Overexpression of connexin26 in the basal keratinocytes reduces sensitivity to tumor promoter TPA

Xiao Wang, Angel Ramirez, Irina Budunova*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Connexin 26 is important in keratinocyte proliferation, differentiation and skin pathologies. Cx26 is barely expressed in normal adult epidermis, but its expression is induced during wound healing, psoriasis, and skin hyperplasia stimulated by tumor promoters. In hyperplastic proliferating epidermis, Cx26 is co-expressed with Cx43 typical for basal and suprabasal keratinocytes. As Cx26 and Cx43 can not form permeable gap junctions, their co-expression may alter the gap junctional communication between keratinocytes and induce proliferation. To test the effect of persistent co-expression of Cx26 and Cx43 in epidermis, we generated transgenic mice using keratin5 promoter to target Cx26 to basal Cx43-positive keratinocytes. We evaluated the effect of ectopic Cx26 on keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation in normal and 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-treated skin. The ectopic Cx26 expression in epidermis did not significantly affect skin development, keratinocyte differentiation and proliferation in newborn and adult skin. Unexpectedly, the proliferative effect of tumor promoter TPA was strongly decreased in epidermis of K5.Cx26 transgenics. This correlated with significant down-regulation of TPA-induced activity of protein kinase C (PKC) in K5.Cx26 mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-640
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Connexin26
  • Keratinocyte
  • Proliferation
  • Protein kinase C
  • TPA
  • Transgenic mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry


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