Background Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is a lethal condition characterised by ventricular tachyarrhythmias, right and/or left ventricular involvement and fibrofatty infiltrations in the myocardium. The disease has been associated with mutations in genes encoding desmosomal proteins.
Objective To thoroughly evaluate an ARVC cohort for desmosomal mutations and large genomic rearrangements and characterise the phenotype associated with double-mutation carrier status.
Methods 65 unrelated patients (55 fulfilling current criteria and 10 borderline cases) were screened for mutations in all known desmosome genes (desmocollin-2 (DSC2), desmoglein-2 (DSG2), desmoplakin (DSP), plakoglobin (JUP) and plakophilin-2 (PKP2)) and TGFb3. Presence of genomic rearrangements was assessed by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification.
Results The screening identified 19 different mutations: two mutations in DSG2, four in DSC2, two in DSP (one heterozygous and one homozygous), four in JUP (one patient with compound heterozygous) and seven in PKP2. No genomic rearrangements or mutations in TGFb3 were identified. Ten of the mutations were novel. Seven families carried more than one mutation. Clinical evaluation of these families showed a variable phenotype associated with the double-mutation carrier status. The homozygous desmoplakin mutation (DSP p.G2056R+p.G2056R) carrier came from a consanguineous Danish family and had left ventricular involvement, palmar keratoderma and curly hair consistent with a Carvajal-like syndrome.
Conclusions 33% of patients in this Danish cohort with ARVC carried desmosomal mutations with a surprisingly wide mutation spectrum. A substantial proportion of patients carried more than one mutation. Our study supports comprehensive desmosomal mutation screening beyond the first encountered mutation, whereas routine screening for genomic rearrangements does not seem indicated.
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