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Exp Cell Res. 1997 Aug 1;234(2):398-404.

Relationship of cytoskeletal filaments to annular gap junction expression in human adrenal cortical tumor cells in culture.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania 15261, USA.


In addition to the well-characterized surface gap junctions expressed at contact sites between cells, annular gap junction profiles have been localized within the cytoplasm of some cell populations. To study and characterize these annular profiles, gap junction protein type was demonstrated with Western blot and immunocytochemistry. The distribution of annular gap junctions and the relationships to cytoskeletal elements were demonstrated with immunocytochemical, transmission electron microscopic, or image analysis with confocal microscopy techniques. SW-13 adrenal cortical tumor cells expressed alpha1 gap junctions at areas of cell to cell contact. In addition, alpha1 gap junction annular profiles were seen within the cytoplasm. Actin and myosin II were found closely associated with these annular gap junctions, while no physical association between tubulin- or vimentin-containing fibers and gap junction protein could be established. Disruption of microfilaments with cytochalasin B treatment (10 microg/ml, 1 h) resulted in a decrease in the average number and an increase in the average size of annular gap junctions compared to control populations. The results are consistent with a role for cytoskeletal elements containing actin and myosin II in annular gap junction turnover.

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