Non-canonical roles of connexins.
Gap junctions mediate cellular communication and homeostasis by controlling the intercellular exchange of small and hydrophilic molecules and ions. Gap junction channels are formed by the docking of 2 hemichannels of adjacent cells, which in turn are composed of 6 connexin subunits. Connexin proteins as such can also control the cellular life cycle independent of their channel activities. This has been most demonstrated in the context of cell growth and cell death. Different mechanisms are involved mainly related to direct interaction with cell growth or cell death regulators, but also implying effects on the expression of cell growth and cell death regulators. The present paper focuses on these atypical roles of connexin proteins.
- Authors: Cooreman A., Van Campenhout R., Ballet S., Annaert P., Van Den Bossche B., Colle I., Cogliati B., Vinken M.
- Journal: Hepatology 69: 1317-1323.