Importance of modelling hERG binding in predicting drug-induced action potential prolongations for drug safety assessment
Published in Frontiers in Pharmacology, 2023
Recommended citation: Farm, H.J., Clerx, M., ..., Lei, C.L. (2023). "Importance of modelling hERG binding in predicting drug-induced action potential prolongations for drug safety assessment." Frontiers in Pharmacology, 14:1110555. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2023.1110555
Reduction of the rapid delayed rectifier potassium current (IKr) via drug binding to the human Ether-à-go-go-Related Gene (hERG) channel is a well recognised mechanism that can contribute to an increased risk of Torsades de Pointes. Mathematical models have been created to replicate the effects of channel blockers, such as reducing the ionic conductance of the channel. Here, we study the impact of including state-dependent drug binding in a mathematical model of hERG when translating hERG inhibition to action potential changes. We show that the difference in action potential predictions when modelling drug binding of hERG using a state-dependent model versus a conductance scaling model depends not only on the properties of the drug and whether the experiment achieves steady state, but also on the experimental protocols. Furthermore, through exploring the model parameter space, we demonstrate that the state-dependent model and the conductance scaling model generally predict different action potential prolongations and are not interchangeable, while at high binding and unbinding rates, the conductance scaling model tends to predict shorter action potential prolongations. Finally, we observe that the difference in simulated action potentials between the models is determined by the binding and unbinding rate, rather than the trapping mechanism. This study demonstrates the importance of modelling drug binding and highlights the need for improved understanding of drug trapping which can have implications for the uses in drug safety assessment.