Vinnexins

A gene family encoding proteins homologous to invertebrate gap junctions (innexins) has been described in CslV and HdIV and represents an excellent candidate to be involved in disruption of cellular immunity (Turnbull et al., 2005). Gap junctions encoded by innexins in insects co-ordinate multicellular processes and are known to form in between haemocytes, and are suspected to be important during encapsulation (Turnbull et al., 2005). Two CslV viral innexins (Vinnexins) were expressed in paired Xenopus laevis oocytes and were shown to form functional gap junctions. Viral innexins may disrupt cellular immunity by altering normal gap junction intercellular communication, by forming hybrid innexin-vinnexin channels or vinnexin channels with modified permeability.

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