Kuramoto T, Yokoe M, Kunisawa N, Ohashi K, Miyake T, Higuchi Y, Yoshimi K, Mashimo T, Tanaka M, Kuwamura M, Kaneko S, Shimizu S, Serikawa T, Ohno Y.
Tremor dominant Kyoto (Trdk) is an autosomal dominant mutation that appeared in F344/NSlc rats mutagenized with N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU). In this study, we characterized and genetically analyzed F344-Trdk/+ heterozygous rats. The rats exhibited a tremor that was especially evident around weaning but persisted throughout life. The tremors of F344-Trdk/+ rats were attenuated by drugs effective against essential tremor (ET) but not drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease-related tremor, indicating that the pharmacological phenotype of F344-Trdk/+ rats was similar to human ET. Using positional candidate approach, we identified the Trdk mutation as a missense substitution (c. 866T>A, p. I289N) in Kcnn2, which encodes the SK2 subunit of the small-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channel. In vitro electrophysiological studies revealed that the I289N mutation diminished SK2 channel activity. These findings demonstrate that F344-Trdk/+ rats represent a novel model of ET, and strongly suggest that Kcnn2 is the causative gene for the tremor phenotype in F344-Trdk/+ rats.