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

Kv1.5 channelopathy due to KCNA5 loss-of-function mutation causes human atrial fibrillation.

Atrial fibrillation is a rhythm disorder characterized by chaotic electrical activity of cardiac atria. Predisposing to stroke and heart failure, this common condition is increasingly recognized as a heritable disorder. To identify genetic defects conferring disease susceptibility, patients with idiopathic atrial fibrillation, lacking traditional risk factors, were evaluated. Genomic DNA scanning revealed a nonsense mutation in KCNA5 that encodes Kv1.5, a voltage-gated potassium channel expressed in human atria. The heterozygous E375X mutation, present in a familial case of atrial fibrillation and absent in 540 unrelated control individuals, introduced a premature stop codon disrupting the Kv1.5 channel protein. The truncation eliminated the S4-S6 voltage sensor, pore region and C-terminus, preserving the N-terminus and S1-S3 transmembrane domains that secure tetrameric subunit assembly. Heterologously expressed recombinant E375X mutant failed to generate the ultrarapid delayed rectifier current I(Kur) vital for atrial repolarization and exerted a dominant-negative effect on wild-type current. Loss of channel function translated into action potential prolongation and early after-depolarization in human atrial myocytes, increasing vulnerability to stress-provoked triggered activity. The pathogenic link between compromised Kv1.5 function and susceptibility to atrial fibrillation was verified, at the organism level, in a murine model. Rescue of the genetic defect was achieved by aminoglycoside-induced translational read-through of the E375X premature stop codon, restoring channel function. This first report of Kv1.5 loss-of- function channelopathy establishes KCNA5 mutation as a novel risk factor for repolarization deficiency and atrial fibrillation.[1]


  1. Kv1.5 channelopathy due to KCNA5 loss-of-function mutation causes human atrial fibrillation. Olson, T.M., Alekseev, A.E., Liu, X.K., Park, S., Zingman, L.V., Bienengraeber, M., Sattiraju, S., Ballew, J.D., Jahangir, A., Terzic, A. Hum. Mol. Genet. (2006) [Pubmed]
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