Planta Med 2014; 80(12): 1045-1050
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1382907
Biological Screening
Original Papers
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Natural Products as Potential Human Ether-a-Go-Go-Related Gene Channel Inhibitors – Outcomes from a Screening of Widely Used Herbal Medicines and Edible Plants

Anja Schramm1, Evelyn A. Jähne1, Igor Baburin2, Steffen Hering2, Matthias Hamburger1
  • 1Division of Pharmaceutical Biology, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
  • 2Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Weitere Informationen


received 27. Februar 2014
revised 25. Juni 2014

accepted 30. Juni 2014

04.August 2014 (eFirst)


Inhibition of the human ether-a-go-go-related gene channel is the single most important risk factor leading to acquired long QT syndrome. Drug-induced QT prolongation can cause severe cardiac complications, including arrhythmia, and is thus a liability in drug development. Considering the importance of the human ether-a-go-go-related gene channel as an antitarget and the daily intake of plant-derived foods and herbal products, surprisingly few natural products have been tested for channel blocking properties. In an assessment of possible human ether-a-go-go-related gene liabilities, a selection of widely used herbal medicines and edible plants (vegetables, fruits, and spices) was screened by means of a functional two-microelectrode voltage-clamp assay with Xenopus oocytes. The human ether-a-go-go-related gene channel blocking activity of selected extracts was investigated with the aid of a high-performance liquid chromatography-based profiling approach, and attributed to tannins and alkaloids. Major European medicinal plants and frequently consumed food plants were found to have a low risk for human ether-a-go-go-related gene toxicity.

Supporting Information