The type 1 inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor gene is altered in the opisthotonos mouse

Valerie A. Street, Martha M. Bosma, Vasiliki P. Demas, Melissa R. Regan, Doras D. Lin, Linda C. Robinson, William Agnew, Bruce L. Tempel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


The opisthotonos (opt) mutation arose spontaneously in a C57BL/Ks- db(2J) colony and is the only known, naturally occurring allele of opt. This mutant mouse was first identified based on its ataxic and convulsive phenotype. Genetic and molecular data presented here demonstrate that the type 1 inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (IP3R1) protein, which serves as an IP3-gated channel to release calcium from intracellular stores, is altered in the opt mutant. A genomic deletion in the IP3R1 gene removes two exons from the IP3R1 mRNA but does not interrupt the translational reading frame. The altered protein is predicted to have lost several modulatory sites and is present at markedly reduced levels in opt homozygotes. Nonetheless, a strong calcium release from intracellular stores can be elicited in cerebellar Purkinje neurons treated with the metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) agonist quisqualate (QA). QA activates Group I mGluRs linked to GTP- binding proteins that stimulate phospholipase C and subsequent production of the intracellular messenger IP3, leading to calcium mobilization via the IP3R1 protein. The calcium response in opt homozygotes shows less attenuation to repeated QA application than in control littermates. These data suggest that the convulsions and ataxia observed in opt mice may be caused by the physiological dysregulation of a functional IP3R1 protein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-645
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997


  • Purkinje neurons
  • alternative splicing
  • genomic deletion
  • inositol 1,4,5- trisphosphate receptor
  • metabotropic glutamate receptor
  • mouse chromosome 6
  • opisthotonos
  • quisqualate
  • seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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