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Biochem Biophys Res Commun October 20, 2006; 349 (2): 855-62.

Cloning, embryonic expression, and functional characterization of two novel connexins from Xenopus laevis.

de Boer TP , Kok B , Roël G , van Veen TA , Destrée OH , Rook MB , Vos MA , de Bakker JM , van der Heyden MA .

Vertebrate gap junctions are constituted of connexin (Cx) proteins. In Xenopus laevis, only seven different Cxs have been described so far. Here, we identify two new Cxs from X. laevis. Cx28.6 displays > 60% amino acid identity with human Cx25, Cx29 displays strong homology with mouse Cx26 and Cx30. Cx29 is expressed throughout embryonic development. Cx28.6 mRNA is only transiently found from stage 22 to 26 of development. While no Cx28.6 expression could be detected by whole mount in situ hybridization, expression of Cx29 was found in the developing endoderm, lateral mesoderm, liver anlage, pronephros, and proctodeum. Ectopic expression of Cx28.6 failed to produce functional gap-junctions. In contrast, ectopic expression of full-length Cx29 in HEK293 and COS-7 cells resulted in the formation of gap junction-like structures at the cell-cell interfaces. Ectopic expression of Cx29 in communication deficient N2A cell pairs led to functional electrical coupling.

PubMed ID: 16950205
Article link: Biochem Biophys Res Commun

Genes referenced: gjb1 gjb2 gjb3 gjb7

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