• Contributions of Ca1.3 Channels to Ca Current and Ca-Activated BK Current in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus

      McNally, Beth A; Plante, Amber E; Meredith, Andrea L (Frontiers Media S.A., 2021-09-28)
      Daily regulation of Ca2+ - and voltage-activated BK K+ channel activity is required for action potential rhythmicity in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus, the brain's circadian clock. In SCN neurons, BK activation is dependent upon multiple types of Ca2+ channels in a circadian manner. Daytime BK current predominantly requires Ca2+ influx through L-type Ca2+ channels (LTCCs), a time when BK channels are closely coupled with their Ca2+ source. Here we show that daytime BK current is resistant to the Ca2+ chelator BAPTA. However, at night when LTCCs contribute little to BK activation, BK current decreases by a third in BAPTA compared to control EGTA conditions. In phase with this time-of-day specific effect on BK current activation, LTCC current is larger during the day. The specific Ca2+ channel subtypes underlying the LTCC current in SCN, as well as the subtypes contributing the Ca2+ influx relevant for BK current activation, have not been identified. SCN neurons express two LTCC subtypes, CaV1.2 and CaV1.3. While a role for CaV1.2 channels has been identified during the night, CaV1.3 channel modulation has also been suggested to contribute to daytime SCN action potential activity, as well as subthreshold Ca2+ oscillations. Here we characterize the role of CaV1.3 channels in LTCC and BK current activation in SCN neurons using a global deletion of CACNA1D in mouse (CaV1.3 KO). CaV1.3 KO SCN neurons had a 50% reduction in the daytime LTCC current, but not total Ca2+ current, with no difference in Ca2+ current levels at night. During the day, CaV1.3 KO neurons exhibited oscillations in membrane potential, and most neurons, although not all, also had BK currents. Changes in BK current activation were only detectable at the highest voltage tested. These data show that while CaV1.3 channels contribute to the daytime Ca2+ current, this does not translate into a major effect on the daytime BK current. These data suggest that BK current activation does not absolutely require CaV1.3 channels and may therefore also depend on other LTCC subtypes, such as CaV1.2.
    • Effects of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Human KCNMA1 on BK Current Properties

      Plante, A.E.; Lai, M.H.; Lu, J.; Meredith, A.L. (Frontiers Media S.A., 2019)
      BK Ca2+-activated K+ channels are important regulators of membrane excitability. Multiple regulatory mechanisms tailor BK current properties across tissues, such as alternative splicing, posttranslational modifications, and auxiliary subunits. Another potential mechanism for modulating BK channel activity is genetic variation due to single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The gene encoding the human BK α subunit, KCNMA1, contains hundreds of SNPs. However, the variation in BK channel activity due to SNPs is not well studied. Here, we screened the effects of four SNPs (A138V, C495G, N599D, and R800W) on BK currents in HEK293T cells, selected based on predicted protein pathogenicity or disease linkage. We found that the SNPs C495G and R800W had the largest effects on BK currents, affecting the conductance–voltage relationship across multiple Ca2+ conditions in the context of two BK channel splice variants. In symmetrical K+, C495G shifted the V1/2 to more hyperpolarized potentials (by −15 to −20 mV) and accelerated activation, indicating C495G confers some gain-of-function properties. R800W shifted the V1/2 to more depolarized potentials (+15 to +35 mV) and slowed activation, conferring loss-of-function properties. Moreover, the C495G and R800W effects on current properties were found to persist with posttranslational modifications. In contrast, A138V and N599D had smaller and more variable effects on current properties. Neither application of alkaline phosphatase to patches, which results in increased BK channel activity attributed to channel dephosphorylation, nor bidirectional redox modulations completely abrogated SNP effects on BK currents. Lastly, in physiological K+, C495G increased the amplitude of action potential (AP)-evoked BK currents, while R800W had a more limited effect. However, the introduction of R800W in parallel with the epilepsy-linked mutation D434G (D434G/R800W) decreased the amplitude of AP-evoked BK currents compared with D434G alone. These results suggest that in a physiological context, C495G could increase BK activation, while the effects of the loss-of-function SNP R800W could oppose the gain-of-function effects of an epilepsy-linked mutation. Together, these results implicate naturally occurring human genetic variation as a potential modifier of BK channel activity across a variety of conditions. Copyright 2019 Plante, Lai, Lu and Meredith.
    • An emerging spectrum of variants and clinical features in KCNMA1-linked channelopathy

      Miller, Jacob P; Moldenhauer, Hans J; Keros, Sotirios; Meredith, Andrea L (Taylor and Francis Inc., 2021-07-05)
      KCNMA1-linked channelopathy is an emerging neurological disorder characterized by heterogeneous and overlapping combinations of movement disorder, seizure, developmental delay, and intellectual disability. KCNMA1 encodes the BK K+ channel, which contributes to both excitatory and inhibitory neuronal and muscle activity. Understanding the basis of the disorder is an important area of active investigation; however, the rare prevalence has hampered the development of large patient cohorts necessary to establish genotype-phenotype correlations. In this review, we summarize 37 KCNMA1 alleles from 69 patients currently defining the channelopathy and assess key diagnostic and clinical hallmarks. At present, 3 variants are classified as gain-of-function with respect to BK channel activity, 14 loss-of-function, 15 variants of uncertain significance, and putative benign/VUS. Symptoms associated with these variants were curated from patient-provided information and prior publications to define the spectrum of clinical phenotypes. In this newly expanded cohort, seizures showed no differential distribution between patients harboring GOF and LOF variants, while movement disorders segregated by mutation type. Paroxysmal non-kinesigenic dyskinesia was predominantly observed among patients with GOF alleles of the BK channel, although not exclusively so, while additional movement disorders were observed in patients with LOF variants. Neurodevelopmental and structural brain abnormalities were prevalent in patients with LOF mutations. In contrast to mutations, disease-associated KCNMA1 single nucleotide polymorphisms were not predominantly related to neurological phenotypes but covered a wider set of peripheral physiological functions. Together, this review provides additional evidence exploring the genetic and biochemical basis for KCNMA1-linked channelopathy and summarizes the clinical repository of patient symptoms across multiple types of KCNMA1 gene variants.
    • KCNMA1-linked channelopathy

      Bailey, C.S.; Moldenhauer, H.J.; Park, S.M.; Meredith, A.L. (Rockefeller University Press, 2019)
      KCNMA1 encodes the pore-forming α subunit of the "Big K+" (BK) large conductance calcium and voltage-activated K+ channel. BK channels are widely distributed across tissues, including both excitable and nonexcitable cells. Expression levels are highest in brain and muscle, where BK channels are critical regulators of neuronal excitability and muscle contractility. A global deletion in mouse (KCNMA1-/- ) is viable but exhibits pathophysiology in many organ systems. Yet despite the important roles in animal models, the consequences of dysfunctional BK channels in humans are not well characterized. Here, we summarize 16 rare KCNMA1 mutations identified in 37 patients dating back to 2005, with an array of clinically defined pathological phenotypes collectively referred to as "KCNMA1-linked channelopathy." These mutations encompass gain-of-function (GOF) and loss-of-function (LOF) alterations in BK channel activity, as well as several variants of unknown significance (VUS). Human KCNMA1 mutations are primarily associated with neurological conditions, including seizures, movement disorders, developmental delay, and intellectual disability. Due to the recent identification of additional patients, the spectrum of symptoms associated with KCNMA1 mutations has expanded but remains primarily defined by brain and muscle dysfunction. Emerging evidence suggests the functional BK channel alterations produced by different KCNMA1 alleles may associate with semi-distinct patient symptoms, such as paroxysmal nonkinesigenic dyskinesia (PNKD) with GOF and ataxia with LOF. However, due to the de novo origins for the majority of KCNMA1 mutations identified to date and the phenotypic variability exhibited by patients, additional evidence is required to establish causality in most cases. The symptomatic picture developing from patients with KCNMA1-linked channelopathy highlights the importance of better understanding the roles BK channels play in regulating cell excitability. Establishing causality between KCNMA1-linked BK channel dysfunction and specific patient symptoms may reveal new treatment approaches with the potential to increase therapeutic efficacy over current standard regimens. Copyright 2019 Bailey et al.