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PLoS One. 2018 May 23;13(5):e0197273. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0197273. eCollection 2018.

Complex interactions in a novel SCN5A compound mutation associated with long QT and Brugada syndrome: Implications for Na+ channel blocking pharmacotherapy for de novo conduction disease.

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Department of Biology, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Electrophysiology and Heart Modeling Institute (LIRYC), Bordeaux University Foundation, Pessac, France.
University of Bordeaux, IMB, UMR 5251, Talance, France.
Peter Munk Cardiac Center, Division of Cardiology, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



The SCN5A mutation, P1332L, is linked to a malignant form of congenital long QT syndrome, type 3 (LQT3), and affected patients are highly responsive to the Na+ channel blocking drug, mexiletine. In contrast, A647D is an atypical SCN5A mutation causing Brugada syndrome. An asymptomatic male with both P1332L and A647D presented with varying P wave/QRS aberrancy and mild QTc prolongation which did not shorten measurably with mexiletine.


We characterized the biophysical properties of P1332L, A647D and wild-type (WT) Na+ channels as well as their combinations in order to understand our proband's phenotype and to guide mexilitine therapy.


Na+ channel biophysics and mexilitine-binding kinetics were assessed using heterologous expression studies in CHO-K1 cells and human ventricular myocyte modeling.


Compared to WT, P1332L channels displayed a hyperpolarizing shift in inactivation, slower inactivation and prominent late Na+ currents (INa). While A647D had no effect on the biophysical properties of INa, it reduced peak and late INa density when co-expressed with either WT or P1332L. Additionally, while P1332L channels had greater sensitivity to block by mexiletine compared to WT, this was reduced in the presence of A647D. Modelling studies revealed that mixing P1332L with A647D channels, action potential durations were shortened compared to P1332L, while peak INa was reduced compared to either A647D coexpressing with WT or WT alone.


While A647D mitigates the lethal LQT3 phenotype seen with P1332L, it also reduces mexilitine sensitivity and decreases INa density. These results explain our proband's mild repolarization abnormality and prominent conduction defect in the atria and ventricles, but also suggest that expression of P1332L with A647D yields a novel disease phenotype for which mexiletine pharmacotherapy is no longer suitable.

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