Kv7.3 Compound Heterozygous Variants in Early Onset Encephalopathy Reveal Additive Contribution of C-Terminal Residues to PIP2-Dependent K+ Channel Gating

Paolo Ambrosino, Elena Freri, Barbara Castellotti, Maria Virginia Soldovieri, Ilaria Mosca, Laura Manocchio, Cinzia Gellera, Laura Canafoglia, Silvana Franceschetti, Barbara Salis, Nunzio Iraci, Francesco Miceli, Francesca Ragona, Tiziana Granata, Jacopo C. DiFrancesco, Maurizio Taglialatela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over one hundred mutations in the Kv7.2 (KCNQ2) gene encoding for phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2)-sensitive voltage-gated K+ channel subunits have been identified in early-onset epilepsies with wide phenotypic variability. By contrast, only few mutations in the closely related Kv7.3 (KCNQ3) gene have been reported, mostly associated with typical benign familial neonatal seizures (BFNS). We herein describe a patient affected by early onset epileptic encephalopathy (EOEE) carrying two Kv7.3 missense mutations (p.Val359Leu/V359L and p.Asp542Asn/D542N) in compound heterozygosis, each inherited from an asymptomatic parent. Patch-clamp recordings from transiently transfected CHO cells showed that, when incorporated in physiologically relevant Kv7.2 + Kv7.3 heteromeric channels, expression of Kv7.3 V359L or Kv7.3 D542N subunits failed to affect current density, whereas a significant decrease was instead observed when these mutant subunits were both simultaneously present. Modeling and functional experiments revealed that each variant decreased PIP2-dependent current regulation, with additive effects when the two were co-expressed. Moreover, expression of Kv7.2 subunits carrying the D535N variant previously described in three sporadic EOEE cases prompted functional changes more dramatic when compared to those of the corresponding D542N variant in Kv7.3, but similar to those observed when both Kv7.3 V359L and Kv7.3 D542N subunits were expressed together. Finally, the Kv7 activator retigabine restored channel dysfunction induced by each Kv7.2 or Kv7.3 variant(s). These results provide a plausible molecular explanation for the apparent recessive inheritance of the phenotype in the family investigated, and a rational basis for personalized therapy with Kv7 channel activators in EOEE patients carrying loss-of-function mutations in Kv7.2 or Kv7.3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7009-7024
Number of pages16
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2018


  • Compound heterozygosity
  • Epilepsy
  • Epileptic encephalopathy
  • Kv7 potassium channels
  • Mutation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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