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Projects. Life and Earth Sciences

Dominant autosomal sensorineural hypoacusis: expansion of molecular diagnosis by applying new technologies, undertaking functional analysis and creating murine models

Lead Researcher:
Miguel Ángel Moreno Pelayo


Research Centre:
Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal, IRYCIS. Madrid.

Synopsis: 

Miguel Ángel Moreno Pelayo1) 20 new families have been recruited with autosomal dominant sensorineural hearing loss (HNAD in its Spanish acronym). Four of these have been genotyped at complete genome level (panel 6k SNPs, Illuminate) and the binding is currently being analysed. A family with DFNA49 hypoacusis has been subjected to whole-exome sequencing and the results are being analysed.

2)Two new-generation diagnostic tools have been designed. The first of these, OTO-NGS, consists of a capture panel for massive sequencing (Nimblegen technology) which includes the regions of the genome (exons+introns) of all the genes associated with HNAD and which is now being validated in the SOLiD (Life Technologies) platform. Initial results indicate that the system has identified the pathogenic mutation in the first 12 control individuals analysed. The second tool is OTO-array: This is based on Agilent technology, consists of a CGH array to explore the genomic integrity of all the loci associated with HNAD, and is currently being validated.

3) Functional studies. KCNQ4-DFNA2: the electrophysiological study has continued being completed in Xenopus oocytes, with western-blot, cytometry, co-localisation with RE and Golgi in NIH3T3 of the 15 mutations described to date. All of these, except the truncating mutations, cause negative dominance associated with a traffic defect mediated by the interaction of the mutant forms with the wild one at the level of the Ct region of the protein. Characterisation is currently taking place to find which residues are involved in this interaction. EYA4: the generation of vectors has commenced for the expression studies.

4) NGS in the auditory ancestor line of the human fetal cochlea (hFASCs) has given results of the expression profile of microRNAs (small-RNASeq) and genes (mRNA-SEQ) for two biological replicas, and the results are being analysed.

5) TECTA mice: the study has been completed (morphological and functional) for the tectorial membrane in knock-in mice (C1837G, C1619S and L1820F-G1824D) at the age of 12 months (manuscript being prepared).

Scientific production
3 articles published in Journals
1 paper at national conferences


Miguel Ángel Moreno Pelayo

Miguel Ángel Moreno Pelayo (Cadiz, 1968) holds a degree in Biology (1992) from the UCM. He wrote his degree dissertation in the field of embryology, and his doctoral thesis was on immunogenetics in the Immunology Dept. of the "12 de Octubre" Hospital. In 1999 he started his postdoctoral phase in human genetics in the field of hereditary deafness in the laboratory of Dr. Richardson (Univ. of Sussex, UK), working on the creation of animal models (transgenic mice). Since 2003, he has been I3SNS tenured researcher in the Molecular Genetics Unit of Ramón y Cajal Hospital, where he directs the research line "Dominant hereditary autosomal hypoacusis: genetic epidemiology, functional analysis and the creation of murine models". His most outstanding achievements include the identification of two new genes associated with dominant autosomal deafness: CCDC50 associated with type DFNA44 deafness; and the first microRNA (miR96), associated with a single gene disorder caused by Mendelian inheritance, type DFNA50 deafness. Associate professor in the Dept. of Bioinformatics at the King Charles III University, Madrid, from 2008 he has been a member of the panel of experts of the Technical Commission for Evaluation of the King Charles III Health Institute.


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