Role of SCN5A coding and non-coding sequences in Brugada syndrome onset: What's behind the scenes?

Biomed J. 2019 Aug;42(4):252-260. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2019 Sep 12.


Background: Brugada syndrome (BrS) is a rare inherited cardiac arrhythmia associated with a high risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) due to ventricular fibrillation (VF). BrS is characterized by coved-type ST-segment elevation in the right precordial leads (V1-V3). Mutations in SCN5A gene coding for the α-subunit of the NaV1.5 cardiac sodium channel are identified in 15-30% of BrS cases. Genetic testing of BrS patients generally involves sequencing of the protein-coding portions and flanking intronic regions of SCN5A. This excludes the 5'UTR and 3'UTR from the routine genetic testing.

Methods: We here screened the coding sequence, the flanking intronic regions as well as the 5' and 3'UTR regions of SCN5A gene and further five candidate genes (GPD1L, SCN1B, KCNE3, SCN4B, and MOG1) in a Tunisian family diagnosed with BrS.

Results: A new SCN5A-Q1000K mutation was identified along with two common polymorphisms (H558R and D1819). Multiple genetic variants were identified on the SCN5A 3'UTR, one of which is predicted to create additional microRNA binding site for miR-1270. Additionally, we identified the hsa-miR-219a-rs107822. No relevant coding sequence variant was identified in the remaining studied candidate genes.

Conclusions: The absence of genotype-phenotype concordance within all the identified genetic variants in this family gives extra evidences about the complexity of the disease and suggests that the occurrence and prognosis of BrS is most likely controlled by a combination of multiple genetic factors, rather than a single variant. Most SCN5A variants were localized in non-coding regions hypothesizing an impact on the miRNA-target complementarities.

Keywords: 3′UTR; Brugada syndrome; Genotype-phenotype correlation; SCN5A; microRNAs.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brugada Syndrome / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Male
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • NAV1.5 Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel / genetics*
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics
  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated / genetics*


  • MicroRNAs
  • NAV1.5 Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel
  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated
  • SCN5A protein, human