Next-generation sequencing identified SPATC1L as a possible candidate gene for both early-onset and age-related hearing loss.
ABSTRACT: Hereditary hearing loss (HHL) and age-related hearing loss (ARHL) are two major sensory diseases affecting millions of people worldwide. Despite many efforts, additional HHL-genes and ARHL genetic risk factors still need to be identified. To fill this gap a large genomic screening based on next-generation sequencing technologies was performed. Whole exome sequencing in a 3-generation Italian HHL family and targeted re-sequencing in 464 ARHL patients were performed. We detected three variants in SPATC1L: a nonsense allele in an HHL family and a frameshift insertion and a missense variation in two unrelated ARHL patients. In silico molecular modelling of all variants suggested a significant impact on the structural stability of the protein itself, likely leading to deleterious effects and resulting in truncated isoforms. After demonstrating Spatc1l expression in mice inner ear, in vitro functional experiments were performed confirming the results of the molecular modelling studies. Finally, a candidate-gene population-based statistical study in cohorts from Caucasus and Central Asia revealed a statistically significant association of SPATC1L with normal hearing function at low and medium hearing frequencies. Overall, the amount of different genetic data presented here (variants with early-onset and late-onset hearing loss in addition to genetic association with normal hearing function), together with relevant functional evidence, likely suggest a role of SPATC1L in hearing function and loss.
Project description:Background:Diagnosis of hereditary hearing loss (HHL) as a heterogeneous disorder is very important especially in countries with high rates of consanguinity where the autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance is prevalent. Techniques such as next-generation sequencing, a comprehensive genetic test using targeted genomic enrichment and massively parallel sequencing (TGE + MPS), have made the diagnosis more cost-effective. The aim of this study was to determine HHL variants with comprehensive genetic testing in our country. Methods:Fifty GJB2 negative individuals with HHL were referred to the Kariminejad-Najmabadi Pathology and Genetics Center, Tehran, one of the reference diagnostic genetic laboratories in Iran, during a 3-year period between 2014 and 2017. They were screened with the OtoSCOPE test, the targeted genomic enrichment and massively parallel sequencing (TGE + MPS) platform after a detailed history had been taken along with clinical evaluation. Results:Among 32 out of 50 GJB2 negative patients (64%), 34 known pathogenic and novel variants were detected of which 16 (47%) were novel, identified in 10 genes of which the most prevalent were CDH23, MYO7A and MYO15A. Conclusion:These results provide a foundation from which to make appropriate recommendations for the use of comprehensive genetic testing in the evaluation of Iranian patients with hereditary hearing loss.
Project description:Countries with culturally accepted consanguinity provide a unique resource for the study of rare recessively inherited genetic diseases. Although hereditary hearing loss (HHL) is not uncommon, it is genetically heterogeneous, with over 85 genes causally implicated in non-syndromic hearing loss (NSHL). This heterogeneity makes many gene-specific types of NSHL exceedingly rare. We sought to define the spectrum of autosomal recessive HHL in Iran by investigating both common and rarely diagnosed deafness-causing genes.Using a custom targeted genomic enrichment (TGE) panel, we simultaneously interrogated all known genetic causes of NSHL in a cohort of 302 GJB2-negative Iranian families.We established a genetic diagnosis for 67% of probands and their families, with over half of all diagnoses attributable to variants in five genes: SLC26A4, MYO15A, MYO7A, CDH23 and PCDH15. As a reflection of the power of consanguinity mapping, 26 genes were identified as causative for NSHL in the Iranian population for the first time. In total, 179 deafness-causing variants were identified in 40 genes in 201 probands, including 110 novel single nucleotide or small insertion-deletion variants and three novel CNV. Several variants represent founder mutations.This study attests to the power of TGE and massively parallel sequencing as a diagnostic tool for the evaluation of hearing loss in Iran, and expands on our understanding of the genetics of HHL in this country. Families negative for variants in the genes represented on this panel represent an excellent cohort for novel gene discovery.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Hereditary hearing loss (HHL) is the most common sensory deficit, which highly afflicts humans. With gene sequencing technology development, more variants will be identified and support genetic diagnoses, which is difficult for human experts to diagnose. This study aims to develop a machine learning-based genetic diagnosis model of HHL-related variants of GJB2, SLC26A4 and MT-RNR1.<h4>Methods</h4>This case-control study included 1898 subjects, among which 1354 were HHL patients and 544 were carriers. Risk assessment models were established based on variants at 144 sites in three genes related to HHL by building six machine learning (ML) models. We compared the ML models with the genetic risk score (GRS) and expert interpretation (EI) to verify the clinical performance.<h4>Findings</h4>Among the six ML models, the support vector machine (SVM) showed the best performance. For the prediction of HHL-related gene sites in subjects with variants, the area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUC) of the SVM model was 0.803 (0.680-0.814) in the 10-fold stratified cross-validation and 0.751 (0.635-0.779) in external validation. The predicted results were better than both EI and GRS. Furthermore, 11 sites were identified as the smallest feature set that can be accurately predicted.<h4>Interpretation</h4>The developed SVM model has great potential to be an efficient and effective tool for HHL prediction when high throughput sequencing data are available.
Project description:Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) is the most common sensory disorder in the elderly. Although not directly life threatening, it contributes to loss of autonomy and is associated with anxiety, depression and cognitive decline. To search for genetic risk factors underlying ARHL, a large whole-genome sequencing (WGS) approach has been carried out in a cohort of 212 cases and controls, both older than 50 years to select genes characterized by a burden of variants specific to cases or controls. Accordingly, the total variation load per gene was compared and two groups were detected: 375 genes more variable in cases and 371 more variable in controls. In both cases, Gene Ontology analysis showed that the largest enrichment for biological processes (fold?>?5, p-value?=?0.042) was the "sensory perception of sound", suggesting cumulative genetic effects were involved. Replication confirmed 141 genes, while additional analysis based on natural selection led to a prioritization of 21 genes. The majority of them (20 out of 21) showed positive expression in mouse cochlea cDNA and were associated with two functional pathways. Among them, two genes were previously associated with hearing (CSMD1 and PTRPD) and re-sequenced in a large Italian cohort of ARHL patients (N?=?389). Results led to the identification of six coding variants not detected in cases so far, suggesting a possible protective role, which requires investigation. In conclusion, we show that this multistep strategy (WGS, selection, expression, pathway analysis and targeted re-sequencing) can provide major insights into the molecular characterization of complex diseases such as ARHL.
Project description:Spermatogenesis is a tightly regulated process involving germ cell-specific and germ cell-predominant genes. Here we investigate a novel germ cell-specific gene, Spatc1l (spermatogenesis and centriole associated 1 like). Expression analyses show that SPATC1L is expressed in mouse and human testes. We find that mouse SPATC1L localizes to the neck region in testicular sperm. Moreover, SPATC1L associates with the regulatory subunit of protein kinase A (PKA). Using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome engineering, we generate mice lacking SPATC1L. Disruption of Spatc1l in mice leads to male sterility owing to separation of sperm heads from tails. The lack of SPATC1L is associated with a reduction in PKA activity in testicular sperm, and we identify capping protein muscle Z-line beta as a candidate target of phosphorylation by PKA in testis. Taken together, our results implicate the SPATC1L-PKA complex in maintaining the stability of the sperm head-tail junction, thereby revealing a new molecular basis for sperm head-tail integrity.
Project description:Spermatogenesis is a tightly regulated process involving germ cell-specific and -predominant genes. Here we investigate a novel germ cell-specific gene, Spatc1l (spermatogenesis and centriole associated 1 like). Expression analyses show that SPATC1L is expressed in mouse and human testes. We find that mouse SPATC1L localizes to the neck region in testicular sperm. Moreover, SPATC1L associates with the regulatory subunit of protein kinase A (PKA). Using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome engineering, we generate mice lacking SPATC1L. Disruption of Spatc1l in mice leads to male sterility owing to separation of sperm heads from tails. The lack of SPATC1L is associated with a reduction in PKA activity in testicular sperm and we identify capping protein muscle Z-line beta as a candidate target of phosphorylation by PKA in testis. Taken together, our results implicate the SPATC1L-PKA complex in maintaining the stability of the sperm head-tail junction, thereby revealing a new molecular basis for sperm head-tail integrity.
Project description:Presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss (ARHL), is a major public health issue. About half the phenotypic variance has been attributed to genetic factors. Here, we assessed the contribution to presbycusis of ultrarare pathogenic variants, considered indicative of Mendelian forms. We focused on severe presbycusis without environmental or comorbidity risk factors and studied multiplex family age-related hearing loss (mARHL) and simplex/sporadic age-related hearing loss (sARHL) cases and controls with normal hearing by whole-exome sequencing. Ultrarare variants (allele frequency [AF] < 0.0001) of 35 genes responsible for autosomal dominant early-onset forms of deafness, predicted to be pathogenic, were detected in 25.7% of mARHL and 22.7% of sARHL cases vs. 7.5% of controls (<i>P</i> = 0.001); half were previously unknown (AF < 0.000002). <i>MYO6</i>, <i>MYO7A</i>, <i>PTPRQ</i>, and <i>TECTA</i> variants were present in 8.9% of ARHL cases but less than 1% of controls. Evidence for a causal role of variants in presbycusis was provided by pathogenicity prediction programs, documented haploinsufficiency, three-dimensional structure/function analyses, cell biology experiments, and reported early effects. We also established <i>Tmc1</i> <sup><i>N321I/+</i></sup> mice, carrying the <i>TMC1</i>:p.(Asn327Ile) variant detected in an mARHL case, as a mouse model for a monogenic form of presbycusis. Deafness gene variants can thus result in a continuum of auditory phenotypes. Our findings demonstrate that the genetics of presbycusis is shaped by not only well-studied polygenic risk factors of small effect size revealed by common variants but also, ultrarare variants likely resulting in monogenic forms, thereby paving the way for treatment with emerging inner ear gene therapy.
Project description:The underlying causes of age-related hearing loss (ARHL) are not well understood, but it is clear from heritability estimates that genetics plays a role in addition to environmental factors. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in human populations can point to candidate genes that may be involved in ARHL, but follow-up analysis is needed to assess the role of these genes in the disease process. Some genetic variants may contribute a small amount to a disease, while other variants may have a large effect size, but the genetic architecture of ARHL is not yet well-defined. In this study, we asked if a set of 17 candidate genes highlighted by early GWAS reports of ARHL have detectable effects on hearing by knocking down expression levels of each gene in the mouse and analysing auditory function. We found two of the genes have an impact on hearing. Mutation of Dclk1 led to late-onset progressive increase in ABR thresholds and the A430005L14Rik (C1orf174) mutants showed worse recovery from noise-induced damage than controls. We did not detect any abnormal responses in the remaining 15 mutant lines either in thresholds or from our battery of suprathreshold ABR tests, and we discuss the possible reasons for this.
Project description:Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) is the most common sensory deficit in the elderly. The disease has a multifactorial etiology with both environmental and genetic factors involved being largely unknown. SLC7A8/SLC3A2 heterodimer is a neutral amino acid exchanger. Here, we demonstrated that SLC7A8 is expressed in the mouse inner ear and that its ablation resulted in ARHL, due to the damage of different cochlear structures. These findings make SLC7A8 transporter a strong candidate for ARHL in humans. Thus, a screening of a cohort of ARHL patients and controls was carried out revealing several variants in SLC7A8, whose role was further investigated by in vitro functional studies. Significant decreases in SLC7A8 transport activity was detected for patient's variants (p.Val302Ile, p.Arg418His, p.Thr402Met and p.Val460Glu) further supporting a causative role for SLC7A8 in ARHL. Moreover, our preliminary data suggest that a relevant proportion of ARHL cases could be explained by SLC7A8 mutations.
Project description:A significant contribution to the causes of hereditary hearing impairment comes from genetic factors. More than 120 genes and 160 loci have been identified to be involved in hearing impairment. Given that consanguine populations are more vulnerable to most inherited diseases, such as hereditary hearing loss (HHL), the genetic picture of HHL among the Iranian population, which consists of at least eight ethnic subgroups with a high rate of intermarriage, is expected to be highly heterogeneous. Using an electronic literature review through various databases such as PubMed, MEDLINE, and Scopus, we review the current picture of HHL in Iran. In this review, we present more than 39 deafness genes reported to cause non-syndromic HHL in Iran, of which the most prevalent causative genes include GJB2, SLC26A4, MYO15A, and MYO7A. In addition, we highlight some of the more common genetic causes of syndromic HHL in Iran. These results are of importance for further investigation and elucidation of the molecular basis of HHL in Iran and also for developing a national diagnostic tool tailored to the Iranian context enabling early and efficient diagnosis of hereditary hearing impairment.