Arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy - beyond monogenetic disease

Edgar Hoorntje

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

    381 Downloads (Pure)


    Interpreting genetic variants, describing their associated clinical characteristics, and identifying new genetic loci involved in arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (ACM) is the focus of this thesis. By investigating various aspects of these genetic variants, we were able to correctly classify two variants occurring in the lamin A/C (LMNA) and titin (TTN) gene. We demonstrated that the reduced force generation seen in cardiomyocytes with the LMNA variant (LMNA c.992G>A) is due to remodelling within the cardiomyocytes and that patients with this specific variant have a milder phenotype compared to what is known from other pathogenic LMNA variants. By extensive phenotyping of carriers of a truncating TTN variant (TTN c.59926+1G>A) we were the first to show that (paroxysmal) atrial fibrillation is an important clinical feature in carriers of truncated TTN variants, even in the absence of dilated cardiomyopathy, atrial enlargement or generally accepted risk factors for atrial fibrillation. Thanks to extensive international collaboration it was possible to compile one of the largest cohorts of patients carrying truncating variants in desmoplakin (DSP). We showed that the location of such a genetic variant within the gene is associated with disease severity. Moreover, these studies show that enrichment of truncating genetic variants in specific regions of DSP variants in ACM patients, when compared to controls, facilitating interpretation of such variants. The multifactorial nature of ACM was underscored in a systematic analysis of the clinical outcome of patients from ACM cohorts carrying multiple variants in ACM related genes, showing that carrying multiple variants influences disease severity. Finally, by analysing genes encoding the sarcomere, the contractile unit of the heart muscle and the plectin (PLEC) gene for rare variants in ACM patients, we showed that these genes do not have a major role in the development of ACM.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Tintelen ,van, Peter, Supervisor
    • van den Berg, Maarten, Supervisor
    • Jongbloed, Jan, Co-supervisor
    Award date28-Nov-2023
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-94-6361-934-9
    Publication statusPublished - 2023


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