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Cell Commun Adhes. 2008 May;15(1):133-42. doi: 10.1080/15419060802014115.

Diverse subcellular distribution profiles of pannexin 1 and pannexin 3.

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


Pannexins have been proposed to play a role in gap junctional intercellular communication and as single-membrane channels, although many of their molecular characteristics differ from connexins. Localization of untagged Panx1 and Panx3 exogenously expressed in five cultured cell lines revealed a cell surface distribution profile with limited evidence of cell surface clustering and variable levels of intracellular pools. However, N-glycosylation-defective mutants of pannexins exhibited a more prominent intracellular distribution with decreased cell surface labeling, suggesting an important role for pannexin glycosylation in trafficking. Similar to wild-type pannexins, the glycosylation-defective mutants failed to noticeably transfer microinjected fluorescent dyes to neighboring cells, suggesting that few, or no functional intercellular channels were formed. Finally, varied distribution patterns of endogenous Panx1 and Panx3 were observed in cells of osteoblast origin and Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. Collectively, diverse expression and distribution profiles of Panx1 and Panx3 suggest that they may have multiple cellular functions.

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