Connexins in Cancer, the Possible Role of Connexin46 as a Cancer Stem Cell-Determining Protein

Leon-Fuentes, Isidora M.; Salgado-Gil, Maria G.; Novoa, Maria S.; Retamal, Mauricio A.


Cancer is a widespread and incurable disease caused by genetic mutations, leading to uncontrolled cell proliferation and metastasis. Connexins (Cx) are transmembrane proteins that facilitate intercellular communication via hemichannels and gap junction channels. Among them, Cx46 is found mostly in the eye lens. However, in pathological conditions, Cx46 has been observed in various types of cancers, such as glioblastoma, melanoma, and breast cancer. It has been demonstrated that elevated Cx46 levels in breast cancer contribute to cellular resistance to hypoxia, and it is an enhancer of cancer aggressiveness supporting a pro-tumoral role. Accordingly, Cx46 is associated with an increase in cancer stem cell phenotype. These cells display radio- and chemoresistance, high proliferative abilities, self-renewal, and differentiation capacities. This review aims to consolidate the knowledge of the relationship between Cx46, its role in forming hemichannels and gap junctions, and its connection with cancer and cancer stem cells.

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Título según WOS: ID WOS:001094124500001 Not found in local WOS DB
Título de la Revista: BIOMOLECULES
Volumen: 13
Número: 10
Editorial: MDPI
Fecha de publicación: 2023


Notas: ISI