Cellular and molecular mechanisms of autosomal dominant form of progressive hearing loss, DFNA2

Hyo Jeong Kim, Ping Lv, Choong Ryoul Sihn, Ebenezer N. Yamoah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Despite advances in identifying deafness genes, determination of the underlying cellular and functional mechanisms for auditory diseases remains a challenge. Mutations of the human K+ channel hKv7.4 lead to post-lingual progressive hearing loss (DFNA2), which affects world-wide population with diverse racial backgrounds. Here, we have generated the spectrum of point mutations in the hKv7.4 that have been identified as diseased mutants. We report that expression of five point mutations in the pore region, namely L274H, W276S, L281S, G285C, and G296S, as well as the C-terminal mutant G321S in the heterologous expression system, yielded non-functional channels because of endoplasmic reticulum retention of the mutant channels. We mimicked the dominant diseased conditions by co-expressing the wild-type and mutant channels. As compared with expression of wild-type channel alone, the blend of wild-type and mutant channel subunits resulted in reduced currents. Moreover, the combinatorial ratios of wild type:mutant and the ensuing current magnitude could not be explained by the predictions of a tetrameric channel and a dominant negative effect of the mutant subunits. The results can be explained by the dependence of cell surface expression of the mutant on the wild-type subunit. Surprisingly, a transmembrane mutation F182L, which has been identified in a pre-lingual progressive hearing loss patient in Taiwan, yielded cell surface expression and functional features that were similar to that of the wild type, suggesting that this mutation may represent redundant polymorphism. Collectively, these findings provide traces of the cellular mechanisms for DFNA2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1517-1527
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 14 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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