We previously mapped the DFNB66 locus to an interval overlapping the DFNB67 region. Mutations in the LHFPL5 gene were identified as a cause of DFNB67 hearing loss (HL). However, screening of the coding exons of LHFPL5 did not reveal any mutation in the DFNB66 family. The objective of this study was to check whether DFNB66 and DFNB67 are distinctive loci and determining their contribution to HL. In the DFNB66 family, sequencing showed absence of mutations in the untranslated regions and the predicted promoter sequence of LHFPL5. Analysis of five microsatellites in the 6p21.31-22.3 region and screening of the LHFPL5 gene by DNA heteroduplex analysis in DHPLC revealed a novel mutation (c.89dup) in one out of 129 unrelated Tunisian families with autosomal recessive nonsyndromic (ARNS) HL. Our findings suggest that two distinct genes are responsible for DFNB66 and DFNB67 HL. These loci are likely to be a rare cause of ARNSHL.
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