Length variation of a polyglutamine array in the gene encoding a small-conductance, calcium-activated potassium channel (hKCa3) and susceptibility to idiopathic generalized epilepsy

Epilepsy Res. 1999 Feb;33(2-3):227-33. doi: 10.1016/s0920-1211(98)00093-x.


The present association study tested whether length variations of two adjacent polymorphic CAG repeats in the coding sequence of a small-conductance, calcium-activated potassium channel (hKCa3) confer susceptibility to common subtypes of idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE). We found no significant difference in the allelic length distribution of the CAG repeats between 290 healthy German controls and the entire sample of 126 German IGE patients (Wilcoxon rank-sum test, P = 0.44) or two subgroups, comprising either 78 patients with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (Wilcoxon rank-sum test, P = 0.74) or 59 patients with idiopathic absence epilepsies (Wilcoxon rank-sum test, P = 0.44). Moreover, the allelic distribution in parents-child trios of 46 IGE offspring did not differ significantly between the transmitted and non-transmitted parental alleles (Wilcoxon rank-sum test, P = 0.48). Therefore, our association study provides no evidence that length variations of polyglutamine arrays in the N-terminus of the hKCa3 channel exert a frequent and relevant effect in the epileptogenesis of common subtypes of IGE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alleles
  • Child
  • Epilepsy, Generalized / genetics*
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics*
  • Genetic Variation* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Peptides / genetics*
  • Potassium Channels / genetics*
  • Potassium Channels, Calcium-Activated*
  • Reference Values
  • Small-Conductance Calcium-Activated Potassium Channels
  • Trinucleotide Repeats / genetics


  • KCNN3 protein, human
  • Peptides
  • Potassium Channels
  • Potassium Channels, Calcium-Activated
  • Small-Conductance Calcium-Activated Potassium Channels
  • polyglutamine