Journal Article

Changes in the expression of gap junction proteins (connexins) in hamster tongue epithelium during wound healing and carcinogenesis.

M Saitoh, M Oyamada, Y Oyamada, T Kaku and M Mori

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 18, issue 7, pages 1319-1328
Published in print July 1997 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online July 1997 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/18.7.1319
Changes in the expression of gap junction proteins (connexins) in hamster tongue epithelium during wound healing and carcinogenesis.

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We examined changes in the expression and localization of connexin proteins and transcripts by means of immunofluorescence and in situ hybridization in normal conditions, wound healing and carcinogenesis using hamster tongue epithelium, in which differentiation, migration and growth of keratinocytes takes place physiologically and pathologically. In normal hamster tongue epithelium, immunofluorescent staining showed that Cx26 and Cx43 proteins were localized differently during differentiation of keratinocytes, but in in situ hybridization, the localization of Cx26 and Cx43 transcripts overlapped considerably, suggesting that the different localization of Cx26 and Cx43 proteins in squamous epithelium is largely regulated at post-transcriptional levels. During wound healing, the expression and localization of connexin proteins and transcripts were changed drastically. Shortly (6 h) after injury the expression of Cx26 and Cx43 proteins decreased at wound edges, but by 1-3 days after injury the expression of both proteins increased and both proteins co-localized to the same spots in the epithelium near wound edges. During carcinogenesis, the increased expression of Cx26 and Cx43 proteins and their transcripts and co-localization of both proteins occurred in papillomas, and the expression of Cx26 was reduced as cancer cells became morphologically less differentiated. We also found, that during wound healing in papillomas, squamous cell carcinomas and keratinocytes, Cx26 and Cx43 proteins were localized aberrantly in the cytoplasm, especially around nuclei, rather than on plasma membranes. These results indicate that quantitative and qualitative changes in connexin expression are associated with differentiation, migration and proliferation of keratinocytes in squamous epithelium.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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