Mechanistic insights into arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy caused by desmocollin-2 mutations

Katja Gehmlich, Petros Syrris, Emma Peskett, Alison Evans, Elisabeth Ehler, Angeliki Asimaki, Aris Anastasakis, Adalena Tsatsopoulou, Apostolos-Ilias Vouliotis, Christodoulos Stefanadis, Jeffrey E. Saffitz, Nikos Protonotarios, William J. McKenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims Recent immunohistochemical studies observed the loss of plakoglobin (PG) from the intercalated disc (ID) as a hallmark of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), suggesting a final common pathway for this disease. However, the underlying molecular processes are poorly understood. Methods and results We have identified novel mutations in the desmosomal cadherin desmocollin 2 (DSC2 R203C, L229X, T275M, and G371fsX378). The two missense mutations (DSC2 R203C and T275M) have been functionally characterized, together with a previously reported frameshift variant (DSC2 A897fsX900), to examine their pathogenic potential towards PG's functions at the ID. The three mutant proteins were transiently expressed in various cellular systems and assayed for expression, processing, localization, and binding to other desmosomal components in comparison to wild-type DSC2a protein. The two missense mutations showed defects in proteolytic cleavage, a process which is required for the functional activation of mature cadherins. In both cases, this is thought to cause a reduction of functional DSC2 at the desmosomes in cardiac cells. In contrast, the frameshift variant was incorporated into cardiac desmosomes; however, it showed reduced binding to PG. Conclusion Despite different modes of action, for all three variants, the reduced ability to provide a ligand for PG at the desmosomes was observed. This is in agreement with the reduced intensity of PG at these structures observed in ARVC patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77 - 87
Number of pages11
JournalCardiovascular Research
Volume90
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011

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