Gene expression profiling of human cardiac potassium and sodium channels

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Background: The native cardiac ion currents and the action potential itself are the results of the concerted action of several different ion channels. The electrophysiological properties of cardiac cells are determined by the composition of ion channels and by their absolute abundance and proportional ratio. Methods: Our aim in this study was to compare the gene expression level of a representative panel of cardiac ion channels with each other and to compare the same channels in the atrium and ventricle of the human heart using quantitative real-time PCR analysis. Results: We obtained a significant difference in the gene expression levels in 21 of 35 channels between atrium and ventricle of healthy human hearts. Further, we found that the expression levels of Kv1.5 and Kv2.1 transcripts in the ventricle were very high, and that mRNAs for Kv1.7 and Kv3.4 are highly abundant in both the atrium and ventricle, which might indicate a functional role of these ion channel subunits in the formation of action potential in the human ventricle and both in the atrium and ventricle, respectively. Conclusions: This is the first report on the expression of several ion channel subunits, such as Kv1.7, Kv3.3 or Kv3.4 in human cardiomyocytes. The expression levels of these genes are comparable with that of well known ion channel subunits. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume, that these ion channel subunits may contribute to native currents in the human myocardium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-393
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 28 2006


  • Human heart
  • Potassium channel
  • Real time PCR
  • Sodium channel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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