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Title: Progesterone impairs human ether-a-go-go-related gene (HERG) trafficking by disruption of intracellular cholesterol homeostasis
Authors: Wu, Z.-Y.
Yu, D.-J.
Soong, T.W. 
Dawe, G.S.
Bian, J.-S.
Issue Date: 24-Jun-2011
Citation: Wu, Z.-Y., Yu, D.-J., Soong, T.W., Dawe, G.S., Bian, J.-S. (2011-06-24). Progesterone impairs human ether-a-go-go-related gene (HERG) trafficking by disruption of intracellular cholesterol homeostasis. Journal of Biological Chemistry 286 (25) : 22186-22194. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The prolongation of QT intervals in both mothers and fetuses during the later period of pregnancy implies that higher levels of progesterone may regulate the function of the human ether-a-go-go-related gene (HERG) potassium channel, a key ion channel responsible for controlling the length of QT intervals. Here, we studied the effect of progesterone on the expression, trafficking, and function of HERG channels and the underlying mechanism. Treatment with progesterone for 24 h decreased the abundance of the fully glycosylated form of the HERG channel in rat neonatal cardiac myocytes and HERG-HEK293 cells, a cell line stably expressing HERG channels. Progesterone also concentration-dependently decreased HERG current density, but had no effect on voltage-gated L-type Ca2+ and K+ channels. Immunofluorescence microscopy and Western blot analysis show that progesterone preferentially decreased HERG channel protein abundance in the plasma membrane, induced protein accumulation in the dilated endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and increased the protein expression of C/EBP homologous protein, a hallmark of ER stress. Application of 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (a sterol-binding agent) or overexpression of Rab9 rescued the progesterone-induced HERG trafficking defect and ER stress. Disruption of intracellular cholesterol homeostasis with simvastatin, imipramine, or exogenous application of cholesterol mimicked the effect of progesterone on HERG channel trafficking. Progesterone may impair HERG channel folding in the ER and/or block its trafficking to the Golgi complex by disrupting intracellular cholesterol homeostasis. Our findings may reveal a novel molecular mechanism to explain the QT prolongation and high risk of developing arrhythmias during late pregnancy. © 2011 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Source Title: Journal of Biological Chemistry
ISSN: 00219258
DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M110.198853
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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