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KCNQ1 mutations in patients with a family history of lethal cardiac arrhythmias and sudden death.

S Chen, L Zhang, R M Bryant, G M Vincent, M Flippin, J C Lee, E Brown, F Zimmerman, R Rozich, P Szafranski, C Oberti, R Sterba, D Marangi, P J Tchou, M K Chung, Q Wang

Clin. Genet., 2003 Apr , 63, 273-82

Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is the prototype of the cardiac ion channelopathies which cause syncope and sudden death. LQT1, due to mutations of KCNQ1 (KVLQT1), is the most common form. This study describes the genotype-phenotype characteristics in 10 families with mutations of KCNQ1, including 5 novel mutations. One hundred and two families with a history of lethal cardiac events, 55 LQTS, 9 Brugada syndrome, 18 idiopathic ventricular fibrillation (IVF), and 20 acquired LQTS, were studied by single-strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) and DNA sequence analyzes. Families found to have KCNQ1 mutations were phenotyped using ECG parameters and cardiac event history, and genotype-phenotype correlation was performed. No mutations were found in Brugada syndrome, IVF, or acquired LQTS families. Ten out of 55 LQTS families had KCNQ1 mutations and 62 carriers were identified. Mutations included G269S in domain S5; W305X, G314C, Y315C, and D317N in the pore region; A341E and Q357R in domain S6; and 1338insC, G568A and T587M mutations in the C-terminus. W305X, G314C, Q357R, 1338insC, and G568A, appeared to be novel mutations. Gene carriers were 26 +/- 19 years (32 females). Baseline QTc was 0.47 +/- 0.03 s (range 0.40-0.57 s) and 40% had normal to borderline QTc (< or = 0.46 s). Typical LQT1 T wave patterns were present in at least one affected member of each family, and in 73% of all affected members. A history of cardiac events was present in 19/62 (31%), 18 with syncope, 2 with aborted cardiac arrest (ACA) and six with sudden death (SD). Two out of 6 SDs (33%) occurred as the first symptom. No difference in phenotype was evident in pore vs. non-pore mutations. KCNQ1 mutations were limited to LQTS families. All five novel mutations produced a typical LQT1 phenotype. Findings emphasize (1) reduced penetrance of QTc and symptoms, resulting in diagnostic challenges, (2) the problem of sudden death as the first symptom (33% of those who died), and (3) genetic testing is important for identification of gene carriers with reduced penetrance, in order to provide treatment and to prevent lethal cardiac arrhythmias and sudden death.