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Functional characterization of SCN10A variants in several cases of sudden unexplained death

Gando, Ivan; Williams, Nori; Fishman, Glenn I; Sampson, Barbara A; Tang, Yingying; Coetzee, William A
BACKGROUND:Multiple genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and targeted gene sequencing have identified common variants in SCN10A in cases of PR and QRS duration abnormalities, atrial fibrillation and Brugada syndrome. The New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner has now also identified five SCN10A variants of uncertain significance in six separate cases within a cohort of 330 sudden unexplained death events. The gene product of SCN10A is the Nav1.8 sodium channel. The purpose of this study was to characterize effects of these variants on Nav1.8 channel function to provide better information for the reclassification of these variants. METHODS AND RESULTS/RESULTS:Patch clamp studies were performed to assess effects of the variants on whole-cell Nav1.8 currents. We also performed RNA-seq analysis and immunofluorescence confocal microcopy to determine Nav1.8 expression in heart. We show that four of the five rare 'variants of unknown significance' (L388M, L867F, P1102S and V1518I) are associated with altered functional phenotypes. The R756W variant behaved similar to wild-type under our experimental conditions. We failed to detect Nav1.8 protein expression in immunofluorescence microscopy in rat heart. Furthermore, RNA-seq analysis failed to detect full-length SCN10A mRNA transcripts in human ventricle or mouse specialized cardiac conduction system, suggesting that the effect of Nav1.8 on cardiac function is likely to be extra-cardiac in origin. CONCLUSIONS:We have demonstrated that four of five SCN10A variants of uncertain significance, identified in unexplained death, have deleterious effects on channel function. These data extend the genetic testing of SUD cases, but significantly more clinical evidence is needed to satisfy the criteria needed to associate these variants with the onset of SUD.
PMID: 31195250
ISSN: 1872-6283
CID: 3945012

Eye on ion channels in immune cells

Feske, Stefan; Concepcion, Axel R; Coetzee, William A
Ion channels facilitate the movement of ions across the plasma and organellar membranes. A recent symposium brought together scientists who study ion channels and transporters in immune cells, which highlighted advances in this emerging field and served to chart new avenues for investigating the roles of ion channels in immunity.
PMID: 30862701
ISSN: 1937-9145
CID: 3733122

Functional characterization of ABCC9 variants identified in sudden unexpected natural death

Subbotina, Ekaterina; Yang, Hua-Qian; Gando, Ivan; Williams, Nori; Sampson, Barbara A; Tang, Yingying; Coetzee, William A
BACKGROUND:Genetic variation in ion channel genes ('channelopathies') are often associated with inherited arrhythmias and sudden death. Genetic testing ('molecular autopsies') of channelopathy genes can be used to assist in determining the likely causes of sudden unexpected death. However, different in silico approaches can yield conflicting pathogenicity predictions and assessing their impact on ion channel function can assist in this regard. METHODS AND RESULTS/RESULTS:channels, as determined with biotinylation assays, suggesting that all of the variants led to an enhanced open state. CONCLUSIONS:channels in the heart and specialized cardiac conduction, vascular smooth muscle and respiratory neurons, it is conceivable that electrical silencing of these cells may contribute to the vulnerability element, which is a component of the triple risk model of sudden explained death in infants. The gain-of-function phenotype of these ABCC9 variants should be considered when assessing their potential pathogenicity.
PMID: 30878466
ISSN: 1872-6283
CID: 3734732

Functional reclassification of variants of uncertain significance in the HCN4 gene identified in sudden unexpected death

Dong, Jingyun; Subbotina, Ekaterina; Williams, Nori; Sampson, Barbara A; Tang, Yingying; Coetzee, William A
The HCN4 gene encodes a subunit of the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channel, type 4 that is essential for the proper generation of pacemaker potentials in the sinoatrial node. The HCN4 gene is often present in targeted genetic testing panels for various cardiac conduction system disorders and there are several reports of HCN4 variants associated with conduction disorders. Here, we report the in vitro functional characterization of four rare variants of uncertain significance (VUS) in HCN4, identified through testing a cohort of 296 sudden unexpected natural deaths. The variants are all missense alterations, leading to single amino acid changes: p.E66Q in the N-terminus, p.D546N in the C-linker domain, and both p.S935Y and p.R1044Q in the C-terminus distal to the CNBD. We also identified a likely benign variant, p. P1063T, which has a high minor allele frequency in the gnomAD, which is utilized here as a negative control. Three of the HCN4 VUS (p.E66Q, p.S935Y, and p.R1044Q) had electrophysiological characteristics similar to the wild-type channel, suggesting that these variants are benign. In contrast, the p.D546N variant in the C-linker domain exhibited a larger current density, slower activation, and was unresponsive to cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) compared to wild-type. With functional assays, we reclassified three rare HCN4 VUS to likely benign variants, eliminating the necessity for costly and time-consuming further study. Our studies also provide a new lead to investigate how a VUS located in the C-linker connecting the pore to the cAMP binding domain may affect the channel open state probability and cAMP response.
PMID: 30578647
ISSN: 1540-8159
CID: 3560252

Functional characterization of TRPM4 variants identified in sudden unexpected natural death

Subbotina, Ekaterina; Williams, Nori; Sampson, Barbara A; Tang, Yingying; Coetzee, William A
BACKGROUND:-activated nonselective cation channel, which is enriched in the specialized cardiac conduction system and Purkinje fibers. To date, several putative disease-causing variants in TRPM4 have been reported to be associated with cardiac arrhythmia and progressive conduction disease. Here, we report the functional effects of previously uncharacterized variants of uncertain significance (VUS) that we have found while performing a "genetic autopsy" in individuals who have suffered sudden unexpected death (SUD) in the New York City area. METHODS AND RESULTS/RESULTS:We have identified thirteen uncommon missense VUS in TRPM4 by testing 95 targeted genes implicated in channelopathy and cardiomyopathy in 330 cases of SUD. In several cases there were co-existing VUS in one or more other genes that were tested. We selected four TRPM4 VUS (C20S, A380V, L595V and I1082S) for functional characterization, since these cases lacked detectable variants in other genes of our testing panel. Two of the cases were infants, one was a child and one an adult. RNA-seq data analysis showed that the longer TRPM4b splice variant is predominantly expressed in adult and fetal human heart. We therefore used site-directed mutagenesis to introduce these variants in a TRPM4b cDNA. HEK293 cells were transfected with the cDNAs and patch clamping was performed to assess the functional consequences of the TRPM4 mutants. The TRPM4 current was recorded in excised patches and was significantly reduced by each of the mutants. The total protein level of TRPM4-C20S was markedly decreased, whereas the A380V and L595V mutants exhibited decreased surface expression. The TRPM4-A380V current rapidly desensitized following patch excision. CONCLUSIONS:Each of the VUS tested caused a defect in TRPM4 channel function via distinctly different mechanisms, hence, it lays the foundation for further co-segregation family studies and animal studies of the TRPM4 variants.
PMID: 30391667
ISSN: 1872-6283
CID: 3424192

Molecular autopsy: using the discovery of a novel de novo pathogenic variant in the KCNH2 gene to inform healthcare of surviving family

Dong, Jingyun; Williams, Nori; Cerrone, Marina; Borck, Christopher; Wang, Dawei; Zhou, Bo; Eng, Lucy S; Subbotina, Ekaterina; Um, Sung Yon; Lin, Ying; Ruiter, Kevin; Rojas, Lisa; Coetzee, William A; Sampson, Barbara A; Tang, Yingying
Background/UNASSIGNED:pathogenic variant in a decedent. Methods/UNASSIGNED:Forensic investigation and molecular autopsy were performed on an 18-year-old female who died suddenly and unexpectedly. Co-segregation family study of the first-degree relatives and functional characterization of the variant were conducted. Findings/UNASSIGNED:arose de novo, which eliminated the need for exhaustive genome testing and annual cardiac follow-up for the parents and four siblings. Interpretation/UNASSIGNED:Molecular testing enables accurate determination of natural causes of death and precision care of the surviving family members in a time and cost-saving manner. We advocate for molecular autopsy being included under the healthcare coverage in US.
PMID: 30582040
ISSN: 2405-8440
CID: 3560052

A homozygous SCN5A mutation associated with atrial standstill and sudden death

Tan, Reina Bianca; Gando, Ivan; Bu, Lei; Cecchin, Frank; Coetzee, William
BACKGROUND:Atrial standstill is an arrhythmogenic condition characterized by the absence of spontaneous electrical and mechanical atrial activity or in response to stimulation. There are few reported familial cases which have been associated with SCN5A mutations co-segregating with GJA5 or RYR2 however isolated SCN5A mutations are rare. OBJECTIVE:The purpose of this study was to determine the clinical and biophysical consequence of a novel SCN5A mutation identified in a family with progressive atrial standstill and sudden death. METHODS:The family of a sporadic case of congenital atrial standstill underwent genetic screening. Human Embryonic Kidney 293 cells were transfected with wild-type (WT) or mutant SCN5A cDNAs. Biophysical properties were studied using whole-cell using patch clamp methods. RESULTS:A novel homozygous SCN5A mutation, p.V1340L was identified in the proband and her sister. The proband had complete atrial standstill whereas the sister had partial atrial standstill. Heterozygous mutations were identified in the mother, father and brother. All three had normal sinus rhythm and were asymptomatic. The mutant Nav1.5(V1340L) reduced Nav1.5 current density as well as showed a depolarizing shift in the voltage-dependent steady-state activation (WT: -35.3±1.62 mV; V1340L: -22.4±2.59 mV; P = 0.001). CONCLUSIONS:A homozygous loss-of-function SCN5A mutation likely results in atrial standstill and sudden death due to suppression of initiation of action potential.
PMID: 29781517
ISSN: 1540-8159
CID: 3129702

Regulation of KATPChannel Trafficking in Pancreatic β Cells by Protein Histidine Phosphorylation

Srivastava, Shekhar; Li, Zhai; Soomro, Irfana; Sun, Ying; Wang, Jianhui; Bao, Li; Coetzee, William A; Stanley, Charles A; Li, Chonghong; Skolnik, Edward Y
Protein histidine phosphatase 1 (PHPT-1) is an evolutionarily conserved 14 kDa protein that dephosphorylates phosphohistidine.PHPT-1
PMID: 29440278
ISSN: 1939-327x
CID: 2958302

Isoproterenol-induced action potential shortening mediated by sur1-containing KATP channels in human ips-derived atrial cardiomyocytes [Meeting Abstract]

Lader, J M; Lin, B; Yang, H; Coetzee, W A; Bu, L; Gelb, B D; Fishman, G I
Background: KAT P channels couple cellular metabolism and electrophysiology. Their molecular composition varies in different tissues and species. Rodent atrial KAT P channels have the SUR1 regulatory subunit, are activated by diazoxide and have been implicated in arrhythmogenesis in hypertension and excess beta-adrenergic tone. In contrast, human atrial KATP channels are insensitive to diazoxide and modulate APD only during extreme metabolic stress, where the SUR2A regulatory subunit is thought to be predominant. Objective: We hypothesized that changes in the human atrial action potential associated with beta-agonism are mediated by recruitment of SUR1-containing KATP channels. Methods: We used human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived atrial cardiomyocytes where expression of a fuorescent reporter is driven by the atrial-specifc gene sarcolipin. Atrial specifcation was induced with retinoic acid. Di-4-ANBDQBS was used to perform optical action potential measurements on days 65-80 of differentiation. Excised patch clamping was used to evaluate KAT P channel density. Heterozygous ABCC8 (SUR1+/-) cells were generated using CRISPR/CAS9. Results: Optical mapping data are for APD90 with stimulation at 1.25 Hz The combination of isoproterenol (ISO, 10mu M) and rolipram (ROL, 10mu M) abbreviated APD compared to control (247.4+/-12.5ms, n=16 vs 344.2+/-22.9ms, n=22; p=0.002). This was ameliorated by 10mu M glibenclamide (312.0+/-18.9ms, n=23 vs 247.4+/-12.5ms, n=16; p=0.01). More patches from cells exposed to ISO and ROL had functional KATP channels (4/22 vs 0/24, p=0.045). Diazoxide shortened APD (267.3+/-21.7ms, n=20 vs 344.2+/-22.9ms, n=22; p=0.02). This was potentiated by prior beta-agonism (179.7+/-14.3ms, n=18 vs 267.3+/-21.7ms, n=20; p=0.002). Deletion of one ABCC8 allele ameliorated APD shortening with exposure to ISO, ROL, and diazoxide (240.9+/-18.2ms, n=14 vs 179.7+/-14.3ms, n=18; p=0.012). Functional KATP channel density after exposure to beta-agonists was reduced in SUR1+/-cells (1/40 vs 4/22, p=0.049). Conclusion: SUR1-containing KATP channels partially mediate beta-adrenergic APD shortening in human atrial cells and may represent a therapeutic target for atrial arrhythmia prevention
ISSN: 1556-3871
CID: 3151332

The trafficking protein, EHD2, positively regulates cardiac sarcolemmal KATP channel surface expression: role in cardioprotection

Yang, Hua Qian; Jana, Kundan; Rindler, Michael J; Coetzee, William A
ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channels uniquely link cellular energy metabolism to membrane excitability and are expressed in diverse cell types that range from the endocrine pancreas to neurons and smooth, skeletal, and cardiac muscle. A decrease in the surface expression of KATP channels has been linked to various disorders, including dysregulated insulin secretion, abnormal blood pressure, and impaired resistance to cardiac injury. In contrast, up-regulation of KATP channel surface expression may be protective, for example, by mediating the beneficial effect of ischemic preconditioning. Molecular mechanisms that regulate KATP channel trafficking are poorly understood. Here, we used cellular assays with immunofluorescence, surface biotinylation, and patch clamping to demonstrate that Eps15 homology domain-containing protein 2 (EHD2) is a novel positive regulator of KATP channel trafficking to increase surface KATP channel density. EHD2 had no effect on cardiac Na+ channels (Nav1.5). The effect is specific to EHD2 as other members of the EHD family-EHD1, EHD3, and EHD4-had no effect on KATP channel surface expression. EHD2 did not directly affect KATP channel properties as unitary conductance and ATP sensitivity were unchanged. Instead, we observed that the mechanism by which EHD2 increases surface expression is by stabilizing KATP channel-containing caveolar structures, which results in a reduced rate of endocytosis. EHD2 also regulated KATP channel trafficking in isolated cardiomyocytes, which validated the physiologic relevance of these observations. Pathophysiologically, EHD2 may be cardioprotective as a dominant-negative EHD2 mutant sensitized cardiomyocytes to ischemic damage. Our findings highlight EHD2 as a potential pharmacologic target in the treatment of diseases with KATP channel trafficking defects.-Yang, H. Q., Jana, K., Rindler, M. J., Coetzee, W. A. The trafficking protein, EHD2, positively regulates cardiac sarcolemmal KATP channel surface expression: role in cardioprotection.
PMID: 29133341
ISSN: 1530-6860
CID: 2785362