The gap junction proteome and its relationship to disease

Trends Cell Biol. 2010 Feb;20(2):92-101. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2009.11.001. Epub 2009 Nov 26.


In recent years our understanding of connexins has advanced from viewing them simply as proteins with a surprisingly short lifespan that form gap junction channels. Connexins are now known to be multifaceted proteins at the core of many multiprotein complexes that link to structural junctional complexes and cytoskeletal elements, and also to the cellular machinery that facilitates their transport, assembly, function and internalization. Collectively, these connexin-binding proteins can be termed the 'gap junction proteome'. The mechanistic understanding of the gap junction proteome with regards to the dynamic life cycle of connexins has grown further in importance in light of the large number of human diseases attributed to connexin gene mutations and regulatory changes in connexin spatial localization and expression levels.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication / physiology*
  • Connexins / genetics
  • Connexins / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism
  • Gap Junctions / metabolism*
  • Gap Junctions / ultrastructure
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Growth Substances / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational / physiology
  • Protein Transport / physiology
  • Proteome / genetics
  • Proteome / metabolism*


  • Connexins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Growth Substances
  • Proteome