Molecular genetic and functional association of Brugada and early repolarization syndromes with S422L missense mutation in KCNJ8

Heart Rhythm. 2012 Apr;9(4):548-55. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2011.10.035. Epub 2011 Nov 3.


Background: Adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-sensitive potassium cardiac channels consist of inward-rectifying channel subunits Kir6.1 or Kir6.2 (encoded by KCNJ8 or KCNJ11) and the sulfonylurea receptor subunits SUR2A (encoded by ABCC9).

Objective: To examine the association of mutations in KCNJ8 with Brugada syndrome (BrS) and early repolarization syndrome (ERS) and to elucidate the mechanism underlying the gain of function of ATP-sensitive potassium channel current.

Methods: Direct sequencing of KCNJ8 and other candidate genes was performed on 204 BrS and ERS probands and family members. Whole-cell and inside-out patch-clamp methods were used to study mutated channels expressed in TSA201 cells.

Results: The same missense mutation, p.Ser422Leu (c.1265C>T) in KCNJ8, was identified in 3 BrS and 1 ERS probands but was absent in 430 alleles from ethnically matched healthy controls. Additional genetic variants included CACNB2b-D601E. Whole-cell patch-clamp studies showed a 2-fold gain of function of glibenclamide-sensitive ATP-sensitive potassium channel current when KCNJ8-S422L was coexpressed with SUR2A-wild type. Inside-out patch-clamp evaluation yielded a significantly greater half maximal inhibitory concentration for ATP in the mutant channels (785.5 ± 2 vs 38.4 ± 3 μM; n = 5; P <.01), pointing to incomplete closing of the ATP-sensitive potassium channels under normoxic conditions. Patients with a CACNB2b-D601E polymorphism displayed longer QT/corrected QT intervals, likely owing to their effect to induce an increase in L-type calcium channel current (I(Ca-L)).

Conclusions: Our results support the hypothesis that KCNJ8 is a susceptibility gene for BrS and ERS and point to S422L as a possible hotspot mutation. Our findings suggest that the S422L-induced gain of function in ATP-sensitive potassium channel current is due to reduced sensitivity to intracellular ATP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brugada Syndrome / genetics*
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • KATP Channels / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Biology*
  • Mutation, Missense / genetics*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Syndrome
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / epidemiology
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / genetics*
  • Young Adult


  • KATP Channels
  • uK-ATP-1 potassium channel