Background: Lamin A/C mutations are a well-established cause of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), although their frequency has not been examined in a large cohort of patients. We sought to examine the frequency of mutations in LMNA, the gene encoding lamin A/C, in patients with idiopathic (IDC) or familial dilated cardiomyopathy (FDC).
Methods: Clinical cardiovascular data, family histories, and blood samples were collected from 324 unrelated IDC probands, of whom 187 had FDC. DNA samples were sequenced for nucleotide alterations in LMNA. Likely protein-altering mutations were followed up by evaluating additional family members, when possible.
Results: We identified 18 protein-altering LMNA variants in 19 probands or 5.9% of all cases (7.5% of FDC; 3.6% of IDC). Of the 18 alterations, 11 were missense (one present in 2 kindreds), 3 were nonsense, 3 were insertion/deletions, and 1 was a splice site alteration. Conduction system disease and DCM were common in carriers of LMNA variants. Unexpectedly, in 6 of the 19 kindreds with a protein-altering LMNA variant (32%), at least one affected family member was negative for the LMNA variant.
Conclusions: Lamin A/C variants were observed with a frequency of 5.9% in probands with DCM. The novel observation of FDC pedigrees in which not all affected individuals carry the putative disease-causing LMNA mutation suggests that some protein-altering LMNA variants are not causative or that some proportion of FDC may be because of multiple causative factors. These findings warrant increased caution in FDC research and molecular diagnostics.