FLNC Gene Splice Mutations Cause Dilated Cardiomyopathy.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:To identify novel dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) causing genes, and to elucidate the pathological mechanism leading to DCM by utilizing zebrafish as a model organism. BACKGROUND:DCM, a major cause of heart failure, is frequently familial and caused by a genetic defect. However, only 50% of DCM cases can be attributed to a known DCM gene variant, motivating the ongoing search for novel disease genes. METHODS:We performed whole exome sequencing (WES) in two multigenerational Italian families and one US family with arrhythmogenic DCM without skeletal muscle defects, in whom prior genetic testing had been unrevealing. Pathogenic variants were sought by a combination of bioinformatic filtering and cosegregation testing among affected individuals within the families. We performed function assays and generated a zebrafish morpholino knockdown model. RESULTS:A novel filamin C gene splicing variant (FLNC c.7251+1 G>A) was identified by WES in all affected family members in the two Italian families. A separate novel splicing mutation (FLNC c.5669-1delG) was identified in the US family. Western blot analysis of cardiac heart tissue from an affected individual showed decreased FLNC protein, supporting a haploinsufficiency model of pathogenesis. To further analyze this model, a morpholino knockdown of the ortholog filamin Cb in zebrafish was created which resulted in abnormal cardiac function and ultrastructure. CONCLUSIONS:Using WES, we identified two novel FLNC splicing variants as the likely cause of DCM in three families. We provided protein expression and in vivo zebrafish data supporting haploinsufficiency as the pathogenic mechanism leading to DCM.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:The purpose of this study was to assess the phenotype of Filamin C (FLNC) truncating variants in dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and understand the mechanism leading to an arrhythmogenic phenotype. BACKGROUND:Mutations in FLNC are known to lead to skeletal myopathies, which may have an associated cardiac component. Recently, the clinical spectrum of FLNC mutations has been recognized to include a cardiac-restricted presentation in the absence of skeletal muscle involvement. METHODS:A population of 319 U.S. and European DCM cardiomyopathy families was evaluated using whole-exome and targeted next-generation sequencing. FLNC truncation probands were identified and evaluated by clinical examination, histology, transmission electron microscopy, and immunohistochemistry. RESULTS:A total of 13 individuals in 7 families (2.2%) were found to harbor 6 different FLNC truncation variants (2 stopgain, 1 frameshift, and 3 splicing). Of the 13 FLNC truncation carriers, 11 (85%) had either ventricular arrhythmias or sudden cardiac death, and 5 (38%) presented with evidence of right ventricular dilation. Pathology analysis of 2 explanted hearts from affected FLNC truncation carriers showed interstitial fibrosis in the right ventricle and epicardial fibrofatty infiltration in the left ventricle. Ultrastructural findings included occasional disarray of Z-discs within the sarcomere. Immunohistochemistry showed normal plakoglobin signal at cell-cell junctions, but decreased signals for desmoplakin and synapse-associated protein 97 in the myocardium and buccal mucosa. CONCLUSIONS:We found FLNC truncating variants, present in 2.2% of DCM families, to be associated with a cardiac-restricted arrhythmogenic DCM phenotype characterized by a high risk of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias and a pathological cellular phenotype partially overlapping with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy.
Project description:Filamin C (FLNC) variants are associated with cardiac and muscular phenotypes. Originally, FLNC variants were described in myofibrillar myopathy (MFM) patients. Later, high-throughput screening in cardiomyopathy cohorts determined a prominent role for FLNC in isolated hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathies (HCM and DCM). FLNC variants are now among the more prevalent causes of genetic DCM. FLNC-associated DCM is associated with a malignant clinical course and a high risk of sudden cardiac death. The clinical spectrum of FLNC suggests different pathomechanisms related to variant types and their location in the gene. The appropriate functioning of FLNC is crucial for structural integrity and cell signaling of the sarcomere. The secondary protein structure of FLNC is critical to ensure this function. Truncating variants with subsequent haploinsufficiency are associated with DCM and cardiac arrhythmias. Interference with the dimerization and folding of the protein leads to aggregate formation detrimental for muscle function, as found in HCM and MFM. Variants associated with HCM are predominantly missense variants, which cluster in the ROD2 domain. This domain is important for binding to the sarcomere and to ensure appropriate cell signaling. We here review FLNC genotype-phenotype correlations based on available evidence.
Project description:Mutations in FLNC cause two distinct types of myopathy. Disease associated with mutations in filamin C rod domain leading to expression of a toxic protein presents with progressive proximal muscle weakness and shows focal destructive lesions of polymorphous aggregates containing desmin, myotilin and other proteins in the affected myofibres; these features correspond to the profile of myofibrillar myopathy. The second variant associated with mutations in the actin-binding domain of filamin C is characterized by weakness of distal muscles and morphologically by non-specific myopathic features. A frameshift mutation in the filamin C rod domain causing haploinsufficiency was also found responsible for distal myopathy with some myofibrillar changes but no protein aggregation typical of myofibrillar myopathies. Controversial data accumulating in the literature require re-evaluation and comparative analysis of phenotypes associated with the position of the FLNC mutation and investigation of the underlying disease mechanisms. This is relevant and necessary for the refinement of diagnostic criteria and developing therapeutic approaches. We identified a p.W2710X mutation in families originating from ethnically diverse populations and re-evaluated a family with a p.V930_T933del mutation. Analysis of the expanded database allows us to refine clinical and myopathological characteristics of myofibrillar myopathy caused by mutations in the rod domain of filamin C. Biophysical and biochemical studies indicate that certain pathogenic mutations in FLNC cause protein misfolding, which triggers aggregation of the mutant filamin C protein and subsequently involves several other proteins. Immunofluorescence analyses using markers for the ubiquitin-proteasome system and autophagy reveal that the affected muscle fibres react to protein aggregate formation with a highly increased expression of chaperones and proteins involved in proteasomal protein degradation and autophagy. However, there is a noticeably diminished efficiency of both the ubiquitin-proteasome system and autophagy that impairs the muscle capacity to prevent the formation or mediate the degradation of aggregates. Transfection studies of cultured muscle cells imitate events observed in the patient's affected muscle and therefore provide a helpful model for testing future therapeutic strategies.
Project description:Myofibrillar myopathies (MFMs) are an expanding and increasingly recognized group of neuromuscular disorders caused by mutations in DES, CRYAB, MYOT, and ZASP. The latest gene to be associated with MFM was FLNC; a p.W2710X mutation in the 24th immunoglobulin-like repeat of filamin C was shown to be the cause of a distinct type of MFM in several German families. We studied an International cohort of 46 patients from 39 families with clinically and myopathologically confirmed MFM, in which DES, CRYAB, MYOT, and ZASP mutations have been excluded. In patients from an unrelated family a 12-nucleotide deletion (c.2997_3008del) in FLNC resulting in a predicted in-frame four-residue deletion (p.Val930_Thr933del) in the seventh repeat of filamin C was identified. Both affected family members, mother and daughter, but not unrelated control individuals, carried the p.Val930_Thr933del mutation. The mutation is transcribed and, based on myopathological features and immunoblot analysis, it leads to an accumulation of dysfunctional filamin C in the myocytes. The study results suggest that the novel p.Val930_Thr933del mutation in filamin C is the cause of MFM but also indicate that filamin C mutations are a comparatively rare cause of MFM.
Project description:Linkage analysis of the dominant distal myopathy we previously identified in a large Australian family demonstrated one significant linkage region located on chromosome 7 and encompassing 18.6 Mbp and 151 genes. The strongest candidate gene was FLNC because filamin C, the encoded protein, is muscle-specific and associated with myofibrillar myopathy. Sequencing of FLNC cDNA identified a c.752T>C (p.Met251Thr) mutation in the N-terminal actin-binding domain (ABD); this mutation segregated with the disease and was absent in 200 controls. We identified an Italian family with the same phenotype and found a c.577G>A (p.Ala193Thr) filamin C ABD mutation that segregated with the disease. Filamin C ABD mutations have not been described, although filamin A and filamin B ABD mutations cause multiple musculoskeletal disorders. The distal myopathy phenotype and muscle pathology in the two families differ from myofibrillar myopathies caused by filamin C rod and dimerization domain mutations because of the distinct involvement of hand muscles and lack of pathological protein aggregation. Thus, like the position of FLNA and B mutations, the position of the FLNC mutation determines disease phenotype. The two filamin C ABD mutations increase actin-binding affinity in a manner similar to filamin A and filamin B ABD mutations. Cell-culture expression of the c.752T>C (p.Met251)Thr mutant filamin C ABD demonstrated reduced nuclear localization as did mutant filamin A and filamin B ABDs. Expression of both filamin C ABD mutants as full-length proteins induced increased aggregation of filamin. We conclude filamin C ABD mutations cause a recognizable distal myopathy, most likely through increased actin affinity, similar to the pathological mechanism of filamin A and filamin B ABD mutations.
Project description:Filamin C (FLNC) is one of three filamin proteins (Filamin A (FLNA), Filamin B (FLNB), and FLNC) that cross-link actin filaments and interact with numerous binding partners. FLNC consists of a N-terminal actin-binding domain followed by 24 immunoglobulin-like repeats with two intervening calpain-sensitive hinges separating R15 and R16 (hinge 1) and R23 and R24 (hinge-2). The FLNC subunit is dimerized through R24 and calpain cleaves off the dimerization domain to regulate mobility of the FLNC subunit. FLNC is localized in the Z-disc due to the unique insertion of 82 amino acid residues in repeat 20 and necessary for normal Z-disc formation that connect sarcomeres. Since phosphorylation of FLNC by PKC diminishes the calpain sensitivity, assembly, and disassembly of the Z-disc may be regulated by phosphorylation of FLNC. Mutations of FLNC result in cardiomyopathy and muscle weakness. Although this review will focus on the current understanding of FLNC structure and functions in muscle, we will also discuss other filamins because they share high sequence similarity and are better characterized. We will also discuss a possible role of FLNC as a mechanosensor during muscle contraction.
Project description:The term filaminopathy was introduced after a truncating mutation in the dimerization domain of filamin C (FLNc) was shown to be responsible for a devastating muscle disease. Subsequently, the same mutation was found in patients from diverse ethnical origins, indicating that this specific alteration is a mutational hot spot. Patients initially present with proximal muscle weakness, while distal and respiratory muscles become affected with disease progression. Muscle biopsies of these patients show typical signs of myofibrillar myopathy, including disintegration of myofibrils and aggregation of several proteins into distinct intracellular deposits. Highly similar phenotypes were observed in patients with other mutations in Ig-like domains of FLNc that result in expression of a noxious protein. Biochemical and biophysical studies showed that the mutated domains acquire an abnormal structure causing decreased stability and eventually becoming a seed for abnormal aggregation with other proteins. The disease usually presents only after the fourth decade of life possibly as a result of ageing-related impairments in the machinery that is responsible for disposal of damaged proteins. This is confirmed by mutations in components of this machinery that cause a highly similar phenotype. Transfection studies of cultured muscle cells reflect the events observed in patient muscles and, therefore, may provide a helpful model for testing future dedicated therapeutic strategies. More recently, FLNC mutations were also found in families with a distal myopathy phenotype, caused either by mutations in the actin-binding domain of FLNc that result in increased actin-binding and non-specific myopathic abnormalities without myofibrillar myopathy pathology, or a nonsense mutation in the rod domain that leads to RNA instability, haploinsufficiency with decreased expression levels of FLNc in the muscle fibers and myofibrillar abnormalities, but not to the formation of desmin-positive protein aggregates required for the diagnosis of myofibrillar myopathy.
Project description:The PI3K/Akt pathway promotes skeletal muscle growth and myogenic differentiation. Although its importance in skeletal muscle biology is well documented, many of its substrates remain to be identified. We here studied PI3K/Akt signaling in contracting skeletal muscle cells by quantitative phosphoproteomics. We identified the extended basophilic phosphosite motif RxRxxp[S/T]xxp[S/T] in various proteins including filamin-C (FLNc). Importantly, this extended motif, located in a unique insert in Ig-like domain 20 of FLNc, is doubly phosphorylated. The protein kinases responsible for this dual-site phosphorylation are Akt and PKC?. Proximity proteomics and interaction analysis identified filamin A-interacting protein 1 (FILIP1) as direct FLNc binding partner. FILIP1 binding induces filamin degradation, thereby negatively regulating its function. Here, dual-site phosphorylation of FLNc not only reduces FILIP1 binding, providing a mechanism to shield FLNc from FILIP1-mediated degradation, but also enables fast dynamics of FLNc necessary for its function as signaling adaptor in cross-striated muscle cells.
Project description:Myofibrillar myopathy (MFM) is a human disease that is characterized by focal myofibrillar destruction and pathological cytoplasmic protein aggregations. In an extended German pedigree with a novel form of MFM characterized by clinical features of a limb-girdle myopathy and morphological features of MFM, we identified a co-segregating, heterozygous nonsense mutation (8130G-->A; W2710X) in the filamin c gene (FLNC) on chromosome 7q32.1. The mutation is the first found in FLNC and is localized in the dimerization domain of filamin c. Functional studies showed that, in the truncated mutant protein, this domain has a disturbed secondary structure that leads to the inability to dimerize properly. As a consequence of this malfunction, the muscle fibers of our patients display massive cytoplasmic aggregates containing filamin c and several Z-disk-associated and sarcolemmal proteins.
Project description:In the vast majority of pediatric patients with dilated cardiomyopathy, the specific etiology is unknown. Studies on families with dilated cardiomyopathy have exemplified the role of genetic factors in cardiomyopathy etiology. In this study, we applied whole-exome sequencing to members of a non-consanguineous family affected by a previously unreported congenital dilated cardiomyopathy syndrome necessitating early-onset heart transplant. Exome analysis identified compound heterozygous variants in the FLNC gene. Histological analysis of the cardiac muscle demonstrated marked sarcomeric and myofibrillar abnormalities, and immunohistochemical staining demonstrated the presence of Filamin C aggregates in cardiac myocytes. We conclude that biallelic variants in FLNC can cause congenital dilated cardiomyopathy. As the associated clinical features of affected patients are mild, and can be easily overlooked, testing for FLNC should be considered in children presenting with dilated cardiomyopathy.