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Circ Res. 2007 Jul 6;101(1):69-77. Epub 2007 May 24.

Dominant negative suppression of Rad leads to QT prolongation and causes ventricular arrhythmias via modulation of L-type Ca2+ channels in the heart.

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  • 1Cardiopulmonary Division, Keio University, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan.


Disorders of L-type Ca2+ channels can cause severe cardiac arrhythmias. A subclass of small GTP-binding proteins, the RGK family, regulates L-type Ca2+ current (I(Ca,L)) in heterologous expression systems. Among these proteins, Rad (Ras associated with diabetes) is highly expressed in the heart, although its role in the heart remains unknown. Here we show that overexpression of dominant negative mutant Rad (S105N) led to an increase in I(Ca,L) and action potential prolongation via upregulation of L-type Ca2+ channel expression in the plasma membrane of guinea pig ventricular cardiomyocytes. To verify the in vivo physiological role of Rad in the heart, a mouse model of cardiac-specific Rad suppression was created by overexpressing S105N Rad, using the alpha-myosin heavy chain promoter. Microelectrode studies revealed that action potential duration was significantly prolonged with visible identification of a small plateau phase in S105N Rad transgenic mice, when compared with wild-type littermate mice. Telemetric electrocardiograms on unrestrained mice revealed that S105N Rad transgenic mice had significant QT prolongation and diverse arrhythmias such as sinus node dysfunction, atrioventricular block, and ventricular extrasystoles, whereas no arrhythmias were observed in wild-type mice. Furthermore, administration of epinephrine induced frequent ventricular extrasystoles and ventricular tachycardia in S105N Rad transgenic mice. This study provides novel evidence that the suppression of Rad activity in the heart can induce ventricular tachycardia, suggesting that the Rad-associated signaling pathway may play a role in arrhythmogenesis in diverse cardiac diseases.

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