Barbara Vona

Barbara Vona
Universitätsmedizin Göttingen · Institute of Human Genetics/Institute of Auditory Neuroscience & InnerEarLab

PhD

About

101
Publications
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Introduction
I am interested characterizing human Mendelian disorders using modern molecular techniques. My interests involve characterizing novel genes and variants that are implicated in hereditary hearing loss and using mouse models and cell-based approaches to study gene and variant function. I am particularly interested in studying splicing variants. Longer-term interests involve the incorporation of experimental therapeutic strategies for preventing or treating hearing loss.

Publications

Publications (101)
Article
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Alpha-chain collagen molecules encoded by genes that include COL11A1 are essential for skeletal, ocular, and auditory function. COL11A1 variants have been reported in syndromes involving these organ systems. However, a description of the complete clinical spectrum is lacking, as evidenced by a recent association of au-tosomal dominant nonsyndromic...
Article
Signal peptide-CUB-EGF domain-containing protein 3 (SCUBE3) is a member of a small family of multifunctional cell surface-anchored glycoproteins functioning as co-receptors for a variety of growth factors. Here we report that bi-allelic inactivating variants in SCUBE3 have pleiotropic consequences on development and cause a previously unrecognized...
Article
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Pathogenic variants in Lysyl-tRNA synthetase 1 (KARS1) have increasingly been recognized as a cause of early-onset complex neurological phenotypes. To advance the timely diagnosis of KARS1-related disorders, we sought to delineate its phenotype and generate a disease model to understand its function in vivo. Through international collaboration, we...
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Spermatogenesis-associated 5 like 1 (SPATA5L1) represents an orphan gene encoding a protein of unknown function. We report 28 bi-allelic variants in SPATA5L1 associated with sensorineural hearing loss in 47 individuals from 28 (26 unrelated) families. In addition, 25/47 affected individuals (53%) presented with microcephaly, developmental delay/int...
Article
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Deafness, the most frequent sensory deficit in humans, is extremely heterogeneous with hundreds of genes involved. Clinical and genetic analyses of an extended consanguineous family with pre-lingual, moderate-to-profound autosomal recessive sensorineural hearing loss, allowed us to identify CLRN2, encoding a tetraspan protein, as a new deafness gen...
Article
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Background Stickler syndrome (STL) is a rare, clinically and molecularly heterogeneous connective tissue disorder. Pathogenic variants occurring in a variety of genes cause STL, mainly inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion. Autosomal recessive STL is ultra-rare with only four families with biallelic COL9A3 variants reported to date. Results H...
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Front Cover: The cover image is based on the Research Article Biallelic variants in WARS1 cause a highly variable neurodevelopmental syndrome and implicate a critical exon for normal auditory function by Sheng‐Jia Lin et al., https://doi.org/10.1002/humu.24435.
Article
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Skeletal Class III malocclusion with maxillary deficiency is a severe maxillofacial disease with unclear pathogenic mechanisms. We recruited a Han Chinese family who was clinically diagnosed with skeletal Class III malocclusion and maxillary deficiency. Using whole exome sequencing, a missense variant in ADAMTS2 (NM_014244: c.3506G>T: p.G1169V) was...
Article
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Hearing impairment, the most prevalent sensory deficit, affects more than 466 million people worldwide (WHO). We presently lack causative treatment for the most common form, sensorineural hearing impairment; hearing aids and cochlear implants (CI) remain the only means of hearing restoration. We engaged with CI users to learn about their expectatio...
Article
Aminoacylation of tRNA is a key step in protein biosynthesis, carried out by highly specific aminoacyl‐tRNA synthetases (ARS). ARS have been implicated in autosomal dominant and autosomal recessive human disorders. Autosomal dominant variants in tryptophanyl‐tRNA synthetase 1 (WARS1) are known to cause distal hereditary motor neuropathy and Charcot...
Article
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Aminoacyl‐tRNA synthetases (ARSs) are essential enzymes for faithful assignment of amino acids to their cognate tRNA. Variants in ARS genes are frequently associated with clinically heterogeneous phenotypes in humans and follow both autosomal dominant or recessive inheritance patterns in many instances. Variants in tryptophanyl‐tRNA synthetase 1 (W...
Article
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Ultra‐rare biallelic pathogenic variants in geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase 1 (GGPS1) have recently been associated with muscular dystrophy/hearing loss/ovarian insufficiency syndrome. Here, we describe 11 affected individuals from four unpublished families with ultra‐rare missense variants in GGPS1 and provide follow‐up details from a previous...
Article
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The hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSP) are among the most genetically diverse of all Mendelian disorders. They comprise a large group of neurodegenerative diseases that may be divided into ‘pure HSP’ in forms of the disease primarily entailing progressive lower-limb weakness and spasticity, and ‘complex HSP’ when these features are accompanied by...
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Background: Pathogenic variants in KITLG, a crucial protein involved in pigmentation and neural crest cell migration, cause non-syndromic hearing loss, Waardenburg syndrome type 2, familial progressive hyperpigmentation and familial progressive hyper- and hypopigmentation, all of which are inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Objectives: T...
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Hearing loss is one of the top contributors to years lived with disability and is a risk factor for dementia. Molecular evidence on the cellular origins of hearing loss in humans is growing. Here, we performed a genome-wide association meta-analysis of clinically diagnosed and self-reported hearing impairment on 723,266 individuals and identified 4...
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Pathogenic variants in A Disintegrin And Metalloproteinase (ADAM) 22, the postsynaptic cell membrane receptor for the glycoprotein leucine-rich repeat glioma-inactivated protein 1 (LGI1), have been recently associated with recessive developmental and epileptic encephalopathy. However, so far, only two affected individuals have been described and ma...
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Usher syndrome, the most prevalent cause of combined hereditary vision and hearing impairment, is clinically and genetically heterogeneous. Moreover, several conditions with phenotypes overlapping Usher syndrome have been described. This makes the molecular diagnosis of hereditary deaf–blindness challenging. Here, we performed exome sequencing and...
Article
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Sequencing exomes/genomes have been successful for identifying recessive genes; however, discovery of dominant genes including deafness genes (DFNA) remains challenging. We report a new DFNA gene, ATP11A , in a Newfoundland family with a variable form of bilateral sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). Genome-wide SNP genotyping linked SNHL to DFNA33 (...
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The feasibility to unravel genetic and genomic signatures for disorders affecting the auditory system has accelerated since arriving in the post-genomics era roughly 20 years ago. Newly emerging studies have provided initial landmarks signaling heritability and thus, a genetic link, to severe tinnitus. Tinnitus, the phantom perception of ringing in...
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Background Many cancer patients undergo sophisticated laboratory testing, which requires proper interpretation and interaction between different specialists. Case presentation We describe a patient with an extensive family history of cancer, who was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer and two lung cancer lumps by the age of 40 years. She submit...
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The 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase-like (OGDHL) protein is a rate-limiting enzyme in the Krebs cycle that plays a pivotal role in mitochon-drial metabolism. OGDHL expression is restricted mainly to the brain in humans. Here, we report nine individuals from eight unrelated families carrying bi-allelic variants in OGDHL with a range of neurological and...
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Objectives: Hereditary hearing loss exhibits high degrees of genetic and clinical heterogeneity. To elucidate the population-specific and age-related genetic and clinical spectra of hereditary hearing loss, we investigated the sequencing data of causally associated hearing loss genes in a large cohort of hearing-impaired probands with a balanced a...
Article
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PURPOSE: We aimed to define a novel autosomal recessive neurodevelopmental disorder, characterize its clinical features, and identify the underlying genetic cause for this condition. METHODS: We performed a detailed clinical characterization of 19 individuals from nine unrelated, consanguineous families with a neurodevelopmental disorder. We used g...
Article
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Purpose We aimed to define a novel autosomal recessive neurodevelopmental disorder, characterize its clinical features, and identify the underlying genetic cause for this condition. Methods We performed a detailed clinical characterization of 19 individuals from nine unrelated, consanguineous families with a neurodevelopmental disorder. We used ge...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Stickler syndrome (STL) is a rare, clinically and molecularly heterogeneous connective tissue disorder. Pathogenic variants occurring in a variety of genes cause STL, mainly inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion. Autosomal recessive STL is ultra-rare with only four families with biallelic COL9A3 variants reported to date. Results:...
Article
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Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) is the most prevalent sensory deficit in the elderly and constitutes the third highest risk factor for dementia. Lifetime noise exposure, genetic predispositions for degeneration, and metabolic stress are assumed to be the major causes of ARHL. Both noise-induced and hereditary progressive hearing have been linked to...
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Dysregulated transforming growth factor TGF-β signaling underlies the pathogenesis of genetic disorders affecting the connective tissue such as Loeys-Dietz syndrome. Here, we report 12 individuals with bi-allelic loss-of-function variants in IPO8 who presented with a syndromic association characterized by cardio-vascular anomalies, joint hyperlaxit...
Article
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The phosphatidylinositol glycan anchor biosynthesis class S protein (PIGS) gene has recently been implicated in a novel congenital disorder of glycosylation resulting in autosomal recessive inherited glycosylphosphatidylinositol‐anchored protein (GPI‐AP) deficiency. Previous studies described seven patients with biallelic variants in the PIGS gene,...
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The stereocilia of the inner ear sensory cells contain the actin-binding protein radixin, encoded by RDX. Radixin is important for hearing but remains functionally obscure. To determine how radixin influences hearing sensitivity, we used a custom rapid imaging technique to visualize stereocilia motion while measuring electrical potential amplitudes...
Article
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The OTOF gene encodes otoferlin, a critical protein at the synapse of auditory sensory cells, the inner hair cells (IHCs). In the absence of otoferlin, signal transmission of IHCs fails due to impaired release of synaptic vesicles at the IHC synapse. Biallelic pathogenic and likely pathogenic variants in OTOF predominantly cause autosomal recessive...
Article
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The current molecular genetic diagnostic rates for hereditary hearing loss (HL) vary considerably according to the population background. Pakistan and other countries with high rates of consanguineous marriages have served as a unique resource for studying rare and novel forms of recessive HL. A combined exome sequencing, bioinformatics analysis, a...
Article
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Hereditary hearing loss is clinically and genetically heterogeneous. There are presently over 120 genes that have been associated with non-syndromic hearing loss and many more that are associated with syndromic forms. Despite an increasing number of genes that have been implemented into routine molecular genetic diagnostic testing, the diagnostic y...
Preprint
Full-text available
Deafness, the most frequent sensory deficit in humans, is extremely heterogenous with hundreds of genes probably involved. Clinical and genetic analyses of an extended consanguineous family with pre-lingual, moderate-to-profound autosomal recessive sensorineural hearing loss, allowed us to identify CLRN2, encoding a tetraspan protein as a new deafn...
Article
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Background: To describe the protocol for developing a national inherited retinal disease (IRD) registry in Iran and present its initial report. Methods: This community-based participatory research was approved by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education of Iran in 2016. To provide the minimum data set (MDS), several focus group meetings were...
Article
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Background MYO3A , encoding the myosin IIIA protein, is associated with autosomal recessive and autosomal dominant nonsyndromic hearing loss. To date, only two missense variants located in the motor‐head domain of MYO3A have been described in autosomal dominant families with progressive, mild‐to‐profound sensorineural hearing loss. These variants a...
Article
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The transport and Golgi organization 1 (TANGO1) proteins play pivotal roles in the secretory pathway. Full length TANGO1 is a transmembrane protein localised at endoplasmic reticulum (ER) exit sites, where it binds bulky cargo within the ER lumen and recruits membranes from the ER Golgi intermediate compartment to create an exit route for their exp...
Preprint
The stereocilia of the sensory cells in the inner ear contain high levels of the actin-binding protein radixin, encoded by the RDX gene. Radixin which is associated with mechanotransduction process such as PIP2 is known to be important for hearing but its functional role remains obscure. To determine how radixin influences hearing sensitivity, we u...
Article
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Over the past decade, advancements in high-throughput sequencing have greatly enhanced our knowledge of the mutational signatures responsible for hereditary hearing loss. In its present state, the field has a largely uncensored view of protein coding changes in a growing number of genes that have been associated with hereditary hearing loss, and ma...
Article
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CDC14A encodes the Cell Division Cycle 14A protein and has been associated with autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss (DFNB32), as well as hearing impairment and infertile male syndrome (HIIMS) since 2016. To date, only nine variants have been associated in patients whose initial symptoms included moderate-to-profound hearing impairment. E...
Preprint
Full-text available
The transport and Golgi organization 1 (TANGO1) family proteins have been shown to play pivotal roles in the secretory pathway. Full length TANGO1 is a transmembrane protein localised at endoplasmic reticulum exit sites (ERES), where it binds bulky cargo within the ER lumen and recruits membranes from the ER Golgi intermediate compartment (ERGIC) t...
Article
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Pathogenic variants in COL9A1 are primarily associated with autosomal recessive Stickler syndrome. Patients with COL9A1-associated Stickler syndrome (STL) present hearing loss (HL), ophthalmic manifestations and skeletal abnormalities. However, the clinical spectrum of patients with COL9A1 variants can also include multiple epiphyseal dysplasia, as...
Article
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Background: The vast majority of cases with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) are caused by a molecular defect in the imprinted chromosome region 11p15.5. The underlying mechanisms include epimutations, uniparental disomy, copy number variations, and structural rearrangements. In addition, maternal loss-of-function mutations in CDKN1C are found. D...
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Zusammenfassung Die vollständige Sequenzierung des menschlichen Genoms demonstriert als ein grundlegendes Beispiel eindrucksvoll die Entstehung einer großen Datenmenge (engl.: big data) in Wissenschaft und Medizin. Die Entschlüsselung des menschlichen Genoms stellt das bemerkenswerte Ergebnis multidisziplinärer Zusammenarbeit dar und gilt als eines...
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Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common inherited cardiovascular disorder, yet the genetic cause of up to 50% of cases remains unknown. Here we show that mutations in KLHL24 cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in humans. Using genome-wide linkage analysis and exome sequencing we identified homozygous mutations in KLHL24 in two consanguin...
Article
Genetic factors are fundamental in the molecular pathologic mechanisms of a number of auditory disorders that present throughout the lifespan. Historically, an understanding of the role of genetics in tinnitus has not been as straightforward because it can be viewed as a symptom of multiple diseases. Risk factors for tinnitus include hearing loss,...
Article
Hypothesis: We hypothesized that patients with DFNB16 caused hearing loss show characteristical audiological findings depending on genetic results. Background: Hearing loss belongs to the most frequent congenital diseases. In 50-70% of individuals, hearing loss is caused by genetic defects. DFNB1 (deafness, neurosensory, autosomal-recessive) is...