DNA sequence analysis of GJB2, encoding connexin 26: observations from a population of hearing impaired cases and variable carrier rates, complex genotypes, and ethnic stratification of alleles among controls

Am J Med Genet A. 2006 Nov 15;140(22):2401-15. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.31525.


Mutations in GJB2 are associated with hereditary hearing loss. DNA sequencing of GJB2 in a cohort of hearing impaired patients and a multi-ethnic control group is reported. Among 610 hearing impaired cases, 43 DNA sequence variations were identified in the coding region of GJB2 including 24 mutations, 8 polymorphisms, 3 unclassified variants (G4D, R127C, M163V), 1 controversial variant (V37I), and 7 novel variants (G12C, N14D, V63A, T86M, L132V, D159, 592_600delinsCAGTGTTCATGACATTC). Sixteen non-coding sequence variations were also identified among cases including the IVS1+1A>G mutation, 2 polymorphisms, and 13 novel variants. A diagnosis of GJB2-associated hearing loss was confirmed for 63 cases (10.3%). Heterozygous mutations were found in 39 cases (6.4%). Eleven cases carrying novel or unclassified variants (1.8 %) and 18 cases carrying the controversial V37I variant were identified (3%). In addition, 294 control subjects from 4 ethnic groups were sequenced for GJB2. Thirteen sequence variations in the coding region of GJB2 were identified among controls including 2 mutations, 6 polymorphisms, 2 unclassified variants (G4D, T123N), 1 controversial variant (V37I), and 2 novel variants (R127L, V207L). Nine sequence variations were identified among controls in the non-coding regions in and around GJB2 exon 2. Of particular interest among controls were the variability in carrier rates and ethnic stratification of alleles, and the complex genotypes among Asians, 47% of whom carried two to four sequence variations in the coding region of GJB2. These data provide new information about carrier rates for GJB2-based hearing loss in various ethnic groups and contribute to evaluation of the pathogenicity of the controversial V37I variant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Connexin 26
  • Connexins / genetics*
  • DNA / genetics*
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Ethnicity / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genotype
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / genetics*
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mutation*
  • Mutation, Missense
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • Connexins
  • GJB2 protein, human
  • Connexin 26
  • DNA