Prevalence and evolutionary origins of the del(GJB6-D13S1830) mutation in the DFNB1 locus in hearing-impaired subjects: a multicenter study.
ABSTRACT: Mutations in GJB2, the gene encoding connexin-26 at the DFNB1 locus on 13q12, are found in as many as 50% of subjects with autosomal recessive, nonsyndromic prelingual hearing impairment. However, genetic diagnosis is complicated by the fact that 10%-50% of affected subjects with GJB2 mutations carry only one mutant allele. Recently, a deletion truncating the GJB6 gene (encoding connexin-30), near GJB2 on 13q12, was shown to be the accompanying mutation in approximately 50% of these deaf GJB2 heterozygotes in a cohort of Spanish patients, thus becoming second only to 35delG at GJB2 as the most frequent mutation causing prelingual hearing impairment in Spain. Here, we present data from a multicenter study in nine countries that shows that the deletion is present in most of the screened populations, with higher frequencies in France, Spain, and Israel, where the percentages of unexplained GJB2 heterozygotes fell to 16.0%-20.9% after screening for the del(GJB6-D13S1830) mutation. Our results also suggest that additional mutations remain to be identified, either in DFNB1 or in other unlinked genes involved in epistatic interactions with GJB2. Analysis of haplotypes associated with the deletion revealed a founder effect in Ashkenazi Jews and also suggested a common founder for countries in Western Europe. These results have important implications for the diagnosis and counseling of families with DFNB1 deafness.
Project description:Although mutations in the GJB2 gene sequence make up the majority of variants causing autosomal-recessive non-syndromic hearing loss, few large deletions have been shown to contribute to DFNB1 deafness. Currently, genetic testing for DFNB1 hearing loss includes GJB2 sequencing and DFNB1 deletion analysis for two common large deletions, del(GJB6-D13S1830) and del(GJB6-D13S1854). Here, we report frequency in Russia, clinical significance and evolutionary origins of a 101?kb deletion, del(GJB2-D13S175), recently identified by us. In multiethnic cohort of 1104 unrelated hearing loss patients with biallelic mutations at the DFNB1 locus, the del(GJB2-D13S175) allele frequency of up to 0.5% (11/2208) was determined and this allele was shown to be predominantly associated with profound sensorineural hearing loss. Additionally, eight previously unpublished GJB2 mutations were described in this study. All patients carrying del(GJB2-D13S175) were of the Ingush ancestry. Among normal hearing individuals, del(GJB2-D13S175) was observed in Russian Republic of Ingushetia with a carrier rate of ~1% (2/241). Analysis of haplotypes associated with the deletion revealed a common founder in the Ingushes, with age of the deletion being ~3000 years old. Since del(GJB2-D13S175) was missed by standard methods of GJB2 analysis, del(GJB2-D13S175) detection has been added to our routine testing strategy for DFNB1 hearing loss.
Project description:Eleven affected members of a large German-American family segregating recessively inherited, congenital, non-syndromic sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) were found to be homozygous for the common 35delG mutation of GJB2, the gene encoding the gap junction protein Connexin 26. Surprisingly, four additional family members with bilateral profound SNHL carried only a single 35delG mutation. Previously, we demonstrated reduced expression of both GJB2 and GJB6 mRNA from the allele carried in trans with that bearing the 35delG mutation in these four persons. Using array comparative genome hybridization (array CGH), we have now identified on this allele a deletion of 131.4 kb whose proximal breakpoint lies more than 100 kb upstream of the transcriptional start sites of GJB2 and GJB6. This deletion, del(chr13:19,837,344-19,968,698), segregates as a completely penetrant DFNB1 allele in this family. It is not present in 528 persons with SNHL and monoallelic mutation of GJB2 or GJB6, and we have not identified any other candidate pathogenic copy number variation by arrayCGH in a subset of 10 such persons. Characterization of distant GJB2/GJB6 cis-regulatory regions evidenced by this allele may be required to find the 'missing' DFNB1 mutations that are believed to exist.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mutations involving the closely linked GJB2 and GJB6 at the DFNB1 locus are a common genetic cause of profound congenital hearing loss in many populations. In some deaf GJB2 heterozygotes, a 309 kb deletion involving the GJB6 has been found to be the cause for hearing loss when inherited in trans to a GJB2 mutation. METHODS:We screened 2,376 probands from a National DNA Repository of deaf individuals. RESULTS:Fifty-two of 318 heterozygous probands with pathogenic GJB2 sequence variants had a GJB6 deletion. Additionally, eight probands had an isolated heterozygous GJB6 deletion that did not explain their hearing loss. In two deaf subjects, including one proband, a homozygous GJB6 deletion was the cause for their hearing loss, a rare occurrence not reported to date. CONCLUSION:This study represents the largest US cohort of deaf individuals harboring GJB2 and GJB6 variants, including unique subsets of families with deaf parents. Testing additional members to clarify the phase of GJB2/GJB6 variants in multiplex families was crucial in interpreting clinical significance of the variants in the proband. It highlights the importance of determining the phase of GJB2/GJB6 variants when interpreting molecular test results especially in multiplex families with assortative mating.
Project description:Mutations in the human gap junction beta-2 gene (GJB2) that encodes connexin-26 have been shown to cause non-syndromic sensorineural hearing loss (NSSNHL) at the DFNB1 locus on 13q11. Functional and genetic data regarding the disease causing potential of one particular GJB2 sequence variant, 101 T-->C (M34T), have proven contradictory. In this study, we found the prevalence of the M34T allele in a cohort of white sib pairs and sporadic cases with NSSNHL from the United Kingdom and Ireland to be 3.179% of chromosomes screened. Significantly, we identified the first M34T/M34T genotype cosegregating in a single family with mid to high frequency NSSNHL. Screening a control population of 630 subjects we identified 25 M34T heterozygotes; however, no M34T homozygotes were detected. Surprisingly, the majority of M34T alleles (88%) were in cis with a 10 bp deletion in the 5' non-coding sequence. This non-coding deletion was also homozygous in the homozygous M34T subjects. Microsatellite analysis of flanking loci in M34T heterozygotes and controls does not define an extensive ancestral haplotype but preliminary data suggest two common alleles in subjects with the M34T allele. In summary, we provide data that support M34T acting as a recessive GJB2 allele associated with mild-moderate prelingual hearing impairment.
Project description:PurposeHearing loss is more prevalent in the Saudi Arabian population than in other populations; however, the full range of genetic etiologies in this population is unknown. We report the genetic findings from 33 Saudi hearing-loss probands of tribal ancestry, with predominantly prelingual severe to profound hearing loss.MethodsTesting was performed over the course of 2012-2016, and involved initial GJB2 sequence and GJB6-D13S1830 deletion screening, with negative cases being reflexed to a next-generation sequencing panel with 70, 71, or 87 hearing-loss genes.ResultsA "positive" result was reached in 63% of probands, with two recurrent OTOF variants (p.Glu57* and p.Arg1792His) accountable for a third of all "positive" cases. The next most common cause was pathogenic variants in MYO7A and SLC26A4, each responsible for three "positive" cases. Interestingly, only one "positive" diagnosis had a DFNB1-related cause, due to a homozygous GJB6-D13S1830 deletion, and no sequence variants in GJB2 were detected.ConclusionOur findings implicate OTOF as a potential major contributor to hearing loss in the Saudi population, while highlighting the low contribution of GJB2, thus offering important considerations for clinical testing strategies for Saudi patients. Further screening of Saudi patients is needed to characterize the genetic spectrum in this population.
Project description:Our study aimed to investigate GJB2 (connexin 26) and GJB6 (connexin 30) mutations associated with non-syndromic childhood hearing impairment (HI) as well as the environmental causes of HI in Ghana. Medical reports of 1,104 students attending schools for the deaf were analyzed. Families segregating HI, as well as isolated cases of HI of putative genetic origin were recruited. DNA was extracted from peripheral blood followed by Sanger sequencing of the entire coding region of GJB2. Multiplex PCR and Sanger sequencing were used to analyze the prevalence of GJB6-D3S1830 deletion. Ninety-seven families segregating HI were identified, with 235 affected individuals; and a total of 166 isolated cases of putative genetic causes, were sampled from 11 schools for the deaf in Ghana. The environmental factors, particularly meningitis, remain a major cause of HI impairment in Ghana. The male/female ratio was 1.49. Only 59.6% of the patients had their first comprehensive HI test between 6 to 11 years of age. Nearly all the participants had sensorineural HI (99.5%; n = 639). The majority had pre-lingual HI (68.3%, n = 754), of which 92.8% were congenital. Pedigree analysis suggested autosomal recessive inheritance in 96.9% of the familial cases. GJB2-R143W mutation, previously reported as founder a mutation in Ghana accounted for 25.9% (21/81) in the homozygous state in familial cases, and in 7.9% (11/140) of non-familial non-syndromic congenital HI cases, of putative genetic origin. In a control population without HI, we found a prevalent of GJB2-R143W carriers of 1.4% (2/145), in the heterozygous state. No GJB6-D3S1830 deletion was identified in any of the HI patients. GJB2-R143W mutation accounted for over a quarter of familial non-syndromic HI in Ghana and should be investigated in clinical practice. The large connexin 30 gene deletion (GJB6-D3S1830 deletion) does not account for of congenital non-syndromic HI in Ghana. There is a need to employ next generation sequencing approaches and functional genomics studies to identify the other genes involved in most families and isolated cases of HI in Ghana.
Project description:Mutations of GJB2 and GJB6 (connexin-26 and 30) at the DFNB1 locus are the most common cause of autosomal recessive, nonsyndromic deafness. Despite their widespread expression throughout the vestibular system, vestibular dysfunction has not been widely recognized as a commonly associated clinical feature. The observations of vertigo accompanying DFNB1 deafness in several large families prompted our hypothesis that vestibular dysfunction may be an integral, but often overlooked, component of DFNB1 deafness. Our aim was to define the prevalence of vestibular dysfunction in Cases of DFNB1 deafness and Controls with other forms of deafness. We developed and used a survey to assess symptoms of vestibular dysfunction, medical, and family history was distributed to Cases with deafness due to pathogenic GJB2 and/or GJB6 mutations and deaf Controls without DFNB1 deafness. Our results showed: Surveys were returned by 235/515 Cases (46%) with DFNB1 mutations and 121/321 Controls (38%) without these mutations. The mean age of Cases (41) was younger than Controls (51; P?<?0.001). Vestibular dysfunction was reported by 127 (54%) of Cases and was present at significantly higher rates in Cases than in deaf Controls without DFNB1 deafness (P?<?0.03). Most (63%) had to lie down in order for vertigo to subside, and 48% reported that vertigo interfered with activities of daily living. Vertigo was reported by significantly more Cases with truncating than non-truncating mutations and was also associated with a family history of dizziness. We conclude that vestibular dysfunction appears to be more common in DFNB1 deafness than previously recognized and affects activities of daily living in many patients.
Project description:Almost 60% of children with profound prelingual hearing loss (HL) have a genetic determinant of deafness, most frequently two DFNB1 locus (GJB2/GJB6 genes) recessive pathogenic variants. Only few studies combine HL etiology with cochlear implantation (CI) outcome. Patients with profound prelingual HL who received a cochlear implant before 24 months of age and had completed DFNB1 genetic testing were enrolled in the study (n = 196). LittlEARS questionnaire scores were used to assess auditory development. Our data show that children with DFNB1-related HL (n = 149) had good outcome from the CI (6.85, 22.24, and 28 scores at 0, 5, and 9 months post-CI, respectively). A better auditory development was achieved in patients who receive cochlear implants before 12 months of age. Children without residual hearing presented a higher rate of auditory development than children with responses in hearing aids over a wide frequency range prior to CI, but both groups reached a similar level of auditory development after 9 months post-CI. Our data shed light upon the benefits of CI in the homogenous group of patients with HL due to DFNB1 locus pathogenic variants and clearly demonstrate that very early CI is the most effective treatment method in this group of patients.
Project description:The DFNB1 subtype of autosomal recessive, nonsyndromic hearing impairment, caused by mutations affecting the GJB2 (connexin-26) [corrected] gene, is highly prevalent in most populations worldwide. DFNB1 hearing impairment is mostly severe or profound and usually appears before the acquisition of speech (prelingual onset), though a small number of hypomorphic missense mutations result in mild or moderate deafness of postlingual onset. We identified a novel GJB2 splice-site mutation, c. -22-2A>C, in three siblings with mild postlingual hearing impairment that were compound heterozygous for c. -22-2A>C and c.35delG. Reverse transcriptase-PCR experiments performed on total RNA extracted from saliva samples from one of these siblings confirmed that c. -22-2A>C abolished the acceptor splice site of the single GJB2 intron, resulting in the absence of normally processed transcripts from this allele. However, we did isolate transcripts from the c. -22-2A>C allele that keep an intact GJB2 coding region and that were generated by use of an alternative acceptor splice site previously unknown. The residual expression of wild-type connexin-26 [corrected] encoded by these transcripts probably underlies the mild severity and late onset of the hearing impairment of these subjects.
Project description:The inner ear is a very complex sensory organ whose development and function depend on finely balanced interactions among diverse cell types. The many different kinds of inner ear supporting cells play the essential roles of providing physical and physiological support to sensory hair cells and of maintaining cochlear homeostasis. Appropriately enough, the gene most commonly mutated among subjects with hereditary hearing impairment (HI), GJB2, encodes the connexin-26 (Cx26) gap-junction channel protein that underlies both intercellular communication among supporting cells and homeostasis of the cochlear fluids, endolymph and perilymph. GJB2 lies at the DFNB1 locus on 13q12. The specific kind of HI associated with this locus is caused by recessively-inherited mutations that inactivate the two alleles of the GJB2 gene, either in homozygous or compound heterozygous states. We describe the many diverse classes of genetic alterations that result in DFNB1 HI, such as large deletions that either destroy the GJB2 gene or remove a regulatory element essential for GJB2 expression, point mutations that interfere with promoter function or splicing, and small insertions or deletions and nucleotide substitutions that target the GJB2 coding sequence. We focus on how these alterations disrupt GJB2 and Cx26 functions and on their different effects on cochlear development and physiology. We finally discuss the diversity of clinical features of DFNB1 HI as regards severity, age of onset, inner ear malformations and vestibular dysfunction, highlighting the areas where future research should be concentrated.