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Gap junction channels formed by coexpressed connexin40 and connexin43.

Authors: Valiunas, V  Gemel, J  Brink, PR  Beyer, EC 
Citation: Valiunas V, etal., Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2001 Oct;281(4):H1675-89.
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:11557558

Many cardiovascular cells coexpress multiple connexins (Cx), leading to the potential formation of mixed (heteromeric) gap junction hemichannels whose biophysical properties may differ from homomeric channels containing only one connexin type. We examined the potential interaction of connexin Cx43 and Cx40 in HeLa cells sequentially stably transfected with these two connexins. Immunoblots verified the production of comparable amounts of both connexins, cross-linking showed that both connexins formed oligomers, and immunofluorescence showed extensive colocalization. Moreover, Cx40 copurified with (His)(6)-tagged Cx43 by affinity chromatography of detergent-solubilized connexons, demonstrating the presence of both connexins in some hemichannels. The dual whole cell patch-clamp method was used to compare the gating properties of gap junctions in HeLa Cx43/Cx40 cells with homotypic (Cx40-Cx40 and Cx43-Cx43) and heterotypic (Cx40-Cx43) gap junctions. Many of the observed single channel conductances resembled those of homotypic or heterotypic channels. The steady-state junctional conductance (g(j,ss)) in coexpressing cell pairs showed a reduced sensitivity to the voltage between cells (V(j)) compared with homotypic gap junctions and/or an asymmetrical V(j) dependence reminiscent of heterotypic gap junctions. These gating properties could be fit using a combination of homotypic and heterotypic channel properties. Thus, whereas our biochemical evidence suggests that Cx40 and Cx43 form heteromeric connexons, we conclude that they are functionally insignificant with regard to voltage-dependent gating.

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CRRD Object Information
CRRD ID: 7207849
Created: 2013-02-08
Species: All species
Last Modified: 2013-02-08
Status: ACTIVE



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RGD is funded by grant HL64541 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on behalf of the NIH.