KCNQ4 mutations associated with nonsyndromic progressive sensorineural hearing loss

Liping Nie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: This article provides an update on the current progress in identification of KCNQ4 mutations responsible for DFNA2, a subtype of autosomal dominant nonsyndromic progressive hearing loss. Recent Findings: Hearing loss in pateints with DFNA2 usually start at high frequencies in their 20s and 30s, and then progress to more than 60 dB in less than 10 years, with middle and low frequencies often affected as well. To date, eight missense mutations and two deletions of the KCNQ4 gene have been identified in patients with DFNA2 with various clinical phenotypes. In general, missense mutations are associated with younger-onset and all-frequency hearing loss, whereas deletion mutations are underlying later-onset and pure high-frequency hearing loss. The etiology of DFNA2 remains largely unknown at this point, even though the degeneration of cochlear outer hair cells, caused by dysfunction of KCNQ4 channels, might be one of the underlying mechanisms. Summary: During the last decade, significant progress has been made in identifying KCNQ4 mutations in patients with DFNA2. Elucidation of the pathogenic effect of these mutations will help to gain insights into the molecular mechanisms of hearing and hearing loss, which, in turn, will facilitate informative genetic counseling, early diagnosis, and even treatment of hearing loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-444
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Opinion in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Autosomal dominant
  • mutations
  • nonsyndromic
  • progressive hearing loss
  • Voltagegated potassium channels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Surgery
  • Medicine(all)


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