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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2009 Apr;46(4):553-9. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2008.12.007. Epub 2008 Dec 29.

Human connexin31.9, unlike its orthologous protein connexin30.2 in the mouse, is not detectable in the human cardiac conduction system.

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Institute of Genetics, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.


In the human heart connexin(Cx)40, Cx43 and Cx45-containing gap junctional channels electrically couple cardiomyocytes, forming a functional syncytium. In the mouse heart, additionally, Cx30.2-containing gap junctions have been detected in the atrioventricular node where they are implicated, together with Cx45, in impulse delay. However, whether the human ortholog of Cx30.2, Cx31.9, is expressed in the human heart has not previously been investigated. We therefore generated Cx31.9 specific antibodies to test for the expression of Cx31.9 in the human heart. These antibodies recognized the Cx31.9 protein in HeLaCx31.9 transfectants by immunofluorescence and immunoblot analyses. However, we did not find punctate Cx31.9 specific immunofluorescence signals in the working myocardium or in the impulse generation and conduction system of adult or fetal human heart. Complementary immunoblot analyses did not reveal Cx31.9 protein in the adult atrial or ventricular myocardium. We conclude that the Cx31.9 protein, unlike its counterpart in the mouse, is not expressed in detectable quantities and is thus unlikely to contribute to the impulse generation and conduction system or the working myocardium of the human heart.

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