Previous genome-wide association studies have demonstrated that single nucleotide polymorphisms in T‑box (TBX)5 are associated with increased susceptibility to atrial fibrillation (AF), and a recent study has causally linked a TBX5 mutation to atypical Holt-Oram syndrome and paroxysmal AF.
We speculate that the gain-of-function mechanism underlies the mild skeletal phenotype and paroxysmal atrial fibrillation and suggest a possible role of TBX5 in the development of (paroxysmal) atrial fibrillation based on a gain-of-function either through a direct stimulation of target genes via TBX5 or indirectly via TBX5 stimulated TBX3.
We functionally analyzed a frameshift mutation in the SCN5A gene encoding cardiac Na(+) channels (Nav1.5) found in a proband with repeated episodes of ventricular fibrillation who presented bradycardia and paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.
Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) can be caused by gain-of-function mutations in genes, encoding the cardiac potassium channel subunits KCNJ2, KCNE1, and KCNH2 that mediate the repolarizing potassium currents I<sub>k1</sub>, I<sub>ks</sub>, and I<sub>kr</sub>, respectively.
Since the proband developed paroxysmal AF at a young age, we screened 17 polymorphisms associated with AF risk in this family and showed that the proband carries at-risk polymorphisms upstream of PITX2, a gene widely associated with AF development.