Connexin-26 mutations in deafness and skin disease.

Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Stony Brook University Medical Center, Stony Brook, New York 11794-8661, USA.
Expert Reviews in Molecular Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.91). 11/2009; 11:e35. DOI: 10.1017/S1462399409001276
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Gap junctions allow the exchange of ions and small molecules between adjacent cells through intercellular channels formed by connexin proteins, which can also form functional hemichannels in nonjunctional membranes. Mutations in connexin genes cause a variety of human diseases. For example, mutations in GJB2, the gene encoding connexin-26 (Cx26), are not only a major cause of nonsyndromic deafness, but also cause syndromic deafness associated with skin disorders such as palmoplantar keratoderma, keratitis-ichthyosis deafness syndrome, Vohwinkel syndrome, hystrix-ichthyosis deafness syndrome and Bart-Pumphrey syndrome. The most common mutation in the Cx26 gene linked to nonsyndromic deafness is 35DeltaG, a frameshift mutation leading to an early stop codon. The large number of deaf individuals homozygous for 35DeltaG do not develop skin disease. Similarly, there is abundant experimental evidence to suggest that other Cx26 loss-of-function mutations cause deafness, but not skin disease. By contrast, Cx26 mutations that cause both skin diseases and deafness are all single amino acid changes. Since nonsyndromic deafness is predominantly a loss-of-function disorder, it follows that the syndromic mutants must show an alteration, or gain, of function to cause skin disease. Here, we summarise the functional consequences and clinical phenotypes resulting from Cx26 mutations that cause deafness and skin disease.

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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this work was to characterise the W24X mutation of the GJB2 gene in order to provide more representative and geographicaly relevant carrier rates of healthy Roma subisolates and the Hungarian population. 493 Roma and 498 Hungarian healthy subjects were genotyped for the GJB2 c.71G>A (rs104894396, W24X) mutation by PCR-RFLP assay and direct sequencing. This is the first report on GJB2 W24X mutation in geographically subisolated Roma population of Hungary compared to local Hungarians. Comparing the genotype and allele frequencies of GJB2 rs104894396 mutation, significant difference was found in GG (98.4 vs. 99.8 %), GA (1.62 vs. 0.20 %) genotypes and A (0.8 vs. 0.1 %) allele between the Roma and Hungarian populations, respectively (p < 0.02). None of the subjects of Roma and Hungarian samples carried the GJB2 W24X AA genotype. Considerable result of our study, that the proportion of GJB2 W24X GA heterozygotes and the A allele frequency was eight times higher in Roma than in Hungarians. Considering the results, the mutant allele frequency both in Roma (0.8 %) and in Hungarian (0.1 %) populations is lower than expected from previous results, likely reflecting local differentiated subisolates of these populations and a suspected lower risk for GJB2 mutation related deafness. However, the significant difference in GJB2 W24X carrier rates between the Roma and Hungarians may initiate individual diagnostic investigations and effective public health interventions.
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May 31, 2014