, Volume 130, Issue 1, pp 71-77,
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Date: 15 May 2008

Connexons and cell adhesion: a romantic phase


Recent evidence indicates, that gap junction forming proteins do not only contribute to intercellular communication (Kanno and Saffitz in Cardiovasc Pathol 10:169–177, 2001; Saez et al. in Physiol Rev 83:1359–1400, 2003), ion homeostasis and volume control (Goldberg et al. in J Biol Chem 277:36725–36730, 2002; Saez et al. in Physiol Rev 83:1359–1400, 2003). They also serve biological functions in a mechanical sense, supporting adherent connections between neighbouring cells of epithelial and non-epithelial tissues (Clair et al. in Exp Cell Res 314:1250–1265, 2008; Shaw et al. in Cell 128:547–560, 2007), where they stabilize migratory pathways in the developing central nervous system (Elias et al. in Nature 448:901–907, 2007; Malatesta et al. in Development 127:5253–5263, 2000; Noctor et al. in Nature 409:714–720, 2001; Rakic in Brain Res 33:471–476, 1971; J Comp Neurol 145:61–83 1972; Science 241:170–176, 1988), or mediate polarized movements and directionality of neural crest cells during organogenesis (Kirby and Waldo in Circ Res 77:211–215, 1995; Xu et al. in Development 133:3629–3639, 2006). Since, most data describing adhesive properties of gap junctions delt with connexin 43 (Cx43) (Beardslee et al. in Circ Res 83:629–635, 1998), we will focus our brief review on this isoform.