Scientific article
Open access

Stereoselective inhibition of the hERG1 potassium channel

Published inFrontiers in pharmacology, vol. 1, 137
Publication date2010

A growing number of drugs have been shown to prolong cardiac repolarization, predisposing individuals to life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias known as Torsades de Pointes. Most of these drugs are known to interfere with the human ether à-gogo related gene 1 (hERG1) channel, whose current is one of the main determinants of action potential duration. Prolonged repolarization is reflected by lengthening of the QT interval of the electrocardiogram, as seen in the suitably named drug-induced long QT syndrome. Chirality (presence of an asymmetric atom) is a common feature of marketed drugs, which can therefore exist in at least two enantiomers with distinct three-dimensional structures and possibly distinct biological fates. Both the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties can differ between enantiomers, as well as also between individuals who take the drug due to metabolic polymorphisms. Despite the large number of reports about drugs reducing the hERG1 current, potential stereoselective contributions have only been scarcely investigated. In this review, we present a non-exhaustive list of clinically important molecules which display chiral toxicity that may be related to hERG1-blocking properties. We particularly focus on methadone cardiotoxicity, which illustrates the importance of the stereoselective effect of drug chirality as well as individual variations resulting from pharmacogenetics. Furthermore, it seems likely that, during drug development, consideration of chirality in lead optimization and systematic assessment of the hERG1 current block with all enantiomers could contribute to the reduction of the risk of drug-induced LQTS.

  • Cardiotoxicity
  • Enantiomer
  • HERG1 channel
  • Long QT syndrome
  • Methadone
  • Stereoselectivity
Citation (ISO format)
SINTRA GRILO, Liliana, CARRUPT, Pierre-Alain, ABRIEL, Hugues. Stereoselective inhibition of the hERG1 potassium channel. In: Frontiers in pharmacology, 2010, vol. 1, p. 137. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2010.00137
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1663-9812

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