A molecular screening strategy based on β-myosin heavy chain, cardiac myosin binding protein C and troponin T genes in Italian patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

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Mutations causing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) have been described in nine different genes of the sarcomere. Three genes account for most known mutations: β-myosin heavy chain (MYH7), cardiac myosin binding protein C (MYBPC3) and cardiac troponin T (TNNT2). Their prevalence in Italian HCM patients is unknown. Thus, we prospectively assessed a molecular screening strategy of these three genes in a consecutive population with HCM from two Italian centres.


Comprehensive screening of MYBPC3, MYH7 and TNNT2 was performed in 88 unrelated HCM patients by denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography and automatic sequencing.


We identified 32 mutations in 50 patients (57%); 16 were novel. The prevalence rates for MYBPC3, MYH7 and TNNT2 were 32%, 17% and 2%, respectively. MYBPC3 mutations were 18, including two frameshift, five splice-site and two nonsense. All were ‘private’ except insC1065 and R502Q, present in three and two patients, respectively. Moreover, E258K was found in 14% of patients, suggesting a founder effect. MYH7 mutations were 12, all missense; seven were novel. In TNNT2, only two mutations were found. In addition, five patients had a complex genotype [i.e. carried a double MYBPC3 mutation (n = 2), or were double heterozygous for mutations in MYBPC3 and MYH7 (n = 3)].


The first comprehensive evaluation of MYBPC3, MYH7 and TNNT2 in an Italian HCM population allowed a genetic diagnosis in 57% of the patients. These data support a combined analysis of the three major sarcomeric genes as a rational and cost-effective initial approach to the molecular screening of HCM.

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