hKCa3/KCNN3 Calcium Activated Potassium Channel: a Diagnostic Marker and Therapeutic Target for Heritable, Neurological and Psychiatric Diseases
University of California, Irvine researchers have discovered SKCa3-1b and SKCa3-1c, two novel isoform variants of the SK3 (also known as KCNN3) gene. The SK3 gene is located on human chromosome 1q21 in a region containing a major susceptibility locus for familial schizophrenia and familial hemiplegic migraine associated with permanent cerebellar ataxia. Researchers have also found that these two novel isoforms dominantly-negatively suppress SKCa3-1A currents. Suppressing SKCa3-1A currents creates a concomitant increase in dopamine release, characteristic of schizophrenia. Application: A possible therapy is to inhibit SKCa3-1b and SKCa3-1c from suppressing SKCa3-1A currents in order to treat schizophrenia and other heritable, neurological and psychiatric diseases. A method for detection may also be developed based upon the activity of these novel genes.
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