Gap junctions composed of connexin (Cx), a large protein family with a number of subtypes, are a main apparatus to maintain cellular homeostasis in many organs. Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) is actively involved in all aspects of the cellular life cycle, ranging from cell growth to cell death. It is also known that the Cx gene acts as a tumor-suppressor due to the maintenance of cellular homeostasis via GJIC. In addition to this function, recent data show that the GJIC-independent function of Cx gene contributes to the tumor-suppressive effect of the gene with specificity to certain cells. With respect to the tumor-suppressive effects, Cx genes acts as tumor-suppressors in primary cancers, but the effects are still conflicting in invasive and metastatic cancers. We have previously reported that Cx32 is specifically downregulated in human renal cell carcinoma (RCC) cell lines as well as cancerous regions when compared to normal regions in kidneys. In recent studies, we have also reported that Cx32 suppresses growth, invasion and metastasis of RCC cells. In this minireview, we refer to a new aspect of Cx32-dependent functions against cell proliferation, invasion and metastasis in RCC cells, especially in a GJIC-independent manner.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 13, 2007
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