Multiple connexins colocalize in canine ventricular myocyte gap junctions.
We have recently shown that adult canine ventricular myocytes express three distinct gap junction channel proteins, connexin40 (Cx40), connexin43 (Cx43), and connexin45 (Cx45). These proteins have unique cytoplasmic domains that likely confer connexin-specific physiological properties. To determine whether the three distinct channel proteins are distributed in identical or different populations of gap junctions, we performed double-label immunofluorescence on disaggregated canine ventricular myocytes incubated simultaneously with a mouse monoclonal anti-Cx43 and affinity-purified polyclonal rabbit antibodies against Cx40 or Cx45. Analysis of double-labeled cardiac myocytes using laser scanning confocal microscopy revealed virtually identical patterns of immunoreactivity for both the Cx43/Cx40 and Cx43/Cx45 pairs. Double-label immunoelectron microscopy confirmed that ultrastructurally identified cardiac myocyte gap junctions contain multiple channel proteins. Thus, three channel proteins colocalize in canine cardiac myocyte gap junctions. The presence of multiple functionally distinct connexins suggests complex possibilities regarding the composition of individual channels and the regulation of intercellular coupling.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association