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New Gene Linked To Low Levels Of Magnesium

Date:
March 28, 2009
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
A small number of individuals have genetic mutations that cause them to have very low levels of magnesium, which can cause altered heart beats, seizures, and involuntary muscle contraction.

A small number of individuals have genetic mutations that cause them to have very low levels of magnesium (Mg2+), which can cause altered heart beats, seizures, and involuntary muscle contraction.

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Study of these patients has provided a lot of our information about how Mg2+ levels are normally controlled, which is of clinical importance as it has been estimated that up to 60% of critically ill patients have low Mg2+ levels, and this is associated with increased mortality.

René Bindels and colleagues, at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, The Netherlands, have now identified a new gene mutation in a family with hypomagnesemia, providing new insight into the mechanisms that regulate Mg2+ levels.

In the study, a mutation in the KCNA1 gene, which makes a protein known as Kv1.1, was found to cause hypomagnesemia in a large family with many individuals suffering from the disease. Detailed analysis revealed that the mutation generated a nonfunctional Kv1.1 protein and that it affected Mg2+ reabsorption by the protein TRPM6 in a region of the kidney known as the distal convoluted tubule.

In an accompanying commentary, David Ellison, at Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, discusses the importance of the data and suggests how they might explain some of the clinical situations in which critically ill patients have low Mg2+ levels.

The research is published in the March 23, 2009, issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Bob Glaudemans, Jenny van der Wijst, Rosana H. Scola, Paulo J. Lorenzoni, Angelien Heister, AnneMiete W. van der Kemp, Nine V. Knoers, Joost G. Hoenderop, René J. Bindels. A missense mutation in the Kv1.1 voltage-gated potassium channel–encoding gene KCNA1 is linked to human autosomal dominant hypomagnesemia. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2009; DOI: 10.1172/JCI36948
  2. David H. Ellison. The voltage-gated K channel subunit Kv1.1 links kidney and brain. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2009; DOI: 10.1172/JCI38835

Cite This Page:

Journal of Clinical Investigation. "New Gene Linked To Low Levels Of Magnesium." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090324213335.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2009, March 28). New Gene Linked To Low Levels Of Magnesium. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090324213335.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "New Gene Linked To Low Levels Of Magnesium." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090324213335.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

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