Inhibition of the hERG Potassium Channel by a Methanesulphonate-Free E-4031 Analogue

Matthew V Helliwell, Yihong Zhang, Aziza El Harchi, Christopher E Dempsey, Jules C Hancox*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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hERG (human Ether-à-go-go Related Gene)-encoded potassium channels underlie the cardiac rapid delayed rectifier (IKr) potassium current, which is a major target for antiarrhythmic agents and diverse non-cardiac drugs linked to the drug-induced form of long QT syndrome. E-4031 is a high potency hERG channel inhibitor from the methanesulphonanilide drug family. This study utilized a methanesulphonate-lacking E-4031 analogue, “E-4031-17”, to evaluate the role of the methanesulphonamide group in E-4031 inhibition of hERG. Whole-cell patch-clamp measurements of the hERG current (IhERG) were made at physiological temperature from HEK 293 cells expressing wild-type (WT) and mutant hERG constructs. For E-4031, WT IhERG was inhibited by a half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 15.8 nM, whilst the comparable value for E-4031-17 was 40.3 nM. Both compounds exhibited voltage- and time-dependent inhibition, but they differed in their response to successive applications of a long (10 s) depolarisation protocol, consistent with greater dissociation of E-4031-17 than the parent compound between applied commands. Voltage-dependent inactivation was left-ward voltage shifted for E-4031 but not for E-4031-17; however, inhibition by both compounds was strongly reduced by attenuated-inactivation mutations. Mutations of S6 and S5 aromatic residues (F656V, Y652A, F557L) greatly attenuated actions of both drugs. The S624A mutation also reduced IhERG inhibition by both molecules. Overall, these results demonstrate that the lack of a methanesulphonate in E-4031-17 is not an impediment to high potency inhibition of IhERG.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1204
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the British Heart Foundation (studentship FS/14/38/30868; PG/14/61/31015; PG/21/10444).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


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