TGF-beta induces connexin43 gene expression in normal murine mammary gland epithelial cells via activation of p38 and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways.J Cell Physiol. 2008 Dec; 217(3):759-68.JC
One of the shared physiological roles between TGF-beta and connexin family members is to inhibit epithelial cell cycle progression and consequently, to provide protection against malignant transformation. Herein, we demonstrated that TGF-beta1 induces the expression of connexin43 (Cx43) in normal murine mammary gland (NMuMG) cell lines at the protein and mRNA levels, and transcriptionally. Using overexpression of a truncated dominant-negative form of Cx43, we determined that the modulation of gap junctional communication by TGF-beta1 plays a key role in the control of NMuMG cells proliferation by TGF-beta1. In addition, using overexpression of truncated dominant-negative forms of either Smad2 or Smad3, and MDA-MB-468 human breast carcinoma cells deficient for Smad4, we determined that the Smad cascade is not implicated in TGF-beta1 effect on Cx43 expression. Using specific pharmacologic inhibitors for JNK, ERK, p38, and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways, we demonstrated the cooperative role of p38 and PI3K/AKT signaling in TGF-beta1-induced Cx43 expression and gap junctional communication. Furthermore, transfection of a c-jun antisense expression vector significantly prevented TGF-beta1-induced Cx43 gene expression demonstrating the involvement of c-Jun/AP-1 pathway together with p38 and PI3K/AKT pathways in mediating TGF-beta1-induced Cx43 gene expression.