Broadening the phenotype of DFNB28: Mutations inTRIOBPare associated with moderate, stable hereditary hearing impairment

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DFNB28 is characterized by prelingual, severe to profound sensorineural hearing impairment (HI). It is associated with mutations in exon 6 and 7 of TRIOBP and has not been reported in the European population. Here, we describe two isolated cases of Dutch origin with congenital, moderate HI and compound heterozygous mutations in TRIOBP. Three of the mutations are novel, one nonsense mutation (c.5014G>T (p.Gly1672*)) and two frameshift mutations (c.2653del (p.Arg885Alafs*120) and c.3460_3461del (p.Leu1154Alafs*29)). The fourth mutation is the known c.3232dup (p.Arg1078Profs*6) mutation. Longitudinal audiometric analyses in one of the subjects revealed that HI was stable over a period of 15 years. Vestibular function was normal. Predicted effects of the mutations do not explain the relatively mild phenotype in the presented subjects, whereas location of the mutation might well contribute to the milder HI in one of the subjects. It is known that isoform classes TRIOBP-4 and TRIOBP-5 are important for stereocilia stability and rigidity. To our knowledge, p.Gly1672* is the first pathogenic variant identified in DFNB28 that does not affect isoform class TRIOBP-4. This suggests that a single TRIOBP copy to encode wildtype TRIOBP-4 is insufficient for normal hearing, and that at least one TRIOBP copy to encode TRIOBP-5 is indispensable for normal inner ear function. Furthermore, this study demonstrates that DFNB28 can be milder than reported so far and that mutations in TRIOBP are thus associated with a heterogeneous phenotype.

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