High-myofilament Ca2+-sensitivity has been proposed as trigger of disease pathogenesis in familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) based on in vitro and transgenic mice studies. However, myofilament Ca2+-sensitivity depends on protein phosphorylation and muscle length, and at present, data in human are scarce.
To investigate whether high-myofilament Ca2+-sensitivity and perturbed length-dependent activation are characteristics for human HCM with mutations in thick- and thin-filament proteins.
Methods and Results
Cardiac samples from patients with HCM harboring mutations in genes encoding thick (MYH7, MYBPC3) and thin (TNNT2, TNNI3, TPM1) filament proteins were compared with sarcomere mutation-negative HCM and nonfailing donors. Cardiomyocyte force measurements showed higher myofilament Ca2+-sensitivity in all HCM samples and low phosphorylation of protein kinase A (PKA)-targets compared with donors. After exogenous PKA treatment, myofilament Ca2+-sensitivity was either similar (MYBPC3mut, TPM1mut, sarcomere mutation-negative HCM), higher (MYH7mut, TNNT2mut), or even significantly lower (TNNI3mut) compared with donors. Length-dependent activation was significantly smaller in all HCM than in donor samples. PKA treatment increased phosphorylation of PKA-targets in HCM myocardium and normalized length-dependent activation to donor values in sarcomere mutation-negative HCM and HCM with truncating MYBPC3 mutations, but not in HCM with missense mutations. Replacement of mutant by wild-type troponin in TNNT2mut and TNNI3mut corrected length-dependent activation to donor values.
High-myofilament Ca2+-sensitivity is a common characteristic of human HCM and partly reflects hypophosphorylation of PKA-targets compared with donors. Length-dependent sarcomere activation is perturbed by missense mutations, possibly via post-translational modifications other than PKA-hypophosphorylation or altered protein–protein interactions, and represents a common pathomechanism in HCM.