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Chemical and physical data
Molar mass401.52 g/mol g·mol−1
3D model (JSmol)

E-4031 is an experimental class III antiarrhythmic drug that blocks potassium channels of the hERG-type.[1]


E-4031 is a synthetized toxin that is a methanesulfonanilide class III antiarrhythmic drug.[2]


E-4031 acts on a specific class of voltage-gated potassium channels mainly found in the heart, the hERG channels. hERG channels (Kv11.1) mediate the IKr current, which repolarizes the myocardial cells.[3][4] The hERG channel is encoded by ether-a-go-go related gene (hERG).[5]

Mode of action

E-4031 blocks hERG-type potassium channels [5][6] by binding to the open channels.[7] Its structural target within the hERG-channel is unclear, but some other methanesulfonanilide class III antiarrhythmic drugs are known to bind to the S6 domain or C-terminal of the hERG-channel.[8][9][10][11][12][13]

Reducing IKr in myocardial cells prolongs the cardiac action potential and thus prolongs the QT-interval.[7][14] In non-cardiac cells, blocking Ikr has a different effect: it increases the frequency of action potentials.[5]


As E-4031 can prolong the QT-interval, it can cause lethal arrhythmias.[13]

Therapeutic use

E-4031 is solely used for research purposes. So far, one clinical trial has been conducted to test the effect of E-4031 on prolongation of the QT-interval.[15]


  1. ^ Kim I, Boyle KM, Carrol JL (2005) Postnatal development of E-4031-sensitive potassium current in rat carotid chemoreceptor cells. J Appl Physiol 98(4):1469-1477.
  2. ^ Miyake K, Yamanaka M, Katoh H, Shino M, Hamano S, Nomoto K-I, Oinuma H, Sawada K (1990) 4'-[(4-Piperidyl)carbonyl]methanesulfonanilides as potent, selective, bioavailable class III antiarrhythmic agents. J Med Chem 33, 3, 903
  3. ^ Gerlach AC, Stoehr SJ, Castle NA (2009 Oct 5. [Epub ahead of print]) Pharmacological Removal of hERG Potassium Channel Inactivation by ICA-105574.
  4. ^ Perrin MJ, Subbiah RN, Vandenberg JI, Hill AP (2008) Human ether-à-go-go related gene (hERG) K+ channels: Function and dysfunction. Prog Biophys Mol Biol 98:137-148
  5. ^ a b c Weinsberg F, Bauer CK, Schwarz JR (1997) The class III antiarrhythmic agent E-4031 selectively blocks the inactivating inward-rectifying potassium current in rat anterior pituitary tumour cells (GH3/B6 cells). Pflügers Arch – Eur J Physiol 434:1–10
  6. ^ Sanguinetti MC, Jurkiewicz NK (1990) Two Components of Cardiac Delayed Rectifier K + Current. J Gen Physiol 96:195-215
  7. ^ a b Spector PS, Curran ME, Keating MT, Sanguinetti MC (1996) Class III Antiarrhythmic Drugs Block HERG, a Human Cardiac Delayed Rectifier K+ Channel. Circ Res 78:499-503.
  8. ^ Lees-Miller JP, Duan Y, Teng GQ, and Duff HJ (2000) Molecular determinant of high-affinity dofetilide binding to HERG1 expressed in Xenopus oocytes: involvement of S6 sites. Mol Pharmacol 57:367–374
  9. ^ Mitcheson JS, Chen J, Lin M, Culberson C, and Sanguinetti MC (2000a) A structural basis for drug-induced long QT syndrome. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 97:12329–12333
  10. ^ Kamiya K, Mitcheson JS, Yasui K, Kodama I, and Sanguinetti MC (2001) Open channel block of HERG K_ channels by vesnarinone. Mol Pharmacol 60:244–253
  11. ^ Sanchez-Chapula JA, Navarro-Polanco RA, Culberson C, Chen J, and Sanguinetti MC (2002) Molecular determinants of voltage-dependent human ether-a-go-go related gene (HERG) K+- channel block. J Biol Chem 277:23587–23595
  12. ^ Sanchez-Chapula JA, Ferrer T, Navarro-Polanco RA, and Sanguinetti MC (2003) Voltage-dependent profile of human ether-a-go-go-related gene channel block is influenced by a single residue in the S6 transmembrane domain. Mol Pharmacol 63:1051–1058
  13. ^ a b Perry M, De Groot MJ, Helliwell R, Leishman D, Tristani-Firouzi M, Sanguinetti MC, and Mitcheson J (2004) Structural Determinants of HERG Channel Block by Clofilium and Ibutilide. Mol Pharmacol 66:240–249
  14. ^ Wettwer E, Grundke M, Ravins U (1992) Differential effects of the new class III antiarrhythmic agents almokalant, E-4031 and D-sotalol, and of quinidine, on delayed rectifier currents in guinea pig ventricular myocytes. Cardiovasc Res 26(11): 1145-52
  15. ^ Okada Y, Ogawa S, Sadanaga T, Mitamura H (1996) Assessment of reverse use-dependent blocking actions of class III antiarrhythmic drugs by 24-hour Holter electrocardiography. J Am Coll Cardiol 27(1): 84-9