Heart. (Credit: © adimas / Fotolia)
ScienceDaily (Feb. 22, 2012) — Sudden cardiac death -catastrophic and unexpected fatal heart stoppage — is more likely to occur shortly after waking in the morning and in the late night.
In a report in the journal Nature, an international consortium of researchers that includes Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland and Baylor College of Medicine explains the molecular linkage between the circadian clock and the deadly heart rhythms that lead to sudden death.
The answer begins with a controller of the circadian clock — krüppel-like factor 15 (Klf15), which has been a long-time target of the laboratory of Dr. Mukesh Jain of Case Western, said Dr. Xander Wehrens, professor of molecular physiology and biophysics and cardiology at BCM, also an author.
Klf15, in turn, controls the level of a potassium channel-interacting protein (KChIP2), which affects how potassium flows out of heart muscle cells called cardiac myocytes.
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