Molecular basis of hereditary cardiomyopathy: abnormalities in calcium sensitivity, stretch response, stress response and beyond.

Authors:
Akinori Kimura

J Hum Genet 2010 Feb 15;55(2):81-90. Epub 2010 Jan 15.

Department of Molecular Pathogenesis, Medical Research Institute, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan.

Cardiomyopathy is caused by functional abnormality of cardiac muscle. The functional abnormality involved in its etiology includes both extrinsic and intrinsic factors, and cardiomyopathy caused by the intrinsic factors is called as idiopathic or primary cardiomyopathy. There are several clinical types of primary cardiomyopathy including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Linkage studies and candidate gene approaches have explored the disease genes for hereditary primary cardiomyopathy. The most notable finding was that mutations in the same disease gene can be found in different clinical types of cardiomyopathy. Functional analyses of disease-related mutations have revealed that characteristic functional alterations are associated with the clinical types, such that increased and decreased Ca(2+) sensitivity due to sarcomere mutations are associated with HCM and DCM, respectively. In addition, our recent studies have suggested that mutations in the Z-disc components found in HCM and DCM may result in increased and decreased stiffness of sarcomere; that is, stiff sarcomere and loose sarcomere, respectively, and hence altered stretch response. More recently, mutations in the components of I region were found in hereditary cardiomyopathy and the functional analyses of the mutations suggested that the altered stress response was associated with cardiomyopathy, further complicating the etiology and pathogenesis. However, elucidation of genetic etiology and functional alterations caused by the mutations shed lights on the new therapeutic approaches to hereditary cardiomyopathy, such that treatment of DCM with a Ca(2+) sensitizer prevented the disease in a mouse model.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/jhg.2009.138DOI Listing
February 2010
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