Loss-of-function mutations in the G4.5 gene have been shown to cause Barth syndrome (BTHS), an X-linked disorder characterized by cardiac and skeletal myopathy, short stature, and neutropenia. We recently reported a family with a severe X-linked cardiomyopathy described as isolated noncompaction of the left ventricular myocardium (INVM). Other findings associated with BTHS (skeletal myopathy, neutropenia, growth retardation, elevated urinary organic adds, and mitochondrial abnormalities) were either absent or inconsistent. A linkage study of the X chromosome localized INVM to the Xq28 region near the BTHS locus, suggesting that these disorders are allelic. We screened the G4.5 gene for mutations in this family with SSCP and direct sequencing and found a novel glycine-to-arginine substitution at position 197. This position is conserved in a homologous Caenorhabditis elegans protein. We conclude that INVM is a severe allelic variant of BTHS with a specific effect on the heart. This finding provides further structure- function information about the G4.5 gene product and has implications for unexplained cases of severe infantile hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in males.
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