Connexin-43 mediated communication in cancer gene therapy
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Cancer cells are known to lack regulation of cell proliferation due to the aberrant behavior of a myriad of signaling pathways. It is a disease of “abnormal homeostasis” mediated by defects in intra-, extra-, and intercellular forms of communications. Intercellular communication between cells is achieved with the help of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC). GJIC plays a crucial role in maintaining cell-cell homeostasis by keeping growth control signals at equilibrium among GJIC connected cells. The majority of neoplastic cells have less number of gap junctions, smaller in size, express less connexin (Cx), and have reduced GJIC as compared to normal cells. A Gap junction (GJ) channel consists of two juxtaposed Cx hexamers. Connexin-43 (Cx43), a tumor-suppressor gene, is one of the most abundant Cx proteins and ubiquitous in many tissues. A plethora of studies demonstrates the role of Cx43 in regulating tissue homeostasis through channel dependent as well as independent manner.
Supervisor: Siddhartha Sankar Ghosh
BIOSCIENCES AND BIOENGINEERING