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entla, a novel epileptic and ataxic Cacna2d2 mutant of the mouse.

Julia Brill, Rainer Klocke, Dieter Paul, Detlev Boison, Nicolette Gouder, Norbert Klugbauer, Franz Hofmann, Cord-Michael Becker, Kristina Becker

J. Biol. Chem., 2004 Feb 20 , 279, 7322-30

entla (ent) is a novel recessive phenotype of mice. The underlying mutation was mapped to chromosome 9 (60.1 centimorgans) and identified as an allele of the Cacna2d2 gene encoding the alpha2delta-2 subunit of voltage-gated calcium channels. The Cacna2d2entla allele harbors a 38-kb duplication comprising the 117 nucleotides of exon 3. The predicted duplication of 39 amino acid residues near the subunit's N terminus results in the expression of a full-length, membrane-associated protein. Western blot data were consistent with correct cleavage of the alpha2delta-2entla precursor into alpha2entla and delta2 proteins but indicated loss of the disulfide linkage between the two proteins. ent/ent mice develop ataxia by postnatal day 13-15, followed by paroxysmal dyskinesia a few days later. Two distinct types of cortical and hippocampal epileptic activity at 2 and 4 Hz were recorded, indicative of absence epilepsy. Homozygotes display reduced size and weight, increased mortality before weaning, and female infertility. No overt neuroanatomical abnormalities were detected. Ca2+ current densities recorded from acutely dissociated Purkinje cells of homozygous entla animals were reduced by 50% compared with wild type. Ligand binding assays using the antiepileptic drug [3H]gabapentin, a specific ligand of the alpha2delta-1 and alpha2delta-2 subunits, revealed a >60% reduced maximum binding to cerebellar membranes of ent/ent compared with unaffected littermates. entla is allelic to ducky and ducky2J, representing the third murine Cacna2d2 allele identified and so far the only one encoding an untruncated protein that is incorporated into membranes.