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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2013 Sep;77(9):1485-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2013.06.015. Epub 2013 Jul 12.

A novel frameshift mutation (c.405delC) in the GJB2 gene associated with autosomal recessive hearing loss in two Tunisian families.

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Laboratoire de Génomique Biomédicale et Oncogénétique, Institut Pasteur de Tunis, BP 74, 13 Place Pasteur, Tunis 1002, Tunisia.



Mutations in GJB2 are found to be responsible for 50% of congenital autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss, one of the most important mutations in this gene is the c.35delG, which is responsible for the majority of GJB2 related deafness in the Tunisian population. The aim of this study was to determine the molecular etiology of hearing loss in two Tunisian individuals.


We screened two Tunisian individuals affected by congenital, bilateral, profound, sensorineural hearing loss for mutations in GJB2 gene using PCR and direct sequencing.


We identified a novel frameshift mutation in the GJB2 gene, the c.405delC resulting in a truncated protein (p.Tyr136Thrfs*32). It was found in compound heterozygosity with the c.35delG in two non-consanguineous unrelated families from Tunisia. One patient underwent a cochlear implant at 4 years. Initial evaluations post-implantation indicate a successful cochlear implant outcome since the patient began to acquire language abilities and auditory sensation.


With this novel GJB2 mutation, the mutational spectrum of this gene continues to broaden in our population. The occurrence of biallelic GJB2 mutations for the other deaf girl, despite the neonatal pain and hypotension due to complicated delivery, led us to confirm the importance of GJB2 screening for cochlear implant candidates regardless of the etiology of deafness in populations with a relatively high frequency of GJB2 mutation carriers.


Cochlear implant; GJB2; Hearing loss; Mutation; Novel; Tunisia

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