Journal Article

Reduction of malignant phenotype of HEPG2 cell is associated with the expression of connexin 26 but not connexin 32

Tomohiro Yano, Francisco-Javier Hernandez-Blazquez, Yasufumi Omori and Hiroshi Yamasaki

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 22, issue 10, pages 1593-1600
Published in print October 2001 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online October 2001 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Reduction of malignant phenotype of HEPG2 cell is associated with the expression of connexin 26 but not connexin 32

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  • Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics


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Connexin (Cx) genes have a negative growth effect on tumour cells with certain specificity. However, it is not clear whether each Cx gene can act similarly in growth control. Hepatocytes normally express Cx26 and Cx32 as their major gap junction genes, but HepG2 cells, a hepatoma cell line, are deficient in gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) based on the down-regulation of Cx26 and aberrant localization of Cx32. In this study, we showed that some of the expressed Cx26 protein in HepG2 cells localized in the plasma membrane and contributed to recovery of GJIC, while the Cx32 protein remained localized in the cytoplasm. The Cx26-transfected clones showed a significantly slower growth in vivo as well as in vitro and reduced anchorage-independent growth ability compared with a mock-transfected clone. Cx26-transfected cells had more regular cell layers due to the re-establishment of the E-cadherin cell adhesion complex. E-cadherin expression following Cx26 transfection was induced. Cx26 expression simultaneously brought E-cadherin and β-catenin proteins into the plasma membrane without any change in the expression level of β-catenin protein. These results suggest that the expression of Cx26 contributes to negative growth control of HepG2 cells and the morphological change through the induction of E-cadherin and subsequent formation of cell adhesion complex.

Keywords: AS-ODN, antisense phosphorothioate oligodeoxynucleotide; Cx, connexin; DMEM, Dulbecco's modified Eagle medium; GJ, gap junction; GJIC, gap junctional intercellular communication; HCC, human hepatocellular carcinoma; RT–PCR, reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction; S-ODN, sense phosphorothioate oligodeoxynucleotide.

Journal Article.  6537 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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