AIMS: Left ventricular non-compaction (LVNC) is caused by mutations in multiple genes. It is still unclear whether LVNC is the primary determinant of cardiomyopathy or rather a secondary phenomenon with intrinsic cardiomyocyte dysfunction being the actual cause of the disease. Here, we describe a family with LVNC due to a novel missense mutation, pE96K, in the cardiac troponin T gene (TNNT2). METHODS AND RESULTS: The novel mutation was identified in the index patient and all affected relatives, but not in 430 healthy control individuals. Mutations in known LVNC-associated genes were excluded. To investigate the pathophysiological implications of the mutation, we generated transgenic mice expressing human wild-type cTNT (hcTNT) or a human troponin T harbouring the pE96K mutation (mut cTNT). Animals were characterized by echocardiography, histology, and gene expression analysis. Mut cTNT mice displayed an impaired left ventricular function and induction of marker genes of heart failure. Remarkably, left ventricular non-compaction was not observed. CONCLUSION: Familial co-segregation and the cardiomyopathy phenotype of mut cTNT mice strongly support a causal relationship of the pE96K mutation and disease in our index patient. In addition, our data suggest that a non-compaction phenotype is not required for the development of cardiomyopathy in this specific TNNT2 mutation leading to LVNC.
Type of Publication:
Journal article published