Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Epilepsy Mutations in Different Regions of the Nav1.2 Channel Cause Distinct Biophysical Effects
by Mason, Emily R., Ph.D., Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, 2020, 182; 28002387
Abstract (Summary)

While most cases of epilepsy respond well to common antiepileptic drugs, many genetically-driven epilepsies are refractory to conventional antiepileptic drugs. Over 250 mutations in the Nav1.2 gene (SCN2A) have been implicated in otherwise idiopathic cases of epilepsy, many of which are refractory to traditional antiepileptic drugs. Few of these mutations have been studied in vitro to determine their biophysical effects on the channels, which could reveal why the effects of some are refractory to traditional antiepileptic drugs. The goal of this dissertation was to characterize multiple epilepsy mutations in the SCN2A gene, which I hypothesized would have distinct biophysical effects on the channel’s function. I used patch-clamp electrophysiology to determine the biophysical effects of three SCN2A epilepsy mutations (R1882Q, R853Q, and L835F). Wild-type (WT) or mutant human SCN2A cDNAs were expressed in human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells and subjected to a panel of electrophysiological assays. I predicted that the net effect of each of these mutations was enhancement of channel function; my results regarding the L835F and R1882Q mutations supported this hypothesis. Both mutations enhance persistent current, and R1882Q also impairs fast inactivation. However, examination of the same parameters for the R853Q mutation suggested a decrease of channel function. I hypothesized that the R853Q mutation creates a gating pore in the channel structure through which sodium leaks into the cell when the channel is in its resting conformation. This hypothesis was supported by electrophysiological data from Xenopus oocytes, which showed a significant voltage-dependent leak current at negative potentials when they expressed the R853Q mutant channels. This was absent in oocytes expressing WT channels. Overall, these results suggest that individual mutations in the SCN2A gene generate epilepsy via distinct biophysical effects that may require novel and/or tailored pharmacotherapies for effective management.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Cummins, Theodore
Commitee: Sullivan, William, Brustovetsky, Nickolay, Sheets, Patrick, Hashino, Eri
School: Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis
Department: Pharmacology and Toxicology
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-B 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Pharmacology, Neurosciences, Cellular biology
Keywords: Electrophysiology, Epilepsy, Mutations, Nav1.2, Voltage-gated sodium channels
Publication Number: 28002387
ISBN: 9798662412118
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