PubMed 23241319

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: KCNQ1 , Kv11.1 , Kv7.1

Title: Interactions between hERG and KCNQ1 α-subunits are mediated by their C-termini and modulated by cAMP.

Authors: Louise E Organ-Darling, Amanda N Vernon, Jacqueline R Giovanniello, YiChun Lu, Karni Moshal, Karim Roder, Weiyan Li, Gideon Koren

Journal, date & volume: Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ. Physiol., 2012 Dec 15 , ,

PubMed link:

KCNQ1 and hERG encode the voltage-gated potassium channel α-subunits of the cardiac repolarizing currents I(Ks) and I(Kr), respectively. These currents function in vivo with some redundancy to maintain appropriate action potential durations (APDs), and loss-of-function mutations in these channels manifest clinically as long QT syndrome, characterized by the prolongation of the QT interval, polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, and sudden cardiac death. Previous cellular electrophysiology experiments in transgenic rabbit cardiomyocytes and heterologous cell lines demonstrated functional downregulation of complementary repolarizing currents. Biochemical assays indicated direct, protein-protein interactions between KCNQ1 and hERG may underlie the interplay between I(Ks) and I(Kr). Our objective was to investigate hERG-KCNQ1 interactions in the intact cellular environment primarily through acceptor photobleach FRET (apFRET) experiments. We quantitatively assessed the extent of interactions based on fluorophore location and the potential regulation of interactions by physiologically relevant signals. apFRET experiments established specific hERG-KCNQ1 associations in both heterologous and primary cardiomyocytes. The largest FRET efficiency (E(f); 12.0 ± 5.2%) was seen between ion channels with GFP variants fused to the COOH termini. Acute treatment with forskolin + IBMX or a membrane-permeable cAMP analog significantly and specifically reduced the extent of hERG-KCNQ1 interactions (by 41 and 38%, respectively). Our results demonstrate direct interactions between KCNQ1 and hERG occur in both intact heterologous cells and primary cardiomyocytes and are mediated by their COOH termini. Furthermore, this interplay between channel proteins is regulated by intracellular cAMP.