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Articles by R. J van Oort
Total Records ( 2 ) for R. J van Oort
  N Mathur , S Sood , S Wang , R. J van Oort , S Sarma , N Li , D. G Skapura , J. H Bayle , M Valderrabano and X. H.T. Wehrens

Background— Mutations in the cardiac ryanodine receptor gene (RyR2) have been recently identified in victims of sudden infant death syndrome. The aim of this study was to determine whether a gain-of-function mutation in RyR2 increases the propensity to cardiac arrhythmias and sudden death in young mice.

Methods and Results— Incidence of sudden death was monitored prospectively in heterozygous knock-in mice with mutation R176Q in RyR2 (R176Q/+). Young R176Q/+ mice exhibited a higher incidence of sudden death compared with wild-type littermates. Optical mapping of membrane potentials and intracellular calcium in 1- to 7-day-old R176Q/+ and wild-type mice revealed an increased incidence of ventricular ectopy and spontaneous calcium releases in neonatal R176Q/+ mice. Surface ECGs in 3- to 10-day-old mice showed that R176Q/+ mice developed more ventricular arrhythmias after provocation with epinephrine and caffeine. Intracardiac pacing studies in 12- to 18-day-old mice revealed the presence of an arrhythmogenic substrate in R176Q/+ compared with wild-type mice. Reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting showed that expression levels of other calcium handling proteins were unaltered, suggesting that calcium leak through mutant RyR2 underlies arrhythmogenesis and sudden death in young R176Q/+ mice.

Conclusions— Our findings demonstrate that a gain-of-function mutation in RyR2 confers an increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias and sudden death in young mice and that young R176Q/+ mice may be used as a model for elucidating the complex interplay between genetic and environmental risk factors associated with sudden infant death syndrome.

  A Garbino , R. J van Oort , S. S Dixit , A. P Landstrom , M. J Ackerman and X. H. T. Wehrens

Junctophilins (JPHs) are members of a junctional membrane complex protein family important for the physical approximation of plasmalemmal and sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum membranes. As such, JPHs facilitate signal transduction in excitable cells between plasmalemmal voltage-gated calcium channels and intracellular calcium release channels. To determine the molecular evolution of the JPH gene family, we performed a phylogenetic analysis of over 60 JPH genes from over 40 species and compared conservation across species and different isoforms. We found that JPHs are evolutionary highly conserved, in particular the membrane occupation and recognition nexus motifs found in all species. Our data suggest that an ancestral form of JPH arose at the latest in a common metazoan ancestor and that in vertebrates four isoforms arose, probably following two rounds of whole genome duplications. By combining multiple prediction techniques with sequence alignments, we also postulate the presence of new important functional regions and candidate sites for posttranslational modifications. The increasing number of available sequences yields significant insight into the molecular evolution of JPHs. Our analysis is consistent with the emerging concept that JPHs serve dual important functions in excitable cells: structural assembly of junctional membrane complexes and regulation of intracellular calcium signaling pathways.

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