Polymorphism of CAG motif of SK3 gene is associated with acute oxaliplatin neurotoxicity

Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Largo Agostino Gemelli n. 8, 00168 Rome, Italy.
Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology (Impact Factor: 2.57). 05/2011; 67(5):1179-87. DOI: 10.1007/s00280-010-1466-y
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT There is no agreement on which channel is involved in oxaliplatin neurotoxicity, most investigators favouring voltage-gated sodium channels. However, the small conductance Ca(++) activated K(+) channels, encoded by the SK1-3 genes, are also involved in membrane excitability, playing a role in after-hyperpolarization at the motor nerve terminal. As the SK3 gene is characterized in Caucasians by a highly polymorphic CAG motif within the exon 1, we hypothesize that SK3 gene polymorphism may influence the development of acute nerve hyperexcitability in oxaliplatin-treated patients.
Patients eligible for an oxaliplatin-containing regimen were enrolled. Detailed neurological examination, nerve conduction studies and needle electromyography were performed before and after oxaliplatin administration. DNA was extracted by polymerase chain reaction, and each allele was isolated and sequenced.
We evaluated 40 patients. After oxaliplatin administration, 28 patients developed symptoms of neurotoxicity, which were severe in 11. Patients were divided into three groups according to neurophysiological data: G0 (normal peripheral nerve excitability [PNE]), 16 patients; G1 (mild PNE), 15 patients; G2 (severe PNE), 9 patients. Genetic analysis showed different alleles ranging from 13 to 23 CAG repeats. Patients carrying alleles containing 13-15 CAG repeats experienced a significantly higher incidence of severe nerve hyperexcitability (chi-square 48.6; df 16; P = 0.0001).
The results suggest that OXA-neurotoxicity may be related to distribution of the polymorphic CAG motif of the SK3 gene, which might modulate nerve after-hyperpolarization. The 13-14 CAG repeat allele could mark patients susceptible to acute OXA neurotoxicity.

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