Non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) has been recognized as a heritable disorder for over 25 years, yet clinical genetic testing is non-diagnostic in >50% of patients, underscoring the ongoing need for DCM gene discovery. Here, whole exome sequencing uncovered a novel molecular basis for idiopathic end-stage heart failure in two sisters who underwent cardiac transplantation at three years of age. Compound heterozygous recessive mutations in TAF1A, encoding an RNA polymerase I complex protein, were associated with marked fibrosis of explanted hearts and gene-specific nucleolar segregation defects in cardiomyocytes, indicative of impaired ribosomal RNA synthesis. Knockout of the homologous gene in zebrafish recapitulated a heart failure phenotype with pericardial edema, decreased ventricular systolic function, and embryonic mortality. These findings expand the clinical spectrum of ribosomopathies to include pediatric DCM.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology