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BMC Med Genet. 2018 Jan 5;19(1):4. doi: 10.1186/s12881-017-0515-3.

Effect of GRM7 polymorphisms on the development of noise-induced hearing loss in Chinese Han workers: a nested case-control study.

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Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Hygiene, College of Public Health, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan, People's Republic of China.
Henan Provincial Institute for Occupational Health, No.3, Kangfu Mid. St, Zhengzhou, 450052, People's Republic of China.
Wugang Institute for Occupational Health, Wugang, Henan, People's Republic of China.
College of Public Health, Qingdao University, Qingdao, Shandong, People's Republic of China.
National Institute of Occupational Health and Poison Control, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, People's Republic of China.
Henan Provincial Institute for Occupational Health, No.3, Kangfu Mid. St, Zhengzhou, 450052, People's Republic of China.



Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a complex, irreversible disease caused by the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. In recent years, a great many studies have been done to explore the NIHL susceptibility genes among humans. So far, high powerful detections have been founded that genes of potassium ion channel genes (KCNQ4 and KCNE1), catalase (CAT), protocadherin 15 (PCDH15), myosin 14 (MYH14) and heart shock protein (HSP70) which have been identified in more than one population may be associated with the susceptibility to NIHL. As for metabolic glutamate receptor7 gene (GRM7), a lot of researches mainly focus on age-related hearing loss (ARHL) and the results have shown that the polymorphisms of GRM7 are linked to the development of ARHL. However, little is known about the association of GRM7 and the susceptibility to NIHL. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the effect of GRM7 polymorphisms on the susceptibility to NIHL.


A nested case-control study based on the cohort in a Chinese steel factory was implemented in 292 cases and 584 controls matched with the same sex, the age difference ≤ 5 years old, the same type of work, duration of occupational noise exposure ≤2 years. Five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of GRM7 were gained through selecting and genotyping SNPs. Conditional logistic regression analysis was used to assess the main effect of GRM7 polymorphisms on the susceptibility to NIHL and the gene-by-environment interaction. Furthermore, the gene-by-gene interactions were analyzed by generalized multiple dimensionality reduction (GMDR).


This research discovered for the first time that the mutant allele C in rs1485175 of the GMR7 may decrease individuals' susceptibility to NIHL. The interaction between rs1485175 and cumulative noise exposure (CNE) at high level was found after the stratification according to CNE (p/p bon  = 0.014/0.007, OR = 0.550, 95% CI: 0.340-0.891). Permutation test of GMDR suggested that rs1920109, rs1485175 and rs9826579 in GRM7 might interact with each other in the process of developing NIHL (p = 0.037).


The results suggest that the mutant allele C of rs1485175 in GRM7 may reduce the susceptibility to NIHL in Chinese Han population.


GRM7; Noise-induced hearing loss; Polymorphism

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