We identified overlapping homozygous regions within the DFNB84 locus in a nonconsanguineous Dutch family and a consanguineous Moroccan family with sensorineural autosomal-recessive nonsyndromic hearing impairment (arNSHI). The critical region of 3.17 Mb harbored the PTPRQ gene and mouse models with homozygous mutations in the orthologous gene display severe hearing loss. We show that the human PTPRQ gene was not completely annotated and that additional, alternatively spliced exons are present at the 5' end of the gene. Different PTPRQ isoforms are encoded with a varying number of fibronectin type 3 (FN3) domains, a transmembrane domain, and a phosphatase domain. Sequence analysis of the PTPRQ gene in members of the families revealed a nonsense mutation in the Dutch family and a missense mutation in the Moroccan family. The missense mutation is located in one of the FN3 domains. The nonsense mutation results in a truncated protein with only a small number of FN3 domains and no transmembrane or phosphatase domain. Hearing loss in the patients with PTPRQ mutations is likely to be congenital and moderate to profound and most severe in the family with the nonsense mutation. Progression of the hearing loss was observed in both families. The hearing loss is accompanied by vestibular dysfunction in all affected individuals. Although we show that PTPRQ is expressed in many tissues, no symptoms other than deafness were observed in the patients.
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