2009 - The M34A mutant of Connexin26 reveals active conductance states in pore-suspending membranes
Port-a-Patch and Vesicle Prep Pro publication in Journal of Structural Biology (2009)
Gaßmann O., Kreir M., Ambrosi C., Pranskevich J., Oshima A, Röling C., Sosinsky G., Fertig N., Steinem C.
Journal of Structural Biology (2009) 168 (1):168-176
Connexin26 (Cx26) is a member of the connexin family, the building blocks for gap junction intercellular channels. These dodecameric assemblies are involved in gap junction-mediated cell–cell communication allowing the passage of ions and small molecules between two neighboring cells. Mutations in Cx26 lead to the disruption of gap junction-mediated intercellular communication with consequences such as hearing loss and skin disorders. We show here that a mutant of Cx26, M34A, forms an active hemichannel in lipid bilayer experiments. A comparison with the Cx26 wild-type is presented. Two different techniques using micro/nano-structured substrates for the formation of pore-suspending lipid membranes are used. We reconstituted the Cx26 wild-type and Cx26M34A into artificial lipid bilayers and observed single channel activity for each technique, with conductance levels of around 35, 70 and 165 pS for the wild-type. The conductance levels of Cx26M34A were found at around 45 and 70 pS.