Degradation of connexins from the plasma membrane is regulated by inhibitors of protein synthesis

Judy K. Vanslyke, Linda S. Musil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Little is known about the mechanism and regulation of connexin turnover from the plasma membrane. We have used a combination of cell surface biotinylation, immunofluorescence microscopy, and scrape-load dye transfer assays to investigate the effect of the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide on connexin43 and connexin32 after their transport to the plasmalemma. The results obtained demonstrate that cycloheximide inhibits the turnover of connexins from the surface of both gap junction assembly-deficient and -efficient cells. Moreover, cell surface connexin saved from destruction by cycloheximide can assemble into long-lived, functional gap, junctional plaques. These findings support the concept that downregulation of connexin degradation from the plasma membrane can serve as a mechanism to enhance gap junction-mediated intercellular communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-333
Number of pages5
JournalCell Communication and Adhesion
Issue number4-6
StatePublished - 2003


  • Connexins
  • Cycloheximide
  • Degradation
  • Gap junctions
  • Plasma membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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