Circulation research

Phosphatase-resistant gap junctions inhibit pathological remodeling and prevent arrhythmias.

PMID 21527737


Posttranslational phosphorylation of connexin43 (Cx43) has been proposed as a key regulatory event in normal cardiac gap junction expression and pathological gap junction remodeling. Nonetheless, the role of Cx43 phosphorylation in the context of the intact organism is poorly understood. To establish whether specific Cx43 phosphorylation events influence gap junction expression and pathological remodeling. We generated Cx43 germline knock-in mice in which serines 325/328/330 were replaced with phosphomimetic glutamic acids (S3E) or nonphosphorylatable alanines (S3A). The S3E mice were resistant to acute and chronic pathological gap junction remodeling and displayed diminished susceptibility to the induction of ventricular arrhythmias. Conversely, the S3A mice showed deleterious effects on cardiac gap junction formation and function, developed electric remodeling, and were highly susceptible to inducible arrhythmias. These data demonstrate a mechanistic link between posttranslational phosphorylation of Cx43 and gap junction formation, remodeling, and arrhythmic susceptibility.