A PROPOSED COMPARTMENTALIZATION ROLE FOR THE GAP JUNCTION PROTEIN CX43 DURING EPITHELIAL MORPHOGENESIS
M. Alfayez and A. Aldahmash
Stem Cell Unit, Anatomy Department, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh.
Communications through gap junctions have been shown to be very important for keratinocyte growth and differentiation, as it was demonstrated that the state of differentiation of human keratinocytes has a strong correlation with the expression of various types of connexins including Connexin 43 (Cx43), which is the most widely-expressed. It was also suggested that some types of connexions might be proliferation-specific for keratinocytes.Here, we studied the expression pattern of 2 of the major types of connexions, Cx43 and 26, during embryonic development of the mouse mammary gland. This was followed by the examination of the developmental stages of the mammary gland in Cx43 knockout mice. The results suggest a clear role for Cx43 in the mammary gland embryonic during development as well as compartmentalization.