Leaks are not just problems for plumbers and politicians; researchers in Canada reveal how leaky transmembrane channels could cause disruptions in normal heart function. The study, published in The Journal of General Physiology, suggests that ion leaks in mutant sodium channels might contribute to an unusual set of cardiac arrhythmias.
This is an illustration of the cardiac Nav1.5 channel. The red circles indicate the locations of the R222Q and R225W mutations in the voltage-sensing region of domain 1 (DI).
Credit:Moreau et al., 2015
Gating pore currents are defects in common with two Nav1.5 mutations in patients with mixed arrhythmias and dilated cardiomyopathy Moreau, A., et al. 2015. J. Gen. Physiol. doi:10.1085/jgp.201411304