Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. December 1, 2004; 287 (6):
Biophysical characterization of zebrafish connexin35 hemichannels.
Valiunas V , Mui R , McLachlan E , Valdimarsson G , Brink PR , White TW .
AbstractA subset of connexins can form unopposed hemichannels in expression systems, providing an opportunity for comparison of hemichannel gating properties with those of intact gap junction channels. Zebrafish connexin35 (Cx35) is a member of the Cx35/Cx36 subgroup of connexins highly expressed in the retina and brain. In the present study, we have shown that Cx35 expression in Xenopus oocytes and N2A cells produced large outward whole cell currents on cell depolarization. Using whole cell, cell-attached, and excised patch configurations, we obtained multichannel and single-channel current recordings attributable to the Cx35 hemichannels (I(hc)) that were activated and increased by stepwise depolarization of membrane potential (V(m)) and deactivated by hyperpolarization. The currents were not detected in untransfected N2A cells or in control oocytes injected with antisense Cx38. However, water-injected oocytes that were not treated with antisense showed activities attributable to Cx38 hemichannels that were easily distinguishable from Cx35 hemichannels by a significantly larger unitary conductance (gamma(hc): 250-320 pS). The gamma(hc) of Cx35 hemichannels exhibited a pronounced V(m) dependence; i.e., gamma(hc) increased/decreased with relative hyperpolarization/depolarization (gamma(hc) was 72 pS at V(m) = -100 mV and 35 pS at V(m) = 100 mV). Extrapolation to V(m) = 0 mV predicted a gamma(hc) of 48 pS, suggesting a unitary conductance of intact Cx35 gap junction channels of approximately 24 pS. Channel gating was also V(m) dependent: open time declined with negative V(m) and increased with positive V(m). The ability to break down the complex gating of intact intercellular channels into component hemichannels in vitro will help to evaluate putative physiological roles for hemichannels in vivo.
Pubmed Id: 15282192Article link: Am J Physiol Cell Physiol.
Genes referenced: gjd2