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      Diagnosis of skeletal muscle channelopathies

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      Expert Opinion on Medical Diagnostics

      Informa Healthcare

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          Abstract

          Skeletal muscle channelopathies are rare disorders of muscle membrane excitability. Their episodic nature may result in diagnostic difficulty and delays in diagnosis. Advances in diagnostic clinical electrophysiology combined with DNA-based diagnosis have improved diagnostic accuracy and efficiency. Ascribing pathogenic status to identified genetic variants in muscle channel genes may be complex and functional analysis, including molecular expression, may help with this. Accurate clinical and genetic diagnosis enables genetic counselling, advice regarding prognosis and aids treatment selection.

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          Most cited references 75

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          Mutations in Kir2.1 cause the developmental and episodic electrical phenotypes of Andersen's syndrome.

          Andersen's syndrome is characterized by periodic paralysis, cardiac arrhythmias, and dysmorphic features. We have mapped an Andersen's locus to chromosome 17q23 near the inward rectifying potassium channel gene KCNJ2. A missense mutation in KCNJ2 (encoding D71V) was identified in the linked family. Eight additional mutations were identified in unrelated patients. Expression of two of these mutations in Xenopus oocytes revealed loss of function and a dominant negative effect in Kir2.1 current as assayed by voltage-clamp. We conclude that mutations in Kir2.1 cause Andersen's syndrome. These findings suggest that Kir2.1 plays an important role in developmental signaling in addition to its previously recognized function in controlling cell excitability in skeletal muscle and heart.
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            The skeletal muscle chloride channel in dominant and recessive human myotonia.

            Autosomal recessive generalized myotonia (Becker's disease) (GM) and autosomal dominant myotonia congenita (Thomsen's disease) (MC) are characterized by skeletal muscle stiffness that is a result of muscle membrane hyperexcitability. For both diseases, alterations in muscle chloride or sodium currents or both have been observed. A complementary DNA for a human skeletal muscle chloride channel (CLC-1) was cloned, physically localized on chromosome 7, and linked to the T cell receptor beta (TCRB) locus. Tight linkage of these two loci to GM and MC was found in German families. An unusual restriction site in the CLC-1 locus in two GM families identified a mutation associated with that disease, a phenylalanine-to-cysteine substitution in putative transmembrane domain D8. This suggests that different mutations in CLC-1 may cause dominant or recessive myotonia.
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              Mutations in potassium channel Kir2.6 cause susceptibility to thyrotoxic hypokalemic periodic paralysis.

              Thyrotoxic hypokalemic periodic paralysis (TPP) is characterized by acute attacks of weakness, hypokalemia, and thyrotoxicosis of various etiologies. These transient attacks resemble those of patients with familial hypokalemic periodic paralysis (hypoKPP) and resolve with treatment of the underlying hyperthyroidism. Because of the phenotypic similarity of these conditions, we hypothesized that TPP might also be a channelopathy. While sequencing candidate genes, we identified a previously unreported gene (not present in human sequence databases) that encodes an inwardly rectifying potassium (Kir) channel, Kir2.6. This channel, nearly identical to Kir2.2, is expressed in skeletal muscle and is transcriptionally regulated by thyroid hormone. Expression of Kir2.6 in mammalian cells revealed normal Kir currents in whole-cell and single-channel recordings. Kir2.6 mutations were present in up to 33% of the unrelated TPP patients in our collection. Some of these mutations clearly alter a variety of Kir2.6 properties, all altering muscle membrane excitability leading to paralysis.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Expert Opinion on Medical Diagnostics
                Expert Opinion on Medical Diagnostics
                Informa Healthcare
                1753-0059
                1753-0067
                October 03 2013
                November 2013
                September 26 2013
                November 2013
                : 7
                : 6
                : 517-529
                Article
                10.1517/17530059.2013.839656
                24066928
                7a1b9222-4d77-4230-9eee-297cfe9605a3
                © 2013

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