Publications by authors named "Melissa Mangala"

5 Publications

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Pathophysiological metabolic changes associated with disease modify the proarrhythmic risk profile of drugs with potential to prolong repolarisation.

Br J Pharmacol 2021 Nov 26. Epub 2021 Nov 26.

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Sydney, Australia.

Background And Purpose: Hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine and azithromycin are three drugs that were proposed to treat COVID-19. While concern already existed around their proarrhythmic potential there is little data regarding how altered physiological states encountered in patients such as febrile state, electrolyte imbalances or acidosis might change their risk profiles.

Experimental Approach: Potency of hERG block was measured using high-throughput electrophysiology in the presence of variable environmental factors. These potencies informed simulations to predict population risk profiles. Effects on cardiac repolarisation were verified in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes from multiple individuals.

Key Results: Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine blocked hERG with IC of 1.47±0.07 μM and 3.78±0.17 μM respectively, indicating proarrhythmic risk at concentrations effective against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Hypokalaemia and hypermagnesemia increased potency of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, indicating increased proarrhythmic risk. Acidosis significantly reduced potency of all drugs, whereas increased temperature decreased potency of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine against hERG but increased potency for azithromycin. In silico simulations demonstrated that proarrhythmic risk was increased by female sex, hypokalaemia and heart failure, and identified specific genetic backgrounds associated with emergence of arrhythmia.

Conclusion And Implications: Our study demonstrates how proarrhythmic risk can be exacerbated by metabolic changes and pre-existing disease. More broadly, the study acts as a blueprint for how high-throughput in vitro screening, combined with in silico simulations can help guide both preclinical screening and clinical management of patients in relation to drugs with potential to prolong repolarisation.
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November 2021

Co-expression of calcium and hERG potassium channels reduces the incidence of proarrhythmic events.

Cardiovasc Res 2021 08;117(10):2216-2227

University of New South Wales, Sydney, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia.

Aims: Cardiac electrical activity is extraordinarily robust. However, when it goes wrong it can have fatal consequences. Electrical activity in the heart is controlled by the carefully orchestrated activity of more than a dozen different ion conductances. While there is considerable variability in cardiac ion channel expression levels between individuals, studies in rodents have indicated that there are modules of ion channels whose expression co-vary. The aim of this study was to investigate whether meta-analytic co-expression analysis of large-scale gene expression datasets could identify modules of co-expressed cardiac ion channel genes in human hearts that are of functional importance.

Methods And Results: Meta-analysis of 3653 public human RNA-seq datasets identified a strong correlation between expression of CACNA1C (L-type calcium current, ICaL) and KCNH2 (rapid delayed rectifier K+ current, IKr), which was also observed in human adult heart tissue samples. In silico modelling suggested that co-expression of CACNA1C and KCNH2 would limit the variability in action potential duration seen with variations in expression of ion channel genes and reduce susceptibility to early afterdepolarizations, a surrogate marker for proarrhythmia. We also found that levels of KCNH2 and CACNA1C expression are correlated in human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiac myocytes and the levels of CACNA1C and KCNH2 expression were inversely correlated with the magnitude of changes in repolarization duration following inhibition of IKr.

Conclusion: Meta-analytic approaches of multiple independent human gene expression datasets can be used to identify gene modules that are important for regulating heart function. Specifically, we have verified that there is co-expression of CACNA1C and KCNH2 ion channel genes in human heart tissue, and in silico analyses suggest that CACNA1C-KCNH2 co-expression increases the robustness of cardiac electrical activity.
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August 2021

Pharmacological activation of IKr in models of long QT Type 2 risks overcorrection of repolarization.

Cardiovasc Res 2020 07;116(8):1434-1445

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, 405 Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst, New South Wales 2010, Australia.

Aims: Current treatment for congenital long QT syndrome Type 2 (cLQTS2), an electrical disorder that increases the risk of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, is aimed at reducing the incidence of arrhythmia triggers (beta-blockers) or terminating the arrhythmia after onset (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator). An alternative strategy is to target the underlying disease mechanism, which is reduced rapid delayed rectifier current (IKr) passed by Kv11.1 channels. Small molecule activators of Kv11.1 have been identified but the extent to which these can restore normal cardiac signalling in cLQTS2 backgrounds remains unclear. Here, we examined the ability of ICA-105574, an activator of Kv11.1 that impairs transition to the inactivated state, to restore function to heterozygous Kv11.1 channels containing either inactivation enhanced (T618S, N633S) or expression deficient (A422T) mutations.

Methods And Results: ICA-105574 effectively restored Kv11.1 current from heterozygous inactivation enhanced or expression defective mutant channels in heterologous expression systems. In a human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocyte (hiPSC-CM) model of cLQTS2 containing the expression defective Kv11.1 mutant A422T, cardiac repolarization, estimated from the duration of calcium transients in isolated cells and the rate corrected field potential duration (FPDc) in culture monolayers of cells, was significantly prolonged. The Kv11.1 activator ICA-105574 was able to reverse the prolonged repolarization in a concentration-dependent manner. However, at higher doses, ICA-105574 produced a shortening of the FPDc compared to controls. In vitro and in silico analysis suggests that this overcorrection occurs as a result of a temporal redistribution of the peak IKr to much earlier in the plateau phase of the action potential, which results in early repolarization.

Conclusion: Kv11.1 activators, which target the primary disease mechanism, provide a possible treatment option for cLQTS2, with the caveat that there may be a risk of overcorrection that could itself be pro-arrhythmic.
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July 2020

Development of induced pluripotent stem cells from a patient with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy who carries the pathogenic myosin heavy chain 7 mutation p.Arg403Gln.

Stem Cell Res 2018 12 28;33:269-273. Epub 2018 Nov 28.

Agnes Ginges Centre for Molecular Cardiology, Centenary Institute, Sydney, Australia; Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia; Department of Cardiology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, Australia. Electronic address:

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is an inherited cardiomyopathy characterized by left ventricular hypertrophy ≥15 mm in the absence of loading conditions. HCM has a prevalence of up to one in 200, and can result in significant adverse outcomes including heart failure and sudden cardiac death. An induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) line was generated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells obtained from the whole blood of a 38-year-old female patient with HCM in which genetic testing identified the well-known pathogenic p.Arg403Gln mutation in myosin heavy chain 7. iPSCs express pluripotency markers, demonstrate trilineage differentiation capacity, and display a normal 46,XX female karyotype. This resource will allow further assessment of the pathophysiological development of HCM.
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December 2018

Real-time monitoring of peptide grafting onto chitosan films using capillary electrophoresis.

Anal Bioanal Chem 2015 Mar 14;407(9):2543-55. Epub 2015 Feb 14.

University of Western Sydney (UWS), Molecular Medicine Research Group (MMRG), Parramatta, 2150, Australia.

Chitosan, being antimicrobial and biocompatible, is attractive as a cell growth substrate. To improve cell attachment, arginine-glycine-aspartic acid-serine (RGDS) peptides were covalently grafted to chitosan films, through the widely used coupling agents 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)carbodiimide (EDC-HCl) and N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS), via the carboxylic acid function of the RGDS molecule. The grafting reaction was monitored, for the first time, in real time using free-solution capillary electrophoresis (CE). This enabled fast separation and determination of the peptide and all other reactants in one separation with no sample preparation. Covalent RGDS peptide grafting onto the chitosan film surface was demonstrated using solid-state NMR of swollen films. CE indicated that oligomers of RGDS, not simply RGDS, were grafted on the film, with a likely hyperbranched structure. To assess the functional properties of the grafted films, cell growth was compared on control and peptide-grafted chitosan films. Light microscopy and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis demonstrated greatly improved cell attachment to RGDS-grafted chitosan films.
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March 2015