Cantu syndrome-Associated SUR2 (ABCC9) mutations in distinct structural domains result in KATP channel gain-offunction by differential mechanisms

Conor McClenaghan, Alex Hanson, Monica Sala-Rabanal, Helen I. Roessler, Dragana Josifova, Dorothy K. Grange, Gijs Van Haaften, Colin G. Nichols

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29 Scopus citations


The complex disorder Cantu syndrome (CS) arises from gainof-function mutations in either KCNJ8 or ABCC9, the genes encoding the Kir6.1 and SUR2 subunits of ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels, respectively. Recent reports indicate that such mutations can increase channel activity by multiple molecular mechanisms. In this study, we determined the mechanism by which KATP function is altered by several substitutions in distinct structural domains of SUR2: D207E in the intracellular L0-linker and Y985S, G989E, M1060I, and R1154Q/R1154W in TMD2. We engineered substitutions at their equivalent positions in rat SUR2A (D207E, Y981S, G985E, M1056I, and R1150Q/R1150W) and investigated functional consequences using macroscopic rubidium (86Rb-) efflux assays and patchclamp electrophysiology. Our results indicate that D207E increases KATP channel activity by increasing intrinsic stability of the open state, whereas the cluster of Y981S/G985E/M1056I substitutions, as well as R1150Q/R1150W, augmented Mg-nucleotide activation. We also tested the responses of these channel variants to inhibition by the sulfonylurea drug glibenclamide, a potential pharmacotherapy for CS. None of the D207E, Y981S, G985E, or M1056I substitutions had a significant effect on glibenclamide sensitivity. However, Gln and Trp substitution at Arg-1150 significantly decreased glibenclamide potency. In summary, these results provide additional confirmation that mutations in CS-Associated SUR2 mutations result in KATP gain-of-function. They help link CS genotypes to phenotypes and shed light on the underlying molecular mechanisms, including consequences for inhibitory drug sensitivity, insights that may inform the development of therapeutic approaches to manage CS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2041-2052
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 9 2018


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