Molecular cloning and functional expression of zfCx52.6: A novel connexin with hemichannel-forming properties expressed in horizontal cells of the zebrafish retina

Georg Zoidl, Roberto Bruzzone, Svenja Weickert, Marian Kremer, Christiane Zoidl, Georgia Mitropoulou, Miduturu Srinivas, David C. Spray, Rolf Dermietzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

Gap junction-mediated electrical coupling contributes to synchronous oscillatory activities of neurons, and considerable progress has been made in defining the molecular composition of gap junction channels. In particular, cloning and functional expression of gap junction proteins (connexins (Cx)) from zebrafish retina have shown that this part of the brain possesses a high degree of connexin diversity that may account for differential functional properties of electrical synapses. Here, we report the cloning and functional characterization of a new connexin, designated zebrafish Cx52.6 (zfCx52.6). This connexin shows little similarity to known connexins from fish and higher vertebrates. By combining in situ hybridization with Laser Capture Microdissection and RT-PCR, we found that this novel fish connexin is expressed in horizontal cells in the inner nuclear layer of the retina. Functional expression of zfCx52.6 in neuroblastoma cells and Xenopus oocytes led to functional gap junctional channels and, in single oocytes, induced large non-junctional membrane currents indicative of the formation of hemichannels, which were inhibited in reversible fashion by raising extracellular Ca 2+ concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2913-2921
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume279
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 23 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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