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Gene Review

Gjb3  -  gap junction protein, beta 3

Mus musculus

Synonyms: Cnx31, Connexin-31, Cx31, Cxn-31, D4Wsu144e, ...
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High impact information on Gjb3


Biological context of Gjb3

  • To study the function of this gene in mice, we generated animals with targeted replacement of the Cx31 gene (Gjb3) by a lacZ reporter gene [4].
  • The connexin genes Cx31 and Cx45 coding for proteins of gap junctional subunits have been assigned to mouse chromosomes 4 and 11 by Southern blot hybridization of specific gene probes to DNA from mouse x Chinese hamster somatic cell hybrids [5].
  • To characterize the role of Cx31 phosphorylation, serine residues 263 and 266 (Cx31Delta263,266) or 266 (Cx31Delta266) alone were exchanged for amino acids that cannot be phosphorylated [3].
  • We conclude that Cx31 is essential for early placentation but can be compensated for by other connexins in the embryo proper and adult mouse [4].
  • This study shows that Cx31/Cx43 double-deficient mice exhibit the known phenotypes of the single-knockout strains but no combined effects [6].

Anatomical context of Gjb3

  • Expression profiles of the connexin genes, Gjb1 and Gjb3, in the developing mouse cochlea [7].
  • In the developing otocyst epithelium, some restricted domains expressed Gjb3 and Gjb1 whilst high levels of both transcripts were present in the surrounding mesenchymal tissue [7].
  • Gjb3 and Gjb1 expression was spatiotemporally modulated within the sensory hair cells and the various supporting cells that compose the developing organ of Corti [7].
  • 5. Placentas of Gjb3(-/-) embryos at ED 9.5 were smaller than controls as a result of severely reduced labyrinth and spongiotrophoblast size [4].
  • No morphological or functional defects of skin or inner ear were observed in surviving adult Gjb3(-/-) mice [4].

Other interactions of Gjb3

  • In the adult cochlea Gjb1 transcripts disappeared while Gjb3 expression remained present in fibrocytes with specific expression patterns [7].
  • Interestingly three of them (coding for Cx31, Cx31.1, and Cx30.3) are preferentially expressed in skin [5].
  • Taken together with other results (published or submitted), our findings indicate that at least four connexins (Cx31, 31.1, 43 and 45) contribute to gap junctions in preimplantation development [8].
  • 5. This corresponds to a time period in which another connexin isoform, Connexin43, is upregulated in spongiotrophoblast cells of Cx31-deficient and control placentas [4].
  • In addition, from E10.5-E11.5, Cx31 was expressed by a column of cells in ventral r4, most likely representing contralateral vestibulo-acoustic efferent neurons, immediately anterior to a ventral column expressing Cx36 at the same stage [9].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Gjb3


  1. Two gap junction genes, connexin 31.1 and 30.3, are closely linked on mouse chromosome 4 and preferentially expressed in skin. Hennemann, H., Dahl, E., White, J.B., Schwarz, H.J., Lalley, P.A., Chang, S., Nicholson, B.J., Willecke, K. J. Biol. Chem. (1992) [Pubmed]
  2. Connexin31-deficient trophoblast stem cells: a model to analyze the role of gap junction communication in mouse placental development. Kibschull, M., Nassiry, M., Dunk, C., Gellhaus, A., Quinn, J.A., Rossant, J., Lye, S.J., Winterhager, E. Dev. Biol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  3. Exchange of serine residues 263 and 266 reduces the function of mouse gap junction protein connexin31 and exhibits a dominant-negative effect on the wild-type protein in HeLa cells. Diestel, S., Eckert, R., Hülser, D., Traub, O. Exp. Cell Res. (2004) [Pubmed]
  4. Connexin31-deficiency in mice causes transient placental dysmorphogenesis but does not impair hearing and skin differentiation. Plum, A., Winterhager, E., Pesch, J., Lautermann, J., Hallas, G., Rosentreter, B., Traub, O., Herberhold, C., Willecke, K. Dev. Biol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  5. Chromosomal assignments of mouse connexin genes, coding for gap junctional proteins, by somatic cell hybridization. Schwarz, H.J., Chang, Y.S., Hennemann, H., Dahl, E., Lalley, P.A., Willecke, K. Somat. Cell Mol. Genet. (1992) [Pubmed]
  6. Cx31 and Cx43 double-deficient mice reveal independent functions in murine placental and skin development. Kibschull, M., Magin, T.M., Traub, O., Winterhager, E. Dev. Dyn. (2005) [Pubmed]
  7. Expression profiles of the connexin genes, Gjb1 and Gjb3, in the developing mouse cochlea. López-Bigas, N., Arbonés, M.L., Estivill, X., Simonneau, L. Mech. Dev. (2002) [Pubmed]
  8. Multiple members of the connexin gene family participate in preimplantation development of the mouse. Davies, T.C., Barr, K.J., Jones, D.H., Zhu, D., Kidder, G.M. Dev. Genet. (1996) [Pubmed]
  9. Segment-specific expression of connexin31 in the embryonic hindbrain is regulated by Krox20. Jungbluth, S., Willecke, K., Champagnat, J. Dev. Dyn. (2002) [Pubmed]
  10. Characterization of gap junction genes expressed in F9 embryonic carcinoma cells: molecular cloning of mouse connexin31 and -45 cDNAs. Hennemann, H., Schwarz, H.J., Willecke, K. Eur. J. Cell Biol. (1992) [Pubmed]
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