Gap junctions are key components underpinning multicellularity. They provide cell to cell channel pathways that enable direct intercellular communication and cellular coordination in tissues and organs. The channels are constructed of a family of connexin (Cx) membrane proteins. They oligomerize inside the cell, generating hemichannels (connexons) composed of six subunits arranged around a central channel. After transfer to the plasma membrane, arrays of Cx hemichannels (CxHcs) interact and couple with partners in neighboring attached cells to generate gap junctions. Cx channels have been studied using a range of technical approaches. Short peptides corresponding to sequences in the extra- and intracellular regions of Cxs were used first to generate epitope-specific antibodies that helped studies on the organization and functions of gap junctions. Subsequently, the peptides themselves, especially Gap26 and -27, mimetic peptides derived from each of the two extracellular loops of connexin43 (Cx43), a widely distributed Cx, have been extensively applied to block Cx channels and probe the biology of cell communication. The development of a further series of short peptides mimicking sequences in the intracellular loop, especially the extremity of the intracellular carboxyl tail of Cx43, followed. The primary inhibitory action of the peptidomimetics occurs at CxHcs located at unapposed regions of the cell’s plasma membrane, followed by inhibition of cell coupling occurring across gap junctions. CxHcs respond to a range of environmental conditions by increasing their open probability. Peptidomimetics provide a way to block the actions of CxHcs with some selectivity. Furthermore, they are increasingly applied to address the pathological consequences of a range of environmental stresses that are thought to influence Cx channel operation. Cx peptidomimetics show promise as candidates in developing new therapeutic approaches for containing and reversing damage inflicted on CxHcs, especially in hypoxia and ischemia in the heart and in brain functions.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 11, 2012
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera
Read and print from thousands of top scholarly journals.
Bookmark this article. You can see your Bookmarks on your DeepDyve Library.
ok to continue