Genotype–Phenotype Correlation in DFNB8/10 Families with TMPRSS3 Mutations
In the present study, genotype–phenotype correlations in eight Dutch DFNB8/10 families with compound heterozygous mutations in TMPRSS3 were addressed. We compared the phenotypes of the families by focusing on the mutation data. The compound heterozygous variants in the TMPRSS3 gene in the present families included one novel variant, p.Val199Met, and four previously described pathogenic variants, p.Ala306Thr, p.Thr70fs, p.Ala138Glu, and p.Cys107Xfs. In addition, the p.Ala426Thr variant, which had previously been reported as a possible polymorphism, was found in one family. All affected family members reported progressive bilateral hearing impairment, with variable onset ages and progression rates. In general, the hearing impairment affected the high frequencies first, and sooner or later, depending on the mutation, the low frequencies started to deteriorate, which eventually resulted in a flat audiogram configuration. The ski-slope audiogram configuration is suggestive for the involvement of TMPRSS3. Our data suggest that not only the protein truncating mutation p.T70fs has a severe effect but also the amino acid substitutions p.Ala306Thr and p.Val199Met. A combination of two of these three mutations causes prelingual profound hearing impairment. However, in combination with the p.Ala426Thr or p.Ala138Glu mutations, a milder phenotype with postlingual onset of the hearing impairment is seen. Therefore, the latter mutations are likely to be less detrimental for protein function. Further studies are needed to distinguish possible phenotypic differences between different TMPRSS3 mutations. Evaluation of performance of patients with a cochlear implant indicated that this is a good treatment option for patients with TMPRSS3 mutations as satisfactory speech reception was reached after implantation.