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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Mar 1; 88(5): 1883–1887.

Transfection of C6 glioma cells with connexin 43 cDNA: analysis of expression, intercellular coupling, and cell proliferation.


C6 glioma cells express low levels of the gap junction protein connexin 43 and its mRNA and display very weak dye coupling. When implanted into the rat cerebrum, these cells quickly give rise to a large glioma. To investigate the role of gap junctions in the tumor characteristics of these cells, we have used Lipofectin-mediated transfection to introduce a full-length cDNA encoding connexin 43. Several transfected clones were obtained that exhibited various amounts of connexin 43 mRNA transcribed from the inserted cDNA. Immunocytochemical analysis revealed an increase in the amount of connexin 43 immunoreactivity in the transfected cells, being localized at areas of intercellular contact as well as in the cytoplasm. The level of dye coupling was also assessed and found to correlate with the amount of connexin 43 mRNA. When cell proliferation was followed over several days, cells expressing the transfected cDNA grew more slowly than non-transfected cells. These transfected cells will be useful in examining the role of gap junctions in tumorigenesis.

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