PubMed 17376154

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Cav2.1 , Cav3.1

Title: Forward genetic screen of mouse reveals dominant missense mutation in the P/Q-type voltage-dependent calcium channel, CACNA1A.

Authors: G Xie, S J Clapcote, B J Nieman, T Tallerico, Y Huang, I Vukobradovic, S P Cordes, L R Osborne, J Rossant, J G Sled, J T Henderson, J C Roder

Journal, date & volume: Genes Brain Behav., 2007 Nov , 6, 717-27

PubMed link:

Dominant mutations of the P/Q-type Ca(2+) channel (CACNA1A) underlie several human neurological disorders, including episodic ataxia type 2, familial hemiplegic migraine 1 (FHM1) and spinocerebellar ataxia 6, but have not been found previously in the mouse. Here we report the first dominant ataxic mouse model of Cacna1a mutation. This Wobbly mutant allele of Cacna1a was identified in an ethylnitrosourea (ENU) mutagenesis dominant behavioral screen. Heterozygotes exhibit ataxia from 3 weeks of age and have a normal life span. Homozygotes have a righting reflex defect from postnatal day 8 and later develop severe ataxia and die prematurely. Both heterozygotes and homozygotes exhibit cerebellar atrophy with focal reduction of the molecular layer. No obvious loss of Purkinje cells or decrease in size of the granule cell layer was observed. Real-time polymerase chain reaction revealed altered expression levels of Cacna1g, Calb2 and Th in Wobbly cerebella, but Cacna1a messenger RNA and protein levels were unchanged. Positional cloning revealed that Wobbly mice have a missense mutation leading to an arginine to leucine (R1255L) substitution, resulting in neutralization of a positively charged amino acid in repeat III of voltage sensor segment S4. The dominance of the Wobbly mutation more closely resembles patterns of CACNA1A mutation in humans than previously described mouse recessive mutants (tottering, leaner, rolling Nagoya and rocker). Positive-charge neutralization in S4 has also been shown to underlie several cases of human dominant FHM1 with ataxia. The Wobbly mutant thus highlights the importance of the voltage sensor and provides a starting point to unravel the neuropathological mechanisms of this disease.