Many cell signalling pathways are driven by changes in cytosolic calcium. We studied the effects of a range of inhibitors of connexin channels on calcium signalling in cardiac cells and HeLa cells expressing connexins. Gap 26 and 27, peptides that mimic short sequences in each of the extracellular loops of connexin 43, and anti-peptide antibodies generated to extracellular loop sequences of connexins, inhibited calcium oscillations in neonatal cardiac myocytes, as well as calcium transients induced by ATP in HL-1 cells originating from cardiac atrium and HeLa cells expressing connexin 43 or 26. Comparison of single with confluent cells showed that intracellular calcium responses were suppressed by interaction of connexin mimetic peptides and antibodies with hemichannels present on unapposed regions of the plasma membrane.
- gap junctions
- cell signalling