KCNQ1 encodes the ? subunit of the voltage-gated channel that mediates the cardiac slow delayed rectifier K(+) current (IKs). Here, we report a KCNQ1 allele encoding an A590T mutation [KCNQ1(A590T)] found in a 39-year-old female with a mild QT prolongation. A590 is located in the C-terminal ? helical region of KCNQ1 that mediates subunit tetramerization, membrane trafficking, and interaction with Yotiao. This interaction is known to be required for the proper modulation of IKs by cAMP. Since previous studies reported that mutations in the vicinity of A590 impair IKs channel surface expression and function, we examined whether and how the A590T mutation affects the IKs channel. Electrophysiological measurements in HEK-293T cells showed that the A590T mutation caused a reduction in IKs density and a right-shift of the current-voltage relation of channel activation. Immunocytochemical and immunoblot analyses showed the reduced cell surface expression of KCNQ1(A590T) subunit and its rescue by coexpression of the wild-type KCNQ1 [KCNQ1(WT)] subunit. Moreover, KCNQ1(A590T) subunit interacted with Yotiao and had a cAMP-responsiveness comparable to that of KCNQ1(WT) subunit. These findings indicate that the A590 of KCNQ1 subunit plays important roles in the maintenance of channel surface expression and function via a novel mechanism independent of interaction with Yotiao.
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