Abstract 049: Functional Characterization of KCNQ1 Channel Subunit With an A590T Mutation
Background: KCNQ1 encodes the alpha subunit of the voltage-gated K+ channel that mediates the cardiac slow delayed rectifier K+ current (IKs). A mutation, A590T, in KCNQ1 was incidentally identified in a 40 years old female. She had a mild QTc prolongation in electrocardiogram but has never experienced any cardiac events. A590 is located in the C-terminal domain forming a coiled-coil structure, which has been suggested as a pivotal component for subunit tetramerization and channel trafficking to the cell surface. The previously reported mutations around A590 result in markedly reduced cell surface expression and loss of functional channel. We, for the first time, examined whether and how the A590T mutation affects the IKs channel function.
Methods: To assess the trafficking and channel function of KCNQ1(A590T) mutant subunit, we performed immunostaining, immunoblotting, and voltage-clamp measurements in HEK-293T cells transfected with wild-type or the A590T mutant KCNQ1 or their mixture (WT, A590T, and A590T/WT cells, respectively).
Results: The density of a depolarization-activated current in the A590T cells was smaller than that in the WT cells. The threshold, half-maximal activation, and saturating voltages of the depolarization-activated current in the A590T cells were more positive than those in the WT cells. The immunoreactivity against KCNQ1 subunit on the cell surface in the A590T cells is lower than in WT cells. The A590T/WT cells had a similar density of the depolarization-activated current and a similar level of immunoreactivity against the channel subunit to the WT cells. Furthermore, the immunoblotting detected subunit oligomers in the membrane fraction of the A590T cells while their densities were lower than those of the WT cells.
Conclusion: Although the A590T mutant subunit can form oligomers for itself, this subunit is not efficiently trafficked to the cell surface without the aid of the WT subunit. Thus, homozygous inheritance of the mutant KCNQ1 might be pathogenic. By contrast, the cells expressing both the mutant and wild-type KCNQ1 subunit had normal IKs and cell surface expression, indicating that the heterozygous inheritance of the mutant KCNQ1 might not cause severe cardiac diseases.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.