D‐serine is a predominant N‐methyl‐D‐aspartate receptor co‐agonist with glutamate, and excessive activation of the receptor plays a substantial role in epileptic seizures. Serine racemase (SRR) is responsible for transforming L‐serine to D‐serine. In this study, we aimed to investigate the genetic roles of SRR and a neighbouring gene, nonsense‐mediated mRNA decay factor (SMG6), in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Here, a total of 496 TLE patients and 528 healthy individuals were successfully genotyped for three SRR tag single nucleotide polymorphisms. The frequencies of the GG genotype at rs4523957 T > G were reduced in the TLE cases in the initial cohort (cohort 1) and were confirmed in the independent cohort (cohort 2). An analysis of all TLE cases in cohort 1 + 2 revealed that the seizure frequency and drug‐resistant incidence were significantly decreased in carriers of the GG genotype at rs4523957. Intriguingly, the activity of the SMG6 promoter with the mutant allele at rs4523957 decreased by 22% in the dual‐luciferase assay, and up‐regulated expression of SMG6 was observed in an epilepsy rat model. This study provides the first demonstration that the GG genotype is a protective marker against TLE. In particular, variation at rs4523957 likely inhibits SMG6 transcription and plays a key role against susceptibility to and severity of TLE. The significance of SMG6 hyperfunction in epileptic seizures deserves to be investigated in future studies.
Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ;
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