Inward Rectifier Potassium Channels (Kir2.x) and Caveolin-3 Domain–Specific Interaction: Implications for Purkinje Cell–Dependent Ventricular Arrhythmias

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In human cardiac ventricle, IK1 is mainly comprised Kir2.1, but Kir2.2 and Kir2.3 heterotetramers occur and modulate IK1. Long-QT syndrome-9–associated CAV3 mutations cause decreased Kir2.1 current density, but Kir2.x heterotetramers have not been studied. Here, we determine the effect of long-QT syndrome-9-CAV3 mutation F97C on Kir2.x homo- and heterotetramers and model-associated arrhythmia mechanisms.

Methods and Results:

Super-resolution microscopy, co-immunoprecipitation, cellular electrophysiology, on-cell Western blotting, and simulation of Purkinje and ventricular myocyte mathematical models were used. Kir2.x isoforms have unique subcellular colocalization in human cardiomyocytes and coimmunoprecipitate with Cav3. F97C-Cav3 decreased peak inward Kir2.2 current density by 50% (−120 mV; P=0.019) and peak outward by 75% (−40 mV; P<0.05) but did not affect Kir2.3 current density. FRET (Förster resonance energy transfer) efficiency for Kir2.2 with Cav3 is high, and on-cell Western blotting demonstrates decreased Kir2.2 membrane expression with F97C-Cav3. Cav3-F97C reduced peak inward and outward current density of Kir2.2/Kir2.1 or Kir2.2/Kir2.3 heterotetramers (P<0.05). Only Cav3 scaffolding and membrane domains co-immunoprecipitation with Kir2.1 and Kir2.2 and Kir2.x-N-terminal Cav3 binding motifs are required for interaction. Mathematical Purkinje, but not ventricular, myocyte model incorporating simulated current reductions, predicts spontaneous delayed after-depolarization–mediated triggered activity.


Kir2.x isoforms have a unique intracellular pattern of distribution in association with specific Cav3 domains and that critically depends on interaction with N-terminal Kir2.x Cav3-binding motifs. Long-QT syndrome-9-CAV3 mutation differentially regulates current density and cell surface expression of Kir2.x homomeric and heteromeric channels. Mathematical Purkinje cell model incorporating experimental findings suggests delayed after-depolarization–type triggered activity as a possible arrhythmia mechanism.

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