Functional properties of large conductance Ca2+ activated potassium (BK) channels are determined by complex alternative splicing of the Kcnma1 gene encoding the alpha pore-forming subunit. Inclusion of the STREX exon in a C-terminal splice site is dynamically regulated and confers enhanced Ca2+ sensitivity and channel inhibition via cAMP-dependent phosphorylation. Here, we describe a real time quantitative PCR (qPCR) approach to investigate relative changes in the expression of STREX and ZERO splice variants using a newly designed set of probes and primers for TaqMan-based qPCR analysis of cDNA from the rat dentate gyrus at different time points following pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus. Reduction in Kcnma1 gene expression is associated with a relative increase of STREX splice variant. Relative expression of STREX variant mRNA was increased at 10 days and at more than 1 month following status epilepticus. The biological consequences of seizure-related changes in alternative splicing of Kcnma1 deserve additional investigation.
Ermolinsky, B. S., Skinner, F., Garcia, I., Arshadmansab, M. F., Otalora, L. F., Zarei, M. M., & Garrido-Sanabria, E. R. (2011). Upregulation of STREX splice variant of the large conductance Ca2+-activated potassium (BK) channel in a rat model of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. Neuroscience research, 69(1), 73–80. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neures.2010.09.011
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