Two recent studies (Newton-Cheh, C. et al. (2009) Common variants at ten loci influence QT interval duration in the QTGEN Study. Nat. Genet. 41, 399-406 and Pfeufer, A. et al. (2009) Common variants at ten loci modulate the QT interval duration in the QTSCD Study. Nat. Genet. 41, 407-414) identified an association, with genome-wide significance, between a single nucleotide polymorphism within the gene encoding RING finger protein 207 (RNF207) and the QT interval. We sought to determine the role of RNF207 in cardiac electrophysiology. Morpholino knockdown of RNF207 in zebrafish embryos resulted in action potential duration prolongation, occasionally a 2:1 atrioventricular block, and slowing of conduction velocity. Conversely, neonatal rabbit cardiomyocytes infected with RNF207-expressing adenovirus exhibited shortened action potential duration. Using transfections of U-2 OS and HEK293 cells, Western blot analysis and immunocytochemistry data demonstrate that RNF207 and the human ether-a-go-go-related gene (HERG) potassium channel interact and colocalize. Furthermore, RNF207 overexpression significantly elevated total and membrane HERG protein and HERG-encoded current density by ∼30-50%, which was dependent on the intact N-terminal RING domain of RNF207. Finally, coexpression of RNF207 and HSP70 increased HERG expression compared with HSP70 alone. This effect was dependent on the C terminus of RNF207. Taken together, the evidence is strong that RNF207 is an important regulator of action potential duration, likely via effects on HERG trafficking and localization in a heat shock protein-dependent manner.
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© 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.