Disruption of gap junctions in toxicity and carcinogenicity

James Chipman, Angela Mally, Gareth Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

102 Citations (Scopus)


Although the specific role of connexin-mediated gap junctional intercellular communication in the control of cell homeostasis, proliferation, and death are still not clear, several lines of evidence support these roles. The disturbance of this communication, through multiple mechanisms, may in the short term be a protective mechanism to limit the spread of toxicity in a tissue following chemical or radiation damage. However, sustained downregulation confers a loss of tumor-suppressive action. Consequently, connexin dysfunction has been associated with both the action of many carcinogens and being a feature of cancer per se. Connexins offer not only a target for cancer chemoprevention but also for exploitation in chemotherapy through the "bystander" effect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-153
Number of pages8
JournalToxicological Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2003


  • connexin
  • carcinogenesis
  • bystander
  • gap junction
  • intercellular communication


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