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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2009 Aug;47(2):203-9. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2009.04.010. Epub 2009 Apr 24.

Cardiac ankyrins in health and disease.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, USA.


Ankyrins are critical components of ion channel and transporter signaling complexes in the cardiovascular system. Over the past 5 years, ankyrin dysfunction has been linked with abnormal ion channel and transporter membrane organization and fatal human arrhythmias. Loss-of-function variants in the ankyrin-B gene (ANK2) cause "ankyrin-B syndrome" (previously called type 4 long QT syndrome), manifested by a complex cardiac phenotype including ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. More recently, dysfunction in the ankyrin-B-based targeting pathway has been linked with a highly penetrant and severe form of human sinus node disease. Ankyrin-G (a second ankyrin gene product) is required for normal expression, membrane localization, and biophysical function of the primary cardiac voltage-gated sodium channel, Na(v)1.5. Loss of the ankyrin-G/Na(v)1.5 interaction is associated with human cardiac arrhythmia (Brugada syndrome). Finally, in the past year ankyrin dysfunction has been associated with more common arrhythmia and cardiovascular disease phenotypes. Specifically, large animal studies reveal striking remodeling of ankyrin-B and associated proteins following myocardial infarction. Additionally, the ANK2 locus has been linked with QT(c) interval variability in the general human population. Together, these findings identify a host of unanticipated and exciting roles for ankyrin polypeptides in cardiac function. More broadly, these findings illustrate the importance of local membrane organization for normal cardiac physiology.

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