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Hum Mutat. 2007 Oct;28(10):1014-9.

Mutational spectrum of MYO15A: the large N-terminal extension of myosin XVA is required for hearing.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health, Rockville 20850, Maryland, USA.


Human MYO15A is located on chromosome 17p11.2, has 66 exons and encodes unconventional myosin XVA. Recessive mutations of MYO15A are associated with profound, nonsyndromic hearing loss DFNB3 in humans, and deafness and circling behavior in shaker 2 mice. In the inner ear, this motor protein is necessary for the development of hair cell stereocilia, which are actin-filled projections on the apical surface and the site of mechanotransduction of sound. The longest isoform of myosin XVA has 3,530 amino acid residues. Two isoform classes of MYO15A are distinguished by the presence or absence of 1,203 residues preceding the motor domain encoded by alternatively-spliced exon 2. It is not known whether this large N-terminal extension of myosin XVA is functionally necessary for hearing. We ascertained approximately 600 consanguineous families segregating hereditary hearing loss as a recessive trait and found evidence of linkage of markers at the DFNB3 locus to hearing loss in 38 of these families ascertained in Pakistan (n=30), India (n=6), and Turkey (n=2). In this study, we describe 16 novel recessive mutations of MYO15A associated with severe to profound hearing loss segregating in 20 of these DFNB3-linked families. Importantly, two homozygous mutant alleles-c.3313G>T (p.E1105X) and c.3334delG (p.G1112fsX1124) of MYO15A-located in exon 2 are associated with severe to profound hearing loss segregating in two families. These data demonstrate that isoform 1, containing the large N-terminal extension, is also necessary for normal hearing.

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