Structure of connexin43 and its regulation by pH(i)

Gregory E. Morley, José F. Ek-Vitorín, Steven M. Taffet, Mario Delmar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


pH(i) Regulation of Connexin43. Electrical Coupling in the heart provides an effective mechanism for propagating the cardiac action potential efficiently throughout the entire heart. Cells within the heart are electrically coupled through specialized membrane channels called gap junctions. Studies have shown that gap junctions are dynamic, carefully regulated channels that are important for normal cardiogenesis. We have recently been interested in the molecular mechanisms by which intracellular acidification leads to gap junction channel closure. Previous results in this lab have shown that truncation of the carboxyl terminal (CT) of connexin43 (Cx43) does not interfere with functional channel expression. Further, the pH-dependent closure of Cx43 channels is significantly impaired by removal of this region of the protein. Other studies have shown that the CT is capable of interacting with its receptor even when not covalently attached to the channel protein. From these data we have proposed a particle-receptor model to explain the pH-dependent closure of Cx43 gap junction channels. Detailed analysis of the CT has revealed interesting new information regarding its possible structure. Here we review the most recent studies that have contributed to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of regulation of the cardiac gap protein Cx43.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)939-951
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of cardiovascular electrophysiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1997


  • Carboxyl terminal
  • Connexins
  • Gap junction channels
  • Xenopus laevis oocytes
  • pH(i)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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