81 Scopus citations


Sick sinus syndrome and atrioventricular block are common clinical problems, often necessitating permanent pacemaker placement, yet the pathophysiology of these conditions remains poorly understood. Here we show that Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin 7 (TRPM7), a divalent-permeant channel-kinase of unknown function, is highly expressed in embryonic myocardium and sinoatrial node (SAN) and is required for cardiac automaticity in these specialized tissues. TRPM7 disruption in vitro, in cultured embryonic cardiomyocytes, significantly reduces spontaneous Ca2+ transient firing rates and is associated with robust down-regulation of Hcn4, Cav3.1, and SERCA2a mRNA. TRPM7 knockdown in zebrafish, global murine cardiac Trpm7 deletion (KOαMHC-Cre), and tamoxifen- inducible SAN restricted Trpm7 deletion (KOHCN4-CreERT2) disrupts cardiac automaticity in vivo. Telemetered and sedated KOαMHC-Cre and KOHCN4-CreERT2 mice show episodes of sinus pauses and atrioventricular block. Isolated SAN from KOαMHC-Cre mice exhibit diminished Ca2+ transient firing rates with a blunted diastolic increase in Ca2+. Action potential firing rates are diminished owing to slower diastolic depolarization. Accordingly, Hcn4 mRNA and the pacemaker current, If, are diminished in SAN from both KOαMHC-Cre and KOHCN4-CreERT2 mice. Moreover, heart rates of KOαMHC-Cre mice are less sensitive to the selective If blocker ivabradine and acute application of the recently identified TRPM7 blocker FTY720 has no effect on action potential firing rates of wild-type SAN cells. We conclude that TRPM7 influences diastolic membrane depolarization and automaticity in SAN indirectly via regulation of Hcn4 expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E3037-E3046
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 6 2013


  • Arrhythmia
  • Confocal
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Electrophysiology


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