Learning from stargazin: the mouse, the phenotype and the unexpected

Pavel Osten*, Yael Stern-Bach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The stargazin gene (also referred to as Cacng2) has been identified by forward genetics in a spontaneous mouse mutant with ataxic gait, upward head-elevating movements (hence the name stargazer for the mouse) and episodes of spike-wave discharges. Stargazin is related to the γ-1 subunit of skeletal muscle voltage-dependent calcium channel (VDCC), and a deficit in its role as auxiliary VDCC subunit was proposed to underlie the epileptic phenotype of the mouse; yet, a conclusive demonstration of stargazin function in VDCC regulation is still lacking. In contrast, stargazin and its three closely related isoforms γ-3, γ-4 and γ-8 were shown to function as auxiliary subunits for a very different ion channel - the AMPA-type glutamate receptor - prominently regulating early intracellular transport, synaptic targeting and anchoring, and ion channel functions of this major excitatory receptor in the brain.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)275-280
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurobiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Work from our laboratories cited here was supported in part by the German Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (G.I.F.), grant #733-60-13/2002.


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