DNA studies in familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (FHC) have shown that it is caused by mutations in genes coding for proteins which make up the muscle sarcomere. The majority of mutations in the FHC genes result from missense changes, although one of the most recent genes to be identified (cardiac myosin binding protein C gene, MYBPC3) has predominantly DNA mutations which produce truncated proteins. Both dominant negative and haploinsufficiency models have been proposed to explain the molecular changes in FHC. This study describes two Australian families with FHC caused by different mutations in MYBPC3. The first produces a de novo Asn755Lys change in a cardiac specific domain of MYBPC3. The second is a Gln969X nonsense mutation which results in a truncated protein. Neither mutation has previously been found in the MYBPC3 gene. The consequences of DNA changes on the function of cardiac myosin binding protein C are discussed in relation to current molecular models for this disorder.
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