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Cancer Cell death Cell cycle Cytoskeleton Exo/endocytosis Differentiation Division Organelles Signalling Stem cells Trafficking
Cell Biology International (2003) 27, 525–541 (Printed in Great Britain)
Dynamic changes in connexin expression correlate with key events in the wound healing process
Petula Coutinho, Cindy Qiu, Stefanie Frank, Kamaldeep Tamber and David Becker*
Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University College London, Rockefeller Building, University Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK


Wound healing is a complex process requiring communication for the precise co-ordination of different cell types. The role of extracellular communication through growth factors in the wound healing process has been extensively documented, but the role of direct intercellular communication via gap junctions has scarcely been investigated. We have examined the dynamics of gap junction protein (Connexins 26, 30, 31.1 and 43) expression in the murine epidermis and dermis during wound healing, and we show that connexin expression is extremely plastic between 6 hours and 12 days post-wounding. The immediate response (6 h) to wounding is to downregulate all connexins in the epidermis, but thereafter the expression profile of each connexin changes dramatically. Here, we correlate the changing patterns of connexin expression with key events in the wound healing process.

Key words: Wound healing, Connexin, Gap junctions, Epidermis, Dermis, Skin, Communication.

*Corresponding author. Tel.: +44-0207-679-6610; fax: +44-0207-679-7045

Received 11 November 2002/7 February 2003; accepted 11 March 2003


ISSN Print: 1065-6995
ISSN Electronic: 1095-8355
Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the International Federation for Cell Biology (IFCB)