Identification of a SCN5A founder mutation causing sudden death, Brugada syndrome, and conduction blocks in Southern Italy

Antonio Curcio, Alberto Malovini, Andrea Mazzanti, Mirella Memmi, Patrick Gambelli, Francesca La Rosa, Raffaella Bloise, Ciro Indolfi, Riccardo Bellazzi, Carlo Napolitano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The genetic architecture of Brugada syndrome (BrS) is emerging as an increasingly complex area of investigation. The identification of genetically homogeneous populations can provide mechanistic insights and improve genotype-phenotype correlation. Objective: To characterize and define the clinical implications of a novel BrS founder mutation. Using a haplotype-based approach we investigated whether 2 SCN5A genetic variants could derive from founder events. Methods: Single nucleotide polymorphisms were genotyped in 201 subjects, haplotypes reconstructed, and mutational age estimated. Clinical phenotypes and historical records were collected. Results: A SCN5A variant (c.3352C>T; p.Gln1118Ter) was identified in 3 probands with BrS originating from south Italy. The same mutation was identified in a proband from central Italy and in 1 U.S. resident subject with Italian ancestry. The 5 individuals carried a common core haplotype, whose frequency was extremely low in local noncarrier probands and in population controls (0%–6.06%). The clinical presentation included multigenerational dominant transmission of Brugada electrocardiographic pattern, high incidence of sudden cardiac death (SCD), and cardiac conduction defects (CCD). We reconstructed 7-generation pedigrees with common geographic origin. Variant's age estimates suggested that origin of the p.Gln1118Ter dates back 76 generations (95% confidence interval: 28–200). A second SCN5A variant (c.5350G>A; p.Glu1784Lys) identified in the region did not show similar founder signal. Conclusion: p.Gln1118Ter is a novel BrS/CCD/SCD founder mutation. We illustrate how these findings provide insights on the inheritance patterns and phenotypes associated with SCN5A mutation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1698-1706
Number of pages9
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Arrhythmogenic diseases
  • Brugada syndrome
  • Cardiac conduction defects
  • Founder mutations
  • Sudden cardiac death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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