Sensitivity of the brain transcriptome to connexin ablation

Dumitru A. Iacobas, Sanda Iacobas, Marcia Urban-Maldonado, David C. Spray

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Extensive studies on mice with total or partial disruption of either connexin43 (Cx43) or connexin32 (Cx32) have detected only subtle changes in central nervous system structure, growth, development, or function. We have used high density cDNA arrays to analyze the regulation, control, and coordination of the abundances of 7446 distinct transcripts in four brains, each of Cx43 null (K43), Cx43 heterozygous (H43), and Cx32 null (K32) mice as compared to the brains of wildtype (W) mice. The use of multiple samples allowed the determination of the statistical significance of gene regulation. Significantly regulated genes encoded proteins of all functional categories, extending beyond those that might be expected to depend on junctional communication. Moreover, we found a high degree of similarity between genes regulated in the K43 and H43 brains and a remarkable overlap between gene regulation in brains of K43 and K32. The regulated genes in both K43 and H43 brains showed an outstanding inverse coordination with the levels of expression of Cx43 in W brain, indicating that the regulated genes are largely predictable from their co-variance with Cx43 in the wildtype samples. These findings lead to the hypothesis that connexin expression may represent a central node in the regulation of gene expression patterns in brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-196
Number of pages14
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes
Issue number2 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Jun 10 2005


  • Connexin32
  • Connexin32 null mouse
  • Connexin43
  • Connexin43 heterozygous mouse
  • Connexin43 null mouse
  • Gene expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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