Conserved patterns across ion channels correlate with variant pathogenicity and clinical phenotypes

Brunger, Tobias; Perez-Palma, Eduardo; Montanucci, Ludovica; Nothnagel, Michael; Moller, Rikke S.; Schorge, Stephanie; Zuberi, Sameer; Symonds, Joseph; Lemke, Johannes R.; Brunklaus, Andreas; Traynelis, Stephen F.; May, Patrick; Lal, Dennis


Clinically identified genetic variants in ion channels can be benign or cause disease by increasing or decreasing the protein function. As a consequence, therapeutic decision-making is challenging without molecular testing of each variant. Our biophysical knowledge of ion-channel structures and function is just emerging, and it is currently not well understood which amino acid residues cause disease when mutated. We sought to systematically identify biological properties associated with variant pathogenicity across all major voltage and ligand-gated ion-channel families. We collected and curated 3049 pathogenic variants from hundreds of neurodevelopmental and other disorders and 12 546 population variants for 30 ion channel or channel subunits for which a high-quality protein structure was available. Using a wide range of bioinformatics approaches, we computed 163 structural features and tested them for pathogenic variant enrichment. We developed a novel 3D spatial distance scoring approach that enables comparisons of pathogenic and population variant distribution across protein structures. We discovered and independently replicated that several pore residue properties and proximity to the pore axis were most significantly enriched for pathogenic variants compared to population variants. Using our 3D scoring approach, we showed that the strongest pathogenic variant enrichment was observed for pore-lining residues and alpha-helix residues within 5 angstrom distance from the pore axis centre and not involved in gating. Within the subset of residues located at the pore, the hydrophobicity of the pore was the feature most strongly associated with variant pathogenicity. We also found an association between the identified properties and both clinical phenotypes and functional in vitro assays for voltage-gated sodium channels (SCN1A, SCN2A, SCN8A) and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (GRIN1, GRIN2A, GRIN2B) encoding genes. In an independent expert-curated dataset of 1422 neurodevelopmental disorder pathogenic patient variants and 679 electrophysiological experiments, we show that pore axis distance is associated with seizure age of onset and cognitive performance as well as differential gain versus loss-of-channel function. In summary, we identified biological properties associated with ion-channel malfunction and show that these are correlated with in vitro functional readouts and clinical phenotypes in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders. Our results suggest that clinical decision support algorithms that predict variant pathogenicity and function are feasible in the future. Brunger et al. set out to systematically identify biological features associated with variant pathogenicity across all major ion-channel families. They show that the features identified are associated with molecular readouts and clinical phenotypes in patients with voltage-gated sodium channel and NMDA receptor-associated neurodevelopmental disorders.

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Título según WOS: ID WOS:000898079100001 Not found in local WOS DB
Título de la Revista: BRAIN
Volumen: 146
Número: 3
Editorial: Oxford University Press
Fecha de publicación: 2023
Página de inicio: 923
Página final: 934


Notas: ISI