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.
Copyright © 2012 Heart Rhythm Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.