Mutation analysis of SLC26A4 for Pendred syndrome and nonsyndromic hearing loss by high-resolution melting

J Mol Diagn. 2011 Jul;13(4):416-26. doi: 10.1016/j.jmoldx.2011.03.003. Epub 2011 Apr 29.


Pendred syndrome and DFNB4 (autosomal recessive nonsyndromic congenital deafness, locus 4) are associated with autosomal recessive congenital sensorineural hearing loss and mutations in the SLC26A4 gene. Extensive allelic heterogeneity, however, necessitates analysis of all exons and splice sites to identify mutations for individual patients. Although Sanger sequencing is the gold standard for mutation detection, screening methods supplemented with targeted sequencing can provide a cost-effective alternative. One such method, denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography, was developed for clinical mutation detection in SLC26A4. However, this method inherently cannot distinguish homozygous changes from wild-type sequences. High-resolution melting (HRM), on the other hand, can detect heterozygous and homozygous changes cost-effectively, without any post-PCR modifications. We developed a closed-tube HRM mutation detection method specific for SLC26A4 that can be used in the clinical diagnostic setting. Twenty-eight primer pairs were designed to cover all 21 SLC26A4 exons and splice junction sequences. Using the resulting amplicons, initial HRM analysis detected all 45 variants previously identified by sequencing. Subsequently, a 384-well plate format was designed for up to three patient samples per run. Blinded HRM testing on these plates of patient samples collected over 1 year in a clinical diagnostic laboratory accurately detected all variants identified by sequencing. In conclusion, HRM with targeted sequencing is a reliable, simple, and cost-effective method for SLC26A4 mutation screening and detection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Goiter, Nodular / diagnosis
  • Goiter, Nodular / genetics*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / diagnosis
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / genetics*
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sulfate Transporters
  • Transition Temperature


  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • SLC26A4 protein, human
  • Sulfate Transporters

Supplementary concepts

  • Pendred syndrome