Alternating hemiplegia of childhood-related neural and behavioural phenotypes in Na+,K+-ATPase α3 missense mutant mice

PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e60141. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060141. Epub 2013 Mar 20.


Missense mutations in ATP1A3 encoding Na(+),K(+)-ATPase α3 have been identified as the primary cause of alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC), a motor disorder with onset typically before the age of 6 months. Affected children tend to be of short stature and can also have epilepsy, ataxia and learning disability. The Na(+),K(+)-ATPase has a well-known role in maintaining electrochemical gradients across cell membranes, but our understanding of how the mutations cause AHC is limited. Myshkin mutant mice carry an amino acid change (I810N) that affects the same position in Na(+),K(+)-ATPase α3 as I810S found in AHC. Using molecular modelling, we show that the Myshkin and AHC mutations display similarly severe structural impacts on Na(+),K(+)-ATPase α3, including upon the K(+) pore and predicted K(+) binding sites. Behavioural analysis of Myshkin mice revealed phenotypic abnormalities similar to symptoms of AHC, including motor dysfunction and cognitive impairment. 2-DG imaging of Myshkin mice identified compromised thalamocortical functioning that includes a deficit in frontal cortex functioning (hypofrontality), directly mirroring that reported in AHC, along with reduced thalamocortical functional connectivity. Our results thus provide validation for missense mutations in Na(+),K(+)-ATPase α3 as a cause of AHC, and highlight Myshkin mice as a starting point for the exploration of disease mechanisms and novel treatments in AHC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure
  • Female
  • Gait / genetics
  • Gait / physiology
  • Hemiplegia / genetics*
  • Hemiplegia / pathology
  • Humans
  • Locomotion / genetics
  • Locomotion / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Mutation, Missense / genetics*
  • Phenotype*
  • Protein Conformation*
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / genetics*
  • Species Specificity


  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase
  • sodium potassium ATPase alpha3 subunit, human

Supplementary concepts

  • Alternating hemiplegia of childhood