Locus mapping has uncovered diverse etiologies for familial atrial fibrillation (AF), dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), and mixed cardiac phenotype syndromes,yet the molecular basis forthese disorders remainsidiopathic in most cases. Whole-exome sequencing (WES) provides a powerful new tool for familial disease gene discovery. Here, synergistic application of these genomic strategies identified the pathogenic mutation in a familial syndrome of atrial tachyarrhythmia, conduction system disease (CSD), and DCM vulnerability. Seven members of a three-generation family exhibited the variably expressed phenotype, three of whom manifested CSD and clinically significant arrhythmia in childhood. Genome-wide linkage analysis mapped two equally plausible loci to chromosomes 1p3 and 13q12. Variants from WES of two affected cousins were filtered for rare, predicted-deleterious, positional variants, revealing an unreported heterozygous missense mutation disrupting the highly conserved kinase domain in TNNI3K. The G526D substitution in troponin I interacting kinase, with the most deleterious SIFT and Polyphen2 scores possible, resulted in abnormal peptide aggregation in vitro and in silico docking models predicted altered yet energetically favorable wild-type mutant dimerization. Ventricular tissue from a mutation carrier displayed histopathological hallmarks of DCM and reduced TNNI3K protein staining with unique amorphous nuclear and sarcoplasmic inclusions. In conclusion, mutation of TNNI3K, encoding a heart-specific kinase previously shown to modulate cardiac conduction and myocardial function in mice, underlies a familial syndrome of electrical and myopathic heart disease. The identified substitution causes a TNNI3K aggregation defect and protein deficiency, implicating a dominant-negative loss of function disease mechanism.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology