Background: The KCNH2 gene encodes the Kv11.1 potassium channel that conducts the rapidly activating delayed rectifier current in the heart. The relative expression of the full-length Kv11.1a isoform and the C-terminally truncated Kv11.1a-USO isoform plays an important role in regulation of channel function. The formation of C-terminal isoforms is determined by competition between the splicing and alternative polyadenylation of KCNH2 intron 9. It is not known whether changes in the relative expression of Kv11.1a and Kv11.1a-USO can cause long-QT syndrome. Methods and Results: We identified a novel KCNH2 splice site mutation in a large family. The mutation, IVS9-2delA, is a deletion of the A in the AG dinucleotide of the 3' acceptor site of intron 9. We designed an intron-containing full-length KCNH2 gene construct to study the effects of the mutation on the relative expression of Kv11.1a and Kv11.1a-USO at the mRNA, protein, and functional levels. We found that this mutation disrupted normal splicing and resulted in exclusive polyadenylation of intron 9, leading to a switch from the functional Kv11.1a to the nonfunctional Kv11.1a-USO isoform in HEK293 cells and HL-1 cardiomyocytes. We also showed that IVS9-2delA caused isoform switch in the mutant allele of mRNA isolated from patient lymphocytes. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that the IVS9-2delA mutation causes a switch in the expression of the functional Kv11.1a isoform to the nonfunctional Kv11.1a-USO isoform. Kv11.1 isoform switch represents a novel mechanism in the pathogenesis of long-QT syndrome..
- Long QT syndrome
- Potassium channels
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine