The mammalian pannexin family is homologous to the invertebrate innexin gap junction proteins

Ancha Baranova, Dmitry Ivanov, Nadezda Petrash, Anya Pestova, Mikhail Skoblov, Ilya Kelmanson, Dmitry Shagin, Svetlana Nazarenko, Elena Geraymovych, Oxana Litvin, Anya Tiunova, Timothy L. Born, Natalia Usman, Dmitry Staroverov, Sergey Lukyanov, Yury Panchin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

363 Scopus citations


We have cloned the genes PANX1, PANX2 and PANX3, encoding putative gap junction proteins homologous to invertebrate innexins, which constitute a new family of mammalian proteins called pannexins. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that pannexins are highly conserved in worms, mollusks, insects and mammals, pointing to their important function. Both innexins and pannexins are predicted to have four transmembrane regions, two extracellular loops, one intracellular loop and intracellular N and C termini. Both the human and mouse genomes contain three pannexin-encoding genes. Mammalian pannexins PANX1 and PANX3 are closely related, with PANX2 more distant. The human and mouse pannexin-1 mRNAs are ubiquitously, although disproportionately, expressed in normal tissues. Human PANX2 is a brain-specific gene; its mouse orthologue, Panx2, is also expressed in certain cell types in developing brain. In silico evaluation of Panx3 expression predicts gene expression in osteoblasts and synovial fibroblasts. The apparent conservation of pannexins between species merits further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)706-716
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain-specific gene
  • Gap junction proteins
  • Innexins
  • Pannexin family
  • PANX1
  • PANX2
  • PANX3
  • Synovial cell-specific gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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