Connexins and secretion

Biol Cell. 2002 Nov;94(7-8):477-92. doi: 10.1016/s0248-4900(02)00024-2.


Connexin channels clustered at gap junctions are obligatory attributes of all macroscopic endocrine and exocrine glands investigated so far and also connect most types of cells which produce secretory products in other tissues. Increasing evidence indicates that connexins, and the cell-to-cell communications that these proteins permit, contribute to control the growth of secretory cells, their expression of specific genes and their differentiated function, including their characteristic ability to biosynthetize and release secretory products in a regulated manner. Since the previous reviews which have been published on this topic, several lines of evidence have been added in support of multiple regulatory roles of gland connexins. Here, we review this novel evidence, point to the many questions which are still open and discuss some interesting perspectives of the field.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication / physiology
  • Connexins / metabolism
  • Connexins / physiology*
  • Endocrine Glands / chemistry
  • Endocrine Glands / cytology
  • Endocrine Glands / metabolism*
  • Exocrine Glands / chemistry
  • Exocrine Glands / cytology
  • Exocrine Glands / metabolism*
  • Gap Junctions / metabolism
  • Gap Junctions / physiology
  • Humans


  • Connexins