Altered myocyte contractility and calcium homeostasis in alpha-myosin heavy chain point mutations linked to familial dilated cardiomyopathy

Arch Biochem Biophys. 2017 Feb 1;615:53-60. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2017 Jan 11.


Mutations in the human cardiac motor protein beta-myosin heavy chain (βMHC) have been long recognized as a cause of familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Recently, mutations (P830L and A1004S) in the less abundant but faster isoform alpha-myosin heavy chain (αMHC) have been linked to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). In this study, we sought to determine the cellular contractile phenotype associated with these point mutations. Ventricular myocytes were isolated from 2 month male Sprague Dawley rats. Cells were cultured in M199 media and infected with recombinant adenovirus containing the P830L or the A1004S mutant human αMHC at a MOI of 500 for 18 h. Uninfected cells (UI), human βMHC (MOI 500, 18 h), and human αMHC (MOI 500, 18 h) were used as controls. Cells were loaded with fura-2 (1 μM, 15 min) after 48 h. Sarcomere shortening and calcium transients were recorded in CO2 buffered M199 media (36°±1 C) with and without 10 nM isoproterenol (Iso). The A1004S mutation resulted in decreased peak sarcomere shortening while P830L demonstrated near normal shortening kinetics at baseline. In the presence of Iso, the A1004S sarcomere shortening was identical to the βMHC shortening while the P830L was identical to the αMHC control. All experimental groups had identical calcium transients. Despite a shared association with DCM, the P830L and A1004S αMHC mutations alter myocyte contractility in completely different ways while at the same preserving peak intracellular calcium.

Keywords: Alpha myosin heavy chain (αMHC); Beta myosin heavy chain (βMHC); Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM); Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM); Isoproterenol (Iso).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy
  • Isoproterenol / chemistry
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Muscle Cells / cytology*
  • Mutagenesis
  • Myocardial Contraction
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / genetics*
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / metabolism
  • Phenotype
  • Point Mutation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Sarcomeres / metabolism
  • Ventricular Myosins / metabolism


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Ventricular Myosins
  • Myosin Heavy Chains
  • Isoproterenol
  • Calcium

Supplementary concepts

  • Familial dilated cardiomyopathy