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Hum Mol Genet. 1999 Mar;8(3):409-12.

An alpha-tectorin gene defect causes a newly identified autosomal recessive form of sensorineural pre-lingual non-syndromic deafness, DFNB21.

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  • 1Unité de Génétique des Déficits Sensoriels, CNRS URA 1968, Institut Pasteur, 25 rue du Dr Roux, 75724 Paris cedex 15, France.


In our efforts to identify new loci responsible for non-syndromic autosomal recessive forms of deafness, DFNB loci, we have pursued the analysis of large consanguineous affected families living in geographically isolated areas. Here, we report on the study of a Lebanese family comprising nine members presenting with a pre-lingual severe to profound sensorineural isolated form of deafness. Linkage analysis led to the characterization of a new locus, DFNB21, which was assigned to chromosome 11q23-25. Already mapped to this chromosomal region was TECTA. This gene encodes alpha-tectorin, a 2155 amino acid protein which is a component of the tectorial membrane. This gene recently has been shown to be responsible for a dominant form of deafness, DFNA8/12. Sequence analysis of the TECTA gene in the DFNB21-affected family revealed a G to A transition in the donor splice site (GT) of intron 9, predicted to lead to a truncated protein of 971 amino acids. This establishes that alpha-tectorin mutations can be responsible for both dominant and recessive forms of deafness. Comparison of the phenotype of the DFNB21 heterozygous carriers with that of DFNA8/12-affected individuals supports the hypothesis that the TECTA mutations which cause the dominant form of deafness have a dominant-negative effect. The present results provide genetic evidence for alpha-tectorin forming homo- or heteromeric structures.

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