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Cell Commun Adhes. 2005 Jul-Dec;12(5-6):279-92.

Functional characterization of oculodentodigital dysplasia-associated Cx43 mutants.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.


Oculodentodigital dysplasia (ODDD) is associated with at least 28 connexin43 (Cx43) mutations. We characterized four of these mutants; Q49K, L90V, R202H, and V216L. Populations of these GFP-tagged mutants were transported to the cell surface in Cx43-negative HeLa cells and Cx43-positive NRK cells. Dual patch-clamp functional analysis in N2A cells demonstrated that channels formed by each mutant have dramatically reduced conductance. Dye-coupling analysis revealed that each mutant exhibits a dominant-negative effect on wild-type Cx43. Since ODDD patients display skeletal abnormalities, we examined the effect of three other Cx43 mutants previously shown to exert dominant-negative effects on wild-type Cx43 (G21R, G138R, and G60S) in neonatal calvarial osteoblasts. Differentiation was unaltered by expression of these mutants as alkaline phosphatase activity and extent of culture mineralization were unchanged. This suggests that loss-of-function Cx43 mutants are insufficient to deter committed osteoblasts from their normal function in vitro. Thus, we hypothesize that the bone phenotype of ODDD patients may result from disrupted gap junctional intercellular communication earlier in development or during bone remodeling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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