Heterozygous mutations in NKX2.5, a homeobox transcription factor, were reported to cause secundum atrial septal defects and result in atrioventricular (AV) conduction block during postnatal life. To further characterize the role of NKX2.5 in cardiac morphogenesis, we sought additional mutations in groups of probands with cardiac anomalies and first-degree AV block, idiopathic AV block, or tetralogy of Fallot. We identified 7 novel mutations by sequence analysis of the NKX2.5-coding region in 26 individuals. Associated phenotypes included AV block, which was the primary manifestation of cardiac disease in nearly a quarter of affected individuals, as well as atrial septal defect and ventricular septal defect. Ventricular septal defect was associated with tetralogy of Fallot or double-outlet right ventricle in 3 individuals. Ebstein’s anomaly and other tricuspid valve abnormalities were also present. Mutations in human NKX2.5 cause a variety of cardiac anomalies and may account for a clinically significant portion of tetralogy of Fallot and idiopathic AV block. The coinheritance of NKX2.5 mutations with various congenital heart defects suggests that this transcription factor contributes to diverse cardiac developmental pathways.
D. Woodrow Benson, G. Michael Silberbach, Ann Kavanaugh-McHugh, Carol Cottrill, Yizhong Zhang, Steve Riggs, Octavia Smalls, Mark C. Johnson, Michael S. Watson, J.G. Seidman, Christine E. Seidman, John Plowden, John D. Kugler
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. All accepted letters will be posted on our website within one week of acceptance. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors of all accepted letters will be asked to preview any changes. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were not accepted. As this is a final decision, no appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.