A novel gene for Usher syndrome type 2: mutations in the long isoform of whirlin are associated with retinitis pigmentosa and sensorineural hearing loss.

Institute of Human Genetics, University Hospital of Cologne, Kerpener Str. 34, 50931 Cologne, Germany.
Human Genetics (Impact Factor: 4.52). 05/2007; 121(2):203-11. DOI: 10.1007/s00439-006-0304-0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Usher syndrome is an autosomal recessive condition characterized by sensorineural hearing loss, variable vestibular dysfunction, and visual impairment due to retinitis pigmentosa (RP). The seven proteins that have been identified for Usher syndrome type 1 (USH1) and type 2 (USH2) may interact in a large protein complex. In order to identify novel USH genes, we followed a candidate strategy, assuming that mutations in proteins interacting with this "USH network" may cause Usher syndrome as well. The DFNB31 gene encodes whirlin, a PDZ scaffold protein with expression in both hair cell stereocilia and retinal photoreceptor cells. Whirlin represents an excellent candidate for USH2 because it binds to Usherin (USH2A) and VLGR1b (USH2C). Genotyping of microsatellite markers specific for the DFNB31 gene locus on chromosome 9q32 was performed in a German USH2 family that had been excluded for all known USH loci. Patients showed common haplotypes. Sequence analysis of DFNB31 revealed compound heterozygosity for a nonsense mutation, p.Q103X, in exon 1, and a mutation in the splice donor site of exon 2, c.837+1G>A. DFNB31 mutations appear to be a rare cause of Usher syndrome, since no mutations were identified in an additional 96 USH2 patients. While mutations in the C-terminal half of whirlin have previously been reported in non-syndromic deafness (DFNB31), both alterations identified in our USH2 family affect the long protein isoform. We propose that mutations causing Usher syndrome are probably restricted to exons 1-6 that are specific for the long isoform and probably crucial for retinal function. We describe a novel genetic subtype for Usher syndrome, which we named USH2D and which is caused by mutations in whirlin. Moreover, this is the first case of USH2 that is allelic to non-syndromic deafness.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hearing loss (HL) is the most common sensory disorder, affecting all age groups, ethnicities, and genders. According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates in 2005, 278 million people worldwide have moderate to profound HL in both ears. Results of the 2002 National Health Interview Survey indicate that nearly 31 million of all non-institutionalized adults (aged 18 and over) in the United States have trouble hearing. Epidemiological studies have estimated that approximately 50% of profound HL can be attributed to genetic causes. With over 60 genes implicated in nonsyndromic hearing loss, it is also an extremely heterogeneous trait. Recent progress in identifying genes responsible for hearing loss enables otolaryngologists and other clinicians to apply molecular diagnosis by genetic testing. The advent of the $1000 genome has the potential to revolutionize the identification of genes and their mutations underlying genetic disorders. This is especially true for extremely heterogeneous Mendelian conditions such as deafness, where the mutation, and indeed the gene, may be private. The recent technological advances in target-enrichment methods and next generation sequencing offer a unique opportunity to break through the barriers of limitations imposed by gene arrays. These approaches now allow for the complete analysis of all known deafness-causing genes and will result in a new wave of discoveries of the remaining genes for Mendelian disorders. This review focuses on describing genotype-phenotype correlations of the most frequent genes including GJB2, which is responsible for more than half of cases, followed by other common genes and on discussing the impact of genomic advances for comprehensive genetic testing and gene discovery in hereditary hearing loss.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Usher syndrome (USH) is the leading genetic cause of combined hearing and vision loss. Among the three USH clinical types, type 2 (USH2) occurs most commonly. USH2A, GPR98 and WHRN are three known causative genes of USH2, while PDZD7 is a modifier gene found in USH2 patients. The proteins encoded by these four USH genes have been proposed to form a multiprotein complex, the USH2 complex, due to interactions found among some of these proteins in vitro, their colocalization in vivo, and mutual dependence of some of these proteins for their normal in vivo localizations. However, evidence showing the formation of the USH2 complex is missing, and details on how this complex is formed remain elusive. Here, we systematically investigated interactions among the intracellular regions of the four USH proteins using colocalization, yeast two-hybrid and pull-down assays. We show that multiple domains of the four USH proteins interact among one another. Importantly, both WHRN and PDZD7 are required for the complex formation with USH2A and GPR98. In this USH2 quaternary complex, WHRN prefers to bind to USH2A, while PDZD7 prefers to bind to GPR98. Interaction between WHRN and PDZD7 is the bridge between USH2A and GPR98. Additionally, the USH2 quaternary complex has a variable stoichiometry. These findings suggest that a non-obligate, short-term and dynamic USH2 quaternary protein complex may exist in vivo. Our work provides valuable insight into the physiological role of the USH2 complex in vivo and informs possible reconstruction of the USH2 complex for future therapy. Copyright © 2014, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2014; 289(52). DOI:10.1074/jbc.M114.610535 · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Usher syndrome (USH), clinically and genetically heterogeneous, is the leading genetic cause of combined hearing and vision loss. USH is classified into three types, based on the hearing and vestibular symptoms observed in patients. Sixteen loci have been reported to be involved in the occurrence of USH and atypical USH. Among them, twelve have been identified as causative genes and one as a modifier gene. Studies on the proteins encoded by these USH genes suggest that USH proteins interact among one another and function in multiprotein complexes in vivo. Although their exact functions remain enigmatic in the retina, USH proteins are required for the development, maintenance and function of hair bundles, which are the primary mechanosensitive structure of inner ear hair cells. Despite the unavailability of a cure, progress has been made to develop effective treatments for this disease. In this review, we focus on the most recent discoveries in the field with an emphasis on USH genes, protein complexes and functions in various tissues as well as progress toward therapeutic development for USH. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Basis of Disease 12/2014; 1852(3). DOI:10.1016/j.bbadis.2014.11.020 · 5.09 Impact Factor


Available from
May 28, 2014