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Gap-junction channels, the cytoplasmic proteins that associate with them, and the transcriptional networks that regulate them are increasingly being viewed as critical communications hubs for cell signaling in health and disease. As a result, the term "nexus," which was the original structural name for these focal intercellular links, is coming back into use with new proteomic and transcriptomic meanings. The retina is better understood than any other part of the vertebrate central nervous system in respect of its developmental patterning, its diverse neuronal types and circuits, and the emergence of its definitive structure-function correlations. Thus, studies of the junctional and nonjunctional nexus roles of gap-junction proteins in coordinating retinal development should throw useful light on cell signaling in other developing nervous tissues.
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