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Intragenic suppression of trafficking-defective KCNH2 channels associated with long QT syndrome.

Brian P Delisle, Jessica K Slind, Jennifer A Kilby, Corey L Anderson, Blake D Anson, Ravi C Balijepalli, David J Tester, Michael J Ackerman, Timothy J Kamp, Craig T January

Mol. Pharmacol., 2005 Jul , 68, 233-40

Mutations in the KCNH2 or human ether-a-go-go-related gene-encoded K(+) channel reduce functional KCNH2 current (I(KCNH2)) to cause long QT syndrome (LQT2) by multiple mechanisms, including defects in intracellular transport (trafficking). Trafficking-deficient, or class 2, LQT2 mutations reduce the Golgi processing and surface membrane expression of KCNH2 channel proteins. Drugs that associate with pore-S6 intracellular drug binding domain of KCNH2 channel proteins to cause high-affinity block of I(KCNH2) also can increase the processing of class 2 LQT2 channel proteins through the secretory pathway. We used a strategy of intragenic suppression to test the hypothesis that amino acid substitutions in the putative drug binding domain at residue Y652 could compensate for protein folding abnormalities caused by class 2 LQT2 mutations. We found that the Y652C substitution, and to lesser extent the Y652S substitution, resulted in intragenic suppression of the class 2 LQT2 G601S phenotype; these substitutions increased Golgi processing of G601S channel proteins. The Y652C substitution also caused intragenic suppression of the class 2 LQT2 V612L and F640V phenotypes but not the LQT2 N470D or F805C phenotypes. These are the first findings to demonstrate that a single amino acid substitution in the putative KCNH2 drug binding domain can cause intragenic suppression of several LQT2 mutations.