Grxcr1 Promotes Hair Bundle Development by Destabilizing the Physical Interaction between Harmonin and Sans Usher Syndrome Proteins.
ABSTRACT: Morphogenesis and mechanoelectrical transduction of the hair cell mechanoreceptor depend on the correct assembly of Usher syndrome (USH) proteins into highly organized macromolecular complexes. Defects in these proteins lead to deafness and vestibular areflexia in USH patients. Mutations in a non-USH protein, glutaredoxin domain-containing cysteine-rich 1 (GRXCR1), cause non-syndromic sensorineural deafness. To understand the deglutathionylating enzyme function of GRXCR1 in deafness, we generated two grxcr1 zebrafish mutant alleles. We found that hair bundles are thinner in homozygous grxcr1 mutants, similar to the USH1 mutants ush1c (Harmonin) and ush1ga (Sans). In vitro assays showed that glutathionylation promotes the interaction between Ush1c and Ush1ga and that Grxcr1 regulates mechanoreceptor development by preventing physical interaction between these proteins without affecting the assembly of another USH1 protein complex, the Ush1c-Cadherin23-Myosin7aa tripartite complex. By elucidating the molecular mechanism through which Grxcr1 functions, we also identify a mechanism that dynamically regulates the formation of Usher protein complexes.
Project description:Usher syndrome accounts for about 50% of all hereditary deaf-blindness cases. The most severe form of this syndrome, Usher syndrome type I (USH1), is characterized by profound congenital sensorineural deafness, vestibular dysfunction, and retinitis pigmentosa. Six USH1 genes have been identified, MYO7A, CDH23, PCDH15, USH1C, SANS, and CIB2, encoding myosin VIIA, cadherin-23, protocadherin-15, harmonin, scaffold protein containing ankyrin repeats and a sterile alpha motif (SAM) domain, and calcium- and integrin-binding member 2, respectively.In the present study, we recruited four Tunisian families with a diagnosis of USH1, together with healthy unrelated controls. Affected members underwent detailed audiologic and ocular examinations. We used the North African Deafness (NADf) chip to search for known North African mutations associated with USH. Then, we selected microsatellite markers covering USH1 known loci to genotype the DNA samples. Finally, we performed DNA sequencing of three known USH1 genes: MYO7A, PCDH15, and USH1C.Four biallelic mutations, all single base changes, were found in the MYO7A, USH1C, and PCDH15 genes. These mutations consist of a previously reported splicing defect c.470+1G>A in MYO7A, three novel variants, including two nonsense (p.Arg3X and p.Arg134X) in USH1C and PCDH15, respectively, and one frameshift (p.Lys615Asnfs*6) in MYO7A.We found a remarkable genetic heterogeneity in the studied families with USH1 with a variety of mutations, among which three were novel. These novel mutations will be included in the NADf mutation screening chip that will allow a higher diagnosis efficiency of this extremely genetically heterogeneous disease. Ultimately, efficient molecular diagnosis of USH in a patient's early childhood is of utmost importance, allowing better educational and therapeutic management.
Project description:Usher syndrome (USH) is a genetically heterogeneous deafness-blindness syndrome, divided into three clinical subtypes: USH1, USH2 and USH3.Mutations in 21 out of 26 investigated Danish unrelated individuals with USH were identified, using a combination of molecular diagnostic methods.Before Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) became available mutations in nine individuals (1 USH1, 7 USH2, 1 USH3) were identified by Sanger sequencing of USH1C,USH2A or CLRN1 or by Arrayed Primer EXtension (APEX) method. Mutations in 12 individuals (7 USH1, 5 USH2) were found by targeted NGS of ten known USH genes. Five novel pathogenic variants were identified. We combined our data with previously published, and obtained an overview of the USH mutation spectrum in Denmark, including 100 unrelated individuals; 32 with USH1, 67 with USH2, and 1 with USH3. Macular edema was observed in 44 of 117 individuals. Olfactory function was tested in 12 individuals and found to be within normal range in all.Mutations that lead to USH1 were predominantly identified in MYO7A (75%), whereas all mutations in USH2 cases were identified in USH2A. The MYO7A mutation c.93C>A, p.(Cys31*) accounted for 33% of all USH1 mutations and the USH2A c.2299delG, p.(Glu767Serfs*21) variant accounted for 45% of all USH2 mutations in the Danish cohort.
Project description:PURPOSE: Usher syndrome type I (USH1) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by severe-profound sensorineural hearing loss, retinitis pigmentosa, and vestibular areflexia. To date, five USH1 genes have been identified. One of these genes is Usher syndrome 1C (USH1C), which encodes a protein, harmonin, containing PDZ domains. The aim of the present work was the mutation screening of the USH1C gene in a cohort of 33 Usher syndrome patients, to identify the genetic cause of the disease and to determine the relative involvement of this gene in USH1 pathogenesis in the Spanish population. METHODS: Thirty-three patients were screened for mutations in the USH1C gene by direct sequencing. Some had already been screened for mutations in the other known USH1 genes (myosin VIIA [MYO7A], cadherin-related 23 [CDH23], protocadherin-related 15 [PCDH15], and Usher syndrome 1G [USH1G]), but no mutation was found. RESULTS: Two novel mutations were found in the USH1C gene: a non-sense mutation (p.C224X) and a frame-shift mutation (p.D124TfsX7). These mutations were found in a homozygous state in two unrelated USH1 patients. CONCLUSIONS: In the present study, we detected two novel pathogenic mutations in the USH1C gene. Our results suggest that mutations in USH1C are responsible for 1.5% of USH1 disease in patients of Spanish origin (considering the total cohort of 65 Spanish USH1 patients since 2005), indicating that USH1C is a rare form of USH in this population.
Project description:Usher syndrome (USH) is the most common form of deaf-blindness in humans. Molecular characterization revealed that the USH gene products form a macromolecular protein network in hair cells of the inner ear and in photoreceptor cells of the retina via binding to PDZ domains in the scaffold protein harmonin encoded by the Ush1c gene in mice and humans. Although several mouse mutants for the Ush1c gene have been described, we generated a targeted null mutation Ush1c mouse model in which the first four exons of the Ush1c gene were replaced with a reporter gene. Here, we assessed the expression pattern of the reporter gene under control of Ush1c regulatory elements and characterized the phenotype of mice defective for Ush1c. These Ush1 knockout mice are deaf but do not recapitulate vision defects before 10 months of age. Our data show LacZ expression in multiple layers of the retina but in neither outer nor inner segments of the photoreceptor layers in mice bearing the knockout construct at 1-5 months of age. The fact that Ush1c expression is much higher in the ear than in the eye suggests a different role for Ush1c in ear function than in the eye and may explain why Ush1c mutant mice do not recapitulate vision defects.
Project description:Usher syndrome (USH) is an autosomal recessive disorder comprising retinitis pigmentosa, hearing loss and, in some cases, vestibular dysfunction. It is clinically and genetically heterogeneous with three distinctive clinical types (I-III) and nine Usher genes identified. This study is a comprehensive clinical and genetic analysis of 172 Usher patients and evaluates the contribution of digenic inheritance.The genes MYO7A, USH1C, CDH23, PCDH15, USH1G, USH2A, GPR98, WHRN, CLRN1 and the candidate gene SLC4A7 were sequenced in 172 UK Usher patients, regardless of clinical type.No subject had definite mutations (nonsense, frameshift or consensus splice site mutations) in two different USH genes. Novel missense variants were classified UV1-4 (unclassified variant): UV4 is 'probably pathogenic', based on control frequency <0.23%, identification in trans to a pathogenic/probably pathogenic mutation and segregation with USH in only one family; and UV3 ('likely pathogenic') as above, but no information on phase. Overall 79% of identified pathogenic/UV4/UV3 variants were truncating and 21% were missense changes. MYO7A accounted for 53.2%, and USH1C for 14.9% of USH1 families (USH1C:c.496+1G>A being the most common USH1 mutation in the cohort). USH2A was responsible for 79.3% of USH2 families and GPR98 for only 6.6%. No mutations were found in USH1G, WHRN or SLC4A7.One or two pathogenic/likely pathogenic variants were identified in 86% of cases. No convincing cases of digenic inheritance were found. It is concluded that digenic inheritance does not make a significant contribution to Usher syndrome; the observation of multiple variants in different genes is likely to reflect polymorphic variation, rather than digenic effects.
Project description:The hereditary hearing-vision loss disease, Usher syndrome I (USH1), is caused by defects in several proteins that can interact with each other in vitro. Defects in USH1 proteins are thought to be responsible for the developmental and functional impairments of sensory cells in the retina and inner ear. Harmonin/USH1C and Sans/USH1G are two of the USH1 proteins that interact with each other. Harmonin also binds to other USH1 proteins such as cadherin 23 (CDH23) and protocadherin 15 (PCDH15). However, the molecular basis governing the harmonin and Sans interaction is largely unknown. Here, we report an unexpected assembly mode between harmonin and Sans. We demonstrate that the N-terminal domain and the first PDZ domain of harmonin are tethered by a small-domain C-terminal to PDZ1 to form a structural and functional supramodule responsible for binding to Sans. We discover that the SAM domain of Sans, specifically, binds to the PDZ domain of harmonin, revealing previously unknown interaction modes for both PDZ and SAM domains. We further show that the synergistic PDZ1/SAM and PDZ1/carboxyl PDZ binding-motif interactions, between harmonin and Sans, lock the two scaffold proteins into a highly stable complex. Mutations in harmonin and Sans found in USH1 patients are shown to destabilize the complex formation of the two proteins.
Project description:PURPOSE:Progressive decline of psychophysical cone-mediated measures has been reported in type 1 (USH1) and type 2 (USH2) Usher syndrome. Conventional cone electroretinogram (ERG) responses in USH demonstrate poor signal-to-noise ratio. We evaluated cone signals in USH1 and USH2 by recording microvolt level cycle-by-cycle (CxC) ERG. METHODS:Responses of molecularly genotyped USH1 (n = 18) and USH2 (n = 24) subjects (age range, 15-69 years) were compared with those of controls (n = 12). A subset of USH1 (n = 9) and USH2 (n = 9) subjects was examined two to four times over 2 to 8 years. Photopic CxC ERG and conventional 30-Hz flicker ERG were recorded on the same visits. RESULTS:Usher syndrome subjects showed considerable cone flicker ERG amplitude losses and timing phase delays (P < 0.01) compared with controls. USH1 and USH2 had similar rates of progressive logarithmic ERG amplitude decline with disease duration (-0.012 log ?V/y). Of interest, ERG phase delays did not progress over time. Two USH1C subjects retained normal response timing despite reduced amplitudes. The CxC ERG method provided reliable responses in all subjects, whereas conventional ERG was undetectable in 7 of 42 subjects. CONCLUSIONS:Cycle-by-cycle ERG showed progressive loss of amplitude in both USH1 and USH2 subjects, comparable to that reported with psychophysical measures. Usher subjects showed abnormal ERG response latency, but this changed less than amplitude with time. In USH syndrome, CxC ERG is more sensitive than conventional ERG and warrants consideration as an outcome measure in USH treatment trials.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The Usher syndrome (USH) is the most frequent deaf-blindness hereditary disease in humans. Deafness is attributed to the disorganization of stereocilia in the inner ear. USH1, the most severe subtype, is associated with mutations in genes encoding myosin VIIa, harmonin, cadherin 23, protocadherin 15, and sans. Myosin VIIa, harmonin, cadherin 23, and protocadherin 15 physically interact in vitro and localize to stereocilia tips in vivo, indicating that they form functional complexes. Sans, in contrast, localizes to vesicle-like structures beneath the apical membrane of stereocilia-displaying hair cells. How mutations in sans result in deafness and blindness is not well understood. Orthologs of myosin VIIa and protocadherin 15 have been identified in Drosophila melanogaster and their genetic analysis has identified essential roles in auditory perception and microvilli morphogenesis, respectively. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Here, we have identified and characterized the Drosophila ortholog of human sans. Drosophila Sans is expressed in tubular organs of the embryo, in lens-secreting cone cells of the adult eye, and in microvilli-displaying follicle cells during oogenesis. Sans mutants are viable, fertile, and mutant follicle cells appear to form microvilli, indicating that Sans is dispensable for fly development and microvilli morphogenesis in the follicle epithelium. In follicle cells, Sans protein localizes, similar to its vertebrate ortholog, to intracellular punctate structures, which we have identified as early endosomes associated with the syntaxin Avalanche. CONCLUSIONS:Our work is consistent with an evolutionary conserved function of Sans in vesicle trafficking. Furthermore it provides a significant basis for further understanding of the role of this Usher syndrome ortholog in development and disease.
Project description:Usher syndrome is a syndromic form of hereditary hearing impairment that includes sensorineural hearing loss and delayed-onset retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Type 1 Usher syndrome (USH1) is characterized by congenital profound sensorineural hearing impairment and vestibular areflexia, with adolescent-onset RP. Systemic treatment with antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) targeting the human USH1C c.216G>A splicing mutation in a knockin mouse model of USH1 restores hearing and balance. Herein, we explore the effect of delivering ASOs locally to the ear to treat hearing and vestibular dysfunction associated with Usher syndrome. Three localized delivery strategies were investigated in USH1C mice: inner ear injection, trans-tympanic membrane injection, and topical tympanic membrane application. We demonstrate, for the first time, that ASOs delivered directly to the ear correct Ush1c expression in inner ear tissue, improve cochlear hair cell transduction currents, restore vestibular afferent irregularity, spontaneous firing rate, and sensitivity to head rotation, and successfully recover hearing thresholds and balance behaviors in USH1C mice. We conclude that local delivery of ASOs to the middle and inner ear reach hair cells and can rescue both hearing and balance. These results also demonstrate the therapeutic potential of ASOs to treat hearing and balance deficits associated with Usher syndrome and other ear diseases.
Project description:Usher syndrome (USH) is an autosomal recessive disease characterized by deafness and retinitis pigmentosa. In view of the high phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity in USH, performing genetic screening with traditional methods is impractical. In the present study, we carried out targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) to uncover the underlying gene in an USH family (2 USH patients and 15 unaffected relatives). One hundred and thirty-five genes associated with inherited retinal degeneration were selected for deep exome sequencing. Subsequently, variant analysis, Sanger validation and segregation tests were utilized to identify the disease-causing mutations in this family. All affected individuals had a classic USH type I (USH1) phenotype which included deafness, vestibular dysfunction and retinitis pigmentosa. Targeted NGS and Sanger sequencing validation suggested that USH1 patients carried an unreported splice site mutation, c.5168+1G>A, as a compound heterozygous mutation with c.6070C>T (p.R2024X) in the MYO7A gene. A functional study revealed decreased expression of the MYO7A gene in the individuals carrying heterozygous mutations. In conclusion, targeted next-generation sequencing provided a comprehensive and efficient diagnosis for USH1. This study revealed the genetic defects in the MYO7A gene and expanded the spectrum of clinical phenotypes associated with USH1 mutations.