The Role of Gap Junctions Dysfunction in the Development of Cataracts: From Loss of Cell-to-Cell Transfer to Blurred Vision - Review

Jose F. Ek-Vitorin, Jean X. Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Mutations of lens connexins are linked to congenital cataracts. However, the role of connexin mutations in the development of age-related lens opacification remains largely unknown. Here, we present a focused review of the literature on lens organization and factors associated with cataract development. Several lines of evidence indicate that disturbances of the lens circulation by dysfunctional connexin channels, and/or accumulation of protein damage due to oxidative stress, are key factors in cataract development. Phosphorylation by protein kinase A improves the permeability of connexins channels to small molecules and mitigates the lens clouding induced by oxidative stress. We conclude (1) that connexin channels are central to the lens circulation and (2) that their permeability to antioxidant molecules contributes to the maintenance of lens transparency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-172
Number of pages9
JournalBioelectricity
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2023

Keywords

  • connexin
  • gap junctions
  • hemichannels
  • lens
  • oxidative stress
  • phosphorylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Transplantation

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