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Molecular genetics of the long QT syndrome: two novel mutations of the KVLQT1 gene and phenotypic expression of the mutant gene in a large kindred.

K Saarinen, H Swan, K Kainulainen, L Toivonen, M Viitasalo, K Kontula

Hum. Mutat., 1998 , 11, 158-65

At least three different gene loci were recently shown to account for the long QT syndrome (LQTS), a monogenic disorder with altered myocardial repolarization and occurrence of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias. We screened 44 unrelated probands for mutations of the gene encoding the cardiac potassium channel KVLQT1 using single-strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) and subsequent DNA sequencing. Two different mutations, T182I and D188N, were identified in two separate pedigrees. Cosegregation of the mutation with the disease phenotype was evident in both families. No mutations were identified at codon 212, previously suggested to represent a mutational hot spot of the KVLQT1 channel, in any of the 44 probands. The large pedigree with the D188N mutation (30 affected and 43 nonaffected individuals) permitted an analysis of expression of the mutant gene in its documented carriers. Although the mean (+/-SD) QTc interval was markedly longer in affected (484+/-38 ms) than in nonaffected individuals (406+/-27 ms, P < 0.001), there was a marked overlapping of individual values in these two groups. QTc values in symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers of the mutant gene were not significantly different. In conclusion, we have identified two novel mutations of the KVLQT1 component of a cardiac potassium channel. Our data support the functional significance of the pore-S6 domain of this membrane protein and emphasize the diagnostic usefulness of DNA analyses in families with LQTS.