Transcriptional Dysregulation Underlies Both Monogenic Arrhythmia Syndrome and Common Modifiers of Cardiac Repolarization

Kevin R. Bersell, Tao Yang, Jonathan D. Mosley, Andrew M. Glazer, Andrew T. Hale, Dmytro O. Kryshtal, Kyungsoo Kim, Jeffrey D. Steimle, Jonathan D. Brown, Joe Elie Salem, Courtney C. Campbell, Charles C. Hong, Quinn S. Wells, Amanda N. Johnson, Laura Short, Marcia A. Blair, Elijah R. Behr, Evmorfia Petropoulou, Yalda Jamshidi, Mark D. BensonMichelle J. Keyes, Debby Ngo, Ramachandran S. Vasan, Qiong Yang, Robert E. Gerszten, Christian Shaffer, Shan Parikh, Quanhu Sheng, Prince J. Kannankeril, Ivan P. Moskowitz, John D. York, Thomas J. Wang, Bjorn C. Knollmann, Dan M. Roden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Brugada syndrome (BrS) is an inherited arrhythmia syndrome caused by loss-of-function variants in the cardiac sodium channel gene SCN5A (sodium voltage-gated channel alpha subunit 5) in ≈20% of subjects. We identified a family with 4 individuals diagnosed with BrS harboring the rare G145R missense variant in the cardiac transcription factor TBX5 (T-box transcription factor 5) and no SCN5A variant. Methods: We generated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from 2 members of a family carrying TBX5-G145R and diagnosed with Brugada syndrome. After differentiation to iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs), electrophysiologic characteristics were assessed by voltage- and current-clamp experiments (n=9 to 21 cells per group) and transcriptional differences by RNA sequencing (n=3 samples per group), and compared with iPSC-CMs in which G145R was corrected by CRISPR/Cas9 approaches. The role of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)/phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway was elucidated by small molecule perturbation. The rate-corrected QT (QTc) interval association with serum PDGF was tested in the Framingham Heart Study cohort (n=1893 individuals). Results: TBX5-G145R reduced transcriptional activity and caused multiple electrophysiologic abnormalities, including decreased peak and enhanced "late" cardiac sodium current (INa), which were entirely corrected by editing G145R to wild-type. Transcriptional profiling and functional assays in genome-unedited and -edited iPSC-CMs showed direct SCN5A down-regulation caused decreased peak INa, and that reduced PDGF receptor (PDGFRA [platelet-derived growth factor receptor α]) expression and blunted signal transduction to PI3K was implicated in enhanced late INa. Tbx5 regulation of the PDGF axis increased arrhythmia risk due to disruption of PDGF signaling and was conserved in murine model systems. PDGF receptor blockade markedly prolonged normal iPSC-CM action potentials and plasma levels of PDGF in the Framingham Heart Study were inversely correlated with the QTc interval (P<0.001). Conclusions: These results not only establish decreased SCN5A transcription by the TBX5 variant as a cause of BrS, but also reveal a new general transcriptional mechanism of arrhythmogenesis of enhanced late sodium current caused by reduced PDGF receptor-mediated PI3K signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)824-840
Number of pages17
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 7 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Brugada syndrome
  • arrhythmia
  • genetics
  • stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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