The Genetic and Molecular Bases for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: The Role for Calcium Sensitization

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) affects millions of people around the world as one of the most common genetic heart disorders and leads to cardiac ischemia, heart failure, dysfunction of other organ systems, and increased risk for sudden unexpected cardiac deaths. HCM can be caused by single-point mutations, insertion or deletion mutations, or truncation of cardiac myofilament proteins. The molecular mechanism that leads to disease progression and presentation is still poorly understood, despite decades of investigations. However, recent research has made dramatic advances in the understanding of HCM disease development. Studies have shown that increased calcium sensitivity is a universal feature in HCM. At the molecular level, increased crossbridge force (or power) generation resulting in hypercontractility is the prominent feature. Thus, calcium sensitization/hypercontractility is emerging as the primary stimulus for HCM disease development and phenotypic expression. Cross-bridge inhibition has been shown to halt HCM presentation, and myofilament desensitization appears to reduce lethal arrhythmias in animal models of HCM. These advances in basic research will continue to deepen the knowledge of HCM pathogenesis and are beginning to revolutionize the management of HCM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-487
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2018


  • calcium sensitization
  • genetics
  • hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • molecular bases
  • myofilaments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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