DOI: 10.1093/cvr/cvae019 ISSN: 0008-6363

The Kir2.1E299V mutation increases atrial fibrillation vulnerability while protecting the ventricles against arrhythmias in a mouse model of short QT syndrome type 3

Ana I Moreno-Manuel, Álvaro Macías, Francisco M Cruz, Lilian K Gutiérrez, Fernando Martínez, Andrés González-Guerra, Isabel Martínez Carrascoso, Francisco José Bermúdez-Jimenez, Patricia Sánchez-Pérez, María Linarejos Vera-Pedrosa, Juan Manuel Ruiz-Robles, Juan A Bernal, José Jalife
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology



Short QT syndrome type 3 (SQTS3) is a rare arrhythmogenic disease caused by gain-of-function mutations in KCNJ2, the gene coding the inward rectifier potassium channel Kir2.1. We used a multidisciplinary approach and investigated arrhythmogenic mechanisms in an in-vivo model of de-novo mutation Kir2.1E299V identified in a patient presenting an extremely abbreviated QT interval and paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.

Methods and results

We used intravenous adeno-associated virus-mediated gene transfer to generate mouse models, and confirmed cardiac-specific expression of Kir2.1WT or Kir2.1E299V. On ECG, the Kir2.1E299V mouse recapitulated the QT interval shortening and the atrial-specific arrhythmia of the patient. The PR interval was also significantly shorter in Kir2.1E299V mice. Patch-clamping showed extremely abbreviated action potentials in both atrial and ventricular Kir2.1E299V cardiomyocytes due to a lack of inward-going rectification and increased IK1 at voltages positive to −80 mV. Relative to Kir2.1WT, atrial Kir2.1E299V cardiomyocytes had a significantly reduced slope conductance at voltages negative to −80 mV. After confirming a higher proportion of heterotetrameric Kir2.x channels containing Kir2.2 subunits in the atria, in-silico 3D simulations predicted an atrial-specific impairment of polyamine block and reduced pore diameter in the Kir2.1E299V-Kir2.2WT channel. In ventricular cardiomyocytes, the mutation increased excitability by shifting INa activation and inactivation in the hyperpolarizing direction, which protected the ventricle against arrhythmia. Moreover, Purkinje myocytes from Kir2.1E299V mice manifested substantially higher INa density than Kir2.1WT, explaining the abbreviation in the PR interval.


The first in-vivo mouse model of cardiac-specific SQTS3 recapitulates the electrophysiological phenotype of a patient with the Kir2.1E299V mutation. Kir2.1E299V eliminates rectification in both cardiac chambers but protects against ventricular arrhythmias by increasing excitability in both Purkinje-fiber network and ventricles. Consequently, the predominant arrhythmias are supraventricular likely due to the lack of inward rectification and atrial-specific reduced pore diameter of the Kir2.1E299V-Kir2.2WT heterotetramer.

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