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Original research
Titin copy number variations associated with dominant inherited phenotypes


Background Titinopathies are caused by mutations in the titin gene (TTN). Titin is the largest known human protein; its gene has the longest coding phase with 364 exons. Titinopathies are very complex neuromuscular pathologies due to the variable age of onset of symptoms, the great diversity of pathological and muscular impairment patterns (cardiac, skeletal muscle or mixed) and both autosomal dominant and recessive modes of transmission. Until now, only few CNVs in TTN have been reported without clear genotype–phenotype associations.

Methods Our study includes eight families with dominant titinopathies. We performed next-generation sequencing or comparative genomic hybridisation array analyses and found CNVs in the TTN gene. We characterised these CNVs by RNA sequencing (RNAseq) analyses in six patients’ muscles and performed genotype–phenotype inheritance association study by combining the clinical and biological data of these eight families.

Results Seven deletion-type CNVs in the TTN gene were identified among these families. Genotype and RNAseq results showed that five deletions do not alter the reading frame and one is out-of-reading frame. The main phenotype identified was distal myopathy associated with contractures. The analysis of morphological, clinical and genetic data and imaging let us draw new genotype–phenotype associations of titinopathies.

Conclusion Identifying TTN CNVs will further increase diagnostic sensitivity in these complex neuromuscular pathologies. Our cohort of patients enabled us to identify new deletion-type CNVs in the TTN gene, with unexpected autosomal dominant transmission. This is valuable in establishing new genotype–phenotype associations of titinopathies, mainly distal myopathy in most of the patients.

  • genetics
  • genomics
  • human genetics
  • neuromuscular diseases

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplemental information.

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