Background: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is characterized by myocardial hypertrophy of unknown etiology. Missense mutations of the cardiac β-myosin-heavy-chain (β-MHC) gene that may be responsible for cardiac hypertrophy have been detected in patients with HCM. On the other hand, gross structural abnormalities in the cardiac β-MHC gene, ie, an α/β hybrid gene and partial deletion of the gene, have also been reported. The direct correlation between gross abnormalities and development of HCM is not well understood. Methods and Results: We analyzed the structure of the cardiac β- MHC gene from patients with HCM by using polymerase chain reaction-DNA conformation polymorphism analysis and found two sequence variations in exons 3 and 22 in one patient. These sequence variations at codon 54 (exon 3; nonsense mutation) and codon 870 (exon 22; Arg-to-His mutation) were identified by direct sequencing and dot-blot hybridization with allele- specific oligonucleotide probes. Relatives of this patient were examined for the mutations. It was revealed that the missense mutation was inherited from the affected father and the nonsense mutation from the unaffected grandmother through the unaffected mother. In addition, the missense mutation was also found in seven other patients from two other unrelated multiplex HCM families. Conclusions: The Arg 870 His mutation was suggested to cause HCM. In contrast, the gene with the nonsense mutation would encode for a cardiac β-MHC protein of only 53 amino acid residues, which may be too short to be incorporated into the thick filament assembly of cardiac myosin chains and showed no dominant phenotype of heart disease. This is the first report of a nonsense mutation in the human cardiac β-MHC gene.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)