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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Jul 18;307(1):80-5.

A novel function of connexin 32: marked enhancement of liver function in a hepatoma cell line.

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Division of Medical Devices, National Institute of Health Sciences, 1-18-1 Kamiyoga, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, 158-8501, Japan.


Connexin 32 (Cx32) is the main gap junction protein in hepatocytes and plays an important role in the regulation of signal transfer and growth control in the liver by constructing gap junction channels and gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC). In this study, the human Cx32 gene was transfected into a hepatoma cell line (HepG2) that showed aberrant expression of Cx32 and was deficient in GJIC. Cx32-transfected HepG2 not only expressed a higher level of Cx32 mRNA, but also showed increased GJIC compared with HepG2 and vector-transfected HepG2. Furthermore, the liver functions of ammonia removal and albumin secretion of HepG2 were markedly enhanced with Cx32 gene transfection. It may be expected to improve the cellular functions of the hepatoma cell line by Cx32 gene transfection and serve to develop an efficacious bioartificial liver.

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