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Background - To assess the genetic architecture of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in patients of predominantly Chinese ancestry. Methods - We sequenced HCM disease genes in Singaporean patients (n=224) and Singaporean controls (n=3,634), compared findings with additional populations and Caucasian HCM cohorts (n=6,179) and performed in vitro functional studies. Results - Singaporean HCM patients had significantly fewer confidently interpreted HCM disease variants (Pathogenic (P)/Likely Pathogenic (LP):18%, p<0.0001) but an excess of variants of unknown significance (exVUS: 24%, p<0.0001), as compared to Caucasians (P/LP: 31%, exVUS: 7%). Two missense variants in thin filament encoding genes were commonly seen in Singaporean HCM (TNNI3:p.R79C, disease allele frequency (AF)=0.018; TNNT2:p.R286H, disease AF=0.022) and are enriched in Singaporean HCM when compared with Asian controls (TNNI3:p.R79C, Singaporean controls AF=0.0055, p=0.0057, gnomAD-East Asian (gnomAD-EA) AF=0.0062, p=0.0086; TNNT2:p.R286H, Singaporean controls AF=0.0017, p<0.0001, gnomAD-EA AF=0.0009, p<0.0001). Both these variants have conflicting annotations in ClinVar and are of low penetrance (TNNI3:p.R79C, 0.7%; TNNT2:p.R286H, 2.7%) but are predicted to be deleterious by computational tools. In population controls, TNNI3:p.R79C carriers had significantly thicker left ventricular walls compared to non-carriers while its etiological fraction is limited (0.70, 95% CI: 0.35-0.86) and thus TNNI3:p.R79C is considered a VUS. Mutant TNNT2:p.R286H iPSC-CMs show hypercontractility, increased metabolic requirements and cellular hypertrophy and the etiological fraction (0.93, 95% CI: 0.83-0.97) support the likely pathogenicity of TNNT2:p.R286H. Conclusions - As compared to Caucasians, Chinese HCM patients commonly have low penetrance risk alleles in TNNT2 or TNNI3 but exhibit few clinically actionable HCM variants overall. This highlights the need for greater study of HCM genetics in non-Caucasian populations.

Original publication




Journal article


Circ Genom Precis Med

Publication Date



Founder, troponin I