Mefloquine (MFQ) selectively blocks exogenously expressed gap junction channels composed of C×50 but not C×46. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate MFQ effects on wild-type (WT) mouse lenses that express both C×50 and C×46 in their outer shell of differentiating fibers (DFs). Lenses in which C×46 was knocked into both C×50 alleles (KI) were used as controls; MFQ had no effect on coupling in these lenses. When WT lenses were exposed to MFQ, the DF coupling conductance decreased significantly, suggesting that C×50 contributes about 57% of the coupling conductance in DF and C×46 contributes 43%. Remarkably, in the presence of MFQ, the 43% of the channels that remained open did not gate closed in response to a reduction in pH, whereas in the absence of MFQ, the same pH change caused all the DF channels to gate closed. Since MFQ is a selective blocker of C×50 channels, it appears that C×46 channels lack pH-mediated gating in the absence of functional C×50 channels but are pH-sensitive in the presence of C×50 channels. These results suggest the two types of channels interact and gate cooperatively.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 7, 2006
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