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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Apr 7;342(2):379-86. Epub 2006 Feb 8.

Alpha B-crystallin mutation in dilated cardiomyopathy.

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Department of Molecular Pathogenesis, Medical Research Institute and Laboratory of Genome Diversity, School of Biomedical Science, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo 101-0062, Japan.


Mutations in genes for sarcomeric proteins such as titin/connectin are known to cause dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). However, disease-causing mutations can be identified only in a small proportion of the patients even in the familial cases, suggesting that there remains yet unidentified disease-causing gene(s) for DCM. To explore the novel disease gene for DCM, we examined CRYAB encoding alphaB-crystallin for mutation in the patients with DCM, since alphaB-crystallin was recently reported to associate with the heart-specific N2B domain and adjacent I26/I27 domain of titin/connectin, and we previously reported a N2B mutation, Gln4053ter, in DCM. A missense mutation of CRYAB, Arg157His, was found in a familial DCM patient and the mutation affected the evolutionary conserved amino acid residue among alpha-crystallins. Functional analysis revealed that the mutation decreased the binding to titin/connectin heart-specific N2B domain without affecting distribution of the mutant crystallin protein in cardiomyocytes. In contrast, another CRYAB mutation, Arg120Gly, reported in desmin-related myopathy decreased the binding to both N2B and striated muscle-specific I26/27 domains and showed intracellular aggregates of the mutant protein. These observations suggest that the Arg157His mutation may be involved in the pathogenesis of DCM via impaired accommodation to the heart-specific N2B domain of titin/connectin and its disease-causing mechanism is different from the mutation found in desmin-related myopathy.

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