A micropatterning approach for imaging dynamic Cx43 trafficking to cell-cell borders

Shan Shan Zhang, Soongweon Hong, André G. Kléber, Luke P. Lee, Robin M. Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The precise expression and timely delivery of connexin 43 (Cx43) proteins to form gap junctions are essential for electrical coupling of cardiomyocytes. Growing evidence supports a cytoskeletal-based trafficking paradigm for Cx43 delivery directly to adherens junctions at the intercalated disc. A limitation of Cx43 localization assays in cultured cells, in which cell-cell contacts are essential, is the inability to control for cell geometry or reproducibly generate contact points. Here we present a micropatterned cell pairing system well suited for live microscopy to examine how the microtubule and actin cytoskeleton confer specificity to Cx43 trafficking to precisely defined cell-cell junctions. This system can be adapted for other cell types and used to study dynamic intracellular movements of other proteins important for cell-cell communication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1439-1445
Number of pages7
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - 17 Apr 2014


  • Connexin 43
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Micropatterning
  • Trafficking


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