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

Functional effects of a KCNQ1 mutation associated with the long QT syndrome.

OBJECTIVE: Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is an inherited disorder of ventricular repolarization caused by mutations in cardiac ion channel genes, including KCNQ1. In this study the electrophysiological properties of a LQTS-associated mutation in KCNQ1 (Q357R) were characterized. This mutation is located near the C-terminus of S6, a region that is important for the gate structure. METHODS AND RESULTS: Co-assembly of KCNE1 with the mutant Q357R elicited a current displaying slower activation compared to the wild-type KCNQ1/KCNE1 channels. The voltage dependence of activation of Q357R was shifted to more positive potentials. Moreover, a strong reduction in current density was observed that was partially attributed to the altered voltage dependence and kinetics of activation. The reduced current amplitude was also caused by intracellular retention of Q357R/KCNE1 channels as was shown by confocal microscopy. It indicated that the Q357R mutation disturbed protein expression by a trafficking or assembly problem of the Q357R/KCNE1 complex. To mimic the patient status KCNQ1, Q357R and KCNE1 were co-expressed, which revealed a dominant negative effect on current density and activation kinetics. CONCLUSION: The effects of the Q357R mutation on the activation of the channel together with a reduced expression at the membrane would lead to a reduction in I(Ks) and thus in "repolarization reserve" under physiological circumstances. As such it explains the long QT syndrome observed in these patients.[1]


  1. Functional effects of a KCNQ1 mutation associated with the long QT syndrome. Boulet, I.R., Raes, A.L., Ottschytsch, N., Snyders, D.J. Cardiovasc. Res. (2006) [Pubmed]
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