DFNA16 is a form of autosomal dominant non-syndromic hearing loss (ADNSHL) characterized by fluctuating progressive hearing impairment. Earlier, we mapped the deafness-causing gene to chromosome 2q23-24.3. In this paper, we describe fine mapping results using additional markers tightly linked to the DFNA16 candidate region. Critical recombinants at markers D2S354 and D2S124 define a 3.5-cM interval that contains the DFNA16 gene. Positional candidate genes include two members of the voltage-gated sodium channel family, the type 2 α subunit (SCN2A) and the type 3 α subunit (SCN3A). After showing that SCN2A is expressed in human fetal cochlea, we determined its genomic structure to facilitate mutation screening in our DFNA16 kindred. We also determined the genomic structure of SCN3A. These two genes are oriented head-to-head, with their 5′ ends separated by approximately 40 kb; their homology is 82% at the nucleotide level, and 85% for identities and 90% for positives at the amino acid level. They share similar genomic structures and have alternative splice isoforms that are developmentally regulated and highly conserved between species. Although no DFNA16-causing mutations were found in either gene, haplotype analysis with polymorphic markers in SCN2A introns further narrowed the candidate gene interval to the region flanked by D2S354 and STS SHGC-82894.
- Autosomal dominant non-syndromic hearing loss
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