Distal myopathy with upper limb predominance caused by filamin C haploinsufficiency

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Abstract

Objective:

In this study, we investigated the detailed clinical findings and underlying genetic defect in 3 presumably related Bulgarian families displaying dominantly transmitted adult onset distal myopathy with upper limb predominance.

Methods:

We performed neurologic, electrophysiologic, radiologic, and histopathologic analyses of 13 patients and 13 at-risk but asymptomatic individuals from 3 generations. Genome-wide parametric linkage analysis was followed by bidirectional sequencing of the filamin C (FLNC) gene. We characterized the identified nonsense mutation at cDNA and protein level.

Results:

Based on clinical findings, no known myopathy subtype was implicated in our distal myopathy patients. Light microscopic analysis of affected muscle tissue showed no specific hallmarks; however, the electron microscopy revealed changes compatible with myofibrillar myopathy. Linkage studies delineated a 9.76 Mb region on chromosome 7q22.1-q35 containing filamin C (FLNC), a gene previously associated with myofibrillar myopathy. Mutation analysis revealed a novel c.5160delC frameshift deletion in all patients of the 3 families. The mutation results in a premature stop codon (p.Phe1720LeufsX63) that triggers nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. FLNC transcript levels were reduced in muscle and lymphoblast cells from affected subjects and partial loss of FLNC in muscle tissue was confirmed by protein analysis.

Conclusions:

The FLNC mutation that we identified is distinct in terms of the associated phenotype, muscle morphology, and underlying molecular mechanism, thus extending the currently recognized clinical and genetic spectrum of filaminopathies. We conclude that filamin C is a dosage-sensitive gene and that FLNC haploinsufficiency can cause a specific type of myopathy in humans.

GLOSSARY:

CK: creatine kinase

GLOSSARY:

CMAP: compound muscle action potential

GLOSSARY:

EM: electron microscopy

GLOSSARY:

FLNC: filamin C

GLOSSARY:

LM: light microscopy

GLOSSARY:

MFM: myofibrillar myopathies

GLOSSARY:

NCS: nerve conduction studies

GLOSSARY:

NMD: nonsense-mediated mRNA decay

GLOSSARY:

TE: echo time

GLOSSARY:

TR: repetition time

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