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Molecular genetics of long QT syndrome

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Genetics and Metabolism
Volume101
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010

Abstract

Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a cardiac disorder associated with sudden death especially in young, seemingly healthy individuals. It is characterised by abnormalities of the heart beat detected as lengthening of the QT interval during cardiac repolarisation. The incidence of LQTS is given as 1 in 2000 but this may be an underestimation as many cases go undiagnosed, due to the rarity of the condition and the wide spectrum of symptoms. Presently 12 genes associated with LQTS have been identified with differing signs and symptoms, depending on the locus involved. The majority of cases have mutations in the KCNQ1 (LQT1), KCNH2 (LQT2) and SCN5A (LQT3) genes. Genetic testing is increasingly used when a clearly affected proband has been identified, to determine the nature of the mutation in that family. Unfortunately tests on probands may be uninformative, especially if the defect does not lie in the set of genes which are routinely tested. Novel mutations in these known LQTS genes and additional candidate genes are still being discovered. The functional implications of these novel mutations need to be assessed before they can be accepted as being responsible for LQTS. Known epigenetic modification affecting KCNQ1 gene expression may also be involved in phenotypic variability of LQTS. Genetic diagnosis of LQTS is thus challenging. However, where a disease associated mutation is identified, molecular diagnosis can be important in guiding therapy, in family testing and in determining the cause of sudden cardiac death. New developments in technology and understanding offer increasing hope to families with this condition.

    Research areas

  • Animals, Death, Sudden, Cardiac, Epigenomics, Genetic Testing, Humans, KCNQ1 Potassium Channel, Long QT Syndrome, Models, Biological

ID: 1449429