Research ArticleHeart Arrhythmia

Suppression of Phosphoinositide 3-Kinase Signaling and Alteration of Multiple Ion Currents in Drug-Induced Long QT Syndrome

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Translational Medicine  25 Apr 2012:
Vol. 4, Issue 131, pp. 131ra50
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3003623

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text


Many drugs, including some commonly used medications, can cause abnormal heart rhythms and sudden death, as manifest by a prolonged QT interval in the electrocardiogram. Cardiac arrhythmias caused by drug-induced long QT syndrome are thought to result mainly from reductions in the delayed rectifier potassium ion (K+) current IKr. Here, we report a mechanism for drug-induced QT prolongation that involves changes in multiple ion currents caused by a decrease in phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling. Treatment of canine cardiac myocytes with inhibitors of tyrosine kinases or PI3Ks caused an increase in action potential duration that was reversed by intracellular infusion of phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate. The inhibitors decreased the delayed rectifier K+ currents IKr and IKs, the L-type calcium ion (Ca2+) current ICa,L, and the peak sodium ion (Na+) current INa and increased the persistent Na+ current INaP. Computer modeling of the canine ventricular action potential showed that the drug-induced change in any one current accounted for less than 50% of the increase in action potential duration. Mouse hearts lacking the PI3K p110α catalytic subunit exhibited a prolonged action potential and QT interval that were at least partly a result of an increase in INaP. These results indicate that down-regulation of PI3K signaling directly or indirectly via tyrosine kinase inhibition prolongs the QT interval by affecting multiple ion channels. This mechanism may explain why some tyrosine kinase inhibitors in clinical use are associated with increased risk of life-threatening arrhythmias.

View Full Text