Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UCLA Previously Published Works bannerUCLA

Disrupted coupling of gating charge displacement to Na+ current activation for DIIS4 mutations in hypokalemic periodic paralysis.


Missense mutations at arginine residues in the S4 voltage-sensor domains of NaV1.4 are an established cause of hypokalemic periodic paralysis, an inherited disorder of skeletal muscle involving recurrent episodes of weakness in conjunction with low serum K(+). Expression studies in oocytes have revealed anomalous, hyperpolarization-activated gating pore currents in mutant channels. This aberrant gating pore conductance creates a small inward current at the resting potential that is thought to contribute to susceptibility to depolarization in low K(+) during attacks of weakness. A critical component of this hypothesis is the magnitude of the gating pore conductance relative to other conductances that are active at the resting potential in mammalian muscle: large enough to favor episodes of paradoxical depolarization in low K(+), yet not so large as to permanently depolarize the fiber. To improve the estimate of the specific conductance for the gating pore in affected muscle, we sequentially measured Na(+) current through the channel pore, gating pore current, and gating charge displacement in oocytes expressing R669H, R672G, or wild-type NaV1.4 channels. The relative conductance of the gating pore to that of the pore domain pathway for Na(+) was 0.03%, which implies a specific conductance in muscle from heterozygous patients of ∼ 10 µS/cm(2) or 1% of the total resting conductance. Unexpectedly, our data also revealed a substantial decoupling between gating charge displacement and peak Na(+) current for both R669H and R672G mutant channels. This decoupling predicts a reduced Na(+) current density in affected muscle, consistent with the observations that the maximal dV/dt and peak amplitude of the action potential are reduced in fibers from patients with R672G and in a knock-in mouse model of R669H. The defective coupling between gating charge displacement and channel activation identifies a previously unappreciated mechanism that contributes to the reduced excitability of affected fibers seen with these mutations and possibly with other R/X mutations of S4 of NaV, CaV, and KV channels associated with human disease.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View