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Connexins and Pannexins C

Unless otherwise stated all data on this page refer to the human proteins. Gene information is provided for human (Hs), mouse (Mm) and rat (Rn).


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Gap junctions are essential for many physiological processes including cardiac and smooth muscle contraction, regulation of neuronal excitability and epithelial electrolyte transport [3-5]. Gap junction channels allow the passive diffusion of molecules of up to 1,000 Daltons which can include nutrients, metabolites and second messengers (such as IP3) as well as cations and anions. 21 connexin genes and 3 pannexin genes which are structurally related to the invertebrate innexin genes, code for gap junction proteins in humans. Each connexin gap junction comprises 2 hemichannels or 'connexons' which are themselves formed from 6 connexin molecules. The various connexins have been observed to combine into both homomeric and heteromeric combinations, each of which may exhibit different functional properties. It is also suggested that individual hemichannels formed by a number of different connexins might be functional in at least some cells [6]. Connexins have a common topology, with four α-helical transmembrane domains, two extracellular loops, a cytoplasmic loop, and N- and C-termini located on the cytoplasmic membrane face. In mice, the most abundant connexins in electrical synapses in the brain seem to be Cx36, Cx45 and Cx57 [10]. Mutations in connexin genes are associated with the occurrence of a number of pathologies, such as peripheral neuropathies, cardiovascular diseases and hereditary deafness. The pannexin genes Px1 and Px2 are widely expressed in the mammalian brain [11]. Like the connexins, at least some of the pannexins can form hemichannels [3,8].

Channels and Subunits

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Targets of relevance to immunopharmacology are highlighted in blue

Cx23 C Show summary »

Cx25 C Show summary »

Cx26 C Show summary »

Cx30 C Show summary »

Cx30.2 C Show summary »

Cx30.3 C Show summary »

Cx31 C Show summary »

Cx31.1 C Show summary »

Cx31.9 C Show summary »

Cx32 C Show summary »

Cx36 C Show summary »

Cx37 C Show summary »

Cx40 C Show summary »

Cx40.1 C Show summary »

Cx43 C Show summary »

Cx45 C Show summary »

Cx46 C Show summary »

Cx47 C Show summary »

Cx50 C Show summary »

Cx59 C Show summary »

Cx62 C Show summary »

Px1 C Show summary »

Px2 C Show summary »

Px3 C Show summary »


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Further reading

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How to cite this family page

Database page citation:

Connexins and Pannexins. Accessed on 25/07/2024. IUPHAR/BPS Guide to PHARMACOLOGY,

Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY citation:

Alexander SPH, Mathie AA, Peters JA, Veale EL, Striessnig J, Kelly E, Armstrong JF, Faccenda E, Harding SD, Davies JA et al. (2023) The Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY 2023/24: Ion channels. Br J Pharmacol. 180 Suppl 2:S145-S222.