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Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018;45(1):192-202. doi: 10.1159/000486357. Epub 2018 Jan 15.

Downregulation of Long Non-Coding RNA Kcnq1ot1: An Important Mechanism of Arsenic Trioxide-Induced Long QT Syndrome.

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Department of Pharmacology (State-Province Key Laboratories of Biomedicine- Pharmaceutics of China, Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Research, Ministry of Education), College of Pharmacy, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China.
Translational Medicine Research and Cooperation Center of Northern China, Heilongjiang Academy of Medical Sciences, Harbin, China.
Central laboratory of scientific research, Bashkir State Medical University, Ufa, Russian Federation.
Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Melbourne School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.



Arsenic trioxide (ATO) is a known anti-acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) reagent, whose clinical applications are limited by its serious cardiac toxicity and fatal adverse effects, such as sudden cardiac death resulting from long QT syndrome (LQTS). The mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmia due to ATO exposure still need to be elucidated. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging as major regulators of various pathophysiological processes. This study aimed to explore the involvement of lncRNAs in ATO-induced LQTS in vivo and in vitro.


For in vivo experiments, mice were administered ATO through the tail vein. For in vitro experiments, ATO was added to the culture medium of primary cultured neonatal mouse cardiomyocytes. To evaluate the effect of lncRNA Kcnq1ot1, siRNA and lentivirus-shRNA were synthesized to knockdown lncRNA Kcnq1ot1.


After ATO treatment, the Kcnq1ot1 and Kcnq1 expression levels were down regulated. lncRNA Kcnq1ot1 knockdown prolonged the action potential duration (APD) in vitro and exerted LQTS in vivo. Correspondingly, Kcnq1 expression was decreased after silencing lncRNA Kcnq1ot1. However, the knockdown of Kcnq1 exerted no effect on lncRNA Kcnq1ot1 expression.


To our knowledge, this report is the first to demonstrate that lncRNA Kcnq1ot1 downregulation is responsible for QT interval prolongation induced by ATO at least partially by repressing Kcnq1 expression. lncRNA Kcnq1ot1 has important pathophysiological functions in the heart and could become a novel antiarrhythmic target.


Arsenic trioxide; Kcnq1; LncRNA Kcnq1ot1; Long QT syndrome

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