Perturbed length-dependent activation in human hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with missense sarcomeric gene mutations

Vasco Sequeira, Paul J M Wijnker, Louise L A M Nijenkamp, Diederik W D Kuster, Aref Najafi, E Rosalie Witjas-Paalberends, Jessica A Regan, Nicky Boontje, Folkert J Ten Cate, Tjeerd Germans, Lucie Carrier, Sakthivel Sadayappan, Marjon A van Slegtenhorst, Ruud Zaremba, D Brian Foster, Anne M Murphy, Corrado Poggesi, Cris Dos Remedios, Ger J M Stienen, Carolyn Y Ho, Michelle Michels, Jolanda van der Velden
Circulation Research 2013 May 24, 112 (11): 1491-505

RATIONALE: High-myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity has been proposed as a trigger of disease pathogenesis in familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) on the basis of in vitro and transgenic mice studies. However, myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity depends on protein phosphorylation and muscle length, and at present, data in humans are scarce.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether high myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity and perturbed length-dependent activation are characteristics for human HCM with mutations in thick and thin filament proteins.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Cardiac samples from patients with HCM harboring mutations in genes encoding thick (MYH7, MYBPC3) and thin (TNNT2, TNNI3, TPM1) filament proteins were compared with sarcomere mutation-negative HCM and nonfailing donors. Cardiomyocyte force measurements showed higher myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity in all HCM samples and low phosphorylation of protein kinase A (PKA) targets compared with donors. After exogenous PKA treatment, myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity was similar (MYBPC3mut, TPM1mut, sarcomere mutation-negative HCM), higher (MYH7mut, TNNT2mut), or even significantly lower (TNNI3mut) compared with donors. Length-dependent activation was significantly smaller in all HCM than in donor samples. PKA treatment increased phosphorylation of PKA-targets in HCM myocardium and normalized length-dependent activation to donor values in sarcomere mutation-negative HCM and HCM with truncating MYBPC3 mutations but not in HCM with missense mutations. Replacement of mutant by wild-type troponin in TNNT2mut and TNNI3mut corrected length-dependent activation to donor values.

CONCLUSIONS: High-myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity is a common characteristic of human HCM and partly reflects hypophosphorylation of PKA targets compared with donors. Length-dependent sarcomere activation is perturbed by missense mutations, possibly via posttranslational modifications other than PKA hypophosphorylation or altered protein-protein interactions, and represents a common pathomechanism in HCM.

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