Special Issue "Chemical Regulation of Gap Junction Channels and Hemichannels"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2021) | Viewed by 11038
Interests: gap junctions; connexins; cell communication; calmodulin; calcium; channel gating
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Neighboring cells directly exchange small cytosolic molecules via cell–cell channels clustered at gap junctions. Direct cell communication provides a fundamental mechanism for coordinating a host of cellular activities. Conversely, impaired communication causes many diseases. Each channel is formed by the interaction of two hemichannels that create a hydrophilic pathway spanning the two plasma membranes and a narrow extracellular space (gap). In turn, each hemichannel is an oligomer of six proteins (connexins/innexins). Gap junction channels are regulated by a gating mechanism sensitive to changes in cytosolic calcium (Ca2+i) and pHi. Early studies reported that only [Ca2+]i in the micromolar range affects gating concentrations. This would discard the role of Ca2+i as fine modulator of cell coupling. More recently, however, the effectiveness of calmodulin-mediated nanomolar [Ca2+]i in cell–cell channel and hemichannel gating has been widely reported, suggesting that the permeability of connexin/innexin channels and hemichannels is finely modulated. Indeed, in some cells, such as those expressing connexin45, some channels are closed even at resting [Ca2+]i. The relevance of the fine modulation of connexin/innexin channels and hemichannels to cell function in health and disease indicates that detailed knowledge of channel gating mechanisms is extremely important. This is the primary goal of this Special Issue.
Prof. emer Camillo Peracchia
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- gap junctions
- channel gating
- cell communication
- cell–cell coupling