Author(s): Niwa N, Nerbonne JM
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Rapidly activating and inactivating cardiac transient outward K(+) currents, I(to), are expressed in most mammalian cardiomyocytes, and contribute importantly to the early phase of action potential repolarization and to plateau potentials. The rapidly recovering (I(t)(o,f)) and slowly recovering (I(t)(o,s)) components are differentially expressed in the myocardium, contributing to regional heterogeneities in action potential waveforms. Consistent with the marked differences in biophysical properties, distinct pore-forming (alpha) subunits underlie the two I(t)(o) components: Kv4.3/Kv4.2 subunits encode I(t)(o,f), whereas Kv1.4 encodes I(t)(o,s), channels. It has also become increasingly clear that cardiac I(t)(o) channels function as components of macromolecular protein complexes, comprising (four) Kvalpha subunits and a variety of accessory subunits and regulatory proteins that influence channel expression, biophysical properties and interactions with the actin cytoskeleton, and contribute to the generation of normal cardiac rhythms. Derangements in the expression or the regulation of I(t)(o) channels in inherited or acquired cardiac diseases would be expected to increase the risk of potentially life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias. Indeed, a recently identified Brugada syndrome mutation in KCNE3 (MiRP2) has been suggested to result in increased I(t)(o,f) densities. Continued focus in this area seems certain to provide new and fundamentally important insights into the molecular determinants of functional I(t)(o) channels and into the molecular mechanisms involved in the dynamic regulation of I(t)(o) channel functioning in the normal and diseased myocardium. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Mol Cell Cardiol
and referenced in Journal of Genetic Syndromes & Gene Therapy