• hERG

    Show Compounds

    Detailed Information

    Name: KCNH2_HUMAN
    Recommended name: Potassium voltage-gated channel subfamily H member 2
    Alternative Names:
    • Eag homolog
    • Ether-a-go-go-related gene potassium channel 1
    • Voltage-gated potassium channel subunit Kv11.1
    Pubmed: 23727540
    16787254
    Uniprot ID: Q12809
    Synonyms: ERG, ERG1, HERG, KCNH2
    Sequence length: 1159 AA.
    BindingDB: Q12809
    Kegg: hsa:3757
    Drug Bank: KCNH2
    Chembl: CHEMBL240
    Prosite: PS00888
    Pfam: PF00027
    GeneID: 3757
    Ensembl: ENST00000262186
    Phosphosite: Q12809
    RefSeq: NP_000229.1
    UniGene: 647099
    NIG genetics: KCNH2
    OMIM: 152427
    WikiGenes: 3757
    Proteopedia: Potassium_Channel
    IUPHAR: hERG

    The human Ether-à-go-go Related Gene (hERG) channel or KCNH2 is a voltage-gated potassium channel.

    Structure and Function

    Although the 3D structure of hERG is unknown, the channel probably consists of four identical channel forming α-subunits. Each of these subunits has six transmembrane α-helices (S1-S6), S4 acts as a putative voltage-sensitive sensor. There are different binding sites for ions and larger compounds. Stary et al. (2010) published a consensus homology model of hERG in 2010, which is shown here in Jsmol (after energy minimization). With the help of this model, it was possible to dock compounds. Durdagi et al. (2012) investigated structural mechanisms of state-dependent drug binding in three different states of the channel (open, closed and open-activated).

    Further information can be found reading these interesting reviews:
    - Revealing the structural basis of action of hERG potassium channel activators and blockers. Perry M, Sanguinetti M, Mitcheson J, J Physiol 2010

    hERG-Model
    hERG model of Stary A et al., published in 2010 in ChemMedChem.


    Long QT syndrome

    The hERG-channel has been in the focus of pharmaceutical research as a target for years, because the inhibition of hERG potassium channels by drugs can lead to cardiac arrhythmia, a condition described as long QT syndrome. Some drugs have been withdrawn from the market or had their indications limited in many countries. The table lists some drugs, which have been withdrawn from the market or restricted for use.

    Drug name Drug class
    AstemizoleAntihistamine
    BepridilAnti-anginal
    CisaprideGI stimulant
    DofetilideAnti-arrhytmic
    GatifloxacinAntibiotic
    GrepafloxacinAntibiotic
    MesoridazineAnti-psychotic
    MibefradilCalcium channel blocker
    SertindoleAnti-psychotic
    TerfenadineAntihistamine
    TerodilineAntispasmodic
    ThioridazinAnti-psychotic

    Compound safety

    The International Conference of Harmonisation (ICH) set up guidelines for drug development (http://www.ich.org/products/guidelines/safety/article/safety-guidelines.html) and all major pharmaceutical companies have adopted them. As assays are becoming faster, cheaper and more reliable, compounds are screened before getting into animal testing. To get an overview of different assays available, read these hyperlinked articles of FDA and Trends in Bio/Pharmaceutical Research:


    Mechanistic insight into human ether-à-go-go-related gene (hERG) K+ channel deactivation gating from the solution structure of the EAG domain.
    The N-terminal tail of hERG contains an amphipathic α-helix that regulates channel deactivation.