Hereditary hearing loss (HL) is characterized by both allelic and locus genetic heterogeneity. Both recessive and dominant forms of HL may be caused by different mutations in the same deafness gene. In a family with post-lingual progressive non-syndromic deafness, whole-exome sequencing of genomic DNA from five hearing-impaired relatives revealed a single variant, p.Gly488Glu (rs145970949:G>A) in MYO3A, co-segregating with HL as an autosomal dominant trait. This amino acid change, predicted to be pathogenic, alters a highly conserved residue in the motor domain of MYO3A. The mutation severely alters the ATPase activity and motility of the protein in vitro, and the mutant protein fails to accumulate in the filopodia tips in COS7 cells. However, the mutant MYO3A was able to reach the tips of organotypic inner ear culture hair cell stereocilia, raising the possibility of a local effect on positioning of the mechanoelectrical transduction (MET) complex at the stereocilia tips. To address this hypothesis, we investigated the interaction of MYO3A with the cytosolic tail of the integral tip-link protein protocadherin 15 (PCDH15), a core component of MET complex. Interestingly, we uncovered a novel interaction between MYO3A and PCDH15 shedding new light on the function of myosin IIIA at stereocilia tips. We identified a novel mutation in the motor-head of MYO3A causing dominant non-syndromic deafness. The mutation severely alters the ATPase activity and motility of the protein. The mutant protein fails to accumulate in filopodia tips in COS7 cells, but was able to reach explant hair cell stereocilia tips. We also found that MYO3A interacts with integral tip-link protein protocadherin 15 (PCDH15), which led us to speculate about a local dominant effect of mutant MYO3A on MET complex positioning.
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