Human Embryonic Stem Cell Protocols

Volume 584 of the series Methods in Molecular Biology pp 211-228


Study of Gap Junctions in Human Embryonic Stem Cells

  • Raymond C.B. WongAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Chemistry, University of California Irvine
  • , Alice PébayAffiliated withCentre for Neuroscience and Department of Pharmacology, The University of Melbourne

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Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) has been described in different cell types including stem cells and has been involved in different biological events. GJIC is required for mouse embryonic stem cell maintenance and proliferation, and various studies suggest that functional GJIC is a common characteristic of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) maintained in different culture conditions. This chapter introduces methods to study gap junctions in hESC, from expression of gap junction proteins to functional study of GJIC in hESC proliferation, apoptosis, colony growth, and pluripotency.

Key words

Connexin gap junction gap junctional intercellular communication human embryonic stem cells