Mutations of CX46/CX50 and Cataract Development

Yumeng Shi, Xinbo Li, Jin Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Cataract is a common disease in the aging population. Gap junction has been considered a central component in maintaining homeostasis for preventing cataract formation. Gap junction channels consist of connexin proteins with more than 20 members. Three genes including GJA1, GJA3, and GJA8, that encode protein Cx43 (connexin43), Cx46 (connexin46), and Cx50 (connexin50), respectively, have been identified in human and rodent lens. Cx46 together with Cx50 have been detected in lens fiber cells with high expression, whereas Cx43 is mainly expressed in lens epithelial cells. Disrupted expression of the two connexin proteins Cx46 and Cx50 is directly related to the development of severe cataract in human and mice. In this review article, we describe the main role of Cx46 and Cx50 connexin proteins in the lens and the relationship between mutations of Cx46 or Cx50 and hereditary cataracts. Furthermore, the latest progress in the fundamental research of lens connexin and the mechanism of cataract formation caused by lens connexin dysfunction are summarized. Overall, targeting connexin could be a novel approach for the treatment of cataract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number842399
JournalFrontiers in Molecular Biosciences
StatePublished - Feb 11 2022


  • Cx46
  • Cx50
  • cataract
  • gap junction
  • lens microcirculation
  • oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)


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