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Cell Commun Adhes. 2001;8(4-6):299-302.

Regulation of connexin43 expression by c-fos and c-jun in myometrial cells.

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  • 1Program in Development and Fetal Health, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Canada.


Labor is associated with a dramatic increase in the myometrial expression of connexin43 (Cx43) which is thought to mediate myocyte contractile coupling. The transcription factor c-fos is also dramatically increased prior to the onset of labor and is therefore a potential regulator of Cx43. The promoter region of Cx43 contains a conserved activator protein-1 (AP-1) site, which binds dimers of Fos and Jun proteins. We constructed expression vectors for c-Fos and c-Jun to investigate the role of these transcription factors in the regulation of Cx43 expression. These expression vectors were then co-transfected into SHM (syrian hamster myocyte) cells with a Cx43 promoter-Luciferase vector. The combinations of c-Fos and c-Jun proteins activated the Cx43 promoter while c-Jun alone had no effect on Cx43 promoter activity. Mutation of the AP-1 site was found to reduce this responsiveness. These data indicate that the transcription factors c-Fos and c-Jun are important in the regulation of Cx43 expression.

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