Pathological Implications of Cx43 Down-regulation in Human Colon Cancer

  • Ismail, Rehana (Department of Biotechnology, University of Kashmir) ;
  • Rashid, Rabiya (Department of Biotechnology, University of Kashmir) ;
  • Andrabi, Khurshid (Department of Biotechnology, University of Kashmir) ;
  • Parray, Fazl Q. (Department of Surgery, Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Besina, Syed (Department of Pathology, Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Shah, Mohd Amin (Department of clinical Biochemistry, Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Hussain, Mahboob Ul (Department of Biotechnology, University of Kashmir)
  • Published : 2014.04.01


Connexin 43 is an important gap junction protein in vertebrates and is known for its tumor suppressive properties. Cx43 is abundantly expressed in the human intestinal epithelial cells and muscularis mucosae. To explore the role of Cx43 in the genesis of human colon cancer, we performed the expression analysis of Cx43 in 80 cases of histopathologically confirmed and clinically diagnosed human colon cancer samples and adjacent control tissue and assessed correlations with clinicopathological variables. Western blotting using anti-Cx43 antibody indicated that the expression of Cx43 was significantly down regulated (75%) in the cancer samples as compared to the adjacent control samples. Moreover, immunohistochemical analysis of the tissue samples confirmed the down regulation of the Cx43 in the intestinal epithelial cells. Cx43 down regulation showed significant association (p<0.05) with the histological type and tumor invasion properties of the cancer. Our data demonstrated that loss of Cx43 may be an important event in colon carcinogenesis and tumor progression, providing significant insights about the tumor suppressive properties of the Cx43 and its potential as a diagnostic marker for colon cancer.


Gap-junctions;tumor suppressors;adenocarcinoma;connexin 43


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