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Circulation. 1996 May 15;93(10):1791-5.

Missense mutation in the pore region of HERG causes familial long QT syndrome.

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  • 1Cardiovascular Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



Long QT syndrome (LQT) is an inherited cardiac disorder that results in syncope, seizures, and sudden death. In a family with LQT, we identified a novel mutation in human ether-a-go-go-related gene (HERG), a voltage-gated potassium channel.


We used DNA sequence analysis, restriction enzyme digestion analysis, and allele-specific oligonucleotide hybridization to identify the HERG mutation. A single nucleotide substitution of thymidine to guanine (T1961G) changed the coding sense of HERG from isoleucine to arginine (Ile593Arg) in the channel pore region. The mutation was present in all affected family members; the mutation was not present in unaffected family members or in 100 normal, unrelated individuals.


We conclude that the Ile593Arg missense mutation in HERG is the cause of LQT in this family because it segregates with disease, its presence was confirmed in three ways, and it is not found in normal individuals. The Ile593Arg mutation may result in a change in potassium selectivity and permeability leading to a loss of HERG function, thereby resulting in LQT.

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