Both inherited and acquired cardiac arrhythmias are often associated with the abnormal functional expression of ion channels at the cellular level. The complex machinery that continuously traffics, anchors, organizes, and recycles ion channels at the plasma membrane of a cardiomyocyte appears to be a major source of channel dysfunction during cardiac arrhythmias. This has been well established with the discovery of mutations in the genes encoding several ion channels and ion channel partners during inherited cardiac arrhythmias. Fibrosis, altered myocyte contacts, and post-transcriptional protein changes are common factors that disorganize normal channel trafficking during acquired cardiac arrhythmias. Channel availability, described notably for hERG and KV1.5 channels, could be another potent arrhythmogenic mechanism. From this molecular knowledge on cardiac arrhythmias will emerge novel antiarrhythmic strategies.
Keywords: arrhythmias; ion channel partners; ion channels; trafficking.