Journal Article

Increased susceptibility to urethane-induced lung tumors in mice with decreased expression of connexin43

José Luis Avanzo, Marc Mesnil, Francisco Javier Hernandez-Blazquez, Ivone Isabel Mackowiak, Claudia Madalena Cabrera Mori, Tereza Cristina da Silva, Sílvia Catarina Salgado Oloris, Ana Paula Gárate, Silvia Maria Gomes Massironi, Hiroshi Yamasaki and Maria Lúcia Zaidan Dagli

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 25, issue 10, pages 1973-1982
Published in print October 2004 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online October 2004 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Increased susceptibility to urethane-induced lung tumors in mice with decreased expression of connexin43

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  • Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics


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Gap junction intercellular communication capacity and connexin expression are reportedly decreased in human lung cancer. The mechanisms by which connexins, the gap junction proteins, act as tumor suppressors are unclear. In order to understand the involvement of connexins in tumorigenesis, we analyzed the effect of the heterologous deletion of Gja1 [the connexin43 (Cx43) gene] on the development of lung adenomas in mice. Heterozygous (Cx43+/−) and wild-type mice (Cx43+/+) were treated or not with single doses of urethane at 15 and 17 days after birth. Twenty-five weeks later, both the number and size of nodules were increased in Cx43+/− mice as compared with Cx43+/+ mice. Moreover, the lesions were histologically more aggressive in the heterozygous mice. However, no increase in spontaneous lesions was observed in the lungs of untreated Cx43+/− mice. Heterozygous mice effectively presented lower expression of Cx43 genes and decreased amounts of Cx43. In conclusion, our results indicate that deletion of one allele of the Cx43 gene clearly favors the carcinogenic effect of urethane administration and results in a higher susceptibility to lung adenoma formation in mice.

Keywords: Cx32KO, Cx32 knockout; Cx43, connexin43; DTT, dithiothreitol; GJIC, gap junction intercellular communication; PCNA, proliferating cell nuclear antigen

Journal Article.  6149 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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