Connexin43 phosphorylation and cytoprotection in the heart.

Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre, University of Manitoba, Canada
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (Impact Factor: 4.66). 07/2011; 1818(8):2009-13. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2011.06.023
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The fundamental role played by connexins including connexin43 (Cx43) in forming intercellular communication channels (gap junctions), ensuring electrical and metabolic coupling between cells, has long been recognized and extensively investigated. There is also increasing recognition that Cx43, and other connexins, have additional roles, such as the ability to regulate cell proliferation, migration, and cytoprotection. Multiple phosphorylation sites, targets of different signaling pathways, are present at the regulatory, C-terminal domain of Cx43, and contribute to constitutive as well as transient phosphorylation Cx43 patterns, responding to ever-changing environmental stimuli and corresponding cellular needs. The present paper will focus on Cx43 in the heart, and provide an overview of the emerging recognition of a relationship between Cx43, its phosphorylation pattern, and development of resistance to injury. We will also review our recent work regarding the role of an enhanced phosphorylation state of Cx43 in cardioprotection. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The Communicating junctions, composition, structure and characteristics.

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