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The hERG K+ Channel: Update on Structure, Function and Safety

Harry Witchel, University of Bristol Medical School speaking at Ion Channel Targets 2006.

Date Posted: Wednesday, February 07, 2007

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Since the proposal of its association with acquired long QT syndrome (aLQTS), the hERG K+ channel has attracted attention as a potential compound screening marker for arrhythmogenic risk. While ever greater numbers of drugs associated with aLQTS also having hERG liability, the logical link between hERG and risk is ever strengthened, and a high percentage of new molecular entities are abandoned in development due to hERG liability. Yet, there connection between hERG liability and arrhythmia is neither immediate nor absolute.

A variety of studies from our laboratory approach electrophysiological issues related to methods for hERG testing, including cell type, temperature, protocol, state-dependence, molecular determinants and computer models.