Somatic mutations in NKX2-5, GATA4, and HAND1 are not a common cause of tetralogy of Fallot or hypoplastic left heart

Giorgia Esposito, Tanya L. Butler, Gillian M. Blue, Andrew D. Cole, Gary F. Sholler, Edwin P. Kirk, Paul Grossfeld, Benjamin M. Perryman, Richard P. Harvey, David S. Winlaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The majority of congenital heart disease (CHD) occurs as a sporadic finding, with a minority of cases associated with a known genetic abnormality. Combinations of genetic and environmental factors are implicated, with the recent and intriguing hypothesis that an apparently high rate of somatic mutations might explain some sporadic CHD. We used samples of right ventricular myocardium from patients undergoing surgical repair of tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) and hypoplastic left heart (HLH) to examine the incidence of somatic mutation in cardiac tissue. TOF is a common form of cyanotic CHD, occurring in 3.3 per 10,000 live births. HLH is a rare defect in which the left side of the heart is severely under-developed. Both are severe malformations whose genetic etiology is largely unknown. We carried out direct sequence analysis of the NKX2-5 and GATA4 genes from fresh frozen cardiac tissues and matched blood samples of nine TOF patients. Analysis of NKX2-5, GATA4, and HAND1 was performed from cardiac tissue of 24 HLH patients and three matched blood samples. No somatic or germline mutations were identified in the TOF or HLH patients. Although limited by sample size, our study suggests that somatic mutations in NKX2-5 and GATA4 are not a common cause of isolated TOF or HLH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2416-2421
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics, Part A
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


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