Differential methylation of CpG sites in two isoforms of myosin binding protein C, an important hypertrophic cardiomyopathy gene



Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a common form of cardiac disease. Over 400 causative mutations have been identified in 20 sarcomere and myofilament related genes. The high density of mutations found in genes associated with HCM may suggest that mechanisms promoting increased mutability play a role in disease prevalence. The objective of this study was to evaluate the CpG methylation level of the exonic regions of the cardiac myosin binding protein C gene (MYBPC3), a common causal gene for HCM. To determine if the methylation level is gene specific and possibly involved with gene mutability, we also evaluated the methylation of the CpGs within the exonic regions of the skeletal muscle isoform of the myosin binding protein C gene (MYBPC2); there are no known mutations that lead to the development of familial human disease within this gene. We determined that although the mean number of CG sites was identical within the coding region of each gene, the mean methylation level of CpGs was significantly higher in MYBPC3 than MYBPC2 (P < 0.0001). The results of this study suggest that there are unique aspects of this cardiac gene or its epigenetic environment which may result in increased genetic mutability. Evaluation of the methylation levels of additional causal cardiomyopathic genes is warranted. Environ. Mol. Mutagen., 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.