Aim: To study the distribution characteristics of common mutations in the GJB2, SLC26A4, and mtDNA genes in children with severe or profound sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) in southwestern China.
Materials and Methods: A total of 1,164 individuals were recruited to screen for the common GJB2, SLC26A4, and mtDNA mutations by microarrays. Subsequencing for the coding region of the GJB2 gene in the samples without the GJB2 hotspot mutations as well as subsequencing for the exon 1 of the TRMU gene in those samples with the mtDNA hotspot mutations was performed by Sanger sequencing. All mutations were analyzed in association with medical imaging.
Results: In this study, 28.43% of all subjects carried mutations. The mutation frequencies in the GJB2, SLC26A4, and mtDNA genes were 17.27%, 7.04%, and 4.12%, respectively. No TRMU mutation was found in the study. The frequency of the mtDNA mutations in the multiethnic minorities was six times that in the Han (11.23% vs. 1.91%; p approaches 0.000) and in the urban group was one-third of that in the suburban group(1.49% vs. 4.47%; p=0.047). The frequency of the GJB2 mutations in urban and suburban groups was 23.38% and 15.99%, respectively (p=0.012). The enlarged vestibular aqueduct (EVA) was the most common inner ear malformation and ∼79.10% of EVA cases were associated with the SLC26A4 mutations. Conclusions: More than one-fourth of children with severe or profound SNHL carried the common deafness mutations. The proportions of ethnic minorities and urban subjects could impact the frequency of the GJB2 and mtDNA mutations. The SLC26A4 hotspot mutations are prevalent and correlate strongly with EVA.
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