Study of complex structural variations of X-linked deafness-2 based on single-molecule sequencing

Biosci Rep. 2021 Jun 25;41(6):BSR20203740. doi: 10.1042/BSR20203740.


X-linked deafness-2 (DFNX2) is cochlear incomplete partition type III (IP-III), one of inner ear malformations characterized by an abnormally wide opening in the bone separating the basal turn of the cochlea from the internal auditory canal, fixation of the stapes and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) gusher upon stapedectomy or cochleostomy. The causative gene of DFNX2 was POU3F4. To investigate the genetic causes of DFNX2 and compare the efficiency of different sequencing methods, 12 unrelated patients were enrolled in the present study. Targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) and long-read sequencing were used to analyze the genetic etiology of DFNX2. Six variants of POU3F4 were identified in this cohort by NGS. Three patients with a negative diagnosis based on NGS were enrolled in further long-read sequencing. Two of them were all found to carry structural variations (SVs) on chromosome X, consisting of an 870-kb deletion (DEL) at upstream of POU3F4 and an 8-Mb inversion (INV). The 870-kb DEL may have been due to non-homologous end joining (NHEJ), while non-allelic homologous recombination (NAHR) within a single chromatid may have accounted for the 8-Mb INV. Common POU3F4 mutations in DFNX2 included point mutations, small insertions and deletions (INDELs), and exon mutations, which can be detected by Sanger sequencing and NGS. Single-molecule long-read sequencing constitutes an additional and valuable method for accurate detection of pathogenic SVs in IP-III patients with negative NGS results.

Keywords: IP-III; POU3F4; X-linked deafness; genome rearrangements; single-molecule sequencing; structural variations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA Mutational Analysis*
  • Genetic Diseases, X-Linked / diagnosis
  • Genetic Diseases, X-Linked / genetics*
  • Genetic Diseases, X-Linked / physiopathology
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Hearing / genetics*
  • Hearing Loss, Conductive / diagnosis
  • Hearing Loss, Conductive / genetics*
  • Hearing Loss, Conductive / physiopathology
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / diagnosis
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / genetics*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / physiopathology
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mutation*
  • POU Domain Factors / genetics*
  • Phenotype
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Single Molecule Imaging*


  • POU Domain Factors
  • POU3F4 protein, human

Supplementary concepts

  • Progressive hearing loss stapes fixation