Cardiovascular diseases are a large contributor to causes of early death in developed countries. Some of these conditions, such as sudden cardiac death and atrial fibrillation, stem from arrhythmias—a spectrum of conditions with abnormal electrical activity in the heart. Genome-wide association studies can identify single nucleotide variations (SNVs) that may predispose individuals to developing acquired forms of arrhythmias. Through manual curation of published genome-wide association studies, we have collected a comprehensive list of 75 SNVs associated with cardiac arrhythmias. Ten of the SNVs result in amino acid changes and can be used in proteomic-based detection methods. In an effort to identify additional non-synonymous mutations that affect the proteome, we analyzed the post-translational modification S-nitrosylation, which is known to affect cardiac arrhythmias. We identified loss of seven known S-nitrosylation sites due to non-synonymous single nucleotide variations (nsSNVs). For predicted nitrosylation sites we found 1429 proteins where the sites are modified due to nsSNV. Analysis of the predicted S-nitrosylation dataset for over- or under-representation (compared to the complete human proteome) of pathways and functional elements shows significant statistical over-representation of the blood coagulation pathway. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis displays statistically over-represented terms related to muscle contraction, receptor activity, motor activity, cystoskeleton components, and microtubule activity. Through the genomic and proteomic context of SNVs and S-nitrosylation sites presented in this study, researchers can look for variation that can predispose individuals to cardiac arrhythmias. Such attempts to elucidate mechanisms of arrhythmia thereby add yet another useful parameter in predicting susceptibility for cardiac diseases.
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Abunimer, A., Smith, K., Wu, T., Lam, P., Simonyan, V. et al. (2014). Single-nucleotide variations in cardiac arrhythmias: Prospects for genomics and proteomics based biomarker discovery and diagnostics. Genes, 5, 254-269.