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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 127807, 3 pages
Research Article

Congenital Heart Defects Are Rarely Caused by Mutations in Cardiac and Smooth Muscle Actin Genes

1Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Federal Almazov Medical Research Centre, 2 Akkuratova Street, Saint-Petersburg 197341, Russia
2Endovascular Surgery Department, Federal Almazov Medical Research Centre, 2 Akkuratova Street, Saint-Petersburg 197341, Russia
3St. Petersburg State University, Universitetskaya Nab. 7/9, St. Petersburg 199034, Russia
4Department of Women and Child Health, Karolinska Institute, and Centre for Molecular Medicine, 17176 Stockholm, Sweden

Received 10 October 2014; Revised 28 January 2015; Accepted 19 February 2015

Academic Editor: Enza M. Valente

Copyright © 2015 Tatiana Khodyuchenko et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Congenital heart defects (CHDs) often have genetic background due to missense mutations in cardiomyocyte-specific genes. For example, cardiac actin was shown to be involved in pathogenesis of cardiac septum defects and smooth muscle actin in pathogenesis of aortic aneurysm in combination with patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). In the present study, we further searched for mutations in human α-cardiac actin (ACTC1) and smooth muscle α-actin (ACTA2) genes as a possible cause of atrial septum defect type II (ASDII) and PDA. Findings. Total genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood of 86 individuals with ASDs and 100 individuals with PDA. Coding exons and flanking intron regions of ACTC1 (NM_005159.4) and ACTA2 (NM_001613) were amplified by PCR with specific primers designed according to the corresponding gene reference sequences. PCR fragments were directly sequenced and analyzed. Sequence analysis of ACTC1 and ACTA2 did not identify any nucleotide changes that altered the coding sense of the genes. In ACTC1 gene, we were able to detect one previously described nucleotide polymorphism (rs2307493) resulting in a synonymous substitution. The frequency of this SNP was similar in the study and control group, thus excluding it from the possible disease-associated variants. Conclusions. Our results confirmed that the mutations in ACTC1 gene are rare (at least <1%) cause of ASDII. Mutations in ACTA2 gene were not detected in patients with PDA, thus being excluded from the list of frequent PDA-associated genetic defects.