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Abstract

Background: Mutations in sarcomeric and cytoskeletal proteins are a major cause of hereditary cardiomyopathies, but our knowledge remains incomplete as to how the genetic defects execute their effects.

Methods and results: We used cysteine and glycine-rich protein 3, a known cardiomyopathy gene, in a yeast 2-hybrid screen and identified zinc-finger and BTB domain-containing protein 17 (ZBTB17) as a novel interacting partner. ZBTB17 is a transcription factor that contains the peak association signal (rs10927875) at the replicated 1p36 cardiomyopathy locus. ZBTB17 expression protected cardiac myocytes from apoptosis in vitro and in a mouse model with cardiac myocyte-specific deletion of Zbtb17, which develops cardiomyopathy and fibrosis after biomechanical stress. ZBTB17 also regulated cardiac myocyte hypertrophy in vitro and in vivo in a calcineurin-dependent manner.

Conclusions: We revealed new functions for ZBTB17 in the heart, a transcription factor that may play a role as a novel cardiomyopathy gene.

Keywords: cardiomyopathies; genetics; heart failure; models, animal; mutation.

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