SCN5A mutations involving the α-subunit of the cardiac voltage-gated muscle sodium channel (NaV1.5) result in different cardiac channelopathies with an autosomal-dominant inheritance such as Brugada syndrome. On the other hand, mutations in SCN4A encoding the α-subunit of the skeletal voltage-gated sodium channel (NaV1.4) cause non-dystrophic myotonia and/or periodic paralysis. In this study, we investigated whether cardiac arrhythmias or channelopathies such as Brugada syndrome can be part of the clinical phenotype associated with SCN4A variants and whether patients with Brugada syndrome present with non-dystrophic myotonia or periodic paralysis and related gene mutations. We therefore screened seven families with different SCN4A variants and non-dystrophic myotonia phenotypes for Brugada syndrome and performed a neurological, neurophysiological and genetic work-up in 107 Brugada families. In the families with an SCN4A-associated non-dystrophic myotonia, three patients had a clinical diagnosis of Brugada syndrome, whereas we found a remarkably high prevalence of myotonic features involving different genes in the families with Brugada syndrome. One Brugada family carried an SCN4A variant that is predicted to probably affect function, one family suffered from a not genetically confirmed non-dystrophic myotonia, one family was diagnosed with myotonic dystrophy (DMPK gene) and one family had a Thomsen disease myotonia congenita (CLCN1 variant that affects function). Our findings and data suggest a possible involvement of SCN4A variants in the pathophysiological mechanism underlying the development of a spontaneous or drug-induced type 1 electrocardiographic pattern and the occurrence of malignant arrhythmias in some patients with Brugada syndrome.,
European Journal of Human Genetics
Department of Cardiology

Bissay, V., van Malderen, S., Keymolen, K., Lissens, J., Peeters, U., Daneels, D., … van Dooren, S. (2016). SCN4A variants and Brugada syndrome: Phenotypic and genotypic overlap between cardiac and skeletal muscle sodium channelopathies. European Journal of Human Genetics, 24(3), 400–407. doi:10.1038/ejhg.2015.125