Functional evaluation of human ion channel variants using automated electrophysiology

Carlos G. Vanoye, Christopher H. Thompson, Reshma R. Desai, Jean Marc DeKeyser, Liqi Chen, Laura J. Rasmussen-Torvik, Leah J. Welty, Alfred L. George*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Patch clamp recording enabled a revolution in cellular electrophysiology, and is useful for evaluating the functional consequences of ion channel gene mutations or variants associated with human disorders called channelopathies. However, due to massive growth of genetic testing in medical practice and research, the number of known ion channel variants has exploded into the thousands. Fortunately, automated methods for performing patch clamp recording have emerged as important tools to address the explosion in ion channel variants. In this chapter, we present our approach to harnessing automated electrophysiology to study a human voltage-gated potassium channel gene (KCNQ1), which harbors hundreds of mutations associated with genetic disorders of heart rhythm including the congenital long-QT syndrome. We include protocols for performing high efficiency electroporation of heterologous cells with recombinant KCNQ1 plasmid DNA and for automated planar patch recording including data analysis. These methods can be adapted for studying other voltage-gated ion channels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIon Channels
Subtitle of host publicationChannel Chemical Biology, Engineering, and Physiological Function
EditorsDaniel L. Minor, Henry M. Colecraft
PublisherAcademic Press Inc
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9780128239247
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Publication series

NameMethods in Enzymology
ISSN (Print)0076-6879
ISSN (Electronic)1557-7988


  • Channelopathy
  • Electroporation
  • KCNE1
  • KCNQ1
  • Long-QT syndrome
  • Patch clamp
  • Planar patch clamp
  • Potassium channels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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