Identification and mutation analysis of a cochlear-expressed, zinc finger protein gene at the DFNB7/11 and dn hearing-loss-loci on human chromosome 9q and mouse chromosome 19

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The DFNB7/11 locus for autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss (ARNSHL) has been mapped to an approx. 1.5 Mb interval on human chromosome 9q13-q21. We have determined the cDNA sequence and genomic structure of a novel cochlear-expressed gene, ZNF216, that maps to the DFNB7/11 interval. The mouse orthologue of this gene maps to the murine dn (deafness) locus on mouse chromosome 19. The ZNF216 gene is highly conserved between human and mouse, and contains two regions that show homology to the putative zinc finger domains of other proteins. To determine if mutations in ZNF216 might be the cause of hearing loss at the DFNB7/11 locus, we screened the coding region of this gene in DFNB7/11 families by direct sequencing. No potential disease-causing mutations were found. In addition, Northern blot analysis showed no difference in ZNF216 transcript size or abundance between dn and control mice. These data suggest that the ZNF216 gene is unlikely to be responsible for hearing loss at the DFNB7/11 and dn loci.

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