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Cell Commun Adhes. 2003 Jul-Dec;10(4-6):187-91.

Projection structure of full length connexin 43 by electron cryo-crystallography.

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Department of Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


We previously used electron cryo-crystallography to determine the three-dimensional structure of recombinant gap junction channels formed by a C-terminal truncation mutant of Cx43 (11). The dodecameric channel is formed by the end-to-end docking of two hexameric connexons, each comprised of 24 transmembrane alpha-helices. We have now generated two-dimensional crystals of the recombinant, full-length channel, as well as crystals in which the C-tail has been completely removed by trypsin digestion. Projection density maps at 7.5 A resolution closely resemble our previous analysis of the C-terminal truncation mutant (9). A difference map between the full length and trypsin-treated channels suggests that there are small but significant shifts in protein density upon removal of the C-tail.

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