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Nat Commun. 2011 Feb 15;2:201. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1200.

Gipc3 mutations associated with audiogenic seizures and sensorineural hearing loss in mouse and human.

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Section on Neurogenetics, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, Maryland 20850, USA.


Sensorineural hearing loss affects the quality of life and communication of millions of people, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we identify mutations in Gipc3 underlying progressive sensorineural hearing loss (age-related hearing loss 5, ahl5) and audiogenic seizures (juvenile audiogenic monogenic seizure 1, jams1) in mice and autosomal recessive deafness DFNB15 and DFNB95 in humans. Gipc3 localizes to inner ear sensory hair cells and spiral ganglion. A missense mutation in the PDZ domain has an attenuating effect on mechanotransduction and the acquisition of mature inner hair cell potassium currents. Magnitude and temporal progression of wave I amplitude of afferent neurons correlate with susceptibility and resistance to audiogenic seizures. The Gipc3(343A) allele disrupts the structure of the stereocilia bundle and affects long-term function of auditory hair cells and spiral ganglion neurons. Our study suggests a pivotal role of Gipc3 in acoustic signal acquisition and propagation in cochlear hair cells.

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