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Connexin 43-Based Therapeutics for Dermal Wound Healing
Ghatnekar, Gautam S.
Grek, Christina L.
Moyer, Kurtis E.
Gourdie, Robert G.
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The most ubiquitous gap junction protein within the body, connexin 43 (Cx43), is a target of interest for modulating the dermal wound healing response. Observational studies found associations between Cx43 at the wound edge and poor healing response, and subsequent studies utilizing local knockdown of Cx43 found improvements in wound closure rate and final scar appearance. Further preclinical work conducted using Cx43-based peptide therapeutics, including alpha connexin carboxyl terminus 1 (αCT1), a peptide mimetic of the Cx43 carboxyl terminus, reported similar improvements in wound healing and scar formation. Clinical trials and further study into the mode of action have since been conducted on αCT1, and Phase III testing for treatment of diabetic foot ulcers is currently underway. Therapeutics targeting connexin activity show promise in beneficially modulating the human body’s natural healing response for improved patient outcomes across a variety of injuries.