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Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is caused by mutations in at least 8 contractile protein genes, most commonly beta myosin heavy chain, myosin binding protein C, and cardiac troponin T. Affected individuals are heterozygous for a particular mutation, and most evidence suggests that the mutant protein acts in a dominant-negative fashion. To investigate the functional properties of a truncated troponin T shown to cause HCM, both wild-type and mutant human cardiac troponin T were overexpressed in Escherichia coli, purified, and combined with human cardiac troponins I and C to reconstitute human cardiac troponin. Significant differences were found between the regulatory properties of wild-type and mutant troponin in vitro, as follows. (1) In actin-tropomyosin-activated myosin ATPase assays at pCa 9, wild-type troponin caused 80% inhibition of ATPase, whereas the mutant complex gave negligible inhibition. (2) Similarly, in the in vitro motility assay, mutant troponin failed to decrease both the proportion of actin-tropomyosin filaments motile and the velocity of motile filaments at pCa 9. (3) At pCa 5, the addition of mutant complex caused a greater increase (21.7%) in velocity of actin-tropomyosin filaments than wild-type troponin (12.3%). These data suggest that the truncated troponin T prevents switching off of the thin filament at low Ca(2+). However, the study of thin filaments containing varying ratios of wild-type and mutant troponin T at low Ca(2+) indicated an opposite effect of mutant troponin, causing enhancement of the inhibitory effect of wild-type complex, when it is present in a low ratio (10% to 50%). These multiple effects need to be taken into account to explain the physiological consequences of this mutation in HCM. Further, these findings underscore the importance of studying mixed mutant:wild-type preparations to faithfully model this autosomal-dominant disease.


Journal article


Circ Res

Publication Date





1146 - 1152


Actins, Calcium, Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic, Enzyme Activation, Escherichia coli, Humans, Mutation, Myocardium, Myosin Subfragments, Myosins, Peptide Fragments, Recombinant Proteins, Tropomyosin, Troponin, Troponin T