HeLa cells expressing rat connexin43 (Cx43) and/or mouse Cx45 were studied with the dual voltage-clamp technique. Different types of cell pairs were established and their gap junction properties determined, i.e. the dependence of the instantaneous and steady-state conductances (gj,inst, gj,ss) on the transjunctional voltage (Vj) and the kinetics of inactivation of the gap junction current (Ij). Pairs of singly transfected cells showed homogeneous behaviour at both Vj polarities. Homotypic Cx43-Cx43 and Cx45-Cx45 cell pairs yielded distinct symmetrical functions gj,inst=f(Vj) and gj,ss=f(Vj). Heterotypic Cx43-Cx45 preparations exhibited asymmetric functions gj,inst=f(Vj) and gj,ss=f(Vj) suggesting that connexons Cx43 and Cx45 gate with positive and negative Vj, respectively. Preparations containing a singly (Cx43 or Cx45) or doubly (Cx43/45) transfected cell showed quasi-homogeneous behaviour at one Vj polarity and heterogeneous behaviour at the other polarity. The former yielded Boltzmann parameters intermediate between those of Cx43-Cx43, Cx45-Cx45 and Cx43-Cx45 preparations; the latter could not be explained by homotypic and heterotypic combinations of homomeric connexons. Each pair of doubly transfected cells (Cx43/Cx45) yielded unique functions gj,inst=f(Vj) and gj,ss=f(Vj). This can not be explained by combinations of homomeric connexons. We conclude that Cx43 and Cx45 form homomeric-homotypic, homomeric-heterotypic channels as well as heteromeric-homotypic and heteromeric-heterotypic channels. This has implications for the impulse propagation in specific areas of the heart.