The GABRG2 nonsense mutation, Q40X, associated with Dravet syndrome activated NMD and generated a truncated subunit that was partially rescued by aminoglycoside-induced stop codon read-through

Xuan Huang, Mengnan Tian, Ciria C. Hernandez, Ningning Hu, Robert L. MacDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The GABRG2 nonsense mutation, Q40X, is associated with the severe epilepsy syndrome, Dravet syndrome, and is predicted to generate a premature translation-termination codon (PTC) in the GABAA receptor γ2 subunit mRNA in a position that codes for the first amino acid of the mutant subunit. We determined the effects of the mutation on γ2 subunit mRNA and protein synthesis and degradation, as well as on α1β2γ2 GABAA receptor assembly, trafficking and surface expression in HEK cells. Using bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) constructs, we found that γ2(Q40X) subunit mRNA was degraded by nonsense mediated mRNA decay (NMD). Undegraded mutant mRNA was translated to a truncated peptide, likely the signal peptide, which was cleaved further. We also found that mutant γ2(Q40X) subunits did not assemble into functional receptors, thus decreasing GABA-evoked current amplitudes. The GABRG2(Q40X) mutation is one of several epilepsy-associated nonsense mutations that have the potential to be rescued by reading through the PTC, thus restoring full-length protein translation. As a first approach, we investigated the use of the aminoglycoside, gentamicin, to rescue translation of intact mutant subunits by inducing mRNA read-through. In the presence of gentamicin, synthesis of full length γ2 subunits was partially restored, and surface biotinylation and whole cell recording experiments suggested that rescued γ2 subunits could corporate into functional, surface GABAA receptors, indicating a possible direction for future therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-123
Number of pages9
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Dravet syndrome
  • GABA receptors
  • GABRG2(Q40X) mutation
  • Generalized epilepsy
  • Gentamicin
  • Loss of function
  • γ2 subunit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology

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