The frequency of GJB2 mutations and of the del(GJB6-D13S1830) mutation has not been established among the Ecuadorian mestizo population diagnosed with autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss. A genetic analysis was therefore designed in order to do so.
The sample population included 111 subjects of which 26 were autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss probands. Posterior to PCR amplification, sequencing analysis of exon 2 was used for mutational detection of the GJB2 gene; a multiplex PCR method was used for detection of the del(GJB6-D13S1830) mutation. The ratio of subjects with a certain state of the mutation (heterozygous/homozygous) is expressed as a percentage and significant differences between probands and controls were calculated using Fisher’s exact test; P<0.05 was considered significant.
A total of 104 mutations belonging to 8 allelic variations were identified. The most common being the V27I (58.9%); however, as this variation is a non-pathogenic polymorphism, Q7X, with a total of 19 mutated alleles, was the most frequent mutation (18.3%). The V27I polymorphism was the only variation distributed homogenously among probands and controls (P=0.351). Based on physical analyses of multiple patients we confirm that Q7X causes a non-syndromic form of hearing loss and propose that it is a possible predominant mutation in the Ecuadorian population.
This is the first study of its kind among the Ecuadorian population and a preliminary step in establishing GJB2 and del(GJB6-D13S1830) mutational frequencies in this population; it is also the first to report of such a high frequency of the Q7X mutation. The data presented here brings Ecuador a step closer to providing more efficient treatment for a broader number of patients; additionally, it contributes to a better understanding of the relationship between autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss and mutations on the GJB2 gene.
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