Connexin mediated cell communication in the kidney, a potential therapeutic target for future intervention of diabetic kidney disease?

Price, Gareth, Potter, Joe, Williams, Bethany M., Cliff, Chelsy L., Squires, Paul and Hills, Claire (2020) Connexin mediated cell communication in the kidney, a potential therapeutic target for future intervention of diabetic kidney disease? Experimental Physiology, 105 (2). pp. 219-229. ISSN 0958-0670

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1113/EP087770

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Connexin-mediated cell communication in the kidney, a potential therapeutic target for future intervention of diabetic kidney disease?
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Abstract

The ability of cells to communicate and synchronise their activity is essential for the maintenance of tissue structure, integrity and function. A family of membrane-bound proteins called connexins are largely responsible for mediating the local transfer of information between cells. Assembled in the cell membrane as a hexameric connexon, they function either as a conduit for paracrine signalling, forming a trans-membrane hemi-channel or, if aligned with connexons on neighbouring cells, form a continuous aqueous pore, or gap junction, which allows for the direct transmission of metabolic and electrical signals. Regulation of connexin synthesis and activity is critical to cellular function and a number of diseases are attributed to changes in the expression and/or function of these important proteins. A link between hyperglycaemia, connexin expression, altered nucleotide concentrations and impaired function, highlights a potential role for connexin-mediated cell communication in complications of diabetes. In the diabetic kidney, glycaemic injury is the leading cause of end stage renal failure, reflecting multiple aetiologies including glomerular hyperfiltration, albuminuria, increased deposition of extracellular matrix, and tubulointerstitial fibrosis. Loss of connexin-mediated cell-to-cell communication in diabetic nephropathy may represent an early sign of disease progression, however, our understanding of the process remains severely limited. This review focusses on recent evidence demonstrating that glucose-evoked changes in connexin mediated cell communication and associated purinergic signalling, may contribute to the pathogenesis of kidney disease in diabetes, highlighting the tantalising potential of targeting these proteins as a novel therapeutic intervention.

Keywords:connexin, Cell Communication, hemichannels, Gap junctions, Diabetic nephropathy
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C130 Cell Biology
B Subjects allied to Medicine > B120 Physiology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:40068
Deposited On:13 Mar 2020 12:53

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