Heterogeneity of MYO15A variants significantly determine the feasibility of acoustic stimulation with hearing aid and cochlear implant

Hear Res. 2021 May;404:108227. doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2021.108227. Epub 2021 Mar 19.


Autosomal recessive nonsyndromic hearing loss 3 (DFNB3) mainly leads to congenital and severe-to-profound hearing impairment, which is caused by variants in MYO15A. However, audiological heterogeneity in patients with DFNB3 hinders precision medicine in hearing rehabilitation. Here, we aimed to elucidate the heterogeneity of the auditory phenotypes of MYO15A variants according to the affected domain and the feasibilities for acoustic stimulation. We conducted whole-exome sequencing for 10 unrelated individuals from seven multiplex families with DFNB3; 11 MYO15A variants, including the novel frameshift c.900delT (p.Pro301Argfs*143) and nonsense c.4879G > T (p.Glu1627*) variants, were identified. In seven probands, residual hearing at low frequencies was significantly higher in the groups with one or two N-terminal frameshift variants in trans conformation compared to that in the group without these variants. This is consistent with the 56 individuals from the previously published reports that carried a varying number of N-terminal truncating variants in MYO15A. In addition, patients with missense variants in the second FERM domain had better hearing at low frequencies than patients without these variants. Subsequently, acoustic stimulation provided by devices such as hearing aids or cochlear implants was feasible in patients with one or two N-terminal truncating variants or a second FERM missense variant. In conclusion, N-terminal or second FERM variants in MYO15A allow the practical use of acoustic stimulation through hearing aids or electroacoustic stimulation for aural rehabilitation.

Keywords: Cochlear implant; DFNB3; Electroacoustic stimulation; Genetic hearing loss; Hearing aid; MYO15A; Precision medicine; Residual hearing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Cochlear Implants*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Genetic Variation
  • Hearing Aids*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural
  • Humans
  • Myosins / genetics*
  • Pedigree


  • MYO15A protein, human
  • Myosins

Supplementary concepts

  • Deafness, Autosomal Recessive 3