Background: Type 3 long QT syndrome (LQT3) is the third most common form of LQT syndrome and is characterized by QT-interval prolongation resulting from a gain-of-function mutation in SCN5A. We aimed to establish a patient-specific human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) model of LQT3, which could be used for future drug testing and development of novel treatments for this inherited disorder.
Methods and results: Dermal fibroblasts obtained from a patient with LQT3 harboring a SCN5A mutation (c.5287G>A; p.V1763M) were reprogrammed to hiPSCs via repeated transfection of mRNA encoding OCT-4, SOX-2, KLF-4, C-MYC and LIN-28. hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) were obtained via cardiac differentiation. hiPSC-CMs derived from the patient's healthy sister were used as a control. Compared to the control, patient hiPSC-CMs exhibited dominant mutant SCN5A allele gene expression, significantly prolonged action potential duration or APD (paced CMs of control vs. patient: 226.50 ± 17.89 ms vs. 536.59 ± 37.1 ms; mean ± SEM, p < 0.005), an increased tetrodotoxin (TTX)-sensitive late or persistent Na(+) current (control vs. patient: 0.65 ± 0.11 vs. 3.16 ± 0.27 pA/pF; n = 9, p < 0.01), a positive shift of steady state inactivation and a faster recovery from inactivation. Mexiletine, a NaV1.5 blocker, reversed the elevated late Na(+) current and prolonged APD in LQT3 hiPSC-CMs.
Conclusions: We demonstrate that hiPSC-CMs derived from a LQT3 patient recapitulate the biophysical abnormalities that define LQT3. The clinical significance of such an in vitro model is in the development of novel therapeutic strategies and a more personalized approach in testing drugs on patients with LQT3.
Keywords: Cardiomyocytes; Induced pluripotent stem cells; Long QT syndrome; SCN5A; Sodium channel.