Connexin43 Hemichannel-Mediated Regulation of Connexin43Report as inadecuate




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Background

Many signaling molecules and pathways that regulate gap junctions GJs protein expression and function are, in fact, also controlled by GJs. We, therefore, speculated an existence of the GJ channel-mediated self-regulation of GJs. Using a cell culture model in which nonjunctional connexin43 Cx43 hemichannels were activated by cadmium Cd2+, we tested this hypothesis.

Principal Findings

Incubation of Cx43-transfected LLC-PK1 cells with Cd2+ led to an increased expression of Cx43. This effect of Cd2+ was tightly associated with JNK activation. Inhibition of JNK abolished the elevation of Cx43. Further analysis revealed that the changes of JNK and Cx43 were controlled by GSH. Supplement of a membrane-permeable GSH analogue GSH ethyl ester or GSH precursor N-acetyl-cystein abrogated the effects of Cd2+ on JNK activation and Cx43 expression. Indeed, Cd2+ induced extracellular release of GSH. Blockade of Cx43 hemichannels with heptanol or Cx43 mimetic peptide Gap26 to prevent the efflux of GSH significantly attenuated the Cx43-elevating effects of Cd2+.

Conclusions

Collectively, our results thus indicate that Cd2+-induced upregulation of Cx43 is through activation of nonjunctional Cx43 hemichannels. Our findings thus support the existence of a hemichannel-mediated self-regulation of Cx43 and provide novel insights into the molecular mechanisms of Cx43 expression and function.



Author: Kai Li , Yuan Chi, Kun Gao, Qiaojing Yan, Hiroyuki Matsue, Masayuki Takeda, Masanori Kitamura, Jian Yao

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/



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