The Journal of biological chemistry

Absence of the Regulator of G-protein Signaling, RGS4, Predisposes to Atrial Fibrillation and Is Associated with Abnormal Calcium Handling.

PMID 26088132


The description of potential molecular substrates for predisposition to atrial fibrillation (AF) is incomplete, and it is unknown what role regulators of G-protein signaling might play. We address whether the attenuation of RGS4 function may promote AF and the mechanism through which this occurs. For this purpose, we studied a mouse with global genetic deletion of RGS4 (RGS4(-/-)) and the normal littermate controls (RGS4(+/+)). In vivo electrophysiology using atrial burst pacing revealed that mice with global RGS4 deletion developed AF more frequently than control littermates. Isolated atrial cells from RGS4(-/-) mice show an increase in Ca(2+) spark frequency under basal conditions and after the addition of endothelin-1 and abnormal spontaneous Ca(2+) release events after field stimulation. Isolated left atria studied on a multielectrode array revealed modest changes in path length for re-entry but abnormal electrical events after a pacing train in RGS4(-/-) mice. RGS4 deletion results in a predisposition to atrial fibrillation from enhanced activity in the Gαq/11-IP3 pathway, resulting in abnormal Ca(2+) release and corresponding electrical events.