Background: Missense mutations in the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-modulated (HCN) channel 4 (HCN4) are one of the genetic causes of cardiac sinus bradycardia. Objective: To investigate possible HCN4 channel mutation in a young patient with profound sinus bradycardia. Methods: Direct sequencing of HCN4 and whole-exome sequencing were performed on DNA samples from the indexed patient (P), the patient's son (PS), and a family unrelated healthy long-distance running volunteer (V). Resting heart rate was 31 bpm for P, 67 bpm for PS, and 50 bpm for V. Immunoblots, flow cytometry, and immunocytofluorescence confocal imaging were used to study cellular distribution of channel variants. Patch-clamp electrophysiology was used to investigate the properties of mutant HCN1 channels. Results: In P no missense mutations were found in the HCN4 gene; instead, we found two heterozygous variants in the HCN1 gene: deletion of an N-terminal glycine triplet (72GGG74, “N-del”) and a novel missense variant, P851A, in the C-terminal region. N-del variant was found before and shared by PS. These two variations were not found in V. Compared to wild type, N-del and P851A reduced cell surface expression and negatively shifted voltage-activation with slower activation kinetics. Conclusion: Decreased channel activity HCN1 mutant channel makes it unable to contribute to early depolarization of sinus node action potential, thus likely a main cause of the profound sinus bradycardia in this patient.
- hyperpolarization-activated ion channel
- missense mutation
- sinus bradycardia
- whole-exome sequencing