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The role of connexins in hearing has been established from genetic studies linking mutations in the GJB2 gene, which encodes Cx26, to inherited forms of nonsyndromic and syndromic deafness (Kelsell et al., 1997; Gerido and White, 2004; Hoang Dinh et al., 2009; Lee et al., 2009). Mutations in the GJB2 gene represent the most common cause of inherited(More)
In the normal brain, cellular types that compose the neurovascular unit, including neurons, astrocytes and endothelial cells express pannexins and connexins, which are protein subunits of two families that form plasma membrane channels. Most available evidence in mammals indicated that endogenously expressed pannexins only form hemichannels, and connexins(More)
Gap junction channels and hemichannels formed of connexin subunits are found in most cell types in vertebrates. Gap junctions connect cells via channels not open to the extracellular space and permit the passage of ions and molecules of approximately 1 kDa. Single connexin hemichannels, which are connexin hexamers, are present in the surface membrane before(More)
Excessive opening of undocked Cx26 hemichannels in the plasma membrane is associated with disease pathogenesis in keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness (KID) syndrome. Thus far, excessive opening of KID mutant hemichannels has been attributed, almost solely, to aberrant inhibition by extracellular Ca(2+). This study presents two new possible contributing factors,(More)
Connexin43 (Cx43), a gap junction protein subunit, has been previously detected in Kupffer cells (KCs) during liver inflammation, however, KCs phagocytose cell debris that may include Cx43 protein, which could explain the detection of Cx43 in KCs. We determined that KCs express Cx43 and form gap junctions (GJs) both in vivo and in vitro. In liver sections(More)
Mutations in GJB2, which encodes Cx26, are one of the most common causes of inherited deafness in humans. More than 100 mutations have been identified scattered throughout the Cx26 protein, most of which cause nonsyndromic sensorineural deafness. In a subset of mutations, deafness is accompanied by hyperkeratotic skin disorders, which are typically severe(More)
Although alkaline pH is known to trigger Ca(2+) influx in diverse cells, no pH-sensitive Ca(2+) channel has been identified. Here, we report that extracellular alkalinization induces opening of connexin 43 hemichannels (Cx43 HCs). Increasing extracellular pH from 7.4 to 8.5, in the presence of physiological Ca(2+)/Mg(2+) concentrations, rapidly increased(More)
Numerous cell types express functional connexin (Cx) hemichannels (HCs), and membrane depolarization and/or exposure to a divalent cation-free bathing solution (DCFS) have been shown to promote HC opening. However, little is known about conditions that can promote HC opening in the absence of strong depolarization and when extracellular divalent cation(More)
bition increases activity of connexin-32 hemichannels permeable to Ca 2ϩ in transfected HeLa cells. Numerous cell types express functional connexin (Cx) hemichannels (HCs), and membrane depolarization and/or exposure to a divalent cation-free bathing solution (DCFS) have been shown to promote HC opening. However, little is known about conditions that can(More)
Mutations in the GJB2 gene, which encodes Cx26, are the most common cause of sensorineural deafness. In syndromic cases, such as keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness (KID) syndrome, in which deafness is accompanied by corneal inflammation and hyperkeratotic skin, aberrant hemichannel function has emerged as the leading contributing factor. We found that D50N, the(More)