J Membrane Biol (2007) 217:5–12 DOI 10.1007/s00232-007-9068-2 Parmender P. Mehta Received: 20 August 2007 / Accepted: 20 August 2007 / Published online: 19 September 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007 Introduction the molecular architecture of these channels, their assem- bly into ensembles called ‘‘gap junctions,’’ the signaling Pascal’s saying ‘‘The heart has its reasons which reason molecules transmitted through them and the myriad roles knows not’’ is well known. According to him, the mind played through this form of signaling in maintaining thinks in two ways, the mathematical way (l’esprit geo- homeostatic controls at the organismic, systemic, tissue metrique) and the ﬁner, subtler way (l’esprit de ﬁnesse). In and cellular levels. Thanks to the work of a number of the latter case we see and feel the truth. The truth or the laboratories (Goodenough, Goliger & Paul, 1996; Kumar & idea — that a homeostatic mechanism mediated by com- Gilula, 1996; Harris, 2001; Saez et al., 2003; Segretain & munication through cell-to-cell channels governs the Falk, 2004; Wei, Xu & Lo, 2004; Sosinsky & Nicholson, growth and differentiation of cells and that this mechanism 2005; Sohl, Maxeiner & Willecke, 2005), tremendous is gradually weakened and eventually breached during the
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 19, 2007
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