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Am J Hum Genet. 2002 Sep;71(3):618-24. Epub 2002 Jun 27.

Autosomal dominant stapes ankylosis with broad thumbs and toes, hyperopia, and skeletal anomalies is caused by heterozygous nonsense and frameshift mutations in NOG, the gene encoding noggin.

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Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.


Although fixation of the stapes is usually progressive and secondary to otosclerosis, it may present congenitally, with other skeletal manifestations, as an autosomal dominant syndrome-such as proximal symphalangism (SYM1) or multiple-synostoses syndrome (SYNS1), both of which are caused by mutations in NOG, the gene encoding noggin. We describe a family that was ascertained to have nonsyndromic otosclerosis but was subsequently found to have a congenital stapes ankylosis syndrome that included hyperopia, a hemicylindrical nose, broad thumbs and great toes, and other minor skeletal anomalies but lacked symphalangism. A heterozygous nonsense NOG mutation-c.328C-->T (Q110X), predicted to truncate the latter half of the protein-was identified, and a heterozygous insertion in NOG-c.252-253insC, in which the frameshift is predicted to result in 96 novel amino acids before premature truncation-was identified in a previously described second family with a similar phenotype. In contrast to most NOG mutations that have been reported in kindreds with SYM1 and SYNS1, the mutations observed in these families with stapes ankylosis without symphalangism are predicted to disrupt the cysteine-rich C-terminal domain. These clinical and molecular findings suggest that (1) a broader range of conductive hearing-loss phenotypes are associated with NOG mutations than had previously been recognized, (2) patients with sporadic or familial nonsyndromic otosclerosis should be evaluated for mild features of this syndrome, and (3) NOG alterations should be considered in conductive hearing loss with subtle clinical and skeletal features, even in the absence of symphalangism.

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