Cell-to-cell communication triggered by connexin channels plays a central role in maintaining epidermal homeostasis. Here, we discuss the role of the beta connexin subgroup, where site-specific mutations in at least 4 of these proteins lead to distinctive non-inflammatory and inflammatory hyperproliferative epidermal disorders. Recent advances in the molecular pathways evoked and correlation with clinical outcome are discussed. The latest data provide increasing evidence that connexins in the epidermis are sensors to environmental stress and that targeting aberrant hemichannel activity holds significant therapeutic potential for inflammatory skin disorders.
- gap junction