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1.  Variable expressivity of FGF3 mutations associated with deafness and LAMM syndrome 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:21.
Background
Recessive mutations of fibroblast growth factor 3 (FGF3) can cause LAMM syndrome (OMIM 610706), characterized by fully penetrant complete labyrinthine aplasia, microtia and microdontia.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-21
PMCID: PMC3042908  PMID: 21306635
2.  Characterization of a new full length TMPRSS3 isoform and identification of mutant alleles responsible for nonsyndromic recessive deafness in Newfoundland and Pakistan 
BMC Medical Genetics  2004;5:24.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-5-24
PMCID: PMC523852  PMID: 15447792

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