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The Dynamic Role of Connexins in Pluripotency

Although pluripotent stem cells express connexins, the role of connexin‐mediated gap junctional intercellular communication remains controversial. However, a new study from Jessica L. Esseltine (Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada) has now established that connexin genes exhibit differential expression along the naïve‐primed pluripotency continuum in vitro, with Cx43 displaying the highest expression levels. This new STEM CELLS study proposes that core pluripotency transcription factors control connexin expression at the transcriptional level, given their differential expression as cells transit through pluripotent states.