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The present review provides the state of the art of the current knowledge concerning gap junctional channels and their roles in liver functioning. In the first part, we summarize some relevant biochemical properties of hepatic gap junctional channels, including their structure and regulation. In the second part, we discuss the involvement of gap junctional channels in the occurrence of liver cell growth, liver cell differentiation, and liver cell death. We further exemplify their relevance in hepatic pathophysiology. Finally, a number of directions for future liver gap junctional channel research are proposed, and the up-regulation of gap junctional channel activity as a novel strategy in (liver) cancer therapy is illustrated.
|Status||Published - 5 feb 2008|