PubMed 21412952

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Nav1.4

Title: A mutation in a rare type of intron in a sodium-channel gene results in aberrant splicing and causes myotonia.

Authors: Tomoya Kubota, Xavier Roca, Takashi Kimura, Yosuke Kokunai, Ichizo Nishino, Saburo Sakoda, Adrian R Krainer, Masanori P Takahashi

Journal, date & volume: , 2011 Mar 15 , ,

PubMed link:

Many mutations in the skeletal-muscle sodium-channel gene SCN4A have been associated with myotonia and/or periodic paralysis, but so far all of these mutations are located in exons. We found a patient with myotonia caused by a deletion/insertion located in intron 21 of SCN4A, which is an AT-AC type II intron. This is a rare class of introns that, despite having AT-AC boundaries, are spliced by the major or U2-type spliceosome. The patient's skeletal muscle expressed aberrantly spliced SCN4A mRNA isoforms generated by activation of cryptic splice sites. In addition, genetic suppression experiments using an SCN4A minigene showed that the mutant 5' splice site has impaired binding to the U1 and U6 snRNPs, which are the cognate factors for recognition of U2-type 5' splice sites. One of the aberrantly spliced isoforms encodes a channel with a 35-amino acid insertion in the cytoplasmic loop between domains III and IV of Nav1.4. The mutant channel exhibited a marked disruption of fast inactivation, and a simulation in silico showed that the channel defect is consistent with the patient's myotonic symptoms. This is the first report of a disease-associated mutation in an AT-AC type II intron, and also the first intronic mutation in a voltage-gated ion channel gene showing a gain-of-function defect.