Journal article

Missense mutations in the sodium-gated potassium channel gene KCNT1 cause severe autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy

Sarah E Heron, Katherine R Smith, Melanie Bahlo, Lino Nobili, Esther Kahana, Laura Licchetta, Karen L Oliver, Aziz Mazarib, Zaid Afawi, Amos Korczyn, Giuseppe Plazzi, Steven Petrou, Samuel F Berkovic, Ingrid E Scheffer, Leanne M Dibbens



We performed genomic mapping of a family with autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy (ADNFLE) and intellectual and psychiatric problems, identifying a disease-associated region on chromosome 9q34.3. Whole-exome sequencing identified a mutation in KCNT1, encoding a sodium-gated potassium channel subunit. KCNT1 mutations were identified in two additional families and a sporadic case with severe ADNFLE and psychiatric features. These findings implicate the sodium-gated potassium channel complex in ADNFLE and, more broadly, in the pathogenesis of focal epilepsies.


Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia

Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank the affected individuals and their families for their participation in this study, and B. Johns and R. Schultz for technical assistance. This work was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (Program Grant 628952 to S.F.B., I.E.S., S.P. and L.M.D., Program Grant 490037 to M.B., Training Fellowship 1016715 to S.E.H., Senior Research Fellowship 1005050 to S.P., Australia Fellowship 466671 to S.F.B., Practitioner Fellowship 1006110 to I.E.S. and Career Development Fellowship 1032603 to L.M.D.). The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health is supported by Victorian State government infrastructure funds. K.R.S. is supported by a PhD scholarship funded by the Pratt Foundation. M.B. is supported by Australian Research Council Future Fellowship FT100100764. Work by K.R.S. and M.B. was also supported by Victorian State Government Operational Infrastructure and Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council Independent Research Institutes Infrastructure Support Scheme (IRIISS) funding. The study was approved by the Human Research Ethics Committees of Austin Health and the University of South Australia. Informed consent was obtained from all participants or their parents or guardians.