Multiple targets for flecainide action: implications for cardiac arrhythmogenesis.
ABSTRACT: Flecainide suppresses cardiac tachyarrhythmias including paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia and arrhythmic long QT syndromes (LQTS), as well as the Ca2+ -mediated, catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT). However, flecainide can also exert pro-arrhythmic effects most notably following myocardial infarction and when used to diagnose Brugada syndrome (BrS). These divergent actions result from its physiological and pharmacological actions at multiple, interacting levels of cellular organization. These were studied in murine genetic models with modified Nav channel or intracellular ryanodine receptor (RyR2)-Ca2+ channel function. Flecainide accesses its transmembrane Nav 1.5 channel binding site during activated, open, states producing a use-dependent antagonism. Closing either activation or inactivation gates traps flecainide within the pore. An early peak INa related to activation of Nav channels followed by rapid de-activation, drives action potential (AP) upstrokes and their propagation. This is diminished in pro-arrhythmic conditions reflecting loss of function of Nav 1.5 channels, such as BrS, accordingly exacerbated by flecainide challenge. Contrastingly, pro-arrhythmic effects attributed to prolonged AP recovery by abnormal late INaL following gain-of-function modifications of Nav 1.5 channels in LQTS3 are reduced by flecainide. Anti-arrhythmic effects of flecainide that reduce triggering in CPVT models mediated by sarcoplasmic reticular Ca2+ release could arise from its primary actions on Nav channels indirectly decreasing [Ca2+ ]i through a reduced [Na+ ]i and/or direct open-state RyR2-Ca2+ channel antagonism. The consequent [Ca2+ ]i alterations could also modify AP propagation velocity and therefore arrhythmic substrate through its actions on Nav 1.5 channel function. This is consistent with the paradoxical differences between flecainide actions upon Na+ currents, AP conduction and arrhythmogenesis under circumstances of normal and increased RyR2 function. LINKED ARTICLES:This article is part of a themed section on Spotlight on Small Molecules in Cardiovascular Diseases. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v175.8/issuetoc.
Project description:<h4>Background and purpose</h4>Flecainide is a use-dependent blocker of cardiac Na(+) channels. Mechanistic analysis of this block showed that the cationic form of flecainide enters the cytosolic vestibule of the open Na(+) channel. Flecainide is also effective in the treatment of catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia but, in this condition, its mechanism of action is contentious. We investigated how flecainide derivatives influence Ca(2) (+) -release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum through the ryanodine receptor channel (RyR2) and whether this correlates with their effectiveness as blockers of Na(+) and/or RyR2 channels.<h4>Experimental approach</h4>We compared the ability of fully charged (QX-FL) and neutral (NU-FL) derivatives of flecainide to block individual recombinant human RyR2 channels incorporated into planar phospholipid bilayers, and their effects on the properties of Ca(2) (+) sparks in intact adult rat cardiac myocytes.<h4>Key results</h4>Both QX-FL and NU-FL were partial blockers of the non-physiological cytosolic to luminal flux of cations through RyR2 channels but were significantly less effective than flecainide. None of the compounds influenced the physiologically relevant luminal to cytosol cation flux through RyR2 channels. Intracellular flecainide or QX-FL, but not NU-FL, reduced Ca(2) (+) spark frequency.<h4>Conclusions and implications</h4>Given its inability to block physiologically relevant cation flux through RyR2 channels, and its lack of efficacy in blocking the cytosolic-to-luminal current, the effect of QX-FL on Ca(2) (+) sparks is likely, by analogy with flecainide, to result from Na(+) channel block. Our data reveal important differences in the interaction of flecainide with sites in the cytosolic vestibules of Na(+) and RyR2 channels.
Project description:Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) is caused by mutations in the cardiac ryanodine receptor (RyR2) or calsequestrin (Casq2) and can be difficult to treat. The class Ic antiarrhythmic drug flecainide blocks RyR2 channels and prevents CPVT in mice and humans. It is not known whether other class I antiarrhythmic drugs also block RyR2 channels and to what extent RyR2 channel inhibition contributes to antiarrhythmic efficacy in CPVT.We first measured the effect of all class I antiarrhythmic drugs marketed in the United States (quinidine, procainamide, disopyramide, lidocaine, mexiletine, flecainide, and propafenone) on single RyR2 channels incorporated into lipid bilayers. Only flecainide and propafenone inhibited RyR2 channels, with the S-enantiomer of propafenone having a significantly lower potency than R-propafenone or flecainide. In Casq2(-/-) myocytes, the propafenone enantiomers and flecainide significantly reduced arrhythmogenic Ca(2+) waves at clinically relevant concentrations, whereas Na(+) channel inhibitors without RyR2 blocking properties did not. In Casq2(-/-) mice, 5 mg/kg R-propafenone or 20 mg/kg S-propafenone prevented exercise-induced CPVT, whereas procainamide (20 mg/kg) or lidocaine (20 mg/kg) were ineffective (n=5 to 9 mice, P<0.05). QRS duration was not significantly different, indicating a similar degree of Na(+) channel inhibition. Clinically, propafenone (900 mg/d) prevented ICD shocks in a 22-year-old CPVT patient who had been refractory to maximal standard drug therapy and bilateral stellate ganglionectomy.RyR2 cardiac Ca(2+) release channel inhibition appears to determine efficacy of class I drugs for the prevention of CPVT in Casq2(-/-) mice. Propafenone may be an alternative to flecainide for CPVT patients symptomatic on ?-blockers.
Project description:Andersen-Tawil syndrome (ATS) is a rare inherited channelopathy. The cardiac phenotype in ATS is typified by a prominent U wave and ventricular arrhythmia. An effective treatment for this disease remains to be established. We reprogrammed somatic cells from three ATS patients to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Multi-electrode arrays (MEAs) were used to record extracellular electrograms of iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes, revealing strong arrhythmic events in the ATS-iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes. Ca2+ imaging of cells loaded with the Ca2+ indicator Fluo-4 enabled us to examine intracellular Ca2+ handling properties, and we found a significantly higher incidence of irregular Ca2+ release in the ATS-iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes than in control-iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes. Drug testing using ATS-iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes further revealed that antiarrhythmic agent, flecainide, but not the sodium channel blocker, pilsicainide, significantly suppressed these irregular Ca2+ release and arrhythmic events, suggesting that flecainide's effect in these cardiac cells was not via sodium channels blocking. A reverse-mode Na+/Ca2+exchanger (NCX) inhibitor, KB-R7943, was also found to suppress the irregular Ca2+ release, and whole-cell voltage clamping of isolated guinea-pig cardiac ventricular myocytes confirmed that flecainide could directly affect the NCX current (INCX). ATS-iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes recapitulate abnormal electrophysiological phenotypes and flecainide suppresses the arrhythmic events through the modulation of INCX.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Human ether-a-go-go-related gene (hERG; Kv 11.1) channel inhibition is a widely accepted predictor of cardiac arrhythmia. hERG channel inhibition alone is often insufficient to predict pro-arrhythmic drug effects. This study used a library of dofetilide derivatives to investigate the relationship between standard measures of hERG current block in an expression system and changes in action potential duration (APD) in human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs). The interference from accompanying block of Cav 1.2 and Nav 1.5 channels was investigated along with an in silico AP model. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH:Drug-induced changes in APD were assessed in hiPSC-CMs using voltage-sensitive dyes. The IC50 values for dofetilide and 13 derivatives on hERG current were estimated in an HEK293 expression system. The relative potency of each drug on APD was estimated by calculating the dose (D150 ) required to prolong the APD at 90% (APD90 ) repolarization by 50%. KEY RESULTS:The D150 in hiPSC-CMs was linearly correlated with IC50 of hERG current. In silico simulations supported this finding. Three derivatives inhibited hERG without prolonging APD, and these compounds also inhibited Cav 1.2 and/or Nav 1.5 in a channel state-dependent manner. Adding Cav 1.2 and Nav 1.2 block to the in silico model recapitulated the direction but not the extent of the APD change. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:Potency of hERG current inhibition correlates linearly with an index of APD in hiPSC-CMs. The compounds that do not correlate have additional effects including concomitant block of Cav 1.2 and/or Nav 1.5 channels. In silico simulations of hiPSC-CMs APs confirm the principle of the multiple ion channel effects.
Project description:Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) causes sudden cardiac death due to mutations in cardiac ryanodine receptors (RyR2), calsequestrin, or calmodulin. Flecainide, a class I antiarrhythmic drug, inhibits Na(+) and RyR2 channels and prevents CPVT. The purpose of this study is to identify inhibitory mechanisms of flecainide on RyR2. RyR2 were isolated from sheep heart, incorporated into lipid bilayers, and investigated by single-channel recording under various activating conditions, including the presence of cytoplasmic ATP (2 mM) and a range of cytoplasmic [Ca(2+)], [Mg(2+)], pH, and [caffeine]. Flecainide applied to either the cytoplasmic or luminal sides of the membrane inhibited RyR2 by two distinct modes: 1) a fast block consisting of brief substate and closed events with a mean duration of ?1 ms, and 2) a slow block consisting of closed events with a mean duration of ?1 second. Both inhibition modes were alleviated by increasing cytoplasmic pH from 7.4 to 9.5 but were unaffected by luminal pH. The slow block was potentiated in RyR2 channels that had relatively low open probability, whereas the fast block was unaffected by RyR2 activation. These results show that these two modes are independent mechanisms for RyR2 inhibition, both having a cytoplasmic site of action. The slow mode is a closed-channel block, whereas the fast mode blocks RyR2 in the open state. At diastolic cytoplasmic [Ca(2+)] (100 nM), flecainide possesses an additional inhibitory mechanism that reduces RyR2 burst duration. Hence, multiple modes of action underlie RyR2 inhibition by flecainide.
Project description:Flecainide blocks ryanodine receptor type 2 (RyR2) channels in the open state, suppresses arrhythmogenic Ca2+ waves and prevents catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) in mice and humans. We hypothesized that differences in RyR2 activity induced by CPVT mutations determines the potency of open-state RyR2 blockers like flecainide (FLEC) and R-propafenone (RPROP) against Ca2+ waves in cardiomyocytes. Using confocal microscopy, we studied Ca2+ sparks and waves in isolated saponin-permeabilized ventricular myocytes from two CPVT mouse models (Casq2-/-, RyR2-R4496C+/-), wild-type (c57bl/6, WT) mice, and WT rabbits (New Zealand white rabbits). Consistent with increased RyR2 activity, Ca2+ spark and wave frequencies were significantly higher in CPVT compared to WT mouse myocytes. We next obtained concentration-response curves of Ca2+ wave inhibition for FLEC, RPROP (another open-state RyR2 blocker), and tetracaine (TET) (a state-independent RyR2 blocker). Both FLEC and RPROP inhibited Ca2+ waves with significantly higher potency (lower IC50) and efficacy in CPVT compared to WT. In contrast, TET had similar potency in all groups studied. Increasing RyR2 activity of permeabilized WT myocytes by exposure to caffeine (150 µM) increased the potency of FLEC and RPROP but not of TET. RPROP and FLEC were also significantly more potent in rabbit ventricular myocytes that intrinsically exhibit higher Ca2+ spark rates than WT mouse ventricular myocytes. In conclusion, RyR2 activity determines the potency of open-state blockers FLEC and RPROP for suppressing arrhythmogenic Ca2+ waves in cardiomyocytes, a mechanism likely relevant to antiarrhythmic drug efficacy in CPVT.
Project description:We identified a potentially novel homozygous duplication involving the promoter region and exons 1-4 of the gene encoding type 2 cardiac ryanodine receptor (RYR2) that is responsible for highly penetrant, exertion-related sudden deaths/cardiac arrests in the Amish community without an overt phenotype to suggest RYR2-mediated catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT). Homozygous RYR2 duplication (RYR2-DUP) induced pluripotent stem cell cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) were generated from 2 unrelated patients. There was no difference in baseline Ca2+ handling measurements between WT-iPSC-CM and RYR2-DUP-iPSC-CM lines. However, compared with WT-iPSC-CMs, both patient lines demonstrated a dramatic reduction in caffeine-stimulated and isoproterenol-stimulated (ISO-stimulated) Ca2+ transient amplitude, suggesting RyR2 loss of function. There was a greater than 50% reduction in RYR2 transcript/RyR2 protein expression in both patient iPSC-CMs compared with WT. Delayed afterdepolarization was observed in the RYR2-DUP-iPSC-CMs but not in the WT-iPSC-CMs. Compared with WT-iPSC-CMs, there was significantly elevated arrhythmic activity in the RYR2-DUP-iPSC-CMs in response to ISO. Nadolol, propranolol, and flecainide reduced erratic activity by 8.5-fold, 6.8-fold, and 2.4-fold, respectively, from ISO challenge. Unlike the gain-of-function mechanism observed in RYR2-mediated CPVT, the homozygous multiexon duplication precipitated a dramatic reduction in RYR2 transcription and RyR2 protein translation, a loss of function in calcium handling, and a calcium-induced calcium release apparatus that is insensitive to catecholamines and caffeine.
Project description:Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) is linked to mutations in the cardiac ryanodine receptor (RyR2) or calsequestrin. We recently found that the drug flecainide inhibits RyR2 channels and prevents CPVT in mice and humans. Here we compared the effects of flecainide and tetracaine, a known RyR2 inhibitor ineffective in CPVT myocytes, on arrhythmogenic Ca(2+) waves and elementary sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca(2+) release events, Ca(2+) sparks. In ventricular myocytes isolated from a CPVT mouse model, flecainide significantly reduced spark amplitude and spark width, resulting in a 40% reduction in spark mass. Surprisingly, flecainide significantly increased spark frequency. As a result, flecainide had no significant effect on spark-mediated SR Ca(2+) leak or SR Ca(2+) content. In contrast, tetracaine decreased spark frequency and spark-mediated SR Ca(2+) leak, resulting in a significantly increased SR Ca(2+) content. Measurements in permeabilized rat ventricular myocytes confirmed the different effects of flecainide and tetracaine on spark frequency and Ca(2+) waves. In lipid bilayers, flecainide inhibited RyR2 channels by open state block, whereas tetracaine primarily prolonged RyR2 closed times. The differential effects of flecainide and tetracaine on sparks and RyR2 gating can explain why flecainide, unlike tetracaine, does not change the balance of SR Ca(2+) fluxes. We suggest that the smaller spark mass contributes to flecainide's antiarrhythmic action by reducing the probability of saltatory wave propagation between adjacent Ca(2+) release units. Our results indicate that inhibition of the RyR2 open state provides a new therapeutic strategy to prevent diastolic Ca(2+) waves resulting in triggered arrhythmias, such as CPVT.
Project description:Mutations in the cardiac ryanodine receptor (RYR2) are the leading cause for catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT). In this study, we evaluated antiarrhythmic efficacy of carvedilol and flecainide in CPVT patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) carrying different mutations in RYR2. iPSC-CMs were generated from skin biopsies of CPVT patients carrying exon 3 deletion and L4115 or V4653F mutation in RYR2 and of a healthy individual. Ca2+ kinetics and drug effects were studied with Fluo-4 AM indicator. Carvedilol abolished Ca2+ abnormalities in 31% of L4115F, 36% of V4653F, and 46% of exon 3 deletion carrying CPVT cardiomyocytes and flecainide 33%, 30%, and 52%, respectively. Both drugs lowered the intracellular Ca2+ level and beating rate of the cardiomyocytes significantly. Moreover, flecainide caused abnormal Ca2+ transients in 61% of controls compared to 26% of those with carvedilol. Carvedilol and flecainide were equally effective in CPVT iPSC-CMs. However, flecainide induced arrhythmias in 61% of control cells. CPVT cardiomyocytes carrying the exon 3 deletion had the most severe Ca2+ abnormalities, but they had the best response to drug therapies. According to this study, the arrhythmia-abolishing effect of neither of the drugs is optimal. iPSC-CMs provide a unique platform for testing drugs for CPVT.
Project description:A number of point mutations in the intracellular Ca2+-sensing protein calmodulin (CaM) are arrhythmogenic, yet their underlying mechanisms are not clear. These mutations generally decrease Ca2+ binding to CaM and impair inhibition of CaM-regulated Ca2+ channels like the cardiac Ca2+ release channel (ryanodine receptor, RyR2), and it appears that attenuated CaM Ca2+ binding correlates with impaired CaM-dependent RyR2 inhibition. Here, we investigated the RyR2 inhibitory action of the CaM p.Phe142Leu mutation (F142L; numbered including the start-Met), which markedly reduces CaM Ca2+ binding. Surprisingly, CaM-F142L had little to no aberrant effect on RyR2-mediated store overload-induced Ca2+ release in HEK293 cells compared with CaM-WT. Furthermore, CaM-F142L enhanced CaM-dependent RyR2 inhibition at the single channel level compared with CaM-WT. This is in stark contrast to the actions of arrhythmogenic CaM mutations N54I, D96V, N98S, and D130G, which all diminish CaM-dependent RyR2 inhibition. Thermodynamic analysis showed that apoCaM-F142L converts an endothermal interaction between CaM and the CaM-binding domain (CaMBD) of RyR2 into an exothermal one. Moreover, NMR spectra revealed that the CaM-F142L-CaMBD interaction is structurally different from that of CaM-WT at low Ca2+ These data indicate a distinct interaction between CaM-F142L and the RyR2 CaMBD, which may explain the stronger CaM-dependent RyR2 inhibition by CaM-F142L, despite its reduced Ca2+ binding. Collectively, these results add to our understanding of CaM-dependent regulation of RyR2 as well as the mechanistic effects of arrhythmogenic CaM mutations. The unique properties of the CaM-F142L mutation may provide novel clues on how to suppress excessive RyR2 Ca2+ release by manipulating the CaM-RyR2 interaction.