Phenotypic patterns of desminopathy associated with three novel mutations in the desmin gene.
ABSTRACT: Desminopathy represents a subgroup of myofibrillar myopathies caused by mutations in the desmin gene. Three novel disease-associated mutations in the desmin gene were identified in unrelated Spanish families affected by cardioskeletal myopathy. A selective pattern of muscle involvement, which differed from that observed in myofibrillar myopathy resulting from mutations in the myotilin gene, was observed in each of the three families with novel mutations and each of three desminopathy patients with known desmin mutations. Prominent joint retractions at the ankles and characteristic nasal speech were observed early in the course of illness. These findings suggest that muscle imaging in combination with routine clinical and pathological examination may be helpful in distinguishing desminopathy from other forms of myofibrillar myopathy and ordering appropriate molecular investigations.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Desminopathy is a subtype of myofibrillar myopathy caused by desmin mutations and characterized by protein aggregates accumulating in muscle fibers. The aim of this study was to assess the protein composition of these aggregates. Aggregates and intact myofiber sections were obtained from skeletal muscle biopsies of five desminopathy patients by laser microdissection and analyzed by a label-free spectral count-based proteomic approach. We identified 397 proteins with 22 showing significantly higher spectral indices in aggregates (ratio >1.8, p<0.05). Fifteen of these proteins not previously reported as specific aggregate components provide new insights regarding pathomechanisms of desminopathy. Results of proteomic analysis were supported by immunolocalization studies and parallel reaction monitoring. Three mutant desmin variants were detected directly on the protein level as components of the aggregates, suggesting their direct involvement in aggregate-formation and demonstrating for the first time that proteomic analysis can be used for direct identification of a disease-causing mutation in myofibrillar myopathy. Comparison of the proteomic results in desminopathy with our previous analysis of aggregate composition in filaminopathy, another myofibrillar myopathy subtype, allows to determine subtype-specific proteomic profile that facilitates identification of the specific disorder. BIOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE:Our proteomic analysis provides essential new insights in the composition of pathological protein aggregates in skeletal muscle fibers of desminopathy patients. The results contribute to a better understanding of pathomechanisms in myofibrillar myopathies and provide the basis for hypothesis-driven studies. The detection of specific proteomic profiles in different myofibrillar myopathy subtypes indicates that proteomic analysis may become a useful tool in differential diagnosis of protein aggregate myopathies.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Desminopathy, a hereditary myofibrillar myopathy, mainly results from the desmin gene (DES) mutations. Desminopathy involves various phenotypes, mainly including different cardiomyopathies, skeletal myopathy, and arrhythmia. Combined with genotype, it helps us precisely diagnose and treat for desminopathy. METHODS:Sanger sequencing was used to characterize DES variation, and then a minigene assay was used to verify the effect of splice-site mutation on pre-mRNA splicing. Phenotypes were analyzed based on clinical characteristics associated with desminopathy. RESULTS:A splicing mutation (c.735+1G>T) in DES was detected in the proband. A minigene assay revealed skipping of the whole exon 3 and transcription of abnormal pre-mRNA lacking 32 codons. Another affected family member who carried the identical mutation, was identified with a novel phenotype of desminopathy, non-compaction of ventricular myocardium. There were 2 different phenotypes varied in cardiomyopathy and skeletal myopathy among the 2 patients, but no significant correlation between genotype and phenotype was identified. CONCLUSIONS:We reported a novel phenotype with a splicing mutation in DES, enlarging the spectrum of phenotype in desminopathy. Molecular studies of desminopathy should promote our understanding of its pathogenesis and provide a precise molecular diagnosis of this disorder, facilitating clinical prevention and treatment at an early stage.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Variants in the desmin gene (DES) are associated with desminopathy; a myofibrillar myopathy mainly characterized by muscle weakness, conduction block, and dilated cardiomyopathy. To date, only ~50 disease-associated variants have been described, and the majority of these lead to dominant-negative effects. However, the complete genotypic spectrum of desminopathy is not well established. CASE PRESENTATION: Next-generation sequencing was performed on 51 cardiac disease genes in a proband with profound skeletal myopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy, and respiratory dysfunction. Our analyses revealed compound heterozygous DES variants, both of which are predicted to lead to a loss-of-function. Consistent with recessive inheritance, each variant was identified in an unaffected parent. CONCLUSIONS: This case report serves to broaden the variant spectrum of desminopathies and provides insight into the molecular mechanisms of desminopathy, supporting distinct dominant-negative and loss-of-function etiologies.
Project description:Desminopathy is one of the most common intermediate filament human disorders associated with mutations in closely interacting proteins, desmin and alphaB-crystallin. The inheritance pattern in familial desminopathy is characterized as autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive, but many cases have no family history. At least some and likely most sporadic desminopathy cases are associated with de novo DES mutations. The age of disease onset and rate of progression may vary depending on the type of inheritance and location of the causative mutation. Typically, the illness presents with lower and later upper limb muscle weakness slowly spreading to involve truncal, neck-flexor, facial and bulbar muscles. Skeletal myopathy is often combined with cardiomyopathy manifested by conduction blocks, arrhythmias and chronic heart failure resulting in premature sudden death. Respiratory muscle weakness is a major complication in some patients. Sections of the affected skeletal and cardiac muscles show abnormal fibre areas containing chimeric aggregates consisting of desmin and other cytoskeletal proteins. Various DES gene mutations: point mutations, an insertion, small in-frame deletions and a larger exon-skipping deletion, have been identified in desminopathy patients. The majority of these mutations are located in conserved alpha-helical segments, but additional mutations have recently been identified in the tail domain. Filament and network assembly studies indicate that most but not all disease-causing mutations make desmin assembly-incompetent and able to disrupt a pre-existing filamentous network in dominant-negative fashion. AlphaB-crystallin serves as a chaperone for desmin preventing its aggregation under various forms of stress; mutant CRYAB causes cardiac and skeletal myopathies identical to those resulting from DES mutations.
Project description:We establish autosomal recessive DES variants p.(Leu190Pro) and a deep intronic splice variant causing inclusion of a frameshift-inducing artificial exon/intronic fragment, as the likely cause of myopathy with cardiac involvement in female siblings. Both sisters presented in their twenties with slowly progressive limb girdle weakness, severe systolic dysfunction, and progressive, severe respiratory weakness. Desmin is an intermediate filament protein typically associated with autosomal dominant myofibrillar myopathy with cardiac involvement. However a few rare cases of autosomal recessive desminopathy are reported. In this family, a paternal missense p.(Leu190Pro) variant was viewed unlikely to be causative of autosomal dominant desminopathy, as the father and brothers carrying this variant were clinically unaffected. Clinical fit with a DES-related myopathy encouraged closer scrutiny of all DES variants, identifying a maternal deep intronic variant within intron-7, predicted to create a cryptic splice site, which segregated with disease. RNA sequencing and studies of muscle cDNA confirmed the deep intronic variant caused aberrant splicing of an artificial exon/intronic fragment into maternal DES mRNA transcripts, encoding a premature termination codon, and potently activating nonsense-mediate decay (92% paternal DES transcripts, 8% maternal). Western blot showed 60-75% reduction in desmin levels, likely comprised only of missense p.(Leu190Pro) desmin. Biopsy showed fibre size variation with increased central nuclei. Electron microscopy showed extensive myofibrillar disarray, duplication of the basal lamina, but no inclusions or aggregates. This study expands the phenotypic spectrum of recessive DES cardio/myopathy, and emphasizes the continuing importance of muscle biopsy for functional genomics pursuit of 'tricky' variants in neuromuscular conditions.
Project description:Desminopathies caused by the mutation in the gene coding for desmin are genetically protein aggregation myopathies. Mitochondrial dysfunction is one of pathological changes in the desminopathies at the earliest stage. The molecular mechanisms of mitochondria dysfunction in desminopathies remain exclusive. VDAC1 regulates mitochondrial uptake across the outer membrane and mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP). Relationships between desminopathies and Voltage-dependent anion channel 1 (VDAC1) remain unclear. Here we successfully constructed the desminopathy rat model, evaluated with conventional stains, containing hematoxylin and eosin (HE), Gomori Trichrome (MGT), (PAS), red oil (ORO), NADH-TR, SDH staining and immunohistochemistry. Immunofluorescence results showed that VDAC1 was accumulated in the desmin highly stained area of muscle fibers of desminopathy patients or desminopathy rat model compared to the normal ones. Meanwhile apoptosis related proteins bax and ATF2 were involved in desminopathy patients and desminopathy rat model, but not bcl-2, bcl-xl or HK2.VDAC1 and desmin are closely relevant in the tissue splices of deminopathies patients and rats with desminopathy at protein lever. Moreover, apoptotic proteins are also involved in the desminopathies, like bax, ATF2, but not bcl-2, bcl-xl or HK2. This pathological analysis presents the correlation between VDAC1 and desmin, and apoptosis related proteins are correlated in the desminopathy. Furthermore, we provide a rat model of desminopathy for the investigation of desmin related myopathy.
Project description:Background: The pleomorphic clinical presentation makes the diagnosis of desminopathy difficult. We aimed to describe the prevalence, phenotypic expression, and mitochondrial function of individuals with putative disease-causing desmin (DES) variants identified in patients with an unexplained etiology of cardiomyopathy. Methods: A total of 327 Czech patients underwent whole exome sequencing and detailed phenotyping in probands harboring DES variants. Results: Rare, conserved, and possibly pathogenic DES variants were identified in six (1.8%) probands. Two DES variants previously classified as variants of uncertain significance (p.(K43E), p.(S57L)), one novel DES variant (p.(A210D)), and two known pathogenic DES variants (p.(R406W), p.(R454W)) were associated with characteristic desmin-immunoreactive aggregates in myocardial and/or skeletal biopsy samples. The individual with the novel DES variant p.(Q364H) had a decreased myocardial expression of desmin with absent desmin aggregates in myocardial/skeletal muscle biopsy and presented with familial left ventricular non-compaction cardiomyopathy (LVNC), a relatively novel phenotype associated with desminopathy. An assessment of the mitochondrial function in four probands heterozygous for a disease-causing DES variant confirmed a decreased metabolic capacity of mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes in myocardial/skeletal muscle specimens, which was in case of myocardial succinate respiration more profound than in other cardiomyopathies. Conclusions: The presence of desminopathy should also be considered in individuals with LVNC, and in the differential diagnosis of mitochondrial diseases.
Project description:Myofibrillar myopathies represent a group of muscular dystrophies with a similar morphologic phenotype. They are characterized by a distinct pathologic pattern of myofibrillar dissolution associated with disintegration of the Z-disk, accumulation of myofibrillar degradation products, and ectopic expression of multiple proteins and sometimes congophilic material. The clinical features of myofibrillar myopathies are more variable. These include progressive muscle weakness, that often involves or begins in distal muscles but limb-girdle or scapuloperoneal distributions can also occur. Cardiomyopathy and peripheral neuropathy are frequent associated features. EMG of the affected muscles reveals myopathic motor unit potentials and abnormal irritability often with myotonic discharges. Rarely, neurogenic motor unit potentials or slow nerve conductions are present. The generic diagnosis of myofibrillar myopathies is based on muscle biopsy findings in frozen sections. To date, all myofibrillar myopathy mutations have been traced to Z-disk-associated proteins, namely, desmin, ?B-crystallin, myotilin, ZASP, filamin C and Bag3. However, in the majority of the myofibrillar myopathy patients the disease gene awaits discovery.
Project description:Desmin intermediate filaments (DIFs) form an intricate meshwork that organizes myofibers within striated muscle cells. The mechanisms that regulate the association of desmin to sarcomeres and their role in desminopathy are incompletely understood. Here we compare the effect nebulin binding has on the assembly kinetics of desmin and three desminopathy-causing mutant desmin variants carrying mutations in the head, rod, or tail domains of desmin (S46F, E245D, and T453I). These mutants were chosen because the mutated residues are located within the nebulin-binding regions of desmin. We discovered that, although nebulin M160-164 bound to both desmin tetrameric complexes and mature filaments, all three mutants exhibited significantly delayed filament assembly kinetics when bound to nebulin. Correspondingly, all three mutants displayed enhanced binding affinities and capacities for nebulin relative to wild-type desmin. Electron micrographs showed that nebulin associates with elongated normal and mutant DIFs assembled in vitro. Moreover, we measured significantly delayed dynamics for the mutant desmin E245D relative to wild-type desmin in fluorescence recovery after photobleaching in live-cell imaging experiments. We propose a mechanism by which mutant desmin slows desmin remodeling in myocytes by retaining nebulin near the Z-discs. On the basis of these data, we suggest that for some filament-forming desmin mutants, the molecular etiology of desminopathy results from subtle deficiencies in their association with nebulin, a major actin-binding filament protein of striated muscle.
Project description:Myofibrillar myopathies (MFM) are characterised by focal myofibrillar destruction and accumulation of myofibrillar elements as protein aggregates. They are caused by mutations in the DES, MYOT, CRYAB, FLNC, BAG3, DNAJB6 and ZASP genes as well as other as yet unidentified genes. Previous studies have reported changes in mitochondrial morphology and cellular positioning, as well as clonally-expanded, large-scale mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) deletions and focal respiratory chain deficiency in muscle of MFM patients. Here we examine skeletal muscle from patients with desmin (n?=?6), ZASP (n?=?1) and myotilin (n?=?2) mutations and MFM protein aggregates, to understand how mitochondrial dysfunction may contribute to the underlying mechanisms causing disease pathology. We have used a validated quantitative immunofluorescent assay to study respiratory chain protein levels, together with oxidative enzyme histochemistry and single cell mitochondrial DNA analysis, to examine mitochondrial changes. Results demonstrate a small number of clonally-expanded mitochondrial DNA deletions, which we conclude are due to both ageing and disease pathology. Further to this we report higher levels of respiratory chain complex I and IV deficiency compared to age matched controls, although overall levels of respiratory deficient muscle fibres in patient biopsies are low. More strikingly, a significantly higher percentage of myofibrillar myopathy patient muscle fibres have a low mitochondrial mass compared to controls. We concluded this is mechanistically unrelated to desmin and myotilin protein aggregates; however, correlation between mitochondrial mass and muscle fibre area is found. We suggest this may be due to reduced mitochondrial biogenesis in combination with muscle fibre hypertrophy.