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J Cell Biol. 2007 Jun 4;177(5):881-91. Epub 2007 May 29.

Regulation of connexin43 gap junctional communication by phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate.

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Division of Cellular Biochemistry, Centre for Biomedical Genetics, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, 1066 CX Amsterdam, Netherlands.


Cell-cell communication through connexin43 (Cx43)-based gap junction channels is rapidly inhibited upon activation of various G protein-coupled receptors; however, the mechanism is unknown. We show that Cx43-based cell-cell communication is inhibited by depletion of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PtdIns[4,5]P(2)) from the plasma membrane. Knockdown of phospholipase Cbeta3 (PLCbeta3) inhibits PtdIns(4,5)P(2) hydrolysis and keeps Cx43 channels open after receptor activation. Using a translocatable 5-phosphatase, we show that PtdIns(4,5)P(2) depletion is sufficient to close Cx43 channels. When PtdIns(4,5)P(2) is overproduced by PtdIns(4)P 5-kinase, Cx43 channel closure is impaired. We find that the Cx43 binding partner zona occludens 1 (ZO-1) interacts with PLCbeta3 via its third PDZ domain. ZO-1 is essential for PtdIns(4,5)P(2)-hydrolyzing receptors to inhibit cell-cell communication, but not for receptor-PLC coupling. Our results show that PtdIns(4,5)P(2) is a key regulator of Cx43 channel function, with no role for other second messengers, and suggest that ZO-1 assembles PLCbeta3 and Cx43 into a signaling complex to allow regulation of cell-cell communication by localized changes in PtdIns(4,5)P(2).

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