Cantu syndrome (CS) is caused by gain-of-function (GOF) mutations in genes encoding pore-forming (Kir6.1, KCNJ8) and accessory (SUR2, ABCC9) KATP channel subunits. We show that patients with CS, as well as mice with constitutive (cGOF) or tamoxifen-induced (icGOF) cardiac-specific Kir6.1 GOF subunit expression, have enlarged hearts, with increased ejection fraction and increased contractility. Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings from cGOF or icGOF ventricular myocytes (VM) show increased basal L-type Ca2+ current (LTCC), comparable to that seen in WT VM treated with isoproterenol. Mice with vascularspecific expression (vGOF) show left ventricular dilation as well as less-markedly increased LTCC. Increased LTCC in KATP GOF models is paralleled by changes in phosphorylation of the pore-forming α1 subunit of the cardiac voltage-gated calcium channel Cav1.2 at Ser1928, suggesting enhanced protein kinase activity as a potential link between increased KATP current and CS cardiac pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6773-6778
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 14 2016


  • Cardiovascular system
  • K
  • KCNJ8
  • Kir6.1
  • Transgenic


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