Compromised N-Glycosylation Processing of Kv3.1b Correlates with Perturbed Motor Neuron Structure and Locomotor Activity (2021)

Issa, A.F., Hall, M.K., Hatchett, C.J., Weidner, D.A., Fiorenza, A.C., & Schwalbe, R.A. (2021). Compromised N-Glycosylation processing of Kv3.1b correlates with perturbed motor neuron structure and locomotor activity. Biology, 10(6), 486.

doi: 10.3390/biology10060486


Neurological difficulties commonly accompany individuals suffering from congenital disorders of glycosylation, resulting from defects in the N-glycosylation pathway. Vacant N-glycosylation sites (N220 and N229) of Kv3, voltage-gated K+ channels of high-firing neurons, deeply perturb channel activity in neuroblastoma (NB) cells. Here we examined neuron development, localization, and activity of Kv3 channels in wildtype AB zebrafish and CRISPR/Cas9 engineered NB cells, due to perturbations in N-glycosylation processing of Kv3.1b. We showed that caudal primary (CaP) motor neurons of zebrafish spinal cord transiently expressing fully glycosylated (WT) Kv3.1b have stereotypical morphology, while CaP neurons expressing partially glycosylated (N220Q) Kv3.1b showed severe maldevelopment with incomplete axonal branching and extension around the ventral musculature. Consequently, larvae expressing N220Q in CaP neurons had impaired swimming locomotor activity. We showed that replacement of complex N-glycans with oligomannose attached to Kv3.1b and at cell surface lessened Kv3.1b dispersal to outgrowths by altering the number, size, and density of Kv3.1b-containing particles in membranes of rat neuroblastoma cells. Opening and closing rates were slowed in Kv3 channels containing Kv3.1b with oligomannose, instead of complex N-glycans, which suggested a reduction in the intrinsic dynamics of the Kv3.1b α-subunit. Thus, N-glycosylation processing of Kv3.1b regulates neuronal development and excitability, thereby controlling motor activity.


glycans; motor neurons; Kv3 channels; neuronal development; motor activity; excitability; cell surface localization; neurodegenerative disorder; spinal cord; Kv3 channel gating