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Eur Heart J. 2013 Apr;34(13):1002-11. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehs383. Epub 2012 Nov 15.

Recurrent missense mutations in TMEM43 (ARVD5) due to founder effects cause arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathies in the UK and Canada.

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Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University, St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada A1B 3V6.



Autosomal dominant arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy/dysplasia (ARVC/D) (in the group of arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathies) is a common cause of sudden cardiac death in young adults. It is both clinically and genetically heterogeneous, with 12 loci (ARVC/D1-12) and eight genes identified, the majority of which encode structural proteins of cardiac desmosomes. The most recent gene identified, TMEM43, causes disease due to a missense mutation in a non-desmosomal gene (p.S358L) in 15 extended families from Newfoundland, Canada. To determine whether mutations in TMEM43 cause ARVC/D and arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy in other populations, we fully re-sequenced TMEM43 on 143 ARVC/D probands (families) from the UK and 55 probands (from 55 families) from Newfoundland.


Bidirectional sequencing of TMEM43 including intron-exon boundaries revealed 33 variants, the majority located in non-coding regions of TMEM43. For the purpose of validation, families of probands with rare, potentially deleterious coding variants were subjected to clinical and molecular follow-up. Three missense variants of uncertain significance (p.R28W, p.E142K, p.R312W) were located in highly conserved regions of the TMEM43 protein. One variant (p.R312W) also co-segregated with relatives showing clinical signs of disease. Genotyping and expansion of the disease-associated haplotype in subjects with the p.R312W variant from Newfoundland, Canada, and the UK suggest common ancestry.


Although the p.R312W variant was found in controls (3/378), identification of an ancestral disease p R312W haplotype suggests that the p.R312W variant is a pathogenic founder mutation.

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