The Astrocyte Nexus: CX 43-Protein Interactions

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by the applicant): Long range intercellular communication
among astrocytes is in large part mediated by gap junction channels through
which ions and metabolites pass directly from one cell to the next. The pore of
astrocyte gap junctions is formed primarily of the gap junction protein
connexin43. Recent evidence indicates that other proteins are associated with
Cx43 at gap junctions, and we have termed this macromolecular complex the
Nexus. We hypothesize that the Nexus components may regulate both the
properties of the gap junction channels and also may function in intracellular
signal transduction. In order to test this hypothesis, we will determine the
identities of the other proteins that bind to Cx43 in astrocytes and in
transfected cells, implement high throughput and quantitative methods to
identify novel Nexus proteins, measure the strengths of interaction, and
perform physiological experiments with Cx43 mutants and with Cx43 binding
partners to determine the functional consequences of such interactions. In
addition, a major goal of this application is to obtain structural information
regarding domains of Cx43 that interact with each other and with other
proteins. These studies use a multidisciplinary approach directed at exploring
a new concept in the field and as such are expected to lead to novel
understanding of roles that gap junctions play in the nervous system and
Effective start/end date12/15/0111/30/02


  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: $384,532.00


  • Structural Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology

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