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Disease-Linked Super-Trafficking of a Mutant Potassium Channel

By Hui Huang, Laura M. Chamness, Carlos G. Vanoye, Georg Kuenze, Jens Meiler, Alfred L George, Jonathan P Schlebach, Charles R. Sanders

Posted 29 Jul 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.07.29.227231

Gain-of-function (GOF) mutations in the KCNQ1 voltage-gated potassium channel can induce cardiac arrhythmia. We tested whether any of the known GOF disease mutations in KCNQ1 act by increasing the amount of KCNQ1 that reaches the cell surface: super-trafficking. We found that levels of R231C KCNQ1 in the plasma membrane are 5-fold higher than wild type KCNQ1. This arises from both enhanced translocon-mediated membrane integration of the S4 voltage-sensor helix and an energetic linkage of C231 with the V129 and F166 side chains. Whole-cell electrophysiology recordings confirmed that R231C KCNQ1 in complex with KCNE1 is constitutively active, but also revealed the single channel activity of this mutant to be only 20% that of WT. The GOF phenotype associated with R231C therefore reflects the net effects of super-trafficking, reduced single channel activity, and constitutive channel activation. These investigations document membrane protein super-trafficking as a contributing mechanism to human disease. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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