GNN - Genome News Network  
  Home | About | Topics
Deafness in the literature

In the Literature,

A number of articles on the genetics and genomics of deafness in humans and mice have appeared in recent months. Here GNN posts six abstracts.

Bijal P. Trivedi


The mouse Ames waltzer hearing-loss mutant is caused by mutation of Pcdh15, a novel protocadherin gene.

The neuroepithelia of the inner ear contain hair cells that function as mechanoreceptors to transduce sound and motion signals. Mutations affecting these neuroepithelia cause deafness and vestibular dysfuction in humans. Ames waltzer (av) is a recessive mutation found in mice that causes deafness and a balance disorder associated with the degeneration of inner ear neuroepithelia. Here we report that the gene that harbours the av mutation encodes a novel protocadherin. Cochlear hair cells in the av mutants show abnormal stereocilia by 10 days after birth (P10). This is the first evidence for the requirement of a protocadherin for normal function of the mammalian inner ear.

Nat Genet 2001 Jan;27(1):99-102

Mutations in Cdh23, encoding a new type of cadherin, cause stereocilia disorganization in waltzer, the mouse model for Usher syndrome type 1D.

Mouse chromosome 10 harbors several loci associated with hearing loss, including waltzer (v), modifier-of deaf waddler (mdfw) and Age-related hearing loss (Ahl). The human region that is orthologous to the mouse 'waltzer' region is located at 10q21-q22 and contains the human deafness loci DFNB12 and USH1D). Numerous mutations at the waltzer locus have been documented causing erratic circling and hearing loss. Here we report the identification of a new gene mutated in v. The 10.5-kb Cdh23 cDNA encodes a very large, single-pass transmembrane protein, that we have called otocadherin. It has an extracellular domain that contains 27 repeats; these show significant homology to the cadherin ectodomain. In v(6J), a GT transversion creates a premature stop codon. In v(Alb), a CT exchange generates an ectopic donor splice site, effecting deletion of 119 nucleotides of exonic sequence. In v(2J), a GA transition abolishes the donor splice site, leading to aberrant splice forms. All three alleles are predicted to cause loss of function. We demonstrate Cdh23 expression in the neurosensory epithelium and show that during early hair-cell differentiation, stereocilia organization is disrupted in v(2J) homozygotes. Our data indicate that otocadherin is a critical component of hair bundle formation. Mutations in human CDH23 cause Usher syndrome type 1D and thus, establish waltzer as the mouse model for USH1D.

Nat Genet 2001 Jan;27(1):103-7

DFNA25, a novel locus for dominant nonsyndromic hereditary hearing impairment, maps to 12q21-24.

Using linkage analysis, we identified a novel dominant locus, DFNA25, for delayed-onset, progressive, high-frequency, nonsyndromic sensorineural hearing loss in a large, multigenerational United States family of Czech descent. On the basis of recombinations in affected individuals, we determined that DFNA25 is located in a 20-cM region of chromosome 12q21-24 between D12S327 (centromeric) and D12S84 (telomeric), with a maximum two-point LOD score of 6.82, at recombination fraction.041, for D12S1030. Candidate genes in this region include ATP2A2, ATP2B1, UBE3B, and VR-OAC. DFNA25 may be the human ortholog of bronx waltzer (bv).

Am J Hum Genet 2001 Jan;68(1):254-60

Usher syndrome 1D and nonsyndromic autosomal recessive deafness DFNB12 are caused by allelic mutations of the novel cadherin-like gene CDH23.

Genes causing nonsyndromic autosomal recessive deafness (DFNB12) and deafness associated with retinitis pigmentosa and vestibular dysfunction (USH1D) were previously mapped to overlapping regions of chromosome 10q21-q22. Seven highly consanguineous families segregating nonsyndromic autosomal recessive deafness were analyzed to refine the DFNB12 locus. In a single family, a critical region was defined between D10S1694 and D10S1737, approximately 0.55 cM apart. Eighteen candidate genes in the region were sequenced. Mutations in a novel cadherin-like gene, CDH23, were found both in families with DFNB12 and in families with USH1D. Six missense mutations were found in five families with DFNB12, and two nonsense and two frameshift mutations were found in four families with USH1D. A northern blot analysis of CDH23 showed a 9.5-kb transcript expressed primarily in the retina. CDH23 is also expressed in the cochlea, as is demonstrated by polymerase chain reaction amplification from cochlear cDNA.

Am J Hum Genet 2001 Jan;68(1):26-37

Insertion of beta-satellite repeats identifies a transmembrane protease causing both congenital and childhood onset autosomal recessive deafness.

Approximately 50% of childhood deafness is caused by mutations in specific genes. Autosomal recessive loci account for approximately 80% of nonsyndromic genetic deafness. Here we report the identification of a new transmembrane serine protease (TMPRSS3; also known as ECHOS1) expressed in many tissues, including fetal cochlea, which is mutated in the families used to describe both the DFNB10 and DFNB8 loci. An 8-bp deletion and insertion of 18 monomeric (approximately 68-bp) beta-satellite repeat units, normally present in tandem arrays of up to several hundred kilobases on the short arms of acrocentric chromosomes, causes congenital deafness (DFNB10). A mutation in a splice-acceptor site, resulting in a 4-bp insertion in the mRNA and a frameshift, was detected in childhood onset deafness (DFNB8). This is the first description of beta-satellite insertion into an active gene resulting in a pathogenic state, and the first description of a protease involved in hearing loss.

Nat Genet 2001 Jan;27(1):59-63

Nuclear background determines biochemical phenotype in the deafness-associated mitochondrial 12S rRNA mutation.

The pathogenetic mechanism of the human mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene mutation at position 1555, associated with non-syndromic deafness and aminoglycoside-induced deafness, has been investigated in 33 transformants obtained by transferring mitochondria from lymphoblastoid cell lines into human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)-less (rho degrees 206) cells. In this nearly constant nuclear background, 15 transformants derived from five symptomatic individuals from a large Arab-Israeli family, carrying this mutation in homoplasmic form, exhibited significant decreases compared with nine control transformants in the rate of growth in a medium containing galactose instead of glucose, as well as in the rates of mitochondrial protein synthesis and of substrate-dependent respiration. Most significantly, these decreases were very similar to those observed in nine transformants derived from three asymptomatic members of the family. This result in transmitochondrial cybrids is in contrast to the differences in the same parameters previously demonstrated between the original lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from the symptomatic and asymptomatic members of the Arab-Israeli family. In addition, the intragroup variability in biochemical dysfunction among the lymphoblastoid cell lines from different symptomatic or asymptomatic or control individuals was significantly reduced in the derived mitochondrial transformants carrying the same nuclear background. These observations provide strong genetic and biochemical evidence in support of the idea that the nuclear background plays a determinant role in the phenotypic manifestation of the non-syndromic deafness associated with the A1555G mutation.

Hum Mol Genet 2001 Mar 15;10(6):573-580

. . .

Back to GNN Home Page