Analysing an allelic series of rare missense variants of CACNA1I in a Swedish schizophrenia cohort

Baez-Nieto, David; Allen, Andrew; Akers-Campbell, Seth; Yang, Lingling; Budnik, Nikita; Pupo, Amaury; Shin, Young-Cheul; Genovese, Giulio; Liao, Maofu; Perez-Palma, Eduardo; Heyne, Henrike; Lal, Dennis; Lipscombe, Diane; Pan, Jen Q.


CACNA1I is implicated in the susceptibility to schizophrenia by large-scale genetic association studies of single nucleotide polymorphisms. However, the channelopathy of CACNA1I in schizophrenia is unknown. CACNA1I encodes Ca(V)3.3, a neuronal voltage-gated calcium channel that underlies a subtype of T-type current that is important for neuronal excitability in the thalamic reticular nucleus and other regions of the brain. Here, we present an extensive functional characterization of 57 naturally occurring rare and common missense variants of CACNA1I derived from a Swedish schizophrenia cohort of more than 10 000 individuals. Our analysis of this allelic series of coding CACNA1I variants revealed that reduced Ca(V)3.3 channel current density was the dominant phenotype associated with rare CACNA1I coding alleles derived from control subjects, whereas rare CACNA1I alleles from schizophrenia patients encoded Ca(V)3.3 channels with altered responses to voltages. CACNA1I variants associated with altered current density primarily impact the ionic channel pore and those associated with altered responses to voltage impact the voltage-sensing domain. Ca(V)3.3 variants associated with altered voltage dependence of the Ca(V)3.3 channel and those associated with peak current density deficits were significantly segregated across affected and unaffected groups (Fisher's exact test, P = 0.034). Our results, together with recent data from the SCHEMA (Schizophrenia Exome Sequencing Meta-Analysis) cohort, suggest that reduced Ca(V)3.3 function may protect against schizophrenia risk in rare cases. We subsequently modelled the effect of the biophysical properties of Ca(V)3.3 channel variants on thalamic reticular nucleus excitability and found that compared with common variants, ultrarare Ca(V)3.3-coding variants derived from control subjects significantly decreased thalamic reticular nucleus excitability (P = 0.011). When all rare variants were analysed, there was a non-significant trend between variants that reduced thalamic reticular nucleus excitability and variants that either had no effect or increased thalamic reticular nucleus excitability across disease status. Taken together, the results of our functional analysis of an allelic series of >50 CACNA1I variants in a schizophrenia cohort reveal that loss of function of Ca(V)3.3 is a molecular phenotype associated with reduced disease risk burden, and our approach may serve as a template strategy for channelopathies in polygenic disorders. In a functional analysis of coding variants in CACNA1I, Baez-Nieto et al. show that rare variants derived from patients with schizophrenia mainly change how the Ca(V)3.3 channel is activated by voltage, whereas rare variants from control subjects are typically associated with reduced Ca(V)3.3 protein expression.

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Título según WOS: Analysing an allelic series of rare missense variants of CACNA1I in a Swedish schizophrenia cohort
Título de la Revista: BRAIN
Volumen: 145
Número: 5
Editorial: Oxford University Press
Fecha de publicación: 2022
Página de inicio: 1839
Página final: 1853


Notas: ISI