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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2016, Article ID 1512831, 10 pages
Research Article

A Novel Nonsense Mutation of POU4F3 Gene Causes Autosomal Dominant Hearing Loss

1Department of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, China
2Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Otology, Jinan, China
3Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA

Received 18 July 2016; Revised 11 October 2016; Accepted 24 October 2016

Academic Editor: Genglin Li

Copyright © 2016 Chi Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


POU4F3 gene encodes a transcription factor which plays an essential role in the maturation and maintenance of hair cells in cochlea and vestibular system. Several mutations of POU4F3 have been reported to cause autosomal dominant nonsyndromic hearing loss in recent years. In this study, we describe a pathogenic nonsense mutation located in POU4F3 in a four-generation Chinese family. Target region capture sequencing was performed to search for the candidate mutations from 81 genes related to nonsyndromic hearing loss in this family. A novel nonsense mutation of POU4F3, c.337C>T (p. ), was identified in a Chinese family characterized by late-onset progressive nonsyndromic hearing loss. The novel mutation cosegregated with hearing loss in this family and was absent in 200 ethnicity-matched controls. The mutation led to a stop codon and thus a truncated protein with no functional domains remained. Transient transfection and immunofluorescence assay revealed that the subcellular localization of the truncated protein differed markedly from normal protein, which could be the underlying reason for complete loss of its normal function. Here, we report the first nonsense mutation of POU4F3 associated with progressive hearing loss and explored the possible underlying mechanism. Routine examination of POU4F3 is necessary for the genetic diagnosis of hereditary hearing loss in the future.