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Clin Genet. 2010 Dec;78(6):524-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-0004.2010.01426.x.

Clinical evaluation of DFN3 patients with deletions in the POU3F4 locus and detection of carrier female using MLPA.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Kwandong University College of Medicine, Goyang, South Korea.


X-linked deafness type 3 (DFN3), the most prevalent X-linked form of hereditary deafness, is caused by mutations of the POU3F4 locus in the Xq21 region. We evaluated two Korean families showing typical characteristics of DFN3, such as congenital hearing loss and pathognomonic inner ear anomalies. Genetic analysis of these families did not reveal any mutations in the POU3F4 coding sequence. Instead, one family carried a genomic deletion upstream of POU3F4 gene, where the regulatory element is predicted to reside, and the other family possessed a deletion of almost the entire Xq21 region. The lack of mutation in the POU3F4 coding sequence makes the detection of carrier females using conventional sequencing methods difficult. By applying the multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) method, we successfully determined the carrier status of female members in these families, demonstrating that MLPA is a rapid and accurate way to detect POU3F4 deletions in sporadic undiagnosed carriers of DNF3.

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