Author(s): Xu X, Berthoud VM, Beyer EC, Ebihara L
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Abstract Gap junction channels formed by connexin 50 (Cx50) are critical for maintenance of lens transparency. Because the C-terminus of Cx50 can be cleaved post-translationally, we hypothesized that channels formed by the truncated Cx50 exhibit altered properties or regulation. We used the dual whole-cell patch-clamp technique to investigate the macroscopic and single-channel properties of gap junctional channels formed by wild-type human Cx50 and a truncation mutant (Cx50A294stop) after transfection of N2A cells. Our results show that wild-type Cx50 formed functional gap junctional channels. The macroscopic Gjss-Vj relationship was well described by a Boltzmann equation with A of 0.10, V0 of 43.8 mV and Gjmin of 0.23. The single-channel conductance was 212 +/- 5 pS. Multiple long-lasting substates were observed with conductances ranging between 31 and 80 pS. Wild-type Cx50 gap junctional channels were reversibly blocked when pHi was reduced to 6.3. Truncating the C-terminus at amino acid 294 caused a loss of pHi sensitivity, but there were no significant changes in single-channel current amplitude or Gjss-Vj relationship. These results suggest that the C-terminus of human Cx50 is involved in pHi sensitivity, but has little influence over single-channel conductance, voltage dependence, or gating kinetics.
This article was published in J Membr Biol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology