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1/2. Drug-induced long-QT syndrome associated with a subclinical SCN5A mutation.

    BACKGROUND: Subclinical mutations in genes associated with the congenital long-QT syndromes (LQTS) have been suggested as a risk factor for drug-induced LQTS and accompanying life-threatening arrhythmias. Recent studies have identified genetic variants of the cardiac K channel genes predisposing affected individuals to acquired LQTS. We have identified a novel Na channel mutation in an individual who exhibited drug-induced LQTS. methods AND RESULTS: An elderly Japanese woman with documented QT prolongation and torsade de pointes during treatment with the prokinetic drug cisapride underwent mutational analysis of LQTS-related genes. A novel missense mutation (L1825P) was identified within the C-terminus region of the cardiac Na channel (SCN5A). The L1825P channel heterologously expressed in tsA-201 cells showed Na current with slow decay and a prominent tetrodotoxin-sensitive noninactivating component, similar to the gain-of-function phenotype most commonly observed for SCN5A-associated congenital LQTS (LQT3). In addition, L1825P exhibited loss of function Na channel features characteristic of brugada syndrome. Peak Na current density observed in cells expressing L1825P was significantly diminished, and the voltage dependence of activation and inactivation was shifted toward more positive and negative potentials, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that subclinical mutations in the LQTS-related gene SCN5A may predispose certain individuals to drug-induced cardiac arrhythmias.
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2/2. Molecular mechanism of rigid spine with muscular dystrophy type 1 caused by novel mutations of selenoprotein N gene.

    Mutations of selenoprotein N, 1 gene (SEPN1) cause rigid spine with muscular dystrophy type 1 (RSMD1), multiminicore disease, and desmin-related myopathy. We found two novel SEPN1 mutations in two Japanese patients with RSMD1. To clarify the pathomechanism of RSMD1, we performed immunohistochemical studies using a newly developed antibody for selenoprotein N. Selenoprotein N was diffusely distributed in the cytoplasm of the control muscle, but was reduced and irregularly expressed in the cytoplasm of a patient with RSMD1. The expression pattern was very similar to that of calnexin, a transmembrane protein of the endoplasmic reticulum. Selenoprotein N seems to be an endoplasmic reticulum glycoprotein, and loss of this protein leads to disturbance of muscular function. One of the families had the SEPN1 homozygous mutation in the initiation codon 1_2 ins T in exon 1 and showed truncated protein expression. The other had a homozygous 20-base duplication mutation at 80 (80_99dup, frameshift at R27) which, in theory, should generate many nonsense mutations including TGA. These nonsense mutations are premature translation termination codons and they degrade immediately by the process of nonsense-mediated decay (NMD). However, truncated selenoprotein N was also expressed. A possible mechanism behind this observation is that SEPN1 mRNAs may be resistant to NMD. We report on the possible molecular mechanism behind these mutations in SEPN1. Our study clarifies molecular mechanisms of this muscular disorder.
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