Molecular Basis of Transient Outward Potassium Current Downregulation in Human Heart Failure: A Decrease in Kv4.3 mRNA correlates With a Reduction in Current Density

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Despite advances in medical therapy, congestive heart failure remains a major cause of death in the developed world. A disproportionate number of the deaths of patients with heart failure are sudden and presumed to be arrhythmic. Heart failure in humans and in animal models is associated with prolongation of the action potential duration (APD), the result of downregulation of K+ currents-prominently, the Ca2+-independent transient outward current (Ito). The mechanism for the reduction of Ito in heart failure is unknown. The K+ channel alpha-subunit Kv4.3, a homolog of the Drosophila Shal family, is most likely to encode all or part of the native cardiac Ito in humans.


These data provide further support for the hypothesis that Kv4.3 encodes all or part of the native cardiac Ito in humans and that part of the downregulation of this current in heart failure may be transcriptionally regulated. (Circulation. 1998;98:1383-1393.)

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