Otosclerosis is a condition characterized by an abnormal bone metabolism in the otic capsule, resulting in conductive and/or sensorineural hearing loss. Otosclerosis is a common disorder in which genes play an important role. Case-control association studies have implicated several genes in the abnormal bone metabolism associated with otosclerosis: COL1A1, TGFB1, BMP2, and BMP4. To investigate the association of these genes with otosclerosis in the Tunisian population, we examined nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 159 unrelated otosclerosis patients and 155 unrelated controls. We found an association of rs11327935 in COL1A1 with otosclerosis that was shown to be sex specific. The coding polymorphism T263I in TGFB1 was also associated with otosclerosis in the Tunisian population. The effect sizes of both the associations were consistent with previous studies, as the same effect was found in all cases. The association of BMP2 and BMP4 was not significant. However, a trend towards association was found for the BMP4 gene that was consistent with earlier reports. In conclusion, this study replicates and strengthens the evidence for association between polymorphisms of COL1A1 and TGFB1 in the genetic aetiology of otosclerosis.
We previously mapped the DFNB66 locus to an interval overlapping the DFNB67 region. Mutations in the LHFPL5 gene were identified as a cause of DFNB67 hearing loss (HL). However, screening of the coding exons of LHFPL5 did not reveal any mutation in the DFNB66 family. The objective of this study was to check whether DFNB66 and DFNB67 are distinctive loci and determining their contribution to HL. In the DFNB66 family, sequencing showed absence of mutations in the untranslated regions and the predicted promoter sequence of LHFPL5. Analysis of five microsatellites in the 6p21.31-22.3 region and screening of the LHFPL5 gene by DNA heteroduplex analysis in DHPLC revealed a novel mutation (c.89dup) in one out of 129 unrelated Tunisian families with autosomal recessive nonsyndromic (ARNS) HL. Our findings suggest that two distinct genes are responsible for DFNB66 and DFNB67 HL. These loci are likely to be a rare cause of ARNSHL.
Autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss (ARNSHL) is a genetically heterogenous disorder with 41 genes so far identified. Among these genes, ESRRB whose mutations are responsible for DFNB35 hearing loss in Pakistani and Turkish families. This gene encodes the estrogen-related receptor beta. In this study, we report a novel mutation (p.Y305H) in the ESRRB gene in a Tunisian family with ARNSHL. This mutation was not detected in 100 healthy individuals. Molecular modeling showed that the p.Y305H mutation is likely to alter the conformation of the ligand binding-site by destabilizing the coactivator binding pocket. Interestingly, this ligand-binding domain of the ESRRB protein has been affected in 5 out of 6 mutations causing DFNB35 hearing loss. Using linkage and DHPLC analysis, no more mutations were detected in the ESRRB gene in other 127 Tunisian families with ARNSHL indicating that DFNB35 is most likely to be a rare type of ARNSHL in the Tunisian population.
Branchio-oto-renal (BOR) and Branchio-otic (BO) syndromes are dominant disorders characterized by variable hearing impairment (HI) and branchial defects. BOR includes additional kidney malformations. BO/BOR syndromes are genetically heterogeneous and caused by mutations in EYA1 and SIX1 genes. Mutation in SIX1 is responsible also for DFNA23, a locus for non-syndromic HI. Strikingly, the severity of the phenotype did not seem to correlate with the type of SIX1 mutation. Herein, we identified a novel mutation in SIX1 (p.E125K) in a Tunisian family with variable HI and preauricular pits. This mutation is located at the same position as the mutation identified in the Catwhesel (Cwe) mouse. No renal and branchial defects were observed in our family nor in Cwe/+ mice. A homology model revealed that the replacement of the Glutamate by a Lysine alters the electrostatic potential surface propriety which may affect the DNA-binding activity.
Deleterious mutations of SLC26A4 cause Pendred syndrome (PS), an autosomal recessive disorder comprising goitre and deafness with enlarged vestibular aqueducts (EVA), and nonsyndromic hearing loss (NSHL). However, the SLC26A4 hyperactivity was recently associated with the emergence of autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITD) and asthma among human and mouse model. Here, by direct sequencing, we investigate the sequences of the 20 coding exons (2 to 21) of SLC26A4 and their flanking intron-exon junctions among patients affected with Graves disease (GD) hyperthyroidism. Ten mono-allelic variants were identified, seven of which are intronic and previously unreported. Two, c.898A>C (p.I300L) and c.1061T>C (p.F354S), of the three exonic variants are non synonymous. The p.F354S variant is already described to be involved in PS or NSHL inheritances. The exploration by PCR-RFLP of p.I300L and p.F354S variants among 132 GD patients, 105 Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT), 206 Healthy subjects and 102 families with NSHL have shown the presence of both variants. The p.F354S variation was identified both among patients (1~HT and 3 GD) and healthy subjects (n=5). Whereas, the p.I300L variant was identified only in GD patients (n=3). Our studies provide evidence of the importance of systematic analysis of SLC26A4 gene sequences on models other than deafness. This approach allows the identification of new variants and the review of the pathogenic effects of certain mono-allelic variants reported responsible for PS and NSHL development.
Otosclerosis is a common form of conductive hearing loss, caused by an abnormal bone remodelling in the otic capsule. Both environmental and genetic factors have been implicated in the etiology of this disease. A recent genome wide association study identified two regions associated with otosclerosis, one on chr7q22.1, located in the RELN gene, and one on chr11q13.1. A second study in four European populations has replicated the association of the RELN gene with otosclerosis. To investigate the association of these loci with otosclerosis in a non-European population, we tested 11 SNPs from the two regions in 149 unrelated Tunisian patients and 152 controls. Four SNPs were significantly associated with otosclerosis. Three SNPs are located in the RELN region and the last one is located in the region on chromosome 11. We also observed a significant interaction with gender for rs3914132. This suggests an influence of sex on the association of RELN with otosclerosis. A meta-analysis showed that the disease-associated alleles in the Tunisian sample are the same as in all previously reported associations. Our study provides additional evidence implicating RELN in the development of otosclerosis. Additional functional studies should determine the role of RELN in the physiopathology of this disease.
Recessive mutations of the myosin VIIA (MYO7A) gene are reported to be responsible for both a deaf-blindness syndrome (Usher type 1B [USH1B] and atypical Usher syndrome) and nonsyndromic hearing loss (HL; Deafness, Neurosensory, Autosomal Recessive 2 [DFNB2]). The existence of DFNB2 is controversial, and often there is no relationship between the type and location of the MYO7A mutations corresponding to the USH1B and DFNB2 phenotype. We investigated the molecular determinant of a mild form of retinopathy in association with a subtle splicing modulation of MYO7A mRNA.
Founder mutations, particularly 35delG in the GJB2 gene, have to a large extent contributed to the high frequency of autosomal recessive nonsyndromic hearing loss (ARNSHL). Mutations in transmembrane channel-like gene 1 (TMC1) cause ARNSHL. The p.R34X mutation is the most frequent known mutation in the TMC1 gene. To study the origin of this mutation and determine whether it arose in a common ancestor, we analyzed 21 polymorphic markers spanning the TMC1 gene in 11 unrelated individuals from Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Tunisia, and Turkey who carry this mutation. In nine individuals, we observed significant linkage disequilibrium between p.R34X and five polymorphic markers within a 220 kb interval, suggesting that p.R34X arose from a common founder. We estimated the age of this mutation to be between 1075 and 1900 years, perhaps spreading along the third Hadramaout population movements during the seventh century. A second founder effect was observed in Turkish and Lebanese individuals with markers in a 920 kb interval. Screening for the TMC1 p.R34X mutation is indicated in the genetic evaluation of persons with ARNSHL from North African and Southwest Asia.
Sensorineural hearing loss has been described in association with different mitochondrial multisystemic syndromes, often characterized by an important neuromuscular involvement. Until now, mutations in mitochondrial DNA, especially in the 12S rRNA, the tRNASer(UCN) and the tRNALeu(UUR) genes, were implicated in syndromic or non-syndromic hearing loss either as a primary cause or as predisposing factors. In the present study, we performed a whole mitochondrial genome screening in two unrelated Tunisian families with inherited hearing loss. Results showed the presence of a novel mutation in the mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene in the two probands of these two families who belong to two different haplogroups: L3 and H6a1. The m.735A>G mutation affects a conserved nucleotide of the mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene in primates and other species and had a conservation index of 78.5% (11/14). We also detected known polymorphisms and sic novel mitochondrial variants. The present study confirmed that the mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene is a hot spot for mutations associated with hearing impairment.
Recessive mutations of MYO15A are associated with nonsyndromic hearing loss (HL) in humans (DFNB3) and in the shaker-2 mouse. Human MYO15A has 66 exons and encodes unconventional myosin XVA. Analysis of 77 Tunisian consanguineous families segregating recessive deafness revealed evidence of linkage to microsatellite markers for DFNB3 in four families. In two families, sequencing of MYO15A led to the identification of two novel homozygous mutations: a nonsense (c.4998C>A (p.C1666X) in exon 17 and a splice site mutation in intron 54 (c.9229 + 1G>A). A novel mutation of unknown significance, c.7395 + 3G>C, was identified in the third family, and no mutation was found in the fourth family. In conclusion, we discovered three novel mutations of MYO15A, and our data suggest the possibility that there are two distinct genes at the DFNB3 locus.
Biallelic mutations in the GJB2, GJB3, GJB6 and CLDN14 genes have been implicated in autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing impairment (ARNSHI). Moreover, a large number of GJB2 heterozygous patients was reported. The phenotype was in partly justified by the occurrence of two deletions including GJB6. We analysed GJB2, GJB6, GJB3 and CLDN14 in 102 Tunisian patients with ARNSHI. The deletions del(GJB6-D13S1830) and del(GJB6-D13S1854) were also screened. The c.35delG in GJB2 was the most frequent mutation (21.57%). It was detected at heterozygous state in 2 patients. The del(GJB6-D13S1830) was identified in one case at heterozygous state. No other mutation in studied gap junction genes was detected in heterozygous patients. Several polymorphisms were identified in GJB3, GJB6 and CLDN14. Our study confirms the importance of GJB2 screening in ARNSHI and suggests that in consanguineous populations, a single DFNB1 mutant allele in individuals with HI is likely due to a coincidental carrier state.
Homozygosity mapping is a powerful resource for mapping and identifying loci and genes responsible for autosomal recessive disorders. Nevertheless, it could result in the identification of several homozygous regions unrelated to the disease locus or non-informative regions. Previously, a genome-wide screen in a large consanguineous Jordanian family allowed us to assign the DFNB33 locus to chromosome 9q34.3. Sequencing of 23 candidate genes showed 11 SNPs in a heterozygous state in affected individuals. These results ruled out the candidate region on chromosome 9. Using additional markers, we were able to restrict the disease locus to an approximately 14 cM region at chromosome 10, located between markers D10S193 and D10S1784. A maximum LOD score of 3.99 was obtained with two markers, D10S199 and D10S220. The screening of two candidate genes, CX40.1 and FXYD4, failed to reveal any disease-causing mutations.
Hearing impairment (HI) is the decreased ability to hear and discriminate among sounds. It is one of the most common birth defects. Epidemiological data show that more than one child in 1000 is born with HI, whereas more than 50% of prelingual HI cases are found to be hereditary. So far, 95 published autosomal-recessive nonsyndromic HI (ARNSHI) loci have been mapped, and 41 ARNSHI genes have been identified. In this study, we performed a genome-wide linkage study in a consanguineous Tunisian family, and report the mapping of a novel ARNSHI locus DFNB80 to chromosome 2p16.1-p21 between the two single-nucleotide polymorphisms rs10191091 and rs2193485 with a maximum multipoint logarithm of odds score of 4.1. The screening of seven candidate genes, failed to reveal any disease-causing mutations.
Hearing loss is a common congenital anomaly with an incidence of 1 in 1000 live births. It has been described together with several other clinical features as fortuitous association or commune genetic syndrome. In this study, we investigated a consanguineous Tunisian family with moderate to profound congenital hearing loss, mental retardation and autistic behaviors. We performed a genome wide microarray analysis study using approximately 300,000 SNPs in a common set of 7 invidious of this family. We identified regions of suggestive linkage with hearing loss on chromosomes 6p12 and 7q34. In addition, we identified a deletion on chromosome 8p in the two autistic individuals. This report presents an illustration of how consanguinity could increase familial clustering of multiple hereditary diseases within the same family. The application of next generation sequencing for this family seems to be a good strategy for further analysis leading to the identification of candidate genes.
The adult mammalian cochlea lacks regenerative ability and the irreversible degeneration of cochlear sensory hair cells leads to permanent hearing loss. Previous data show that early postnatal cochlea harbors stem/progenitor-like cells and shows a limited regenerative/repair capacity. These properties are progressively lost later during the postnatal development. Little is known about the genes and pathways that are potentially involved in this difference of the regenerative/repair potentialities between early postnatal and adult mammalian cochlear sensory epithelia (CSE). The goal of our study is to investigate the transcriptomic profiles of these two stages. We used Mouse Genome 430 2.0 microarray to perform an extensive analysis of the genes expressed in mouse postnatal day-3 (P3) and adult CSE. Statistical analysis of microarray data was performed using SAM (Significance Analysis of Microarrays) software. We identified 5644 statistically significant differentially expressed transcripts with a fold change (FC) >2 and a False Discovery Rate (FDR) ?0.05. The P3 CSE signature included 3,102 transcripts, among which were known genes in the cochlea, but also new transcripts such as, Hmga2 (high mobility group AT-hook 2) and Nrarp (Notch-regulated ankyrin repeat protein). The adult CSE overexpressed 2,542 transcripts including new transcripts, such as Prl (Prolactin) and Ar (Androgen receptor), that previously were not known to be expressed in the adult cochlea. Our comparative study revealed important genes and pathways differentially expressed between the developing and adult CSE. The identification of new candidate genes would be useful as potential markers of the maintenance or the loss of stem cells and regenerative/repair ability during mammalian cochlear development.
Otosclerosis is a disease of abnormal bone remodeling in the human otic capsule that can lead to progressive hearing loss. Little of the underlying disease etiology has been elucidated thus far, although several studies have suggested that COL1A1 may play a role based on its importance in bone metabolism and other diseases like osteoporosis and osteogenesis imperfecta. Genetic association studies between COL1A1 and otosclerosis, however, have been contradictory. To resolve this issue, we studied a large Belgian-Dutch and a Swiss population for a genetic association between COL1A1 and otosclerosis and additionally performed a meta-analysis to investigate the overall genetic effect of COL1A1 on all otosclerosis populations studied to date. We found a significant association both in the Belgian-Dutch population and in the meta-analysis. In aggregate, our analysis supports evidence for an association between COL1A1 and otosclerosis although effect sizes of the variants reported in the initial studies are likely to be an overestimate of true effect sizes.
Recessive mutations of the SLC26A4 (PDS) gene on chromosome 7q31 can cause sensorineural hearing loss with goiter (Pendred syndrome) or non-syndromic autosomal recessive hearing loss (DFNB4). Furthermore, mutations in the GJB2 gene results in autosomal recessive (DFNB1) and dominant (DFNA3) non-syndromic hearing loss. The aim of the present study was to characterize a family with Pendred syndrome affected by severe to profound HL and presenting goiter.
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