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Nat Genet. 2006 Apr;38(4):447-51. Epub 2006 Feb 26.

Mutations in voltage-gated potassium channel KCNC3 cause degenerative and developmental central nervous system phenotypes.

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Division of Neurology and Rose Moss Laboratory for Parkinson's and Neurodegenerative Diseases, Burns and Allen Research Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, 90048 USA.


Potassium channel mutations have been described in episodic neurological diseases. We report that K+ channel mutations cause disease phenotypes with neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative features. In a Filipino adult-onset ataxia pedigree, the causative gene maps to 19q13, overlapping the SCA13 disease locus described in a French pedigree with childhood-onset ataxia and cognitive delay. This region contains KCNC3 (also known as Kv3.3), encoding a voltage-gated Shaw channel with enriched cerebellar expression. Sequencing revealed two missense mutations, both of which alter KCNC3 function in Xenopus laevis expression systems. KCNC3(R420H), located in the voltage-sensing domain, had no channel activity when expressed alone and had a dominant-negative effect when co-expressed with the wild-type channel. KCNC3(F448L) shifted the activation curve in the negative direction and slowed channel closing. Thus, KCNC3(R420H) and KCNC3(F448L) are expected to change the output characteristics of fast-spiking cerebellar neurons, in which KCNC channels confer capacity for high-frequency firing. Our results establish a role for KCNC3 in phenotypes ranging from developmental disorders to adult-onset neurodegeneration and suggest voltage-gated K+ channels as candidates for additional neurodegenerative diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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