International journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology

Finding mutation within non-coding region of GJB2 reveals its importance in genetic testing of hearing loss in Iranian population.

PMID 25555641


Hereditary hearing loss is the most common neurosensory disorder in humans. Half of the cases have genetic etiology with extraordinary genetic heterogeneity. Mutations in one gene, GJB2, are the most common cause for autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss (ARNSHL) in many different populations. GJB2 encodes a gap junction channel protein (connexin 26), and is located on DFNB1 locus on chromosome 13q12.11 which also involve another connexin gene, GJB6. Mutation screening of GJB2 revealed that a high number of patients with deaf phenotype have heterozygous genotype and carry only one mutant allele. As the first comprehensive study in Iran, we have targeted GJB2-related Iranian heterozygotes, looking for second mutant allele which leads to hearing impairment. They bear first mutation in their coding exon of GJB2. Using PCR-based direct sequencing, we assessed 103 patients with ARNSHL for variants in non-coding exon and promoter region of this gene, for the first time in Iran. We have identified the second mutant allele in splice site of exon-1 of GJB2 which is known as IVS1+1G>A in 17 probands. We found no mutation in promoter region of GJB2. Our findings reveal that IVS1+1G>A mutation in noncoding exon of GJB2 is the most common mutation after 35delG within multi ethnical Iranian heterozygote samples. It emphasizes to approach exon1 of GJB2 in case of ARNSHL genetic diagnosis.