Cx40 and Cx43 expression ratio influences heteromeric/heterotypic gap junction channel properties

G. Trevor Cottrell, Yan Wu, Janis M. Burt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


In cells that coexpress connexin (Cx)40 and Cx43, the ratio of expression can vary depending on the cellular environment. We examined the effect of changing Cx40:Cx43 expression ratio on functional gap junction properties. Rin cells transfected with Cx40 or Cx43 (Rin40, Rin43) were cocultured with 6B5n, A7r5, A7r540C1, or A7r540C3 cells for electrophysiological and dye coupling analysis. Cx40:Cx43 expression ratio in 6B5n, A7r5, A7r540C1, and A7r540C3 cells was ∼1:1, 3:1, 5:1, and 10:1, respectively. When Rin43 cells were paired with coexpressing cells, there was an increasing asymmetry of voltage-dependent gating and a shift toward smaller conductance events as Cx40:Cx43 ratio increased in the co-expressing cell. These observations could not be predicted by linear combinations of Cx40 and Cx43 properties in proportion to the expressed ratios of the two Cxs. When Rin40 cells were paired with coexpressing cells, the net voltage gating and single-channel conductance behavior were similar to those of Rin40/Rin40 cell pairs. Dye permeability properties of cell monolayers demonstrated that as Cx40:Cx43 expression ratio increased in coexpressing cells the charge and size selectivity of dye transfer reflected that of Rin40 cells, as would be predicted. These data indicate that the electrophysiological properties of heteromeric/heterotypic channels are not directly related to the proportions of Cx constituents expressed in the cell; however, the dye permeability of these same channels can be predicted by the relative Cx contributions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C1469-C1482
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number6 51-6
StatePublished - 2002


  • Connexins
  • Dye permeability
  • Electrophysiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Cx40 and Cx43 expression ratio influences heteromeric/heterotypic gap junction channel properties'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this