Desminopathy: Novel Desmin Variants, a New Cardiac Phenotype, and Further Evidence for Secondary Mitochondrial Dysfunction.
ABSTRACT: 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: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: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: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: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:Here, we present a small Russian family, where the index patient received a diagnosis of left-ventricular non-compaction cardiomyopathy (LVNC) in combination with a skeletal myopathy. Clinical follow-up analysis revealed a LVNC phenotype also in her son. Therefore, we applied a broad next-generation sequencing gene panel approach for the identification of the underlying mutation. Interestingly, <i>DES</i>-p.A337P was identified in the genomes of both patients, whereas only the index patient carried <i>DSP</i>-p.L1348X. <i>DES</i> encodes the muscle-specific intermediate filament protein desmin and <i>DSP</i> encodes desmoplakin, which is a cytolinker protein connecting desmosomes with the intermediate filaments. Because the majority of <i>DES</i> mutations cause severe filament assembly defects and because this mutation was found in both affected patients, we analyzed this <i>DES</i> mutation in vitro by cell transfection experiments in combination with confocal microscopy. Of note, desmin-p.A337P forms cytoplasmic aggregates in transfected SW-13 cells and in cardiomyocytes derived from induced pluripotent stem cells underlining its pathogenicity. In conclusion, we suggest including the <i>DES</i> gene in the genetic analysis for LVNC patients in the future, especially if clinical involvement of the skeletal muscle is present.
Project description:Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is an inherited heart muscle disease characterized by fibrofatty replacement of the myocardium and ventricular arrhythmias, associated with mutations in the desmosomal genes. Only a missense mutation in the DES gene coding for desmin, the intermediate filament protein expressed by cardiac and skeletal muscle cells, has been recently associated with ARVC. We screened 91 ARVC index cases (53 negative for mutations in desmosomal genes and an additional 38 carrying desmosomal gene mutations) for DES mutations. Two rare missense variants were identified. The heterozygous p.K241E substitution was detected in 1 patient affected with a severe form of ARVC who also carried the p.T816RfsX10 mutation in plakophilin-2 gene. This DES substitution, showing an allele frequency of <0.01 in the control population, is predicted to cause an intolerant amino acid change in a highly conserved protein domain. Thus, it can be considered a rare variant with a possible modifier effect on the phenotypic expression of the concomitant mutation. The previously known p.A213V substitution was identified in 1 patient with ARVC who was negative for mutations in the desmosomal genes. Because a greater prevalence of p.A213V has been reported in patients with heart dilation than in control subjects, the hypothesis that this rare variant could have an unfavorable effect on cardiac remodeling cannot be ruled out. In conclusion, our data help to establish that, in the absence of skeletal muscle involvement suggestive of a desminopathy, the probability of DES mutations in ARVC is very low. These findings have important implications in the mutation screening strategy for patients with ARVC.
Project description:Intermediate filaments are major components of the cytoskeleton. Desmin and synemin, cytoplasmic intermediate filament proteins and A-type lamins, nuclear intermediate filament proteins, play key roles in skeletal and cardiac muscle. Desmin, encoded by the <i>DES</i> gene (OMIM *125660) and A-type lamins by the <i>LMNA</i> gene (OMIM *150330), have been involved in striated muscle disorders. Diseases include desmin-related myopathy and cardiomyopathy (desminopathy), which can be manifested with dilated, restrictive, hypertrophic, arrhythmogenic, or even left ventricular non-compaction cardiomyopathy, Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy (EDMD2 and EDMD3, due to <i>LMNA</i> mutations), <i>LMNA</i>-related congenital Muscular Dystrophy (L-CMD) and <i>LMNA</i>-linked dilated cardiomyopathy with conduction system defects (CMD1A). Recently, mutations in synemin (<i>SYNM</i> gene, OMIM *606087) have been linked to cardiomyopathy. This review will summarize clinical and molecular aspects of desmin-, lamin- and synemin-related striated muscle disorders with focus on <i>LMNA</i> and <i>DES</i>-associated clinical entities and will suggest pathogenetic hypotheses based on the interplay of desmin and lamin A/C. In healthy muscle, such interplay is responsible for the involvement of this network in mechanosignaling, nuclear positioning and mitochondrial homeostasis, while in disease it is disturbed, leading to myocyte death and activation of inflammation and the associated secretome alterations.
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:Desmin is a muscle-specific intermediate filament protein which forms a network connecting the sarcomere, T tubules, sarcolemma, nuclear membrane, mitochondria and other organelles. Mutations in the gene coding for desmin (DES) cause skeletal myopathies often combined with cardiomyopathy, or isolated cardiomyopathies. The molecular pathomechanisms of the disease remain ambiguous. Here, we describe and comprehensively characterize two DES mutations found in Polish patients with a clinical diagnosis of desminopathy. The study group comprised 16 individuals representing three families. Two mutations were identified: a novel missense mutation (Q348P) and a small deletion of nine nucleotides (A357_E359del), previously described by us in the Polish population. A common ancestry of all the families bearing the A357_E359del mutation was confirmed. Both mutations were predicted to be pathogenic using a bioinformatics approach, including molecular dynamics simulations which helped to rationalize abnormal behavior at molecular level. To test the impact of the mutations on DES expression and the intracellular distribution of desmin muscle biopsies were investigated. Elevated desmin levels as well as its atypical localization in muscle fibers were observed. Additional staining for M-cadherin, ?-actinin, and myosin heavy chains confirmed severe disruption of myofibrill organization. The abnormalities were more prominent in the Q348P muscle, where both small atrophic fibers as well large fibers with centrally localized nuclei were observed. We propose that the mutations affect desmin structure and cause its aberrant folding and subsequent aggregation, triggering disruption of myofibrils organization.
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.