Abstract 231: Uncovering the Mechanism and Function of Newly Discovered KCNQ1-Transporter Complexes

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The KCNQ1 voltage-gated potassium channel is essential for human ventricular repolarization, permitting potassium efflux from excited cardiomyocytes to end each action potential and repolarize the heart. In cardiomyocytes, KCNQ1 is modulated by interaction with beta-subunits from the KCNE gene family, each of which significantly alters KCNQ1 channel function. KCNQ1 mutations are the most common identified genetic basis for Long QT syndrome (LQTS) and are also associated with lone atrial fibrillation (AF). The sodium-dependent myo-inositol transporter 1 (SMIT1) mediates cellular uptake of myo-inositol, an essential osmolyte that also represents an important substrate for phosphatidylinositol signaling pathways that regulate a plethora of ion channels including those essential for human cardiac function. We recently discovered that KCNQ1 can form heteromeric, co-regulatory complexes with Na+-coupled solute transporters including SMIT1, SMIT2 and glucose transporter SGLT1. These findings represent the first reported example of formation of an ion channel-solute transporter complex. Having discovered KCNQ1-SMIT1 complexes in mouse choroid plexus epithelium, we are currently investigating whether these types of complexes occur in the heart, how their function is altered by the various cardiac-expressed KCNE regulatory subunits or by arrhythmia-associated mutations, and which parts of KCNQ1 coordinate complex formation. Here, we present evidence of KCNQ1-SMIT1 co-assembly in pig heart based on co-immunoprecipitation experiments. Using KCNQ1-KCNQ4 chimeras we also begin to define which specific regions of KCNQ1 are required for complex formation with SMIT1. Finally, we present data showing the effects of SMIT1 on complexes formed by KCNQ1 and KCNE1, 2 and 3. KCNQ1-transporter complexes provide a potential hub for electrochemical crosstalk in normal cardiac function and in arrhythmogenesis.

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