PP2A-Bgamma subunit and KCNQ2 K+ channels in bipolar disorder

Pharmacogenomics J. 2007 Apr;7(2):123-32. doi: 10.1038/sj.tpj.6500400. Epub 2006 May 30.


Many bipolar affective disorder (BD) susceptibility loci have been identified but the molecular mechanisms responsible for the disease remain to be elucidated. In the locus 4p16, several candidate genes were identified but none of them was definitively shown to be associated with BD. In this region, the PPP2R2C gene encodes the Bgamma-regulatory subunit of the protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A-Bgamma). First, we identified, in two different populations, single nucleotide polymorphisms and risk haplotypes for this gene that are associated to BD. Then, we used the Bgamma subunit as bait to screen a human brain cDNA library with the yeast two-hybrid technique. This led us to two new splice variants of KCNQ2 channels and to the KCNQ2 channel itself. This unusual K+ channel has particularly interesting functional properties and belongs to a channel family that is already known to be implicated in several other monogenic diseases. In one of the BD populations, we also found a genetic association between the KCNQ2 gene and BD. We show that KCNQ2 splice variants differ from native channels by their shortened C-terminal sequences and are unique as they are active and exert a dominant-negative effect on KCNQ2 wild-type (wt) channel activity. We also show that the PP2A-Bgamma subunit significantly increases the current generated by KCNQ2wt, a channel normally inhibited by phosphorylation. The kinase glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3beta) is considered as an interesting target of lithium, the classical drug used in BD. GSK3beta phosphorylates the KCNQ2 channel and this phosphorylation is decreased by Li+.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antimanic Agents / pharmacology
  • Argentina
  • Bipolar Disorder / genetics*
  • Bipolar Disorder / metabolism*
  • COS Cells
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 / metabolism
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 beta
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • KCNQ2 Potassium Channel / genetics*
  • KCNQ2 Potassium Channel / metabolism*
  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Lithium Chloride / pharmacology
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Odds Ratio
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases / genetics*
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Protein Phosphatase 2
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Thalamus / drug effects
  • Thalamus / metabolism*
  • Transfection
  • United Kingdom


  • Antimanic Agents
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • KCNQ2 Potassium Channel
  • KCNQ2 protein, human
  • PPP2R2C protein, human
  • Protein Isoforms
  • GSK3B protein, human
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 beta
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases
  • Protein Phosphatase 2
  • Lithium Chloride