Concatenation of human connexin26 (hCx26) and human connexin46 (hCx46) for the analysis of heteromeric gap junction hemichannels and heterotypic gap junction channels

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Schadzek, P.; Hermes, D.; Stahl, Y.; Dilger, N.; Ngezahayo, A.: Concatenation of human connexin26 (hCx26) and human connexin46 (hCx46) for the analysis of heteromeric gap junction hemichannels and heterotypic gap junction channels. In: International Journal of Molecular Sciences 19 (2018), Nr. 9, 2742. DOI:

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Gap junction channels and hemichannels formed by concatenated connexins were analyzed. Monomeric (hCx26, hCx46), homodimeric (hCx46-hCx46, hCx26-hCx26), and heterodimeric (hCx26-hCx46, hCx46-hCx26) constructs, coupled to GFP, were expressed in HeLa cells. Confocal microscopy showed that the tandems formed gap junction plaques with a reduced plaque area compared to monomeric hCx26 or hCx46. Dye transfer experiments showed that concatenation allows metabolic transfer. Expressed in Xenopus oocytes, the inside-out patch-clamp configuration showed single channels with a conductance of about 46 pS and 39 pS for hemichannels composed of hCx46 and hCx26 monomers, respectively, when chloride was replaced by gluconate on both membrane sides. The conductance was reduced for hCx46-hCx46 and hCx26-hCx26 homodimers, probably due to the concatenation. Heteromerized hemichannels, depending on the connexin-order, were characterized by substates at 26 pS and 16 pS for hCx46-hCx26 and 31 pS and 20 pS for hCx26-hCx46. Because of the linker between the connexins, the properties of the formed hemichannels and gap junction channels (e.g., single channel conductance) may not represent the properties of hetero-oligomerized channels. However, should the removal of the linker be successful, this method could be used to analyze the electrical and metabolic selectivity of such channels and the physiological consequences for a tissue.
License of this version: CC BY 4.0 Unported
Document Type: article
Publishing status: publishedVersion
Issue Date: 2018
Appears in Collections:Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät

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