Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: A Vicious Cycle Triggered by Sarcomere Mutations and Secondary Disease Hits

Paul J. M. Wijnker, Vasco Sequeira, Diederik W. D. Kuster, Jolanda van der Velden

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Significance: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a cardiac genetic disease characterized by left ventricular hypertrophy, diastolic dysfunction, and myocardial disarray. Disease onset occurs between 20 and 50 years of age, thus affecting patients in the prime of their life. HCM is caused by mutations in sarcomere proteins, the contractile building blocks of the heart. Despite increased knowledge of causal mutations, the exact path from genetic defect leading to cardiomyopathy is complex and involves additional disease hits. Recent Advances: Laboratory-based studies indicate that HCM development not only depends on the primary sarcomere impairment caused by the mutation but also on secondary disease-related alterations in the heart. Here we propose a vicious mutation-induced disease cycle, in which a mutation-induced energy depletion alters cellular metabolism with increased mitochondrial work, which triggers secondary disease modifiers that will worsen disease and ultimately lead to end-stage HCM. Critical Issues: Evidence shows excessive cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) in HCM patients and HCM animal models. Oxidative stress markers are increased in the heart (oxidized proteins, DNA, and lipids) and serum of HCM patients. In addition, increased mitochondrial ROS production and changes in endogenous antioxidants are reported in HCM. Mutant sarcomeric protein may drive excessive levels of cardiac ROS via changes in cardiac efficiency and metabolism, mitochondrial activation and/or dysfunction, impaired protein quality control, and microvascular dysfunction. Future Directions: Interventions restoring metabolism, mitochondrial function, and improved ROS balance may be promising therapeutic approaches. We discuss the effects of current HCM pharmacological therapies and potential future therapies to prevent and reverse HCM. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 31, 318-358.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-358
Number of pages41
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number4
Early online date11 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • mitochondrion
  • pathophysiological mechanism
  • reactive oxygen species
  • redox state
  • sarcomeric gene mutation

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