Cell proliferation is an important process for reproduction, growth and renewal of living cells and occurs in several situations during life. Cell proliferation is present in all the steps of carcinogenesis, initiation, promotion and progression. Gap junctions are the only specialization of cell membranes that allows communication between adjacent cells. They are known to contribute to tissue homeostasis and are composed of transmembrane proteins called “connexins.” These junctions are also known to be involved in cell proliferation control. The roles of gap junctions and connexins in cell proliferation are complex and still under investigation. Since pioneer studies by Loewenstein, it is known that neoplastic cells lack communicating junctions. They do not communicate with their neighbors or with non-neoplastic cells from the surrounding area. There are many studies and review articles dedicated to neoplastic tissues. The aim of this review is to present evidence on the roles of gap junctions and connexins in non-neoplastic processes in which cell proliferation is involved.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 25, 2007
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