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J Gen Physiol. 2018 Mar 5;150(3):475-489. doi: 10.1085/jgp.201711962. Epub 2018 Jan 31.

Stac3 enhances expression of human CaV1.1 in Xenopus oocytes and reveals gating pore currents in HypoPP mutant channels.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA.
2
Department of Physiology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA sccannon@mednet.ucla.edu.

Abstract

Mutations of CaV1.1, the pore-forming subunit of the L-type Ca2+ channel in skeletal muscle, are an established cause of hypokalemic periodic paralysis (HypoPP). However, functional assessment of HypoPP mutant channels has been hampered by difficulties in achieving sufficient plasma membrane expression in cells that are not of muscle origin. In this study, we show that coexpression of Stac3 dramatically increases the expression of human CaV1.1 (plus α21b and β1a subunits) at the plasma membrane of Xenopus laevis oocytes. In voltage-clamp studies with the cut-open oocyte clamp, we observe ionic currents on the order of 1 μA and gating charge displacements of ∼0.5-1 nC. Importantly, this high expression level is sufficient to ascertain whether HypoPP mutant channels are leaky because of missense mutations at arginine residues in S4 segments of the voltage sensor domains. We show that R528H and R528G in S4 of domain II both support gating pore currents, but unlike other R/H HypoPP mutations, R528H does not conduct protons. Stac3-enhanced membrane expression of CaV1.1 in oocytes increases the throughput for functional studies of disease-associated mutations and is a new platform for investigating the voltage-dependent properties of CaV1.1 without the complexity of the transverse tubule network in skeletal muscle.

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