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Pannexin Family

Pannexin (PANX) family is a group of transmembrane channels present in the vertebrate that is homology to the invertebrate innexins responsible for gap connections. Similar to innexins structure, PANXs also have transmembrane domains, 2 extracellular and 1 intracellular N- and C-terminal tails loop. It has identified that PANXs can be assembled to hemichannels allowing the ions and small molecules including ATP, glutamate, prostaglandins, and others typically below 1-2 kDa, as well as the influx of ions such as Na+ and Ca2+ traffic to the extracellular space. PANXs expressed in the central nervous system are associated with the sensory processing, hippocampal plasticity, and propagation of calcium waves. Moreover, PANXs have been revealed an association with the pathological processes such as neural damage after ischemia, cardiovascular disease, diabetes. Besides, PANX1 has been shown to be involved in early stages of innate immunity through controlling interleukin-1β release by the ATP-gated P2X7 receptor.

Here shows PANXs in humans including PANX1, PANX2, and PANX3, encoded by PANX1, PANX2, and PANX3 genes, respectively. And studies have identified only three PANX genes in mammals so far. PANX1 is widely expressed in many mammalian tissues, especially in the brain, while PANX2 and PANX3 seem to be more restricted in their expression. It has been reported that PANX1 plays a diverse role in many biological processes such as the propagation of calcium waves, regulation of vascular tone, taste-bud function, apoptosis and so on. PANX2 has been revealed a regulator of differentiation of neurons. PANX3 is involved in the regulation of chondrocytes and osteoblasts differentiation as well as sperm maturation and transport.

Human Pannexin Family Members
PANX1 PANX2 PANX3

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