2020 - High-throughput reclassification of SCN5A variants
SyncroPatch 384PE (a predecessor model of the SyncroPatch 384i) Publication in The American Journal of Human Genetics (2020)
Glazer A.M., Wada Y., Li B., Muhammad A., Kalash O.R., O’Neill M.J., Shields T., Hall L., Short L., Blair M.A., Kroncke B.M., Capra J.A., Roden D.M
Rationale: Partial or complete loss of function variants in SCN5A are the most common genetic cause of the arrhythmia disorder Brugada Syndrome (BrS1). However, the pathogenicity of SCN5A variants is often unknown or disputed; 80% of the 1,390 SCN5A missense variants observed in at least one individual to date are variants of uncertain significance (VUS). The designation of VUS is a barrier to the use of sequence data in clinical care.
Objective: We selected 83 variants for study: 10 previously studied control variants, 10 suspected benign variants, and 63 suspected Brugada Syndrome-associated variants, selected on the basis of their frequency in the general population and in patients with Brugada Syndrome. We used high-throughput automated patch clamping to study the function of the 83 variants, with the goal of reclassifying variants with functional data.
Methods and Results: Ten previously studied variants had functional properties concordant with published manual patch clamp data. All 10 suspected benign variants had wildtype-like function. 22 suspected BrS variants had loss of channel function (<10% normalized peak current) and 23 variants had partial loss of function (10-50% normalized peak current). The 73 previously unstudied variants were initially classified as likely benign (n=2), likely pathogenic (n=11), or VUS (n=60). After the patch clamp studies, 16 variants were benign/likely benign, 47 were pathogenic/likely pathogenic, and only 10 were still VUS. 8/22 loss of function variants were partially rescuable by incubation at lower temperature or pretreatment with a sodium channel blocker. Structural modeling identified likely mechanisms for loss of function including altered thermostability, and disruptions to alpha helices, disulfide bonds, or the permeation pore.
Conclusions: High-throughput automated patch clamping enabled the reclassification of the majority of tested VUS’s in SCN5A.