Emerging functions and clinical prospects of connexins and pannexins in melanoma
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Reviews on Cancer
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© 2020 The Author(s) Cellular communication through gap junctions and hemichannels formed by connexins and through channels made by pannexins allows for metabolic cooperation and control of cellular activity and signalling. These channel proteins have been described to be tumour suppressors that regulate features such as cell death, proliferation and differentiation. However, they display cancer type-dependent and stage-dependent functions and may facilitate tumour progression through junctional and non-junctional pathways. The accumulated knowledge and emerging strategies to target connexins and pannexins are providing novel clinical opportunities for the treatment of cancer. Here, we provide an updated overview of the role of connexins and pannexins in malignant melanoma. We discuss how targeting of these channel proteins may be used to potentiate antitumour effects in therapeutic settings, including through improved immune-mediated tumour elimination.