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Eur J Neurosci. 2005 Jul;22(2):404-18.

Expression of zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) and the transcription factor ZO-1-associated nucleic acid-binding protein (ZONAB)-MsY3 in glial cells and colocalization at oligodendrocyte and astrocyte gap junctions in mouse brain.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, 730 William Ave, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 3J7, Canada.


The PDZ domain-containing protein zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) interacts with several members of the connexin (Cx) family of gap junction-forming proteins and has been localized to gap junctions, including those containing Cx47 in oligodendrocytes. We now provide evidence for ZO-1 expression in astrocytes in vivo and association with astrocytic connexins by confocal immunofluorescence demonstration of ZO-1 colocalization with astrocytic Cx30 and Cx43, and by ZO-1 coimmunoprecipitation with Cx30 and Cx43. Evidence for direct interaction of Cx30 with ZO-1 was obtained by pull-down assays that indicated binding of Cx30 to the second of the three PDZ domains in ZO-1. Further, we investigated mouse Y-box transcription factor MsY3, the canine ortholog of which has been termed ZO-1-associated nucleic acid-binding protein (ZONAB) and previously reported to interact with ZO-1. By immunofluorescence using specific antimouse ZONAB antibody, ZONAB was found to be associated with oligodendrocytes throughout mouse brain and spinal cord, and to be colocalized with oligodendrocytic Cx47 and Cx32 as well as with astrocytic Cx43. Our results extend the CNS cell types that express the multifunctional protein ZO-1, demonstrate an additional connexin (Cx30) that directly interacts with ZO-1, and show for the first time the association of a transcription factor (ZONAB) with ZO-1 localized to oligodendrocyte and astrocyte gap junctions. Given previous observations that ZONAB and ZO-1 in combination regulate gene expression, our results suggest roles of glial gap junction-mediated anchoring of signalling molecules in a wide variety of glial homeostatic processes.

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