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Patterns of desmin expression in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy are related to the desmin mRNA and ubiquitin expression
  1. Agnieszka Pawlak1,2,
  2. Emilia Rejmak-Kozicka3,
  3. Katarzyna Elżbieta Gil2,
  4. Andrzej Ziemba1,
  5. Leszek Kaczmarek3,
  6. Robert Julian Gil1,2
  1. 1 Mossakowski Medical Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
  2. 2 Department of Invasive Cardiology, Central Clinical Hospital of the Ministry of Interior, Warsaw, Poland
  3. 3 Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
  1. Correspondence to Professor Agnieszka Pawlak, Department of Applied Physiology, Mossakowski Medical Research Centre Polish Academy of Sciences, 02-106 Warsaw, 5 Pawinskiego Street, Poland; a.pawlak1{at}


Desmin expression depends on desmin messenger RNA (mRNA) and ubiquitin proteasome system. This process is poorly understood in dilated cardiomyopathy. The aim of the study was to investigate whether changes of desmin mRNA and ubiquitin expression correlate with types of desmin expression in cardiomyocytes. Endomyocardial biopsy was performed in 60 patients (85% men, mean age 46±14 years) with heart failure (HF; left ventricular ejection fraction <45%). Desmin and ubiquitin expression were analysed in histological sections by immunohistochemistry and in Western blot. Desmin mRNA expression was determined by fluorescent in situ hybridization methods. In patients with weak/even desmin expression, weak/even expression of ubiquitin in the cytosol and low desmin mRNA expression in the cytosol and nuclei of cardiomyocytes were observed. Expression of ubiquitin and desmin mRNA increased along with the progression of desmin cytoskeleton remodeling. Desmin mRNA and ubiquitin were weakly expressed/absent in cardiomyocytes with low/lack of desmin expression. Variations in desmin mRNA, desmin and ubiquitin expression were associated with gradual changes in myocardial structure and clinical parameters. To conclude, changes in ubiquitin and desmin mRNA expression are related to patterns of desmin expression. An increase in the expression of ubiquitin and desmin mRNA may be a protective feature against unfavorable cell remodeling. This may reduce the adverse effects of cytoskeleton damage in the early stages of HF. Low/lack ubiquitin and/or desmin mRNA expression may be markers of end-stage HF.

  • cardiomyopathies

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  • Contributors AP conceptualised and designed the study. AP, ERK and KEG conducted the study, coordinated the data collection and drafted the manuscript. AZ, LK and RJG supervised the data collection, took part in the data analysis, reviewed and revised the manuscript and approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Funding This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (Poland, grant number NN 402 196 135).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval The local ethics committee of the Central Clinical Hospital of the Ministry of Interior, Warsaw, Poland.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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