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From The CriticsReviewer: Ruben D Bunag, MD, MA Pharmacology(University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: The book describes papers presented at a symposium on the hERG cardiac potassium channel structure, function, and long QT syndrome, held at the Novartis Foundation in London, May 4-6, 2004.
Purpose: From the chair's introduction, the three topics chosen for discussion are: the structural basis of function of hERG channels; the physiological roles of hERG channels; and related mechanisms of drug-induced long QT syndrome (LQTS). These are worthy objectives for understanding what cardiac hERG channels do and how they participate in producing drug-induced LQTS. Of the multiple potassium currents that mediate repolarization of the cardiac action potential, the Ikr current is conducted by hERG channels which are important not only for action potential repolarization, but also for SA and AV node pacemaking.
Audience: This book is mainly for clinical cardiologists and drug company researchers concerned with cardiac drug toxicity involving LQTS, Torsade de Pointes, and sudden cardiac death. The authors are among leading authorities on the subject matter.
Features: Text descriptions are generally divided into four parts. The first part addresses questions concerning hERG channel gating, deactivation rates, residue interactions and how they control voltage sensor movement. The second part covers hERG channel trafficking, modulation of hERG, and the role of accessory subunits. The third part is mainly on hERG pharmacology and the usefulness of pharmacophore models for in silico predictions of hERG channel blocker potency. The final part then addresses mechanisms of drug-induced LQTS and Torsade de Pointes that may result in sudden cardiac death.
Assessment: The book is well written and organized and will serve as a useful reference for current literature and developments on the cardiac hERG potassium channel. No other books are currently available on the subject.