Connexins and pannexins: important players in tumorigenesis, metastasis and potential therapeutics

Graham, S. V. , Jiang, J. X. and Mesnil, M. (2018) Connexins and pannexins: important players in tumorigenesis, metastasis and potential therapeutics. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19(6), 1645. (doi: 10.3390/ijms19061645) (PMID:29865195)

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Since their characterization more than five decades ago, gap junctions and their structural proteins—the connexins—have been associated with cancer cell growth. During that period, the accumulation of data and molecular knowledge about this association revealed an apparent contradictory relationship between them and cancer. It appeared that if gap junctions or connexins can down regulate cancer cell growth they can be also implied in the migration, invasion and metastatic dissemination of cancer cells. Interestingly, in all these situations, connexins seem to be involved through various mechanisms in which they can act either as gap-junctional intercellular communication mediators, modulators of signalling pathways through their interactome, or as hemichannels, which mediate autocrine/paracrine communication. This complex involvement of connexins in cancer progression is even more complicated by the fact that their hemichannel function may overlap with other gap junction-related proteins, the pannexins. Despite this complexity, the possible involvements of connexins and pannexins in cancer progression and the elucidation of the mechanisms they control may lead to use them as new targets to control cancer progression. In this review, the involvements of connexins and pannexins in these different topics (cancer cell growth, invasion/metastasis process, possible cancer therapeutic targets) are discussed.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:J.X.J. was supported by US National Institutes of Health grant CA196214, US Department of Defence (DoD) grant BC161273 andWelch Foundation grant AQ-1507; M.M. was supported by Ligue contre le Cancer (Comités de la Charente, Charente-Maritime, Deux-Sèvres, Morbihan et Vienne); S.V.G. was supported by Worldwide Cancer Research grant 08-0159 and acknowledges funding from the Medical Research Council as core funding for the MRC University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Graham, Professor Sheila
Authors: Graham, S. V., Jiang, J. X., and Mesnil, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity > Centre for Virus Research
Journal Name:International Journal of Molecular Sciences
ISSN (Online):1422-0067
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences 19(6):1645
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
438191The role of the hD1g, ZO-1 and hScrib tumour suppressors in control of Cx43 gap junctional intercellular communication in HPV-associated tumourigenesis.Sheila GrahamWorldwide Cancer Research (WWCANRES)08-0159MVLS III - CENTRE FOR VIRUS RESEARCH