PubMed 11395478

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: SK2 , SK3

Title: Nuclear localization and dominant-negative suppression by a mutant SKCa3 N-terminal channel fragment identified in a patient with schizophrenia.

Authors: M J Miller, H Rauer, H Tomita, J J Gargus, G A Gutman, M D Cahalan, K G Chandy

Journal, date & volume: J. Biol. Chem., 2001 Jul 27 , 276, 27753-6

PubMed link:

The small conductance calcium-activated K+ channel gene SKCa3/KCNN3 maps to 1q21, a region strongly linked to schizophrenia. Recently, a 4-base pair deletion in SKCa3 was reported in a patient with schizophrenia, which truncates the protein at the end of the N-terminal cytoplasmic region (SKCa3Delta). We generated a green fluorescent protein-SKCa3 N-terminal construct (SKCa3-1/285) that is identical to SKCa3Delta except for the last two residues. Using confocal microscopy we demonstrate that SKCa3-1/285 localizes rapidly and exclusively to the nucleus of mammalian cells like several other pathogenic polyglutamine-containing proteins. This nuclear targeting is mediated in part by two polybasic sequences present at the C-terminal end of SKCa3-1/285. In contrast, full-length SKCa3, SKCa2, and IKCa1 polypeptides are all excluded from the nucleus and express as functional channels. When overexpressed in human Jurkat T cells, SKCa3-1/285 can suppress endogenous SKCa2 currents but not voltage-gated K+ currents. This dominant-negative suppression is most likely mediated through the co-assembly of SKCa3-1/285 with native subunits and the formation of non-functional tetramers. The nuclear localization of SKCa3-1/285 may alter neuronal architecture, and its ability to dominantly suppress endogenous small conductance K(Ca) currents may affect patterns of neuronal firing. Together, these two effects may play a part in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders.