Article: article from journal or magazin.
Review (review): journal as complete as possible of one specific subject, written based on exhaustive analyses from published work.
Connexins: key mediators of endocrine function.
The appearance of multicellular organisms imposed the development of several mechanisms for cell-to-cell communication, whereby different types of cells coordinate their function. Some of these mechanisms depend on the intercellular diffusion of signal molecules in the extracellular spaces, whereas others require cell-to-cell contact. Among the latter mechanisms, those provided by the proteins of the connexin family are widespread in most tissues. Connexin signaling is achieved via direct exchanges of cytosolic molecules between adjacent cells at gap junctions, for cell-to-cell coupling, and possibly also involves the formation of membrane "hemi-channels," for the extracellular release of cytosolic signals, direct interactions between connexins and other cell proteins, and coordinated influence on the expression of multiple genes. Connexin signaling appears to be an obligatory attribute of all multicellular exocrine and endocrine glands. Specifically, the experimental evidence we review here points to a direct participation of the Cx36 isoform in the function of the insulin-producing β-cells of the endocrine pancreas, and of the Cx40 isoform in the function of the renin-producing juxtaglomerular epithelioid cells of the kidney cortex.
Animals, Cell Communication/physiology, Connexins/physiology, Endocrine System/cytology, Endocrine System/physiology, Humans, Insulin-Secreting Cells/physiology, Juxtaglomerular Apparatus/physiology
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