Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) often leads to heart failure. Mutations in sarcomeric proteins are most frequently the cause of HCM but in many patients the gene defect is not known. Here we report on a young man who was diagnosed with HCM shortly after birth. Whole exome sequencing revealed a mutation in the FLNC gene (c.7289C > T; p.Ala2430Val) that was previously shown to cause aggregation of the mutant protein in transfected cells. Myocardial tissue from patients with this mutation has not been analyzed before and thus, the underlying etiology is not well understood. Myocardial tissue of our patient obtained during myectomy at the age of 23 years was analyzed in detail by histochemistry, immunofluorescence staining, electron microscopy and western blot analysis. Cardiac histology showed a pathology typical for myofibrillar myopathy with myofibril disarray and abnormal protein aggregates containing BAG3, desmin, HSPB5 and filamin C. Analysis of sarcomeric and intercalated disc proteins showed focally reduced expression of the gap junction protein connexin43 and Xin-positive sarcomeric lesions in the cardiomyocytes of our patient. In addition, autophagy pathways were altered with upregulation of LC3-II, WIPI1 and HSPB5, 6, 7 and 8. We conclude that the p.Ala2430Val mutation in FLNC most probably is associated with HCM characterized by abnormal intercalated discs, disarray of myofibrils and aggregates containing Z-disc proteins similar to myofibrillar myopathy, which supports the pathological effect of the mutation.
Keywords: Autophagy; BAG3; Filamin C; Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; Myofibrillar myopathy.