JOURNAL ARTICLE

Mutations in the cardiac L-type calcium channel associated with inherited J-wave syndromes and sudden cardiac death

Elena Burashnikov, Ryan Pfeiffer, Héctor Barajas-Martinez, Eva Delpón, Dan Hu, Mayurika Desai, Martin Borggrefe, Michel Häissaguerre, Ronald Kanter, Guido D Pollevick, Alejandra Guerchicoff, Ruben Laiño, Mark Marieb, Koonlawee Nademanee, Gi-Byoung Nam, Roberto Robles, Rainer Schimpf, Dwight D Stapleton, Sami Viskin, Stephen Winters, Christian Wolpert, Samuel Zimmern, Christian Veltmann, Charles Antzelevitch
Heart Rhythm: the Official Journal of the Heart Rhythm Society 2010, 7 (12): 1872-82
20817017

BACKGROUND: L-type calcium channel (LTCC) mutations have been associated with Brugada syndrome (BrS), short QT (SQT) syndrome, and Timothy syndrome (LQT8). Little is known about the extent to which LTCC mutations contribute to the J-wave syndromes associated with sudden cardiac death.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to identify mutations in the α1, β2, and α2δ subunits of LTCC (Ca(v)1.2) among 205 probands diagnosed with BrS, idiopathic ventricular fibrillation (IVF), and early repolarization syndrome (ERS). CACNA1C, CACNB2b, and CACNA2D1 genes of 162 probands with BrS and BrS+SQT, 19 with IVF, and 24 with ERS were screened by direct sequencing.

METHODS/RESULTS: Overall, 23 distinct mutations were identified. A total of 12.3%, 5.2%, and 16% of BrS/BrS+SQT, IVF, and ERS probands displayed mutations in α1, β2, and α2δ subunits of LTCC, respectively. When rare polymorphisms were included, the yield increased to 17.9%, 21%, and 29.1% for BrS/BrS+SQT, IVF, and ERS probands, respectively. Functional expression of two CACNA1C mutations associated with BrS and BrS+SQT led to loss of function in calcium channel current. BrS probands displaying a normal QTc had additional variations known to prolong the QT interval.

CONCLUSION: The study results indicate that mutations in the LTCCs are detected in a high percentage of probands with J-wave syndromes associated with inherited cardiac arrhythmias, suggesting that genetic screening of Ca(v) genes may be a valuable diagnostic tool in identifying individuals at risk. These results are the first to identify CACNA2D1 as a novel BrS susceptibility gene and CACNA1C, CACNB2, and CACNA2D1 as possible novel ERS susceptibility genes.

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