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J Mol Med (Berl). 2004 Nov;82(11):775-80. Epub 2004 Oct 13.

DFNA54, a third locus for low-frequency hearing loss.

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Laboratory of Molecular Otology, Epstein Laboratories, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.


Nonsyndromic hereditary hearing impairment (NSHHI) is a highly heterogeneous disorder with more than 90 loci mapped, of which nearly one-half of the responsible genes are identified. In dominant NSSHI hearing loss is typically biased towards the high frequencies while low-frequency hearing loss is unusual. Only two NSHHI loci, DFNA1 and DFNA6/14/38, are associated with predominantly low-frequency loss. We mapped the loci harboring the gene responsible for autosomal dominant low-frequency hearing loss in a multigenerational family. The pedigree of a Swiss family with low-frequency hearing loss was established. Using genomic DNA, DFNA1 and DFNA6/14/38 were excluded by linkage analysis or by direct sequencing of the responsible gene. Genome-wide linkage analysis was performed using commercially available microsatellite markers. Two-point linkage analysis demonstrated linkage to chromosome 5q31, the locus for DFNA15, with a lod score of 6.32 at recombination fraction theta=0 for marker D5S436. Critical recombinations were seen at markers D5S1972 and D5S410. Sequencing of the corresponding gene POU4F3 yielded no pathogenic mutation segregating with the affected members. In addition to Wolfram syndrome gene 1 (DFNA6/14/38) and diaphanous (DFNA1) there is evidence for a third gene involved in low-frequency hearing loss located at DFNA15. Because of the differences in auditory phenotype and the absence of pathogenic mutation in the coding region of POU4F3 it is likely that there is a second gene in 5q31, designated DFNA54, associated with NSHHI.

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