Background and objective: Mutations in KCNJ18, which encodes the inwardly rectifying potassium channel Kir2.6, have rarely been reported in hypokalemic periodic paralysis. We describe the clinical phenotype of a novel KCNJ18 gene mutation and perform functional characterization of this mutant Kir2.6.
Methods: A long-term exercise test (ET) was conducted based on the McManis method. Whole-cell currents were recorded using patch clamp, and the HEK293 cells were transfected with wild-type or/and mutant Kir2.6 cDNA.
Results: A de novo conserved heterozygous mutation in Kir2.6, G169R, was found in a hypokalemic periodic paralysis patient. ET led to a decrease in the amplitude of compound muscle action potential (CMAP) by 64%. Patch clamp results showed that the potassium inward and outward current densities of the G169R mutant were, respectively, reduced by 65.6% and 84.7%; for co-expression with wild type, which more closely resembles the physiological conditions in vitro, the inward and outward current densities decreased, respectively, by 48.2% and 47.4%.
Conclusions: A novel KCNJ18 mutation, G169R, was first reported to be associated with hypokalemic periodic paralysis without hyperthyroidism. Electrophysiological results demonstrated a significant functional defect of this mutant, which may predispose patients with this mutation to paralysis.
Significance: This new G169R mutation of the potassium channel Kir2.6 provides insight into the pathogenic mechanisms of hypokalemic periodic paralysis.
Keywords: Gene mutation; Hypokalemic periodic paralysis; KCNJ18 gene; Kir2.6; Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis.
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