Gap junctions are the morphological correlates of direct cell-cell communication and are formed of hexameric assemblies of gap junction proteins (connexins) into hemichannels (or connexons) provided by each coupled cell. Gap junction channels formed by each of the connexin subtypes (of which there are as many as 20) display different properties, which have been attributed to differences in amino acid sequences of gating domains of the connexins. Recent studies additionally indicate that connexin proteins interact with other cellular components to form a protein complex termed the Nexus. This review summarizes current knowledge regarding the protein-protein interactions involving of connexin proteins and proposes hypothesized functions for these interactions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)