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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cardiac Na(+) channel dysfunction in Brugada syndrome is aggravated by beta(1)-subunit.

BACKGROUND: Mutations in the gene encoding the human cardiac Na(+) channel alpha-subunit ( hH1) are responsible for chromosome 3- linked congenital long-QT syndrome (LQT3) and idiopathic ventricular fibrillation (IVF). An auxiliary beta(1)-subunit, widely expressed in excitable tissues, shifts the voltage dependence of steady-state inactivation toward more negative potentials and restores normal gating kinetics of brain and skeletal muscle Na(+) channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes but has little if any functional effect on the cardiac isoform. Here, we characterize the altered effects of a human beta(1)-subunit (hbeta(1)) on the heterologously expressed hH1 mutation (T1620M) previously associated with IVF. METHODS AND RESULTS: When expressed alone in Xenopus oocytes, T1620M exhibited no persistent currents, in contrast to the LQT3 mutant channels, but the midpoint of steady-state inactivation (V(1/2)) was significantly shifted toward more positive potentials than for wild-type hH1. Coexpression of hbeta(1) did not significantly alter current decay or recovery from inactivation of wild-type hH1; however, it further shifted the V(1/2) and accelerated the recovery from inactivation of T1620M. Oocyte macropatch analysis revealed that the activation kinetics of T1620M were normal. CONCLUSIONS: It is suggested that coexpression of hbeta(1) exposes a more severe functional defect that results in a greater overlap in the relationship between channel inactivation and activation (window current) in T1620M, which is proposed to be a potential pathophysiological mechanism of IVF in vivo. One possible explanation for our finding is an altered alpha-/beta(1)-subunit association in the mutant.[1]


  1. Cardiac Na(+) channel dysfunction in Brugada syndrome is aggravated by beta(1)-subunit. Makita, N., Shirai, N., Wang, D.W., Sasaki, K., George, A.L., Kanno, M., Kitabatake, A. Circulation (2000) [Pubmed]
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