KCNQ1 (Kv 7.1) alpha-subunits and KCNE1 beta-subunits co-assemble to form channels that conduct the slow delayed rectifier K+ current (IKs) in the heart. Mutations in either subunit cause long QT syndrome (LQTS), an inherited disorder of cardiac repolarization. Here, the functional consequences of the LQTS-associated missense mutation V310I and several nearby residues were determined. Val310 is located at the base of the pore helix of KCNQ1, two residues below the TIGYG signature sequence that defines the K+ selectivity filter. Channels were heterologously expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes and currents were recorded using the two-microelectrode voltage-clamp technique. V310I KCNQ1 reduced IKs amplitude when co-expressed with wild-type KCNQ1 and KCNE1 subunits. Val310 was also mutated to Gly, Ala or Leu to explore the importance of amino acid side chain volume at this position. Like V310I, V310L KCNQ1 channels gated normally. Unexpectedly, V310G and V310A KCNQ1 channels inactivated strongly and did not close normally in response to membrane hyperpolarization. Based on a homology model of the KCNQ1 channel pore, we speculate that the side group of residue 310 can interact with specific residues in the S5 and S6 domains to alter channel gating. When volume of the side chain is small, the stability of the closed state is disrupted and the extent of channel inactivation is enhanced. We mutated putative interacting residues in S5 and S6 and found that mutant Leu273 and Phe340 channels also can disrupt close states and modify inactivation. Together these findings indicate the importance of a putative pore helix-S5-S6 interaction for normal KCNQ1 channel deactivation and confirm its role in KCNQ1 inactivation. Disturbance of these interactions might underly LQTS associated with KCNQ1 mutant channels.