PLN Heart Foundations

Important Health Information from the Office of Paulus C. Heule, Honorary Consul Grand Rapids Michigan

We would like to share some important information about a serious heart condition affecting people primarily of Dutch descent.

What is PLN?

For our heart to beat, calcium ions in the heart muscle cells are important. The phospholamban (PLN) protein plays an important role in the calcium balance of the heart muscle cells. In 2012, a mutation (change in DNA) in the PLN gene in the Netherlands was associated with the development of a heart muscle disease. The Dutch mutation concerns the absence of the amino acid arginine (Arg) at position 14 and is therefore called in scientific terms: PLN p.Arg14del[1]

Dutch disease

In the north of the Netherlands, it is estimated that 1 in 1,500 people carry this mutation. This means that thousands of people in the Netherlands have to walk around with the PLN mutation, many of whom do not know about it. In 2020, the mutation was diagnosed with more than 1,500 people.  PLN is therefore an orphan disease. It is highly likely that the mutation originated around seven hundred years ago in a Frisian ancestor. Almost all carriers can be traced back to this Frisian origin.

For more information visit the PLN Heart Foundation website by clicking here.