Review

Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 70, Issue 7, pp 1207-1220

Connexin 43 a check-point component of cell proliferation implicated in a wide range of human testis diseases

  • Daniel ChevallierAffiliated withDepartment of Urology, Pasteur HospitalINSERM U 1065, Team 5 “Physiopathologic Control of Germ Cell Proliferation: Genomic and Non Genomic Mechanisms”, University Nice Sophia-Antipolis
  • , Diane CaretteAffiliated withUMR S775, University Paris DescartesUniversity of Versailles
  • , Dominique SegretainAffiliated withUMR S775, University Paris DescartesUniversity of Versailles
  • , Jérome GilleronAffiliated withINSERM U 1065, Team 5 “Physiopathologic Control of Germ Cell Proliferation: Genomic and Non Genomic Mechanisms”, University Nice Sophia-AntipolisMax Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
  • , Georges PointisAffiliated withINSERM U 1065, Team 5 “Physiopathologic Control of Germ Cell Proliferation: Genomic and Non Genomic Mechanisms”, University Nice Sophia-Antipolis Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Gap junction channels link cytoplasms of adjacent cells. Connexins, their constitutive proteins, are essential in cell homeostasis and are implicated in numerous physiological processes. Spermatogenesis is a sophisticated model of germ cell proliferation, differentiation, survival, and apoptosis, in which a connexin isotype, connexin 43, plays a crucial role as evidenced by genomic approaches based on gene deletion. The balance between cell proliferation/differentiation/apoptosis is a prerequisite for maintaining levels of spermatozoa essential for fertility and for limiting anarchic cell proliferation, a major risk of testis tumor. The present review highlights the emerging role of connexins in testis pathogenesis, focusing specifically on two intimately interconnected human testicular diseases (azoospermia with impaired spermatogenesis and testicular germ cell tumors), whose incidence increased during the last decades. This work proposes connexin 43 as a potential cancer diagnostic and prognostic marker, as well as a promising therapeutic target for testicular diseases.

Keywords

Azoospermia Connexin 43 Gap junction Pathogenesis Testicular germ cell tumors