Gutsche, M.; Kemmather, B.; Feilitzsch, F. v.; Moessbauer, R.L.

    1994-01-01

    The optimal signal to noise ratio for detectors based on superconducting tunnel junctions is calculated and compared for the cases of a detector consisting of one single tunnel junction, as well as of series and of parallel connections of such tunnel junctions. The influence of 1 / f noise and its dependence on the dynamical resistance of tunnel junctions is discussed quantitatively. A single tunnel junction yields the minimum equivalent noise charge. Such a tunnel junction exhibits the best signal to noise ratio if the signal charge is independent of detector size. In case, signal charge increases with detector size, a parallel or a series connection of tunnel junctions would provide the optimum signal to noise ratio. The equivalent noise charge and the respective signal to noise ratio are deduced as functions of tunnel junction parameters such as tunneling time, quasiparticle lifetime, etc. (orig.)

  10. Current noise in tunnel junctions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frey, Moritz; Grabert, Hermann [Physikalisches Institut, Universitaet Freiburg, Hermann-Herder-Strasse 3, 79104, Freiburg (Germany)

    2017-06-15

    We study current fluctuations in tunnel junctions driven by a voltage source. The voltage is applied to the tunneling element via an impedance providing an electromagnetic environment of the junction. We use circuit theory to relate the fluctuations of the current flowing in the leads of the junction with the voltage fluctuations generated by the environmental impedance and the fluctuations of the tunneling current. The spectrum of current fluctuations is found to consist of three parts: a term arising from the environmental Johnson-Nyquist noise, a term due to the shot noise of the tunneling current and a third term describing the cross-correlation between these two noise sources. Our phenomenological theory reproduces previous results based on the Hamiltonian model for the dynamical Coulomb blockade and provides a simple understanding of the current fluctuation spectrum in terms of circuit theory and properties of the average current. Specific results are given for a tunnel junction driven through a resonator. (copyright 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  11. Stability of large-area molecular junctions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Akkerman, Hylke B.; Kronemeijer, Auke J.; Harkema, Jan; van Hal, Paul A.; Smits, Edsger C. P.; de Leeuw, Dago M.; Blom, Paul W. M.

    The stability of molecular junctions is crucial for any application of molecular electronics. Degradation of molecular junctions when exposed to ambient conditions is regularly observed. In this report the stability of large-area molecular junctions under ambient conditions for more than two years

  12. Dynamics of pi-junction interferometer circuits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kornkev, V.K.; Mozhaev, P.B.; Borisenko, I.V.

    2002-01-01

    The pi-junction superconducting circuit dynamics was studied by means of numerical simulation technique. Parallel arrays consisting of Josephson junctions of both 0- and pi-type were studied as a model of high-T-c grain-boundary Josephson junction. The array dynamics and the critical current depe...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  15. Ferromagnetic Josephson Junctions for Cryogenic Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niedzielski, Bethany M.; Gingrich, Eric C.; Khasawneh, Mazin A.; Loloee, Reza; Pratt, William P., Jr.; Birge, Norman O.

    2015-03-01

    Josephson junctions containing ferromagnetic materials are of interest for both scientific and technological purposes. In principle, either the amplitude of the critical current or superconducting phase shift across the junction can be controlled by the relative magnetization directions of the ferromagnetic layers in the junction. Our approach concentrates on phase control utilizing two junctions in a SQUID geometry. We will report on efforts to control the phase of junctions carrying either spin-singlet or spin-triplet supercurrent for cryogenic memory applications. Supported by Northorp Grumman Corporation and by IARPA under SPAWAR Contract N66001-12-C-2017.

  16. Method of manufacturing Josephson junction integrated circuits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jillie, D.W. Jr.; Smith, L.N.

    1985-01-01

    Josephson junction integrated circuits of the current injection type and magnetically controlled type utilize a superconductive layer that forms both Josephson junction electrode for the Josephson junction devices on the integrated circuit as well as a ground plane for the integrated circuit. Large area Josephson junctions are utilized for effecting contact to lower superconductive layers and islands are formed in superconductive layers to provide isolation between the groudplane function and the Josephson junction electrode function as well as to effect crossovers. A superconductor-barrier-superconductor trilayer patterned by local anodization is also utilized with additional layers formed thereover. Methods of manufacturing the embodiments of the invention are disclosed

  17. TUNABLE TENSOR VOTING FOR REGULARIZING PUNCTATE PATTERNS OF MEMBRANE-BOUND PROTEIN SIGNALS

    OpenAIRE

    Loss, Leandro

    2009-01-01

    Membrane-bound protein, expressed in the basal-lateral region, is heterogeneous and an important endpoint for understanding biological processes. At the optical resolution, membrane-bound protein can be visualized as being diffused (e.g., E-cadherin), punctate (e.g., connexin), or simultaneously diffused and punctate as a result of sample preparation or conditioning. Furthermore, there is a significant amount of heterogeneity as a result of technical and biological variations. This paper aims...

  18. DHT deficiency perturbs the integrity of the rat seminiferous epithelium by disrupting tight and adherens junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolasa, Agnieszka; Marchlewicz, Mariola; Wenda-Różewicka, Lidia; Wiszniewska, Barbara

    2011-01-01

    In rats with a DHT deficiency induced by finasteride, morphological changes in the seminiferous epithelium were observed. The structural alterations were manifested by the premature germ cells sloughing into the lumen of seminiferous tubules. The etiology of this disorder could be connected with intercellular junctions disintegration. We showed in the immunohistochemical study the changes in expression of some proteins building tight and adherens junctions. The depression of N-cadherin, β-catenin and occludin immunoexpressions could be the reason for the release of immature germ cells from the seminiferous epithelium. However, the observed increase of the immunohistochemical reaction intensity of vinculin, one of the cadherin/catenin complex regulators, could be insufficient to maintain the proper function of adherens junctions. The hormonal imbalance appears to influence the pattern of expression of junctional proteins in the seminiferous epithelium. It could lead to untimely germ cells sloughing, and ultimately could impair fertility.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  20. Connexin 43-targeted T1 contrast agent for MRI diagnosis of glioma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abakumova, Tatiana; Abakumov, Maxim; Shein, Sergey; Chelushkin, Pavel; Bychkov, Dmitry; Mukhin, Vladimir; Yusubalieva, Gaukhar; Grinenko, Nadezhda; Kabanov, Alexander; Nukolova, Natalia; Chekhonin, Vladimir

    2016-01-01

    Glioblastoma multiforme is the most aggressive form of brain tumor. Early and accurate diagnosis of glioma and its borders is an important step for its successful treatment. One of the promising targets for selective visualization of glioma and its margins is connexin 43 (Cx43), which is highly expressed in reactive astrocytes and migrating glioma cells. The purpose of this study was to synthesize a Gd-based contrast agent conjugated with specific antibodies to Cx43 for efficient visualization of glioma C6 in vivo. We have prepared stable nontoxic conjugates of monoclonal antibody to Cx43 and polylysine-DTPA ligands complexed with Gd(III), which are characterized by higher T1 relaxivity (6.5 mM(-1) s(-1) at 7 T) than the commercial agent Magnevist® (3.4 mM(-1) s(-1)). Cellular uptake of Cx43-specific T1 contrast agent in glioma C6 cells was more than four times higher than the nonspecific IgG-contrast agent, as detected by flow cytometry and confocal analysis. MRI experiments showed that the obtained agents could markedly enhance visualization of glioma C6 in vivo after their intravenous administration. Significant accumulation of Cx43-targeted contrast agents in glioma and the peritumoral zone led not only to enhanced contrast but also to improved detection of the tumor periphery. Fluorescence imaging confirmed notable accumulation of Cx43-specific conjugates in the peritumoral zone compared with nonspecific IgG conjugates at 24 h after intravenous injection. All these features of Cx43-targeted contrast agents might be useful for more precise diagnosis of glioma and its borders by MRI. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  1. Silencing the expression of connexin 43 decreases inflammation and joint destruction in experimental arthritis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuchida, Shinji; Arai, Yuji; Kishida, Tsunao; Takahashi, Kenji A; Honjo, Kuniaki; Terauchi, Ryu; Inoue, Hiroaki; Oda, Ryo; Mazda, Osam; Kubo, Toshikazu

    2013-04-01

    The objective of the present study was to determine whether the expression of connexin 43 (Cx43) effected on inflammatory conditions in rat fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) and on rat model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The expression of Cx43 in rat FLS stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was confirmed by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The effects of small-interfering RNA targeting Cx43 (siCx43) on pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokine were assessed by real-time RT-PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The therapeutic and side effects of siCx43 in a rat model of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) were examined by in vivo electroporation method. LPS markedly enhanced Cx43 gene expression in rat FLS, with transfection of siCx43 suppressing the over-expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the chemokine. Treatment of CIA rats with siCx43 significantly ameliorated paw swelling, and significantly reduced histological arthritis scores and radiographic scores. In histological appearance of rat ankle joints, siCx43 treatment significantly decreased the number of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive (osteoclast-like) cells. These findings indicated that siCx43 had anti-inflammatory effects in rat FLS and efficiently inhibited the development of CIA. Cx43 may play an important role in the pathophysiology of RA, and may be a potential target molecule for novel RA therapies. Copyright © 2012 Orthopaedic Research Society.

  2. Opening of pannexin and connexin based-channels increases the excitability of nodose ganglion sensory neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauricio Antonio Retamal

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Satellite glial cells (SGCs are the main glia in sensory ganglia. They surround neuronal bodies and form a cap that prevents the formation of chemical or electrical synapses between neighboring neurons. SGCs have been suggested to establish bidirectional paracrine communication with sensory neurons. However, the molecular mechanism involved in this cellular communication is unknown. In the central nervous system, astrocytes present connexin43 (Cx43 hemichannels and pannexin1 (Panx1 channels, and their opening allows the release of signal molecules, such as ATP and glutamate. We propose that these channels could play a role in the glia-neuron communication in sensory ganglia. Therefore, we studied the expression and function of Cx43 and Panx1 in rat and mouse nodose-petrosal-jugular complex (NPJc by confocal immunofluorescence, molecular and electrophysiological techniques. Cx43 and Panx1 were detected in SGCs and sensory neurons, respectively. In the rat and mouse, the electrical activity of vagal nerve increased significantly after nodose neurons were exposed to Ca2+/ Mg2+-free solution, a condition that increases the open probability of Cx hemichannels. This response was partially mimicked by a cell-permeable peptide corresponding to the last 10 amino acids of Cx43 (TAT-Cx43CT. Enhanced neuronal activity was reduced by Cx hemichannel, Panx1 channel and P2X7 receptor blockers. Moreover, the role of Panx1 was confirmed in NPJc, because Panx1 knockout mouse showed a reduced increase of neuronal activity induced by Ca2+/Mg2+-free extracellular conditions. Data suggest that Cx hemichannels and Panx channels serve as paracrine communication pathways between SGCs and neurons by modulating the excitability of sensory neurons.

  3. Streptozotocin alters glucose transport, connexin expression and endoplasmic reticulum functions in neurons and astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswas, Joyshree; Gupta, Sonam; Verma, Dinesh Kumar; Singh, Sarika

    2017-07-25

    The study was undertaken to explore the cell-specific streptozotocin (STZ)-induced mechanistic alterations. STZ-induced rodent model is a well-established experimental model of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and in our previous studies we have established it as an in vitro screening model of AD by employing N2A neuronal cells. Therefore, STZ was selected in the present study to understand the STZ-induced cell-specific alterations by utilizing neuronal N2A and astrocytes C6 cells. Both neuronal and astrocyte cells were treated with STZ at 10, 50, 100 and 1000μM concentrations for 48h. STZ exposure caused significant decline in cellular viability and augmented cytotoxicity of cells involving astrocytes activation. STZ treatment also disrupted the energy metabolism by altered glucose uptake and its transport in both cells as reflected with decreased expression of glucose transporters (GLUT) 1/3. The consequent decrease in ATP level and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential was also observed in both the cells. STZ caused increased intracellular calcium which could cause the initiation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Significant upregulation of ER stress-related markers were observed in both cells after STZ treatment. The cellular communication of astrocytes and neurons was altered as reflected by increased expression of connexin 43 along with DNA fragmentation. STZ-induced apoptotic death was evaluated by elevated expression of caspase-3 and PI/Hoechst staining of cells. In conclusion, study showed that STZ exert alike biochemical alterations, ER stress and cellular apoptosis in both neuronal and astrocyte cells. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Molecular series-tunneling junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Kung-Ching; Hsu, Liang-Yan; Bowers, Carleen M; Rabitz, Herschel; Whitesides, George M

    2015-05-13

    Charge transport through junctions consisting of insulating molecular units is a quantum phenomenon that cannot be described adequately by classical circuit laws. This paper explores tunneling current densities in self-assembled monolayer (SAM)-based junctions with the structure Ag(TS)/O2C-R1-R2-H//Ga2O3/EGaIn, where Ag(TS) is template-stripped silver and EGaIn is the eutectic alloy of gallium and indium; R1 and R2 refer to two classes of insulating molecular units-(CH2)n and (C6H4)m-that are connected in series and have different tunneling decay constants in the Simmons equation. These junctions can be analyzed as a form of series-tunneling junctions based on the observation that permuting the order of R1 and R2 in the junction does not alter the overall rate of charge transport. By using the Ag/O2C interface, this system decouples the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO, which is localized on the carboxylate group) from strong interactions with the R1 and R2 units. The differences in rates of tunneling are thus determined by the electronic structure of the groups R1 and R2; these differences are not influenced by the order of R1 and R2 in the SAM. In an electrical potential model that rationalizes this observation, R1 and R2 contribute independently to the height of the barrier. This model explicitly assumes that contributions to rates of tunneling from the Ag(TS)/O2C and H//Ga2O3 interfaces are constant across the series examined. The current density of these series-tunneling junctions can be described by J(V) = J0(V) exp(-β1d1 - β2d2), where J(V) is the current density (A/cm(2)) at applied voltage V and βi and di are the parameters describing the attenuation of the tunneling current through a rectangular tunneling barrier, with width d and a height related to the attenuation factor β.

  5. Flexible 2D layered material junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balabai, R.; Solomenko, A.

    2018-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zahra eMoinfar

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Gap junctions (GJs are hemichannels on cell membrane. Once they are intercellulary connected to the neighboring cells, they build a functional syncytium which allows rapid transfer of ions and molecules between cells. This characteristic makes GJs a potential modulator in proliferation, migration and development of the cells. So far, several types of GJs are recognized on different brain cells as well a