Whole exome sequencing combined with integrated variant annotation prediction identifies a causative myosin essential light chain variant in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

J Cardiol. 2016 Feb;67(2):133-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jjcc.2015.09.003. Epub 2015 Oct 9.


Background: The development of candidate gene approaches to enable molecular diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) has required extensive and prolonged efforts. Whole exome sequencing (WES) technologies have already accelerated genetic studies of Mendelian disorders, yielding approximately 30% diagnostic success. As a result, there is great interest in extending the use of WES to any of Mendelian diseases. This study investigated the potential of WES for molecular diagnosis of HCM.

Methods: WES was performed on seven relatives from a large HCM family with a clear HCM phenotype (five clinically affected and two unaffected) in the Kanazawa University Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Registry. Serial bioinformatics filtering methods as well as using combined annotation dependent depletion (CADD) score and high heart expression (HHE) gene data were applied to detect the causative variant. Moreover, additional carriers of the variant were investigated in the HCM registry, and clinical characteristics harboring the variant were collected and evaluated.

Results: WES detected 60020 rare variants in the large HCM family. Of those, 3439 were missense, nonsense, splice-site, or frameshift variants. After genotype-phenotype matching, 13 putative variants remained. Using CADD score and HHE gene data, the number of candidates was reduced to one, a variant in the myosin essential light chain (MYL3, NM_000258.2:c.281G>A, p.Arg94His) that was shared by the five affected subjects. Additional screening of the HCM registry (n=600) identified two more subjects with this variant. Serial assessments of the variant carriers revealed the following phenotypic characteristics: (1) disease-penetrance of 88%; (2) all clinically affected carriers exhibited asymmetric septal hypertrophy with a substantial maximum left ventricular wall thickness of 18±3mm without any obstruction.

Conclusions: WES combined with CADD score and HHE gene data may be useful even in HCM. Furthermore, the MYL3 Arg94His variant was associated with high disease penetrance and substantial interventricular septal hypertrophy.

Keywords: Bioinformatics; Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; Myosin essential light chain; Whole exome sequencing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic, Familial / genetics*
  • Exome / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Genetic Testing / methods*
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Heart Ventricles / pathology
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Myosin Light Chains / genetics*
  • Pedigree
  • Penetrance
  • Phenotype
  • Registries


  • Myosin Light Chains
  • myosin light chain 3, human