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Articles by A Morales
Total Records ( 4 ) for A Morales
  R. E Hershberger , J. R Pinto , S. B Parks , J. D Kushner , D Li , S Ludwigsen , J Cowan , A Morales , M. S Parvatiyar and J. D. Potter

Background— A key issue for cardiovascular genetic medicine is ascertaining if a putative mutation indeed causes dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). This is critically important as genetic DCM, usually presenting with advanced, life-threatening disease, may be preventable with early intervention in relatives known to carry the mutation.

Methods and Results— We recently undertook bidirectional resequencing of TNNT2, the cardiac troponin T gene, in 313 probands with DCM. We identified 6 TNNT2 protein-altering variants in 9 probands, all who had early onset, aggressive disease. Additional family members of mutation carriers were then studied when available. Four of the 9 probands had DCM without a family history, and 5 probands had familial DCM. Only 1 mutation (Lys210del) could be attributed as definitively causative from previous reports. Four of the 5 missense mutations were novel (Arg134Gly, Arg151Cys, Arg159Gln, and Arg205Trp), and one was previously reported with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (Glu244Asp). Based on the clinical, pedigree, and molecular genetic data, these 5 mutations were considered possibly or likely disease causing. To further clarify their potential pathophysiologic impact, we undertook functional studies of these mutations in cardiac myocytes reconstituted with mutant troponin T proteins. We observed decreased Ca2+ sensitivity of force development, a hallmark of DCM, in support of the conclusion that these mutations are disease causing.

Conclusions— We conclude that the combination of clinical, pedigree, molecular genetic, and functional data strengthen the interpretation of TNNT2 mutations in DCM.

  J Cowan , D Li , J Gonzalez Quintana , A Morales and R. E. Hershberger

Background— Mutations in the LMNA gene, encoding lamins A/C, represent a significant cause of dilated cardiomyopathy. We recently identified 18 protein-altering LMNA variants in a cohort of 324 unrelated patients with dilated cardiomyopathy. However, at least one family member with dilated cardiomyopathy in each of 6 pedigrees lacked the LMNA mutation (nonsegregation), whereas small sizes of 5 additional families precluded definitive determinations of segregation, raising questions regarding contributions by those variants to disease.

Methods and Results— We have consequently expressed, in COS7 cells, GFP-prelamin A (GFPLaA) fusion constructs incorporating the 6 variants in pedigrees with nonsegregation (R101P, A318T, R388H, R399C, S437Hfsx1, and R654X), the 4 variants in pedigrees with unknown segregation (R89L, R166P [in 2 families], I210S, R471H), and 3 additional missense variants (R190Q, E203K, and L215P) that segregated with disease. Confocal immunofluorescence microscopy was used to characterize GFP-lamin A localization and nuclear morphology. Abnormal phenotypes were observed for 10 of 13 (77%) variants (R89L, R101P, R166P, R190Q, E203K, I210S, L215P, R388H, S437Hfsx1, and R654X), including 4 of 6 showing nonsegregation and 3 of 4 with uncertain segregation. All 7 variants affecting coil 1B and the lamin A-only mutation, R654X, exhibited membrane-bound GFP-lamin A aggregates and nuclear shape abnormalities. Unexpectedly, R388H largely restricted GFP-lamin A to the cytoplasm. Equally unexpected were unique streaked aggregates with S437Hfsx1 and giant aggregates with both S437Hfsx1 and R654X.

Conclusions— This work expands the recognized spectrum of lamin A localization abnormalities in dilated cardiomyopathy. It also provides evidence supporting pathogenicity of 10 of 13 tested LMNA variants, including some with uncertain or nonsegregation.

  R. E Hershberger , N Norton , A Morales , D Li , J. D Siegfried and J. Gonzalez Quintana

Background— Rare variants in >30 genes have been shown to cause idiopathic or familial dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), but the frequency of genetic causation remains poorly understood. We have previously resequenced 9 genes in a cohort of idiopathic or familial DCM probands for rare variants, and now we report resequencing results for 5 more genes with established relationships to DCM.

Methods and Results— Blood samples were collected, and DNA specimens were prepared from 312 patients, 181 with familial DCM and 131 with idiopathic DCM. Genomic DNA underwent bidirectional sequencing, and DNA of additional family members underwent analysis when a rare variant was identified. We identified rare variants in 34 probands (10.9% overall), including 29 unique protein-altering rare variants and 2 splicing variants that were absent in 246 control subjects (492 chromosomes). These variants were 12 MYBPC3 (myosin-binding protein C) in 13 (4.2%) probands, 8 MYH6 (-myosin heavy chain) in 10 (3.2%), 6 TPM1 (tropomyosin) in 6 (1.9%), 4 TNNC1 (cardiac troponin C) in 4 (1.3%), and 1 TNNI3 (cardiac troponin I) in 2 (0.6%). Variants were classified as likely or possibly disease causing in 13 and 20 probands, respectively (n=33; 10.6% overall). One MYH6 variant was classified as unlikely to be disease causing.

Conclusion— Rare variants in these 5 genes likely or possibly caused 10.6% of DCM in this cohort. When combined with our prior resequencing reports, 27% of DCM probands had possible or likely disease-causing variants identified.

  R. E Hershberger , J Cowan , A Morales and J. D. Siegfried

This review focuses on the genetic cardiomyopathies: principally dilated cardiomyopathy, with salient features of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy, regarding genetic etiology, genetic testing, and genetic counseling. Enormous progress has recently been made in identifying genetic causes for each cardiomyopathy, and key phenotype and genotype information is reviewed. Clinical genetic testing is rapidly emerging with a principal rationale of identifying at-risk asymptomatic or disease-free relatives. Knowledge of a disease-causing mutation can guide clinical surveillance for disease onset, thereby enhancing preventive and treatment interventions. Genetic counseling is also indicated for patients and their family members regarding the symptoms of their cardiomyopathy, its inheritance pattern, family screening recommendations, and genetic testing options and possible results.

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