A dual mechanism for I Ks current reduction by the pathogenic mutation KCNQ1-S277L

Jerri Chen, Michael Weber, Sung Yon Um, Christine A. Walsh, Yingying Tang, Thomas V. McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: The hereditary long QT syndrome is characterized by prolonged ventricular repolarization that can be caused by mutations to the KCNQ1 gene, which encodes the α subunits of the cardiac potassium channel complex that carries the I Ks current (the β subunits are encoded by KCNE1). In this study, we characterized a deleterious variant, KCNQ1-S277L, found in a patient who presented with sudden cardiac death in the presence of cocaine use. Methods: The KCNQ1-S277L mutation was analyzed via whole-cell patch clamp, confocal imaging, surface biotinylation assays, and computer modeling. Results: Homomeric mutant KCNQ1-S277L channels were unable to carry current, either alone or with KCNE1. When co-expressed in a 50/50 ratio with WT KCNQ1, current density was reduced in a dominant-negative manner, with the residual current predominantly wild type. There was no change in the activation rate and minimal changes to voltage-dependent activation for both KCNQ1 current and I Ks current. Immunofluorescence confocal imaging revealed reduced surface expression of mutant KCNQ1-S277L, which was biochemically confirmed by surface biotinylation showing a 44% decrease in mutant surface expression. Expression of KCNQ1-S277L with human ether-a-go-go-related gene (HERG) did not significantly affect HERG protein or current density compared to KCNQ1-WT co-expression. Conclusion: The KCNQ1-S277L mutation causes biophysical defects that result in dominant-negative reduction in KCNQ1 and I Ks current density, and a trafficking defect that results in reduced surface expression, both without affecting HERG/I Kr. KCNQ1-S277L mutation in the proband resulted in defective channels that compromised repolarization reserve, thereby enhancing the arrhythmic susceptibility to pharmacological blockage of I Kr current.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1652-1664
Number of pages13
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Disease mechanism
  • Genetic phenotype
  • I
  • KCNQ1
  • Sudden death
  • long QT syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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