KCNQ Potassium Channels and C. elegans Pharyngeal Pumping – a Genetic and Behavioral Model for Cardiac Arrhythmia
18 May 2017

Mutations in four out of five KCNQ genes are known to underlie diseases including cardiac arrhythmias, deafness, and epilepsy. In this technical note, we investigated the effect of mutations in orthologous KCNQ-like genes of the nematode C. elegans. It was hypothesized that mutations in these genes would produce abnormalities in pharyngeal pumping. The ScreenChip System was used to test this hypothesis by measuring the duration of pharyngeal action potentials and related parameters of pumping behavior. The results suggest that this recording methodology could be used in the future for screening therapies for arrhythmia.