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Scientific article
English

Regulation of cardiovascular connexins by mechanical forces and junctions

Published inCardiovascular research, vol. 99, no. 2, p. 304-314
Publication date2013
Abstract

Connexins form a family of transmembrane proteins that consists of 20 members in humans and 21 members in mice. Six connexins assemble into a connexon that can function as a hemichannel or connexon that can dock to a connexon expressed by a neighbouring cell, thereby forming a gap junction channel. Such intercellular channels synchronize responses in multicellular organisms through direct exchange of ions, small metabolites, and other second messenger molecules between the cytoplasms of adjacent cells. Multiple connexins are expressed in the cardiovascular system. These connexins not only experience the different biomechanical forces within this system, but may also act as effector proteins in co-ordinating responses within groups of cells towards these forces. This review discusses recent insights regarding regulation of cardiovascular connexins by mechanical forces and junctions. It specifically addresses effects of (i) shear stress on endothelial connexins, (ii) hypertension on vascular connexins, and (iii) changes in afterload and the composition of myocardial mechanical junctions on cardiac connexins.

Citation (ISO format)
MEENS, Merlijn et al. Regulation of cardiovascular connexins by mechanical forces and junctions. In: Cardiovascular research, 2013, vol. 99, n° 2, p. 304–314. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvt095
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ISSN of the journal0008-6363
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