Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) results in part from genetic disorders. Recently, missense mutations of the cardiac actin gene have been reported to cause DCM. We studied 136 Japanese DCM cases to elucidate how frequently the gene mutations are involved in its pathogenesis. Genomic DNA samples were obtained from 136 DCM cases (107 males, 29 females), containing 30 familial DCM (5 confirmed and 25 suspected). All six exons of the cardiac actin gene were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction, single-strand conformation polymorphism, and sequencing. We detected no mutations of the disease causation previously reported (G867A or A1014G) but two silent mutations (G979C and C1018T) in exon 6 and one point mutation (T1080A) in the 3'-untranslated region. As a result of screening 128 healthy subjects, these novel silent mutations were found to be mere genetic polymorphisms, not responsible for the disease. Although some genetic polymorphisms exist in the cardiac actin gene, mutations of the gene are rarely responsible for DCM, at least in the Japanese patients.
Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.