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J Biol Chem. 2002 Mar 1;277(9):6960-6. Epub 2001 Dec 12.

Functional consequences of P/Q-type Ca2+ channel Cav2.1 missense mutations associated with episodic ataxia type 2 and progressive ataxia.

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  • 1Institut für Biochemische Pharmakologie, Abteilung Pharmakologie und Toxikologie, Institut für Pharmazie, Universität Innsbruck, Peter-Mayrstrasse 1, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.


We have investigated the functional consequences of three P/Q-type Ca(2+) channel alpha1A (Ca(v)2.1alpha(1)) subunit mutations associated with different forms of ataxia (episodic ataxia type 2 (EA-2), R1279Stop, AY1593/1594D; progressive ataxia (PA), G293R). Mutations were introduced into human alpha1A cDNA and heterologously expressed in Xenopus oocytes or tsA-201 cells (with alpha(2)delta and beta1a) for electrophysiological and biochemical analysis. G293R reduced current density in both expression systems without changing single channel conductance. R1279Stop and AY1593/1594D protein were expressed in tsA-201 cells but failed to yield inward barium currents (I(Ba)). However, AY1593/1594D mediated I(Ba) when expressed in oocytes. G293R and AY1593/1594D shifted the current-voltage relationship to more positive potentials and enhanced inactivation during depolarizing pulses (3 s) and pulse trains (100 ms, 1 Hz). Mutation AY1593/1594D also slowed recovery from inactivation. Single channel recordings revealed a change in fast channel gating for G293R evident as a decrease in the mean open time. Our data support the hypothesis that a pronounced loss of P/Q-type Ca(2+) channel function underlies the pathophysiology of EA-2 and PA. In contrast to other EA-2 mutations, AY1593/1594D and G293R form at least partially functional channels.

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