Mutations in SCN10A are responsible for a large fraction of cases of Brugada Syndrome


Aurora Cardiovascular Services


BACKGROUND: BrS is an inherited sudden cardiac death syndrome. Less than 35% of BrS probands have genetically identified pathogenic variants. Recent evidence has implicated SCN10A, a neuronal sodium channel gene encoding Nav1.8, in the electrical function of the heart.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that SCN10A variants contribute to the development of Brugada syndrome (BrS).

METHODS: Clinical analysis and direct sequencing of BrS susceptibility genes were performed for 150 probands and family members as well as >200 healthy controls. Expression and coimmunoprecipitation studies were performed to functionally characterize the putative pathogenic mutations.

RESULTS: We identified 17 SCN10A mutations in 25 probands (20 male and 5 female); 23 of the 25 probands (92.0%) displayed overlapping phenotypes. SCN10A mutations were found in 16.7% of BrS probands, approaching our yield for SCN5A mutations (20.1%). Patients with BrS who had SCN10A mutations were more symptomatic and displayed significantly longer PR and QRS intervals compared with SCN10A-negative BrS probands. The majority of mutations localized to the transmembrane-spanning regions. Heterologous coexpression of wild-type (WT) SCN10A with WT-SCN5A in HEK cells caused a near doubling of sodium channel current compared with WT-SCN5A alone. In contrast, coexpression of SCN10A mutants (R14L and R1268Q) with WT-SCN5A caused a 79.4% and 84.4% reduction in sodium channel current, respectively. The coimmunoprecipitation studies provided evidence for the coassociation of Nav1.8 and Nav1.5 in the plasma membrane.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study identified SCN10A as a major susceptibility gene for BrS, thus greatly enhancing our ability to genotype and risk stratify probands and family members.

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