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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Medical Genetics 1/2018

Mutation analysis of SLC26A4 (Pendrin) gene in a Brazilian sample of hearing-impaired subjects

BMC Medical Genetics > Ausgabe 1/2018
Renata Watanabe Nonose, Karina Lezirovitz, Maria Teresa Balester de Mello Auricchio, Ana Carla Batissoco, Guilherme Lopes Yamamoto, Regina Célia Mingroni-Netto



Mutations in the SLC26A4 gene are associated with Pendred syndrome and autosomal recessive non-syndromic deafness (DFNB4). Both disorders have similar audiologic characteristics: bilateral hearing loss, often severe or profound, which may be associated with abnormalities of the inner ear, such as dilatation of the vestibular aqueduct or Mondini dysplasia. But, in Pendred syndrome (OMIM #274600), with autosomal recessive inheritance, besides congenital sensorineural deafness, goiter or thyroid dysfunctions are frequently present. The aim of this study was to determine whether mutations in SLC26A4 are a frequent cause of hereditary deafness in Brazilian patients.


Microsatellite haplotypes linked to SLC26A4 were investigated in 68 families presenting autosomal recessive non-syndromic deafness. In the probands of the 16 families presenting segregation consistent with linkage to SLC26A4, Sanger sequencing of the 20 coding exons was performed. In an additional sample of 15 individuals with suspected Pendred syndrome, because of the presence of hypothyroidism or cochleovestibular malformations, the SLC26A4 gene coding region was also sequenced.


In two of the 16 families with indication of linkage to SLC26A4, the probands were found to be compound heterozygotes for probably pathogenic different mutations: three novel (c.1003 T > G (p. F335 V), c.1553G > A (p.W518X), c.2235 + 2 T > C (IVS19 + 2 T > C), and one already described, c.84C > A (p.S28R). Two of the 15 individuals with suspected Pendred syndrome because of hypothyreoidism or cochleovestibular malformations were monoallelic for likely pathogenic mutations: a splice mutation (IVS7 + 2 T > C) and the previously described c.1246A > C (p.T416P). Pathogenic copy number variations were excluded in the monoallelic cases and in those with normal results after Sanger sequencing. Additional mutations in the SLC26A4 gene or other definite molecular cause for deafness were not identified in the monoallelic patients, after exome sequencing.


Biallelic pathogenic mutations in SLC26A4 explained ~ 3% of cases selected because of autosomal recessive deafness. Monoallelic mutations were present in ~ 13% of isolated cases of deafness with cochleovestibular malformations or suspected Pendred syndrome. These data reinforce the importance of mutation screening of SLC26A4 in Brazilian subjects and highlight the elevated frequency of monoallelic patients.
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