The influence of the angiotensin I converting enzyme genotype in familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy varies with the disease gene mutation
Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is an autosomal dominant genetically heterogeneous disease characterized by a partial penetrance and variable expressivity. Previous studies showed that the extent of hypertrophy is influenced by the angiotensin I converting enzyme insertion/deletion (I/D) polymorphism. Recently, molecular genetic analysis revealed the existence of healthy carriers and that as many as a quarter of genetically affected individuals do not express the disease. This data prompted us to re-investigate the role of the angiotensin I converting enzyme polymorphism on hypertrophy by assessing both clinically affected individuals and healthy carriers. For this, several families with mutations in the cardiac myosin binding protein C or the β-myosin heavy chain genes were analysed. The mean maximal intraventricular septum thickness was compared as a function of angiotensin I converting enzyme genotypes in all genetically affected individuals (n = 114), and in subsets of subjects carrying either a splice acceptor site mutation in the cardiac myosin binding protein C gene (n = 33), or various missense mutations in the cardiac β-myosin heavy chain gene (n = 81) or finally, mutations in the Arg403 codon of the β-myosin heavy chain gene (n = 54). Significant association between the D allele and hypertrophy was observed only in the case of Arg403 codon mutations (mean septum thickness for subjects with the DD genotype: 19.3 ± 2.7 mm; with the ID genotype: 13.4 ± 1.3 mm and with the II genotype: 11.0 ± 0.9 mm; P < 0.02). These results were confirmed by the χ2 test showing an over-representation of DD genotype in patients carrying an Arg403 codon mutation associated with septal hypertrophy (P < 0.05). Our data confirms that the angiotensin I converting enzyme genotypes can influence the phenotypic expression of hypertrophy and shows that this influence depends on the mutation, raising the concept of multiple genetic modifiers in familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.