Sodium channel current loss of function in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes from a Brugada syndrome patient

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Brugada syndrome predisposes to sudden death due to disruption of normal cardiac ion channel function, yet our understanding of the underlying cellular mechanisms is incomplete. Commonly used heterologous expression models lack many characteristics of native cardiomyocytes and, in particular, the individual genetic background of a patient. Patient-specific induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-derived cardiomyocytes (iPS-CM) may uncover cellular phenotypical characteristics not observed in heterologous models. Our objective was to determine the properties of the sodium current in iPS-CM with a mutation in SCN5A associated with Brugada syndrome. Dermal fibroblasts from a Brugada syndrome patient with a mutation in SCN5A (c.1100G>A, leading to Nav1.5_p.R367H) were reprogrammed to iPS cells. Clones were characterized and differentiated to form beating clusters and sheets. Patient and control iPS-CM were structurally indistinguishable. Sodium current properties of patient and control iPS-CM were compared. These results were contrasted with those obtained in tsA201 cells heterologously expressing sodium channels with the same mutation. Patient-derived iPS-CM showed a 33.1-45.5% reduction in INa density, a shift in both activation and inactivation voltage-dependence curves, and faster recovery from inactivation. Co-expression of wild-type and mutant channels in tsA201 cells did not compromise channel trafficking to the membrane, but resulted in a reduction of 49.8% in sodium current density without affecting any other parameters. Cardiomyocytes derived from iPS cells from a Brugada syndrome patient with a mutation in SCN5A recapitulate the loss of function of sodium channel current associated with this syndrome; including pro-arrhythmic changes in channel function not detected using conventional heterologous expression systems ​
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