Exome sequencing coupled with homozygosity mapping was used to identify a transition mutation (c.794T>C; p.Leu265Ser) in ELMOD3 at the DFNB88 locus that is associated with nonsyndromic deafness in a large Pakistani family, PKDF468. The affected individuals of this family exhibited pre-lingual, severe-to-profound degrees of mixed hearing loss. ELMOD3 belongs to the engulfment and cell motility (ELMO) family, which consists of six paralogs in mammals. Several members of the ELMO family have been shown to regulate a subset of GTPases within the Ras superfamily. However, ELMOD3 is a largely uncharacterized protein that has no previously known biochemical activities. We found that in rodents, within the sensory epithelia of the inner ear, ELMOD3 appears most pronounced in the stereocilia of cochlear hair cells. Fluorescently tagged ELMOD3 co-localized with the actin cytoskeleton in MDCK cells and actin-based microvilli of LLC-PK1-CL4 epithelial cells. The p.Leu265Ser mutation in the ELMO domain impaired each of these activities. Super-resolution imaging revealed instances of close association of ELMOD3 with actin at the plasma membrane of MDCK cells. Furthermore, recombinant human GST-ELMOD3 exhibited GTPase activating protein (GAP) activity against the Arl2 GTPase, which was completely abolished by the p.Leu265Ser mutation. Collectively, our data provide the first insights into the expression and biochemical properties of ELMOD3 and highlight its functional links to sound perception and actin cytoskeleton.
Autosomal recessive nonsyndromic hearing loss is a genetically heterogeneous disorder. Here, we report a severe-to-profound mixed hearing loss locus, DFNB88 on chromosome 2p12-p11.2. Exome enrichment followed by massive parallel sequencing revealed a c.794T>C transition mutation in ELMOD3 that segregated with DFNB88-associated hearing loss in a large Pakistani family. This transition mutation is predicted to substitute a highly invariant leucine residue with serine (p.Leu265Ser) in the engulfment and cell motility (ELMO) domain of the protein. No biological activity has been described previously for the ELMOD3 protein. We investigated the biochemical properties and ELMOD3 expression to gain mechanistic insights into the function of ELMOD3 in the inner ear. In rodent inner ears, ELMOD3 immunoreactivity was observed in the cochlear and vestibular hair cells and supporting cells. However, ELMOD3 appears most pronounced in the stereocilia of cochlear hair cells. Ex vivo, ELMOD3 is associated with actin-based structures, and this link is impaired by the DFNB88 mutation. ELMOD3 exhibited GAP activity against Arl2, a small GTPase, providing a potential functional link between Arf family signaling and stereocilia actin-based cytoskeletal architecture. Our study provides new insights into the molecules that are necessary for the development and/or function of inner ear sensory cells.
The two compositionally distinct extracellular cochlear fluids, endolymph and perilymph, are separated by tight junctions that outline the scala media and reticular lamina. Mutations in TRIC (also known as MARVELD2), which encodes a tricellular tight junction protein known as tricellulin, lead to nonsyndromic hearing loss (DFNB49). We generated a knockin mouse that carries a mutation orthologous to the TRIC coding mutation linked to DFNB49 hearing loss in humans. Tricellulin was absent from the tricellular junctions in the inner ear epithelia of the mutant animals, which developed rapidly progressing hearing loss accompanied by loss of mechanosensory cochlear hair cells, while the endocochlear potential and paracellular permeability of a biotin-based tracer in the stria vascularis were unaltered. Freeze-fracture electron microscopy revealed disruption of the strands of intramembrane particles connecting bicellular and tricellular junctions in the inner ear epithelia of tricellulin-deficient mice. These ultrastructural changes may selectively affect the paracellular permeability of ions or small molecules, resulting in a toxic microenvironment for cochlear hair cells. Consistent with this hypothesis, hair cell loss was rescued in tricellulin-deficient mice when generation of normal endolymph was inhibited by a concomitant deletion of the transcription factor, Pou3f4. Finally, comprehensive phenotypic screening showed a broader pathological phenotype in the mutant mice, which highlights the non-redundant roles played by tricellulin.
Human hereditary deafness at the DFNB29 autosomal locus on chromosome 21q22.1 is caused by recessive mutations of CLDN14, encoding claudin 14. This tight junction protein is tetra-membrane spanning that localizes to the apical tight junctions of organ of Corti hair cells and in many other tissues. Typically, the DFNB29 phenotype is characterized by pre-lingual, bi-lateral, sensorineural hearing loss. The goal of this study was to define the identity and frequency of CLDN14 mutations and associated inner ear phenotypes in a cohort of 800 Pakistani families segregating deafness. Hearing loss in 15 multi-generational families was found to co-segregate with CLDN14-linked STR markers. The sequence of the six exons and regions flanking the introns of CLDN14 in these 15 families revealed five likely pathogenic alleles. Two are novel missense substitutions (p.Ser87Ile and p.Ala94Val) while p.Arg81His, p.Val85Asp and p.Met133ArgfsX23 have been reported previously. Haplotype analyses indicate that p.Val85Asp and p.Met133ArgfsX23 are founder mutations. The p.Val85Asp accounts for approximately 67% of the mutant alleles of CLDN14 in our cohort. Combined with previously reported data, CLDN14 mutations were identified in 18 of 800 Pakistani families (2.25%; 95% CI, 1.4-3.5%). Hearing loss in the affected individuals homozygous for CLDN14 mutations varied from moderate to profound. This phenotypic variability may be due to environmental factors (e.g. drug and noise exposure) and/or genetic modifiers.
CLDN14; claudin 14; DFNB29; mild hearing loss; profound deafness; Pakistan
Sensorineural hearing loss is genetically heterogeneous. Here we report that mutations in CIB2, encoding a Ca2+- and integrin-binding protein, are associated with nonsyndromic deafness (DFNB48) and Usher syndrome type 1J (USH1J). There is one mutation of CIB2 that is a prevalent cause of DFNB48 deafness in Pakistan; other CIB2 mutations contribute to deafness elsewhere in the world. In rodents, CIB2 is localized in the mechanosensory stereocilia of inner ear hair cells and in retinal photoreceptor and pigmented epithelium cells. Consistent with molecular modeling predictions of Ca2+ binding, CIB2 significantly decreased the ATP-induced Ca2+ responses in heterologous cells, while DFNB48 mutations altered CIB2 effects on Ca2+ responses. Furthermore, in zebrafish and Drosophila, CIB2 is essential for the function and proper development of hair cells and retinal photoreceptor cells. We show that CIB2 is a new member of the vertebrate Usher interactome.
We ascertained two large Pakistani consanguineous families (PKDF231 and PKDF608) segregating profound hearing loss, vestibular dysfunction, and retinitis pigmentosa, the defining features of Usher syndrome type 1 (USH1). To date seven USH1 loci have been reported. Here, we map a novel locus, USH1K, on chromosome 10p11.21-q21.1. In family PKDF231 we performed a genome-wide linkage screen and found a region of homozygosity shared among the affected individual at chromosome 10p11.21-q21.1. Meiotic recombination events in family PKDF231 define a critical interval of 11.74 cM (20.20 Mb) bounded by markers D10S1780 (63.83 cM) and D10S546 (75.57 cM). Affected individuals of family PKDF608 were also homozygous for chromosome 10p11-21-q21.1 linked STR markers. Of the 85 genes within the linkage interval, PCDH15, GJD4, FZD4, RET, and LRRC18 were sequenced in both families, but no potential pathogenic mutation was identified. The USH1K locus overlaps the non-syndromic deafness locus DFNB33 raising the possibility that the two disorders may be caused by allelic mutations.
deafness; DFNB33; retinitis pigmentosa; Usher syndrome; USH1K; vestibular dysfunction; 10p11.21-q21.1
To identify pathogenic mutations responsible for autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa in 5 consanguineous Pakistani families.
Affected individuals in the families underwent a detailed ophthalmological examination that consisted of fundus photography and electroretinography. Blood samples were collected from all participating family members, and genomic DNA was extracted. A genome-wide linkage scan was performed, followed by exclusion analyses among our cohort of nuclear consanguineous families with microsatellite markers spanning the TULP1 locus on chromosome 6p. Two-point logarithm of odds scores were calculated, and all coding exons of TULP1 were sequenced bidirectionally.
The results of ophthalmological examinations among affected individuals in these 5 families were suggestive of retinitis pigmentosa. The genome-wide linkage scan localized the disease interval to chromosome 6p, harboring TULP1 in 1 of 5 families, and sequential analyses identified a single base pair substitution in TULP1 that results in threonine to alanine substitution (p.T380A). Subsequently, we investigated our entire cohort of families with autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa and identified 4 additional families with linkage to chromosome 6p, all of them harboring a single base pair substitution in TULP1 that results in lysine to arginine substitution (p.K489R). Results of single-nucleotide polymorphism haplotype analyses were suggestive of a common founder in these 4 families.
Pathogenic mutations in TULP1 are responsible for the autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa phenotype in these consanguineous Pakistani families, with a single ancestral mutation in TULP1 causing the disease phenotype in 4 of 5 families.
Clinical and molecular characterization of pathogenic mutations in TULP1 will increase our understanding of retinitis pigmentosa at a molecular level.
Congenital stationary night blindness is characterized by impaired night vision, decreased visual acuity, nystagmus, myopia, and strabismus. A genome-wide linkage scan was completed that localized the critical interval to the short arm of chromosome 3 and sequencing identified a novel missense mutation in GNAT1.
Congenital stationary night blindness is a nonprogressive retinal disorder manifesting as impaired night vision and is generally associated with other ocular symptoms, such as nystagmus, myopia, and strabismus. This study was conducted to further investigate the genetic basis of CSNB in a consanguineous Pakistani family.
A consanguineous family with multiple individuals manifesting cardinal symptoms of congenital stationary night blindness was ascertained. All family members underwent detailed ophthalmic examination, including fundus photographic examination and electroretinography. Blood samples were collected and genomic DNA was extracted. Exclusion and genome-wide linkage analyses were completed and two-point LOD scores were calculated. Bidirectional sequencing of GNAT1 was completed, and quantitative expression of Gnat1 transcript levels were investigated in ocular tissues at different postnatal intervals.
The results of ophthalmic examinations were suggestive of early-onset stationary night blindness with no extraocular anomalies. The genome-wide scan localized the critical interval to chromosome 3, region p22.1-p14.3, with maximum two-point LOD scores of 3.09 at θ = 0, flanked by markers D3S3522 and D3S1289. Subsequently, a missense mutation in GNAT1, p.D129G, was identified, which segregated within the family, consistent with an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance, and was not present in 192 ethnically matched control chromosomes. Expression analysis suggested that Gnat1 is expressed at approximately postnatal day (P)7 and is predominantly expressed in the retina.
These data suggest that a homozygous missense mutation in GNAT1 is associated with autosomal recessive stationary night blindness.
Many proteins necessary for sound transduction have been discovered through positional cloning of genes that cause deafness1–3. In this study, we report that mutations of LRTOMT are associated with profound non-syndromic hearing loss at the DFNB63 locus on human chromosome 11q13.3-q13.4. LRTOMT has two alternative reading frames and encodes two different proteins, LRTOMT1 and LRTOMT2, that are detected by Western blot analyses. LRTOMT2 is a putative methyltransferase. During evolution, novel transcripts can arise through partial or complete coalescence of genes4. We provide evidence that in the primate lineage LRTOMT evolved from the fusion of two neighboring ancestral genes, which exist as separate genes (Lrrc51and Tomt) in rodents.
Oculocutaneous albinism (OCA) is caused by a group of genetically heterogeneous inherited defects that result in the loss of pigmentation in the eyes, skin and hair. Mutations in the TYR, OCA2, TYRP1 and SLC45A2 genes have been shown to cause isolated OCA. No comprehensive analysis has been conducted to study the spectrum of OCA alleles prevailing in Pakistani albino populations.
We enrolled 40 large Pakistani families and screened them for OCA genes and a candidate gene, SLC24A5. Protein function effects were evaluated using in silico prediction algorithms and ex vivo studies in human melanocytes. The effects of splice-site mutations were determined using an exon-trapping assay.
Screening of the TYR gene revealed four known (p.Arg299His, p.Pro406Leu, p.Gly419Arg, p.Arg278*) and three novel mutations (p.Pro21Leu, p.Cys35Arg, p.Tyr411His) in ten families. Ex vivo studies revealed the retention of an EGFP-tagged mutant (p.Pro21Leu, p.Cys35Arg or p.Tyr411His) tyrosinase in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) at 37°C, but a significant fraction of p.Cys35Arg and p.Tyr411His left the ER in cells grown at a permissive temperature (31°C). Three novel (p.Asp486Tyr, p.Leu527Arg, c.1045-15 T > G) and two known mutations (p.Pro743Leu, p.Ala787Thr) of OCA2 were found in fourteen families. Exon-trapping assays with a construct containing a novel c.1045-15 T > G mutation revealed an error in splicing. No mutation in TYRP1, SLC45A2, and SLC24A5 was found in the remaining 16 families. Clinical evaluation of the families segregating either TYR or OCA2 mutations showed nystagmus, photophobia, and loss of pigmentation in the skin or hair follicles. Most of the affected individuals had grayish-blue colored eyes.
Our results show that ten and fourteen families harbored mutations in the TYR and OCA2 genes, respectively. Our findings, along with the results of previous studies, indicate that the p.Cys35Arg, p.Arg278* and p.Gly419Arg alleles of TYR and the p.Asp486Tyr and c.1045-15 T > G alleles of OCA2 are the most common causes of OCA in Pakistani families. To the best of our knowledge, this study represents the first documentation of OCA2 alleles in the Pakistani population. A significant proportion of our cohort did not have mutations in known OCA genes. Overall, our study contributes to the development of genetic testing protocols and genetic counseling for OCA in Pakistani families.
TYR; OCA2; TYRP1; SLC45A2; SLC24A5; Pakistan; Exon-trapping; Oculocutaneous Albinism; Melanocytes; Hypopigmentation
A missense mutation of Gipc3 was previously reported to cause age-related hearing loss in mice. Point mutations of human GIPC3 were found in two small families, but association with hearing loss was not statistically significant. Here, we describe one frameshift and six missense mutations in GIPC3 cosegregating with DFNB72 hearing loss in six large families that support statistically significant evidence for genetic linkage. However, GIPC3 is not the only nonsyndromic hearing impairment gene in this region; no GIPC3 mutations were found in a family cosegregating hearing loss with markers of chromosome 19p. Haplotype analysis excluded GIPC3 from the obligate linkage interval in this family and defined a novel locus spanning 4.08 Mb and 104 genes. This closely linked but distinct nonsyndromic hearing loss locus was designated DFNB81.
There are 68 sex-linked syndromes that include hearing loss as one feature and five sex-linked nonsyndromic deafness loci listed in the OMIM database. The possibility of additional such sex-linked loci was explored by ascertaining three unrelated Pakistani families (PKDF536, PKDF1132, PKDF740) segregating X-linked recessive deafness. Sequence analysis of POU3F4 (DFN3) in affected members of families PKDF536 and PKDF1132 revealed two novel nonsense mutations, p.Q136X and p.W114X, respectively. Family PKDF740 is segregating congenital blindness, mild to profound progressive hearing loss that is characteristic of Norrie disease (MIM#310600). Sequence analysis of NDP among affected members of this family revealed a novel single nucleotide deletion c.49delG causing a frameshift and premature truncation (p.V17fsX1) of the encoded protein. These mutations were not found in 150 normal DNA samples. Identification of pathogenic alleles causing X-linked recessive deafness will improve molecular diagnosis, genetic counseling, and molecular epidemiology of hearing loss among Pakistanis.
DFN3; Norrie disease; POU3F4; NDP; hearing loss; gushers
Inner ear hair cells detect sound through deflection of mechanosensory stereocilia. Each stereocilium is supported by a paracrystalline array of parallel actin filaments that are packed more densely at the base, forming a rootlet extending into the cell body. The function of rootlets and the molecules responsible for their formation are unknown. We found that TRIOBP, a cytoskeleton-associated protein mutated in human hereditary deafness DFNB28, is localized to rootlets. In vitro, purified TRIOBP isoform 4 protein organizes actin filaments into uniquely dense bundles reminiscent of rootlets, but distinct from bundles formed by espin, an actin cross-linker in stereocilia. We generated mutant Triobp mice (TriobpΔex8/Δex8) that are profoundly deaf. Stereocilia of TriobpΔex8/Δex8 mice develop normally, but fail to form rootlets and are easier to deflect and damage. Thus, F-actin bundling by TRIOBP provides durability and rigidity for normal mechanosensitivity of stereocilia and may contribute to resilient cytoskeletal structures elsewhere.
Recessive mutations of fibroblast growth factor 3 (FGF3) can cause LAMM syndrome (OMIM 610706), characterized by fully penetrant complete labyrinthine aplasia, microtia and microdontia.
We performed a prospective molecular genetic and clinical study of families segregating hearing loss linked to FGF3 mutations. Ten affected individuals from three large Pakistani families segregating FGF3 mutations were imaged with CT, MRI, or both to detect inner ear abnormalities. We also modeled the three dimensional structure of FGF3 to better understand the structural consequences of the three missense mutations.
Two families segregated reported mutations (p.R104X and p.R95W) and one family segregated a novel mutation (p.R132GfsX26) of FGF3. All individuals homozygous for p.R104X or p.R132GfsX26 had fully penetrant features of LAMM syndrome. However, recessive p.R95W mutations were associated with nearly normal looking auricles and variable inner ear structural phenotypes, similar to that reported for a Somali family also segregating p.R95W. This suggests that the mild phenotype is not entirely due to genetic background. Molecular modeling result suggests a less drastic effect of p.R95W on FGF3 function compared with known missense mutations detected in fully penetrant LAMM syndrome. Since we detected significant intrafamilial variability of the inner ear structural phenotype in the family segregating p.R95W, we also sequenced FGF10 as a likely candidate for a modifier. However, we did not find any sequence variation, pointing out that a larger sample size will be needed to map and identify a modifier. We also observed a mild to moderate bilateral conductive hearing loss in three carriers of p.R95W, suggesting either a semi-dominant effect of this mutant allele of FGF3, otitis media, or a consequence of genetic background in these three family members.
We noted a less prominent dental and external ear phenotype in association with the homozygous p.R95W. Therefore, we conclude that the manifestations of recessive FGF3 mutations range from fully penetrant LAMM syndrome to deafness with residual inner ear structures and, by extension, with minimal syndromic features, an observation with implications for cochlear implantation candidacy.
Genetic analysis of an inbred Pakistani family PKDF280, segregating prelingual severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss, provided evidence for a DFNB locus on human chromosome 9q34.3. Co-segregation of the deafness trait with marker D9SH159 was determined by a two-point linkage analysis (LOD score 9.43 at θ=0). Two additional large families, PKDF517 and PKDF741, co-segregate recessive deafness with markers linked to the same interval. Haplotype analyses of these three families refined the interval to 3.84 Mb defined by D9S1818 (centromeric) and D9SH6 (telomeric). This interval overlaps with the previously reported DFNB33 locus whose chromosomal map position has been recently revised and assigned to a new position on chromosome 10p11.23–q21.1. The nonsyndromic deafness locus on chromosome 9q segregating in family PKDF280 was designated DFNB79. We are currently screening the 113 candidate DFNB79 genes for mutations and have excluded CACNA1B, EDF1, PTGDS, EHMT1, QSOX2, NOTCH1, MIR126 and MIR602.
hereditary deafness; DFNB79; DFNB33; Pakistan; chromosome 9q34.3
Genetic analysis of inbred Pakistani family PKDF280, segregating prelingual severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss, provided evidence for a DFNB locus on human chromosome 9q34.3. Co-segregation of the deafness trait with marker D9SH159 was determined by a two-point linkage analysis (LOD score 9.43 at θ=0). Two additional large families, PKDF517 and PKDF741, co-segregate recessive deafness with markers linked to the same interval. Haplotype analyses of these three families refined the interval to 3.84 Mb defined by D9S1818 (centromeric) and D9SH6 (telomeric). This interval overlaps with the previously reported DFNB33 locus whose chromosomal map position has been recently revised and assigned to a new position on chromosome 10p11.23-q21.1. The nonsyndromic deafness locus on chromosome 9q segregating in family PKDF280 was designated DFNB79. We are currently screening the 113 candidate DFNB79 genes for mutations and have excluded CACNA1B, EDF1, PTGDS, EHMT1, QSOX2, NOTCH1, MIR126 and MIR602.
hereditary deafness; DFNB79; DFNB33; Pakistan; chromosome 9q34.3
Approximately half the cases of prelingual hearing loss are caused by genetic factors. Identification of genes causing deafness is a crucial first step in understanding the normal function of these genes in the auditory system. Recently, a mutant allele of Tmhs was reported to be associated with deafness and circling behaviour in the hurry‐scurry mouse. Tmhs encodes a predicted tetraspan protein of unknown function, which is expressed in inner ear hair cells. The human homologue of Tmhs is located on chromosome 6p.
To determine the cause of deafness in four consanguineous families segregating recessive deafness linked to markers on chromosome 6p21.1‐p22.3 defining a novel DFNB locus.
A novel locus for non‐syndromic deafness DFNB67 was mapped in an interval of approximately 28.51 cM on human chromosome 6p21.1‐p22.3. DNA sequence analysis of TMHS revealed a homozygous frameshift mutation (246delC) and a missense mutation (Y127C) in affected individuals of two families segregating non‐syndromic deafness, one of which showed significant evidence of linkage to markers in the DFNB67 interval. The localisation of mTMHS in developing mouse inner ear hair cells was refined and found to be expressed briefly from E16.5 to P3.
These findings establish the importance of TMHS for normal sound transduction in humans.
Mutations of PCDH15, encoding protocadherin 15, can cause either combined hearing and vision impairment (type 1 Usher syndrome; USH1F) or nonsyndromic deafness (DFNB23). Human PCDH15 is reported to be comprised of 35 exons and encodes a variety of isoforms with 3 to 11 ectodomains (EC), a transmembrane domain and a carboxy-terminal cytoplasmic domain (CD). Building on these observations we describe an updated gene structure that has four additional exons of PCDH15 and isoforms that can be subdivided into four classes. Human PCDH15 encodes three alternative, evolutionarily conserved unique cytoplasmic domains (CD1, CD2 or CD3). Families ascertained on the basis of prelingual hearing loss were screened for linkage of this phenotype to markers for PCDH15 on chromosome 10q21.1. In seven of twelve families segregating USH1 we identified homozygous mutant alleles (1 missense, 1 splice site, 3 nonsense and 2 deletion mutations) of which six are novel. One family was segregating nonsyndromic deafness DFNB23 due to a homozygous missense mutation. To date in our cohort of 557 Pakistani families, we have found 11 different PCDH15 mutations that account for deafness in 13 families. Molecular modeling provided mechanistic insight into the phenotypic variation in severity of the PCDH15 missense mutations. We did not find pathogenic mutations in five of the twelve USH1 families linked to markers for USH1F, which suggest either the presence of mutations of yet additional undiscovered exons of PCDH15, mutations in the introns or regulatory elements of PCDH15, or an additional locus for type I USH at chromosome 10q21.1.
DFNB23; Usher syndrome; protocadherin 15; PCDH15; deafness; retinitis pigmentosa
Usher syndrome (USH) is a hereditary disorder associated with sensorineural hearing impairment, progressive loss of vision attributable to retinitis pigmentosa and variable vestibular function. Three clinical types have been described with type I (USH1) being the most severe. To date six USH1 loci have been reported. We ascertained two large Pakistani consanguineous families segregating profound hearing loss, vestibular dysfunction, and retinitis pigmentosa, the defining features of USH1. In these families we excluded linkage of USH to the 11 known USH loci, and subsequently performed a genome-wide linkage screen. We found a novel USH1 locus designated USH1H that mapped to chromosome 15q22-23 in a 4.92 cM interval. This locus overlaps the non-syndromic deafness locus DFNB48 raising the possibility that the two disorders may be caused by allelic mutations.
deafness; DFNB48; retinitis pigmentosa; Usher syndrome; USH1H; vestibular dysfunction; 15q22-23
To determine whether cadherin 23 and protocadherin 15 can substitute for one another in the maintenance of the retina and other tissues in the mouse. Does homozygosity for both v and av mutant alleles (i.e., a double homozygous mouse) cause retinal degeneration or an obvious retinal histopathology?
We generated mice homozygous for both Cdh23v-6J and Pcdh15av-Jfb alleles. The retinal phenotypes of double heterozygous and double homozygous mutant mice were determined by light microscopy and electroretinography (ERG). Histology on 32 different tissues, scanning electron microscopy of organ of Corti hair cells as well as serum biochemical and hematological examinations were evaluated.
ERG waves of double heterozygous and double homozygous mice showed similar shape, growth of the amplitude with intensity, and implicit time for both rod and cone pathway mediated responses. Mice homozygous for both Cdh23v-6J and Pcdh15av-Jfb mutations showed no sign of retinitis pigmentosa or photoreceptor degeneration but, as expected, were deaf and had disorganized hair cell sensory bundles.
The simultaneous presence of homozygous mutant alleles of cadherin 23 and protocadherin 15 results only in deafness, not retinal degeneration or any other additional obvious phenotype of the major organ systems. We conclude that in the mouse cadherin 23 or protocadherin 15 appear not to compensate for one another to maintain the retina.
Mutant alleles of TMPRSS3 are associated with nonsyndromic recessive deafness (DFNB8/B10). TMPRSS3 encodes a predicted secreted serine protease, although the deduced amino acid sequence has no signal peptide. In this study, we searched for mutant alleles of TMPRSS3 in families from Pakistan and Newfoundland with recessive deafness co-segregating with DFNB8/B10 linked haplotypes and also more thoroughly characterized the genomic structure of TMPRSS3.
We enrolled families segregating recessive hearing loss from Pakistan and Newfoundland. Microsatellite markers flanking the TMPRSS3 locus were used for linkage analysis. DNA samples from participating individuals were sequenced for TMPRSS3. The structure of TMPRSS3 was characterized bioinformatically and experimentally by sequencing novel cDNA clones of TMPRSS3.
We identified mutations in TMPRSS3 in four Pakistani families with recessive, nonsyndromic congenital deafness. We also identified two recessive mutations, one of which is novel, of TMPRSS3 segregating in a six-generation extended family from Newfoundland. The spectrum of TMPRSS3 mutations is reviewed in the context of a genotype-phenotype correlation. Our study also revealed a longer isoform of TMPRSS3 with a hitherto unidentified exon encoding a signal peptide, which is expressed in several tissues.
Mutations of TMPRSS3 contribute to hearing loss in many communities worldwide and account for 1.8% (8 of 449) of Pakistani families segregating congenital deafness as an autosomal recessive trait. The newly identified TMPRSS3 isoform e will be helpful in the functional characterization of the full length protein.