Increased responsiveness at the cerebellar input stage in the PRRT2 knockout model of paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia

Francesca Binda, Pierluigi Valente, Antonella Marte, Pietro Baldelli, Fabio Benfenati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PRoline-Rich Transmembrane protein-2 (PRRT2) is a recently described neuron-specific type-2 integral membrane protein with a large cytosolic N-terminal domain that distributes in presynaptic and axonal domains where it interacts with several presynaptic proteins and voltage-gated Na+ channels. Several PRRT2 mutations are the main cause of a wide and heterogeneous spectrum of paroxysmal disorders with a loss-of-function pathomechanism. The highest expression levels of PRRT2 in brain occurs in cerebellar granule cells (GCs) and cerebellar dysfunctions participate in the dyskinetic phenotype of PRRT2 knockout (KO) mice. We have investigated the effects of PRRT2 deficiency on the intrinsic excitability of GCs and the input-output relationships at the mossy fiber-GC synapses. We show that PRRT2 KO primary GCs display increased expression of Na+ channels, increased amplitude of Na+ currents and increased length of the axon initial segment, leading to an overall enhancement of intrinsic excitability. In acute PRRT2 KO cerebellar slices, GCs were more prone to action potential discharge in response to mossy fiber activation and exhibited an enhancement of transient and persistent Na+ currents, in the absence of changes at the mossy fiber-GC synapses. The results support a key role of PRRT2 expressed in GCs in the physiological regulation of the excitatory input to the cerebellum and are consistent with a major role of a cerebellar dysfunction in the pathogenesis of the PRRT2-linked paroxysmal pathologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105275
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Cerebellar granules
  • Intrinsic excitability
  • Na channels
  • PRRT2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology


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