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J Neurosci. 2009 Mar 4;29(9):2733-41. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.6026-08.2009.

The ataxia3 mutation in the N-terminal cytoplasmic domain of sodium channel Na(v)1.6 disrupts intracellular trafficking.

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  • 1Department of Human Genetics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-5618, USA.

Abstract

The ENU-induced neurological mutant ataxia3 was mapped to distal mouse chromosome 15. Sequencing of the positional candidate gene Scn8a encoding the sodium channel Na(v)1.6 identified a T>C transition in exon 1 resulting in the amino acid substitution p.S21P near the N terminus of the channel. The cytoplasmic N-terminal region is evolutionarily conserved but its function has not been well characterized. ataxia3 homozygotes exhibit a severe disorder that includes ataxia, tremor, and juvenile lethality. Unlike Scn8a null mice, they retain partial hindlimb function. The mutant transcript is stable but protein abundance is reduced and the mutant channel is not detected in its usual site of concentration at nodes of Ranvier. In whole-cell patch-clamp studies of transfected ND7/23 cells that were maintained at 37 degrees C, the mutant channel did not produce sodium current, and function was not restored by coexpression of beta1 and beta2 subunits. However, when transfected cells were maintained at 30 degrees C, the mutant channel generated voltage-dependent inward sodium currents with an average peak current density comparable with wild type, demonstrating recovery of channel activity. Immunohistochemistry of primary cerebellar granule cells from ataxia3 mice demonstrated that the mutant protein is retained in the cis-Golgi. This trafficking defect can account for the low level of Na(v)1.6-S21P at nodes of Ranvier in vivo and at the surface of transfected cells. The data demonstrate that the cytoplasmic N-terminal domain of the sodium channel is required for anterograde transport from the Golgi complex to the plasma membrane.

PMID:
19261867
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2679640
Free PMC Article
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