The genetic basis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in cats and humans

Mark D. Kittleson, Kathryn M. Meurs, Samantha P. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Mutations in genes that encode for muscle sarcomeric proteins have been identified in humans and two breeds of domestic cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). This article reviews the history, genetics, and pathogenesis of HCM in the two species in order to give veterinarians a perspective on the genetics of HCM. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in people is a genetic disease that has been called a disease of the sarcomere because the preponderance of mutations identified that cause HCM are in genes that encode for sarcomeric proteins (Maron and Maron, 2013). Sarcomeres are the basic contractile units of muscle and thus sarcomeric proteins are responsible for the strength, speed, and extent of muscle contraction. In people with HCM, the two most common genes affected by HCM mutations are the myosin heavy chain gene (MYH7), the gene that encodes for the motor protein β-myosin heavy chain (the sarcomeric protein that splits ATP to generate force), and the cardiac myosin binding protein-C gene (MYBPC3), a gene that encodes for the closely related structural and regulatory protein, cardiac myosin binding protein-C (cMyBP-C). To date, the two mutations linked to HCM in domestic cats (one each in Maine Coon and Ragdoll breeds) also occur in MYBPC3 (Meurs et al., 2005, 2007). This is a review of the genetics of HCM in both humans and domestic cats that focuses on the aspects of human genetics that are germane to veterinarians and on all aspects of feline HCM genetics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S53-S73
JournalJournal of Veterinary Cardiology
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Feline
  • Mutation
  • Myosin binding protein C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • veterinary(all)


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