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Novartis Found Symp. 2006;274:176-89; discussion 189-95, 272-6.

Sarcomere protein gene mutations and inherited heart disease: a beta-cardiac myosin heavy chain mutation causing endocardial fibroelastosis and heart failure.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


Inherited human cardiomyopathies often lead to heart failure. A common feature of these conditions is that affected individuals can express the disease causing mutations for many years without showing clinical signs of the disease. Previous studies have demonstrated that sarcomere protein gene mutations can cause either dilated cardiomyopathy or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Here we demonstrate that the Arg442His missense mutation in beta-cardiac myosin heavy chain (betaMHC) causes dilated cardiomyopathy, endocardial fibroelastosis and heart failure at a very early age. Using standard genetic engineering tools we and others have made murine models by introducing human disease causing mutations into mice. The central hypothesis of these studies has been that by identifying the pathophysiological pathways activated by these mutations we can define enzymatic activities that are modified during the disease process and which may be involved in pathways that involve more common forms of cardiac disease. Murine models bearing different mutant myosins are being used to address whether each disease causing mutant betaMHC activates the same or different cellular pathways. Dissecting the molecular pathways modulated by mutations in sarcomere protein genes as well as other genes has already demonstrated that there are multiple pathways leading to cardiac remodelling and heart failure. Defining the mechanisms by which mutations in the same genes activate different cellular pathways remains an important question.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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