OBSCN mutations associated with dilated cardiomyopathy and haploinsufficiency

Steven Marston, Cecile Montgiraud, Alex B. Munster, O'Neal Copeland, Onjee Choi, Cristobal dos Remedios, Andrew E. Messer, Elisabeth Ehler, Ralph Knöll

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Background: Studies of the functional consequences of DCM-causing mutations have been limited to a few cases where patients with known mutations had heart transplants. To increase the number of potential tissue samples for direct investigation we performed whole exon sequencing of explanted heart muscle samples from 30 patients that had a diagnosis of familial dilated cardiomyopathy and screened for potentially disease-causing mutations in 58 HCM or DCM-related genes. 

Results: We identified 5 potentially disease-causing OBSCN mutations in 4 samples; one sample had two OBSCN mutations and one mutation was judged to be not disease-related. Also identified were 6 truncating mutations in TTN, 3 mutations in MYH7, 2 in DSP and one each in TNNC1, TNNI3, MYOM1, VCL, GLA, PLB, TCAP, PKP2 and LAMA4. The mean level of obscurin mRNA was significantly greater and more variable in healthy donor samples than the DCM samples but did not correlate with OBSCN mutations. A single obscurin protein band was observed in human heart myofibrils with apparent mass 960 ± 60 kDa. The three samples with OBSCN mutations had significantly lower levels of obscurin immunoreactive material than DCM samples without OBSCN mutations (45±7, 48±3, and 72±6% of control level). Obscurin levels in DCM controls, donor heart and myectomy samples were the same. 

Conclusions: OBSCN mutations may result in the development of a DCM phenotype via haploinsufficiency. Mutations in the obscurin gene should be considered as a significant causal factor of DCM, alone or in concert with other mutations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0138568
JournalPL o S One
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2015


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