Pannexin channels in ATP release and beyond: an unexpected rendez-vous at the endoplasmic reticulum

Catheleyne D'hondt, Raf Ponsaerts, Humbert De Smedt, Mathieu Vinken, Elke De Vuyst, Marijke De Bock, Nan Wang, Vera Rogiers, L. Leybaert, B. Himpens, Geert Bultynck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The pannexin (Panx) family, which is coexpressed with connexins (Cxs) in vertebrates, was found to be a new GJ-forming protein family related to invertebrate innexins. During the past ten years, different studies showed that Panxs mainly form hemichannels in the plasmamembrane and mediate paracrine signalling by providing a flux pathway for ions such as Ca2+ , for ATP and perhaps other compunds, in response to physiological and pathological stimuli. Although different studies questioned the physiological role of Panxs as a hemichannel, it is clear that Panx play a role in long-range Ca2+-wave propagation, vasodilatation, initiation of inflammatory responses, ischemic death of neurons, epilepsy and in tumor suppression. Moreover, it is intruiging that Panxs may also function as intracellular Ca2+-leak channel and may be involved in ER-related functions.. Although the physiological significance and meaning of such Panx-regulated intracellular Ca2+-leak remain largely unexplored, this functional property puts Panxs at the centre of many physiological and pathophysiological processes, given the fundamental role of intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis and dynamics in a plethora of physiological processes. In this review we therefore want to focus on Panx channels as release channels with a particular emphasis on its role as an intracellular Ca2+-leak channel.
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)305-316
Number of pages12
JournalCellular Signalling
Volume23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011

Keywords

  • Pannexin
  • Hemichannels
  • Gap junctions
  • Intercellular communication
  • Calcium wave

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