The PRRT2 knockout mouse recapitulates the neurological diseases associated with PRRT2 mutations

Caterina Michetti, Enrico Castroflorio, Ivan Marchionni, Nicola Forte, Bruno Sterlini, Francesca Binda, Floriana Fruscione, Pietro Baldelli, Flavia Valtorta, Federico Zara, Anna Corradi, Fabio Benfenati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Heterozygous and rare homozygous mutations in PRoline-Rich Transmembrane protein 2 (PRRT2) underlie a group of paroxysmal disorders including epilepsy, kinesigenic dyskinesia episodic ataxia and migraine. Most of the mutations lead to impaired PRRT2 expression and/or function. Recently, an important role for PRTT2 in the neurotransmitter release machinery, brain development and synapse formation has been uncovered. In this work, we have characterized the phenotype of a mouse in which the PRRT2 gene has been constitutively inactivated (PRRT2 KO). β-galactosidase staining allowed to map the regional expression of PRRT2 that was more intense in the cerebellum, hindbrain and spinal cord, while it was localized to restricted areas in the forebrain. PRRT2 KO mice are normal at birth, but display paroxysmal movements at the onset of locomotion that persist in the adulthood. In addition, adult PRRT2 KO mice present abnormal motor behaviors characterized by wild running and jumping in response to audiogenic stimuli that are ineffective in wild type mice and an increased sensitivity to the convulsive effects of pentylentetrazol. Patch-clamp electrophysiology in hippocampal and cerebellar slices revealed specific effects in the cerebellum, where PRRT2 is highly expressed, consisting in a higher excitatory strength at parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapses during high frequency stimulation. The results show that the PRRT2 KO mouse reproduces the motor paroxysms present in the human PRRT2-linked pathology and can be proposed as an experimental model for the study of the pathogenesis of the disease as well as for testing personalized therapeutic approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-83
Number of pages18
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Audiogenic seizures
  • Cerebellum
  • Hippocampus
  • Knockout mouse
  • Motor paroxysms
  • Proline-rich transmembrane protein 2
  • Synaptic transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology


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