Neuronal voltage-gated Cav2.1 channel controls a broad array of functions, including neurotransmitter release, neuronal excitability, activity-dependent gene expression, and neuronal survival. The Cav2.1 channel is molecular complexes consisting of several subunits: α1, α2/δ, β, and γ. The pore-forming subunit, α1, is encoded by the Cacna1a gene. Tottering-6j mice, generated by the Neuroscience Mutagenesis Facility at The Jackson Laboratory, are a recessive mutant strain in which the mutation has been chemically induced by ethylnitrosourea. In tottering-6j mice, mutation in the Cacna1a gene results in a base substitution (C-to-A) in the consensus splice acceptor sequence, which results in deletion of a part of the S4-S5 linker, S5, and a part of S5-S6 linker domain I in the α1 subunit of Cav2.1 channel. The mice display motor dysfunctions and absence-like seizures. However, protein expression in the cerebellum of tottering-6j mice has not been investigated. Realtime quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and histological analyses of the cerebellum of tottering-6j mice revealed high expression levels of tyrosine hydroxylase, zebrin II, and ryanodine receptor 3 compared with those of wild-type mice. Conversely, a low level of calretinin expression was found compared with wild-type mice. These results indicate that Cacna1a mutation plays a significant role in protein expression patterns and that the tottering-6j mouse is a useful model for understanding protein expression mechanisms.
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