Familial Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (FHC) is frequently caused by mutations in the β-cardiac myosin heavy chain (β-MyHC). To identify changes in sarcomeric function triggered by such mutations, distinguishing mutation effects from other functional alterations of the myocardium is essential. We previously identified a direct effect of mutation R723G (MyHC723) on myosin function in slow Musculus soleus fibers. Here we investigate contractile features of left ventricular cardiomyocytes of FHC-patients with the same MyHC723-mutation and compare these to the soleus data. In mechanically isolated, triton-permeabilized MyHC723-cardiomyocytes, maximum force was significantly lower but calcium-sensitivity was unchanged compared to donor. Conversely, MyHC723-soleus fibers showed significantly higher maximum force and reduced calcium-sensitivity compared to controls. Protein phosphorylation, a potential myocardium specific modifying mechanism, might account for differences compared to soleus fibers. Analysis revealed reduced phosphorylation of troponin I and T, myosin-binding-protein C, and myosin-light-chain 2 in MyHC723-myocardium compared to donor. Saturation of protein-kinaseA phospho-sites led to comparable, i.e., reduced MyHC723-calcium-sensitivity in cardiomyocytes as in M. soleus fibers, while maximum force remained reduced. Myofibrillar disarray and lower density of myofibrils, however, largely account for reduced maximum force in MyHC723-cardiomyocytes. The changes seen when phosphorylation of sarcomeric proteins in myocardium of affected patients is matched to control tissue suggest that the R723G mutation causes reduced Ca(++)-sensitivity in both cardiomyocytes and M. soleus fibers. In MyHC723-myocardium, however, hypophosphorylation can compensate for the reduced calcium-sensitivity, while maximum force generation, lowered by myofibrillar deficiency and disarray, remains impaired, and may only be compensated by hypertrophy.
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