The gap junction family: structure, function and chemistry

Rolf Dermietzel, T. K. Hwang, David C. Spray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

122 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Gap junctions are aggregates of transmembranous channels which bypass the extracellular space by transporting messenger molecules and ions from one cytoplasmic source to an adjacent cytoplasmic interior. The channels join the plasma membranes of adjacent cells by bridging the extracellular space between them. Thereby, cellular "compartments" which were once considered to be individual units are, in actuality, interconnected by a system of pathways which form a functional cellular syncytium. The evolutionary importance of a generalized intercellular communication system can be appreciated when one considers the widespread prevalence of gap junctions within animals of all multicellular phyla, and within almost all tissues of vertebrates. Only a few population of cells such as skeletal muscle cells (which are fused to form functional syncytia) and circulating blood cells are not equipped with gap junctions. This paper provides a brief review of the diverse structural, molecular and functional aspects of gap junctions as revealed by current research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-528
Number of pages12
JournalAnatomy and Embryology
Volume182
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1990

Fingerprint

Gap Junctions
Extracellular Space
Giant Cells
Muscle Cells
Vertebrates
Blood Cells
Skeletal Muscle
Cell Membrane
Ions
Research
Population

Keywords

  • Chemistry
  • Function
  • Gap junction
  • Molecular biology
  • Structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Embryology
  • Anatomy
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

The gap junction family : structure, function and chemistry. / Dermietzel, Rolf; Hwang, T. K.; Spray, David C.

In: Anatomy and Embryology, Vol. 182, No. 6, 12.1990, p. 517-528.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dermietzel, Rolf ; Hwang, T. K. ; Spray, David C. / The gap junction family : structure, function and chemistry. In: Anatomy and Embryology. 1990 ; Vol. 182, No. 6. pp. 517-528.
@article{83184f447dd34b2aad63e94eecd39ef4,
title = "The gap junction family: structure, function and chemistry",
abstract = "Gap junctions are aggregates of transmembranous channels which bypass the extracellular space by transporting messenger molecules and ions from one cytoplasmic source to an adjacent cytoplasmic interior. The channels join the plasma membranes of adjacent cells by bridging the extracellular space between them. Thereby, cellular {"}compartments{"} which were once considered to be individual units are, in actuality, interconnected by a system of pathways which form a functional cellular syncytium. The evolutionary importance of a generalized intercellular communication system can be appreciated when one considers the widespread prevalence of gap junctions within animals of all multicellular phyla, and within almost all tissues of vertebrates. Only a few population of cells such as skeletal muscle cells (which are fused to form functional syncytia) and circulating blood cells are not equipped with gap junctions. This paper provides a brief review of the diverse structural, molecular and functional aspects of gap junctions as revealed by current research.",
keywords = "Chemistry, Function, Gap junction, Molecular biology, Structure",
author = "Rolf Dermietzel and Hwang, {T. K.} and Spray, {David C.}",
year = "1990",
month = "12",
doi = "10.1007/BF00186458",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "182",
pages = "517--528",
journal = "Referate und Beiträge zur Anatomie und Entwickelungsgeschichte",
issn = "0177-5154",
publisher = "Springer Verlag",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The gap junction family

T2 - structure, function and chemistry

AU - Dermietzel, Rolf

AU - Hwang, T. K.

AU - Spray, David C.

PY - 1990/12

Y1 - 1990/12

N2 - Gap junctions are aggregates of transmembranous channels which bypass the extracellular space by transporting messenger molecules and ions from one cytoplasmic source to an adjacent cytoplasmic interior. The channels join the plasma membranes of adjacent cells by bridging the extracellular space between them. Thereby, cellular "compartments" which were once considered to be individual units are, in actuality, interconnected by a system of pathways which form a functional cellular syncytium. The evolutionary importance of a generalized intercellular communication system can be appreciated when one considers the widespread prevalence of gap junctions within animals of all multicellular phyla, and within almost all tissues of vertebrates. Only a few population of cells such as skeletal muscle cells (which are fused to form functional syncytia) and circulating blood cells are not equipped with gap junctions. This paper provides a brief review of the diverse structural, molecular and functional aspects of gap junctions as revealed by current research.

AB - Gap junctions are aggregates of transmembranous channels which bypass the extracellular space by transporting messenger molecules and ions from one cytoplasmic source to an adjacent cytoplasmic interior. The channels join the plasma membranes of adjacent cells by bridging the extracellular space between them. Thereby, cellular "compartments" which were once considered to be individual units are, in actuality, interconnected by a system of pathways which form a functional cellular syncytium. The evolutionary importance of a generalized intercellular communication system can be appreciated when one considers the widespread prevalence of gap junctions within animals of all multicellular phyla, and within almost all tissues of vertebrates. Only a few population of cells such as skeletal muscle cells (which are fused to form functional syncytia) and circulating blood cells are not equipped with gap junctions. This paper provides a brief review of the diverse structural, molecular and functional aspects of gap junctions as revealed by current research.

KW - Chemistry

KW - Function

KW - Gap junction

KW - Molecular biology

KW - Structure

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0025648841&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0025648841&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/BF00186458

DO - 10.1007/BF00186458

M3 - Article

C2 - 1963760

AN - SCOPUS:0025648841

VL - 182

SP - 517

EP - 528

JO - Referate und Beiträge zur Anatomie und Entwickelungsgeschichte

JF - Referate und Beiträge zur Anatomie und Entwickelungsgeschichte

SN - 0177-5154

IS - 6

ER -