Transcriptional deregulation and a missense mutation define ANKRD1 as a candidate gene for total anomalous pulmonary venous return.
Cinquetti R., Badi I., Campione M., Bortoletto E., Chiesa G., Parolini C., Camesasca C., Russo A., Taramelli R., Acquati F.
Total anomalous pulmonary venous return (TAPVR) is a congenital heart defect in which the pulmonary veins fail to enter the left atrium and drain instead into the right atrium or one of its venous tributaries. Although a genetic basis for TAPVR has long been recognized, no single gene involved in the pathogenesis of this disease has been identified to date. We previously reported a TAPVR patient bearing a de novo 10;21 balanced translocation. In this work, we cloned both translocation breakpoints from this patient and mapped the ANKRD1 gene, encoding a cardiac transcriptional regulator, 130 kb proximally to the breakpoint on chromosome 10. In situ hybridization analysis performed on murine embryos showed ANKRD1 expression in the developing pulmonary veins, suggesting a possible role for this gene in TAPVR pathogenesis. Moreover, ANKRD1 expression levels were found to be highly increased in lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from both the translocation-bearing proband and a second independent sporadic TAPVR patient, suggesting that disruption of the normal ANKRD1 expression pattern is associated with TAPVR. Finally, a nonconservative missense mutation in the ANKRD1 gene was found in a third sporadic TAPVR patient. In vitro calpain-mediated degradation assays, coupled to reporter gene analysis in transfected HeLa cells, strongly suggested that this mutation enhances both the stability of the ANKRD1/CARP protein and its transcriptional repression activity upon the cardiac-specific atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) promoter. Taken together, these results define ANKRD1 as a possible candidate gene for TAPVR pathogenesis.