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The Role of Connexins in Wound Healing and Repair: Novel Therapeutic Approaches

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Wong, P 
Tan, T 
Chan, C 
Laxton, V 
Chan, YWF 


Gap junctions are intercellular proteins responsible for mediating both electrical and biochemical coupling through the exchange of ions, second messengers and small metabolites. They consist of two connexons, with (one) connexon supplied by each cell. A connexon is a hexamer of connexins and currently more than 20 connexin isoforms have been described in the literature thus far. Connexins have a short half-life, and therefore gap junction remodeling constantly occurs with a high turnover rate. Post-translational modification, such as phosphorylation, can modify their channel activities. In this article, the roles of connexins in wound healing and repair are reviewed. Novel strategies for modulating the function or expression of connexins, such as the use of antisense technology, synthetic mimetic peptides and bioactive materials for the treatment of skin wounds, diabetic and pressure ulcers as well as cornea wounds, are considered.



antisense oligodeoxynucleotides, connexin mimetic peptides, connexins, gap junction modulators, gap junctions, wound healing, wound repair

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Frontiers in Physiology

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GT received a BBSRC Doctoral Training Award at the University of Cambridge and thanks The Croucher Foundation for supporting his clinical assistant professorship. YC is supported by the ESRC for her research at the University of Cambridge.