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Hearing Impairment: A Panoply of Genes and Functions

Summary: Neuron
Hearing Impairment: A Panoply
of Genes and Functions
Amiel A. Dror1 and Karen B. Avraham1,*
1Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel
*Correspondence: karena@post.tau.ac.il
DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.10.011
Research in the genetics of hearing and deafness has evolved rapidly over the past years, providing the
molecular foundation for different aspects of the mechanism of hearing. Considered to be the most common
sensory disorder, hearing impairment is genetically heterogeneous. The multitude of genes affected encode
proteins associated with many different functions, encompassing overarching areas of research. These
include, but are not limited to, developmental biology, cell biology, physiology, and neurobiology. In this
review, we discuss the broad categories of genes involved in hearing and deafness. Particular attention is
paid to a subgroup of genes associated with inner ear gene regulation, fluid homeostasis, junctional complex
and tight junctions, synaptic transmission, and auditory pathways. Overall, studies in genetics have provided
research scientists and clinicians with insight regarding practical implications for the hearing impaired, while
heralding hope for future development of therapeutics.
Causes of Hearing Loss
Similar to other sensory loss, hearing impairment has a wide


Source: Avraham, Karen - Department of Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Tel Aviv University


Collections: Biology and Medicine