Gap junction-mimetic peptides do work, but in unexpected ways

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38 Scopus citations


Gap junction mimetic peptides containing sequences of the extracellular loops of connexins inhibit the de-novo formation of gap junction channels but do not impair the function of existing cell-cell channels. Recently, a flurry of publications appeared showing that such "GAP" peptides attenuate ATP release and/or surrogate measures of it. Although no direct effect on putative connexin "hemichannels" has ever been shown, the peptide effect has been used as diagnostic tool for demonstrating the existence of such channels. However, testing of the peptides on genuine unapposed membrane channels formed by connexins failed to reveal any inhibitory action of the peptides on channel activity. Instead, membrane channels formed by the unrelated pannexin1 were inhibited in the same concentration range as described for the release of ATP. Consequently, rather than indicating connexin involvement in ATP release, the GAP peptide effects represent supporting evidence for a role of pannexin1 in this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-264
Number of pages6
JournalCell Communication and Adhesion
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • ATP release
  • Calcium wave
  • Connexin
  • Gap junction
  • Mimetic peptide
  • Pannexin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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