Anti-parasitic drugs modulate the non-selective channels formed by connexins or pannexins

Juan Güiza, Javiera Arriagada, Luis Rodríguez, Camila Gutiérrez, Yorley Duarte, Juan C. Sáez, José L. Vega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The proteins connexins, innexins, and pannexins are the subunits of non-selective channels present in the cell membrane in vertebrates (connexins and pannexins) and invertebrates (innexins). These channels allow the transfer of ions and molecules across the cell membrane or, and in many cases, between the cytoplasm of neighboring cells. These channels participate in various physiological processes, particularly under pathophysiological conditions, such as bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections. Interestingly, some anti-parasitic drugs also block connexin- or pannexin-formed channels. Their effects on host channels permeable to molecules that favor parasitic infection can further explain the anti-parasitic effects of some of these compounds. In this review, the effects of drugs with known anti-parasitic activity that modulate non-selective channels formed by connexins or pannexins are discussed. Previous studies that have reported the presence of these proteins in worms, ectoparasites, and protozoa that cause parasitic infections have also been reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number166188
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021


  • Anti-parasitic drugs
  • Chagas diseases
  • Malaria
  • Neglected tropical diseases
  • Sleeping sickness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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