Susceptibility to Ventricular Arrhythmias Resulting from Mutations in FKBP1B, PXDNL, and SCN9A Evaluated in hiPSC Cardiomyocytes

Stem Cells Int. 2020 Sep 1:2020:8842398. doi: 10.1155/2020/8842398. eCollection 2020.


Background: We report an inherited cardiac arrhythmia syndrome consisting of Brugada and Early Repolarization Syndrome associated with variants in SCN9A, PXDNL, and FKBP1B. The proband inherited the 3 mutations and exhibited palpitations and arrhythmia-mediated syncope, whereas the parents and sister, who carried one or two of the mutations, were asymptomatic.

Methods and results: We assessed the functional impact of these mutations in induced pluripotent stem cell cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) derived from the proband and an unaffected family member. Current and voltage clamp recordings, as well as confocal microscopy analysis of Ca2+ transients, were evaluated in hiPSC-CMs from the proband and compared these results with hiPSC-CMs from undiseased controls. Genetic analysis using next-generation DNA sequencing revealed heterozygous mutations in SCN9A, PXDNL, and FKBP1B in the proband. The proband displayed right bundle branch block and exhibited episodes of syncope. The father carried a mutation in FKBP1B, whereas the mother and sister carried the SCN9A mutation. None of the 3 family members screened developed cardiac events. Action potential recordings from control hiPSC-CM showed spontaneous activity and a low upstroke velocity. In contrast, the hiPSC-CM from the proband showed irregular spontaneous activity. Confocal microscopy of the hiPSC-CM of the proband revealed low fluorescence intensity Ca2+ transients that were episodic in nature. Patch-clamp measurements in hiPSC-CM showed no difference in I Na but reduced I Ca in the proband compared with control. Coexpression of PXDNL-R391Q with SCN5A-WT displayed lower I Na density compared to PXDNL-WT. In addition, coexpression of PXDNL-R391Q with KCND3-WT displayed significantly higher I to density compared to PXDNL-WT.

Conclusion: SCN9A, PXDNL, and FKBP1B variants appeared to alter spontaneous activity in hiPSC-CM. Only the proband carrying all 3 mutations displayed the ERS/BrS phenotype, whereas one nor two mutations alone did not produce the clinical phenotype. Our results suggest a polygenic cause of the BrS/ERS arrhythmic phenotype due to mutations in these three gene variants caused a very significant loss of function of I Na and I Ca and gain of function of I to.