[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Febrile seizures affect 2–4% of all children and have a strong genetic component. Recurrent mutations in three main genes (SCN1A, SCN1B and GABRG2) have been identified that cause febrile seizures with or without epilepsy. Here we report the identification of mutations in STX1B, encoding syntaxin-1B, that are associated with both febrile seizures and epilepsy. Whole-exome sequencing in independent large pedigrees identified cosegregating STX1B mutations predicted to cause an early truncation or an in-frame insertion or deletion. Three additional nonsense or missense mutations and a de novo microdeletion encompassing STX1B were then identified in 449 familial or sporadic cases. Video and local field potential analyses of zebrafish larvae with antisense knockdown of stx1b showed seizure-like behavior and epileptiform discharges that were highly sensitive to increased temperature. Wild-type human syntaxin-1B but not a mutated protein rescued the effects of stx1b knockdown in zebrafish. Our results thus implicate STX1B and the presynaptic release machinery in fever-associated epilepsy syndromes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Heterologous expression of sodium channel mutations in hypokalemic periodic paralysis reveals 2 variants on channel dysfunction. Charge-reducing mutations of voltage sensing S4 arginine residues alter channel gating as typically studied with expression in mammalian cells. These mutations also produce leak currents through the voltage sensor module, as typically studied with expression in Xenopus oocytes. DIIIS4 mutations at R3 in the skeletal muscle sodium channel produce gating defects and omega current consistent with the phenotype of reduced excitability. Here, we confirm DIIIS4 R3C gating defects in the oocyte expression system for fast inactivation and its recovery. We provide novel data for the effects of the cysteine mutation on voltage sensor movement, to further our understanding of sodium channel defects in hypokalemic periodic paralysis. Gating charge movement and its remobilization are selectively altered by the mutation at hyperpolarized membrane potential, as expected with reduced serum potassium.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We studied the consequences of the Nav1.4 mutation R1448H that is situated in the fourth voltage sensor of the channel and causes paramyotonia, a cold-induced myotonia followed by weakness. Previous work showed that the mutation uncouples inactivation from activation. We measured whole-cell Na(+) currents at 10, 15, 20, and 25°C using HEK293 cells stably transfected with wildtype (WT) and R1448H Na(+) channels. A Markov model was developed the parameters of which reproduced the data measured on WT and R1448H channels in the whole voltage and temperature range. It required an additional transient inactivated state and an additional closed-state inactivation transition not previously described. The model was used to predict single-channel properties, free energy barriers and temperature dependence of rates. It allowed us to draw the following conclusions: i) open-state inactivation results from a two-step process; ii) the channel re-openings that cause paramyotonia originate from enhanced deactivation/reactivation and not from destabilized inactivation; iii) the closed-state inactivation of R1448H is strikingly enhanced. We assume that latter explains the episodic weakness following cold-induced myotonia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypokalaemic periodic paralysis is typically associated with mutations of voltage sensor residues in calcium or sodium channels of skeletal muscle. To date, causative sodium channel mutations have been studied only for the two outermost arginine residues in S4 voltage sensor segments of domains I to III. These mutations produce depolarization of skeletal muscle fibres in response to reduced extracellular potassium, owing to an inward cation-selective gating pore current activated by hyperpolarization. Here, we describe mutations of the third arginine, R3, in the domain III voltage sensor i.e. an R1135H mutation which was found in two patients in separate families and a novel R1135C mutation identified in a third patient in another family. Muscle fibres from a patient harbouring the R1135H mutation showed increased depolarization tendency at normal and reduced extracellular potassium compatible with the diagnosis. Additionally, amplitude and rise time of action potentials were reduced compared with controls, even for holding potentials at which all NaV1.4 are fully recovered from inactivation. These findings may be because of an outward omega current activated at positive potentials. Expression of R1135H/C in mammalian cells indicates further gating defects that include significantly enhanced entry into inactivation and prolonged recovery that may additionally contribute to action potential inhibition at the physiological resting potential. After S4 immobilization in the outward position, mutant channels produce an inward omega current that most likely depolarizes the resting potential and produces the hypokalaemia-induced weakness. Gating current recordings reveal that mutations at R3 inhibit S4 deactivation before recovery, and molecular dynamics simulations suggest that this defect is caused by disrupted interactions of domain III S2 countercharges with S4 arginines R2 to R4 during repolarization of the membrane. This work reveals a novel mechanism of disrupted S4 translocation for hypokalaemic periodic paralysis mutations at arginine residues located below the gating pore constriction of the voltage sensor module.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malignant hyperthermia (MH) is a rare pharmacogenetic disorder which is characterized by life-threatening metabolic crises during general anesthesia. Classical triggering substances are volatile anesthetics and succinylcholine (SCh). The molecular basis of MH is excessive release of Ca2+ in skeletal muscle principally by a mutated ryanodine receptor type 1 (RyR1). To identify factors explaining the variable phenotypic presentation and complex pathomechanism, we analyzed proven MH events in terms of clinical course, muscle contracture, genetic factors and pharmocological triggers.
In a multi-centre study including seven European MH units, patients with a history of a clinical MH episode confirmed by susceptible (MHS) or equivocal (MHE) in vitro contracture tests (IVCT) were investigated. A test result is considered to be MHE if the muscle specimens develop pathological contractures in response to only one of the two test substances, halothane or caffeine. Crises were evaluated using a clinical grading scale (CGS), results of IVCT and genetic screening. The effects of SCh and volatile anesthetics on Ca2+ release from sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) were studied in vitro.
A total of 200 patients met the inclusion criteria. Two MH crises (1%) were triggered by SCh (1 MHS, 1 MHE), 18% by volatile anesthetics and 81% by a combination of both. Patients were 70% male and 50% were younger than 12 years old. Overall, CGS was in accord with IVCT results. Crises triggered by enflurane had a significantly higher CGS compared to halothane, isoflurane and sevoflurane. Of the 200 patients, 103 carried RyR1 variants, of which 14 were novel. CGS varied depending on the location of the mutation within the RyR1 gene. In contrast to volatile anesthetics, SCh did not evoke Ca2+ release from isolated rat SR vesicles.
An MH event could depend on patient-related risk factors such as male gender, young age and causative RyR1 mutations as well as on the use of drugs lowering the threshold of myoplasmic Ca2+ release. SCh might act as an accelerant by promoting unspecific Ca2+ influx via the sarcolemma and indirect RyR1 activation. Most MH crises develop in response to the combined administration of SCh and volatile anesthetics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: For patients suffering from rare diseases it is often hard to find an expert clinician. Existing registries rely on manual registration procedures and cannot easily be kept up to date. A prototype data collection system for discovering experts on rare diseases using MEDLINE has been successfully deployed. Initial manual analyses demonstrate proof of concept and deliver promising results. Examining the associations between authors, diseases and MeSH-Terms is expected to open up a variety of possibilities beyond expert discovery.
Studies in health technology and informatics 01/2014; 198:47-54.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Centronuclear myopathy (CNM) is a rare hereditary myopathy characterized by centrally located muscle fiber nuclei. Mutations in the dynamin 2 (DNM2) gene are estimated to account for about 50 % of CNM cases. Electromyographic recordings in CNM may show myopathic motor unit potentials without spontaneous activity at rest. Myotonic discharges, a distinctive electrical activity caused by membrane hyperexcitability, are characteristic of certain neuromuscular disorders. Such activity has been reported in only one CNM case without a known genetic cause. We sequenced the DNM2 gene and the genes associated with myotonia (CLCN1, SCN4A, DMPK and ZNF9) in a sporadic adult patient with CNM and myotonic discharges. Sequencing the entire coding region and exon-intron boundaries revealed a heterozygous c.1106g-a substitution in exon 8, resulting in a R369Q change in the DNM2. Sequencing the CLCN1, SCN4A, DMPK and ZNF9 genes ruled out mutations in these genes. This is the first report of DNM2-related CNM presenting with myotonia. The diagnosis of CNM should be considered in patients with myotonic discharges of an unknown cause.
Journal of Neural Transmission 12/2013; 121(5). · 2.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Muskuläre Kanalopathien wie Myotonien, dyskaliämische periodische Paralysen (PP), maligne Hyperthermie (MH) und Core-Myopathien sind durch Mutationen in Na+-, K+-, Ca2+- und Cl−-Kanälen bedingt. Eine leichte Membrandepolarisation verursacht myotone Aktivität. Eine vermehrte Depolarisation kann die Über- in Untererregbarkeit umkehren und eine transiente Schwäche hervorrufen. Eine länger anhaltende Depolarisation der Plasma- und T-tubulären Membran ist für die dominanten dyskaliämischen PP die gemeinsame Basis der Schwäche. Der Kaliumspiegel im Serum beeinflusst das Ruhemembranpotenzial, weshalb Abweichungen vom physiologischen Bereich (z. B. durch Schilddrüsendysfunktion) Membrandepolarisation und Muskelschwäche begünstigen. Bei der Anlage zu MH, einer potenziell lebensbedrohlichen hypermetabolen Krise, erhöhen dominante Mutationen im zytoplasmatischen Teil des Ca2+-Freisetzungskanals des sarkoplasmatischen Retikulums die Empfindlichkeit für volatile Anästhetika. Dagegen führen dominante oder rezessive Mutationen im sarkoplasmatischen Teil zur Entleerung der Ca2+-Speicher und so zu Schwäche und Core-Myopathie.
Medizinische Genetik 12/2013; · 0.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We studied a two-generation family presenting with conditions that included progressive permanent weakness, myopathic myopathy, exercise-induced contracture before normokalaemic periodic paralysis or, if localized to the tibial anterior muscle group, transient compartment-like syndrome (painful acute oedema with neuronal compression and drop foot). (23)Na and (1)H magnetic resonance imaging displayed myoplasmic sodium overload, and oedema. We identified a novel familial Cav1.1 calcium channel mutation, R1242G, localized to the third positive charge of the domain IV voltage sensor. Functional expression of R1242G in the muscular dysgenesis mouse cell line GLT revealed a 28% reduced central pore inward current and a -20 mV shift of the steady-state inactivation curve. Both changes may be at least partially explained by an outward omega (gating pore) current at positive potentials. Moreover, this outward omega current of 27.5 nS/nF may cause the reduction of the overshoot by 13 mV and slowing of the upstroke of action potentials by 36% that are associated with muscle hypoexcitability (permanent weakness and myopathic myopathy). In addition to the outward omega current, we identified an inward omega pore current of 95 nS/nF at negative membrane potentials after long depolarizing pulses that shifts the R1242G residue above the omega pore constriction. A simulation reveals that the inward current might depolarize the fibre sufficiently to trigger calcium release in the absence of an action potential and therefore cause an electrically silent depolarization-induced muscle contracture. Additionally, evidence of the inward current can be found in (23)Na magnetic resonance imaging-detected sodium accumulation and (1)H magnetic resonance imaging-detected oedema. We hypothesize that the episodes are normokalaemic because of depolarization-induced compensatory outward potassium flux through both delayed rectifiers and omega pore. We conclude that the position of the R1242G residue before elicitation of the omega current is decisive for its conductance: if the residue is located below the gating pore as in the resting state then outward currents are observed; if the residue is above the gating pore because of depolarization, as in the inactivated state, then inward currents are observed. This study shows for the first time that functional characterization of omega pore currents is possible using a cultured cell line expressing mutant Cav1.1 channels. Likewise, it is the first calcium channel mutation for complicated normokalaemic periodic paralysis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE Hypokalemic periodic paralysis is a muscle channelopathy based on mutations or predisposing variants or secondary to potassium wasting. In contrast to myasthenia gravis, an association with thymic hyperplasia has not yet been reported, to our knowledge. OBSERVATIONS We report a male patient in his mid-20s with progressive episodes of flaccid muscle weakness, associated low serum potassium levels, and a pathologic decrement in the long exercise test. Because the familial inheritance in the family was initially unknown, thorough diagnostic tests were performed including contrast-enhanced computed tomography scan, which displayed a mass in the anterior mediastinum. The test results for autoantibodies against myasthenia gravis (acetylcholine receptor, muscle-specific tyrosine kinase, and low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4) and other end plate channelopathies were negative, and test results for hypokalemia-inducing hormones (thyroid, corticotropin, and cortisol) were negative. Surgery identified a thymus of 13 × 8 × 3 cm3. Histologic analysis was consistent with thymic hyperplasia of the follicular subtype and immunohistologic analysis showed cytokeratin 5/6 in hyperplastic epithelial cells. A 2-year follow-up revealed the postoperative absence of weakness episodes. As in 30% of familial cases, molecular genetics testing failed to identify a mutation in periodic paralysis genes. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Thymic hyperplasia can clinically manifest susceptibility to hypokalemic periodic paralysis. For patients with late onset or increasing weakness episodes, we recommend imaging to assess for thymic enlargement and thymectomy at thymic hyperplasia.