Genetic Hearing Loss and Gene Therapy

Article information

Genomics Inform. 2018;16.e20
Publication date (electronic) : 2018 December 28
doi :
1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan 31116, Korea
2Beckman Laser Institute Korea, Dankook University, Cheonan 31116, Korea
*Corresponding author: Tel: +82-41-550-1785, Fax: +82-41-550-1090, E-mail:
Received 2018 November 29; Revised 2018 December 3; Accepted 2018 December 4.


Genetic hearing loss crosses almost all the categories of hearing loss which includes the following: conductive, sensory, and neural; syndromic and nonsyndromic; congenital, progressive, and adult onset; high-frequency, low-frequency, or mixed frequency; mild or profound; and recessive, dominant, or sex-linked. Genes play a role in almost half of all cases of hearing loss but effective treatment options are very limited. Genetic hearing loss is considered to be extremely genetically heterogeneous. The advancements in genomics have been instrumental to the identification of more than 6,000 causative variants in more than 150 genes causing hearing loss. Identification of genes for hearing impairment provides an increased insight into the normal development and function of cells in the auditory system. These defective genes will ultimately be important therapeutic targets. However, the auditory system is extremely complex which requires tremendous advances in gene therapy including gene vectors, routes of administration, and therapeutic approaches. This review summarizes and discusses recent advances in elucidating the genomics of genetic hearing loss and technologies aimed at developing a gene therapy that may become a treatment option for in the near future.


The World Health Organization reported that 466 million people worldwide suffers from hearing loss and estimated to rise over 900 million by 2050 [1]. Hearing loss means not able to hear as well as someone with normal hearing or a hearing threshold of more than 25 decibels in one or both ears. Hearing loss can also be classified as either conductive, sensorineural or mixed hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss is when there is a problem conducting the sound waves along the outer ear, tympanic membrane (eardrum) and ossicular chain of the middle ear towards the cochlea. Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is when there is problem translating the sound vibrations into electrical signals in the sensory hair cells (HCs) inside the cochlear or damage in transmitting the information involving the afferent nerves towards the brain. This communication between the ear and brain can be damaged by aging, acoustic overexposure and ototoxic drugs. Heredity also plays a big part wherein genes for hearing are mutated or genes may increase the susceptibility to ear damage or deterioration from aging.

Hearing loss causes an annual global deficit of US $750 billion [2] which offers a high demand for an effective solution. Conductive hearing loss can be surgically managed in most patients. In contrast, SNHL is mostly irreversible and results in permanent hearing loss. However, hearing rehabilitation is possible thru hearing devices that can either be worn externally or implanted. Despite the advances in hearing aid and cochlear implant technologies, the quality of perceived sound still cannot mimic that of the normal ear. Impaired speech perception in noisy environments and musical sound perception are the biggest hurdles of cochlear implants [3, 4].

Scientist around the world are working on genomics-based research and development in hearing science. In this review, we consolidated the genes that are currently identified to be associated with hearing loss. We reviewed ways in which genes are used to restore or protect hearing and ways to deliver the genes to their target cells such as viral and non-viral vectors. We also discussed the various strategies used in gene therapy such as gene replacement, slicing and editing.

Genetic Hearing Loss

Syndromic vs. nonsyndromic hearing loss

Clinically, hearing impairment may be associated with other disorders (syndromic) or it may only be a symptom (nonsyndromic). Syndromic hearing loss occurs with malformations of the external ear, together with other malformations in other organs or organ systems. Nonsyndromic hearing loss has no associated visible deformities or the external ear or any related medical conditions, but could be associated with problems of the middle or inner ear.

Deafness genes

Genes are responsible for hearing loss among 50%–60% of children born with hearing loss [5]. According to the Hereditary Hearing Loss Homepage [6] to date, there is a total of 112 non-syndromic hearing loss genes that has been identified (Fig. 1), 71 autosomal recessive (Table 1) [7125], 45 autosomal dominant (Table 2) [126207], and 5 X-linked and 1 non-syndromic genes (Table 3) [208218]. The most common cause of severe-to-profound nonsyndromic hearing loss in most populations is the autosomal recessive mutation of GJB2. While the most common cause of mild-to-moderate hearing loss is the autosomal recessive mutation on STRC [219]. On the other hand, About 30% of inherited hearing loss is associated with a syndrome [220]. Syndromic hearing impairment tends to be less genetically heterogeneous than nonsyndromic, but more than one locus has been identified for several syndromes. There are currently 11 syndromes (Table 4) [221265] associated with hearing loss with a total of 47 syndromic hearing loss genes with 27 autosomal recessive, 13 autosomal dominant, 4 autosomal dominant or recessive and 2 X-linked recessive pattern of inheritance.

Fig. 1

Inheritance pattern of identified genes for genetic hearing loss. Drawn with data adapted from Hereditary Hearing Loss Homepage [6].

Autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss genes and loci according to Hereditary Hearing Loss Homepage [6]

Autosomal dominant non-syndromic hearing loss genes and loci according to Hereditary Hearing Loss Homepage [6]

Other non-syndromic hearing loss genes and loci according to Hereditary Hearing Loss Homepage

Syndromic hearing loss genes according to Hereditary Hearing Loss Homepage [6]

Relevance of genomics in hearing loss

With the rapid advancement of genomics, it became possible to establish high-resolution genetic and physical maps, genomic and cDNA libraries which made it easier to correlate the genes for hearing loss. The establishment of the human fetal cochlear cDNA library gave way to the cloning of majority of the genes identified related to hearing loss [266]. Screening strategies can be made in combination with next-generation sequencing platforms to study sets of deafness subjects who are likely to have the same defective gene to effectively diagnose patients with genetic hearing loss [267].

Gene Therapy

As mentioned above, genetic hearing loss can now be screened in utero. In principle, gene therapy can fix a genetic mutation like the ones involving hearing genes removing or replacing the defective gene or supplying the absent gene.

However, compared to other target organs for gene therapy, there are several obstacles related to the anatomy of the inner ear. The cochlea is a spiraled and fluid-filled cavity in a bony labyrinth that is very vulnerable to changes which affect the conversion of sound vibration into electrical signals. Consequently, maintaining this homeostasis is the biggest challenge in delivering any kind of therapeutic products into the inner ear. Different routes of administration have been explored with various purposes, such as efficiency in transduction and reduced cochlear toxicity. The most successful way to deliver therapeutic agents to the cochlea is an intracochlear approach through the round window membrane (RWM). The RWM is a semipermeable soft tissue separating the middle and inner ear. It allows low molecular weight molecules to up to molecules with molecular weight 45,000 under normal physiological conditions [268]. Direct injection through the RWM can also be done with a microsyringe and a narrow-gauge needle. Another option is to insert material inside the cochlear cavity to create an opening, in a procedure called a cochleostomy. This was the approach used by our group to inject material into the three cochlear cavities (scala vestibule, scala media, and scala tympani) [269, 270].

Viral vs. non-viral gene delivery

Gene transfection to inner ear cells have mostly utilized replication defective viral vectors (Table 5) [274280]. For example, adenoviruses were used to transfer gene markers such as β-galactosidase and red fluorescent protein as well as functional genes such as glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) to the auditory system [270, 281, 282]. Another example is the use of adeno-associated viral vectors (AAV), such as AAV1, 2, 6, 8, and Anc80L65, which showed greater transfection efficiency in inner ear delivery [283]. Recently, the USH1 protein network component harmonin (USH1C) gene delivery using synthetic Anc80L65 vectors to treat hearing loss in mice with Usher syndrome restored complex auditory and balance behaviour similar to near wild-type levels with up to 90% transduction efficiency [276]. AAV2/8 vectors that encode wild-type whirlin (WHRN) gene restored inner hair cells (IHC) but not outer hair cells (OHC) and auditory function [272]. AAV2/1 vectors were injected in transmembrane channel like 1 (TMC1) mutant mice restored moderate hearing function with minimal auditory-brainstem-response threshold [284]. A similar viral capsid and a promoter that restricted expression to IHCs partially restored auditory function in mice deficient in the IHC gene encoding for vesicular glutamate transporter 3 (VGluT3) [271]. Furthermore, the cellular tropism of a novel adeno-associated bovine virus vector efficiently transduced cochlear and vestibular HC and supporting cells without pathological effects outperforming other viral vectors [285].

Viral vectors used in gene therapy for genetic hearing loss studies

The concept of gene therapy seems straightforward, but numerous problems and risks exist that prevent gene therapy using viral vectors [286]. Even with all the potential benefits of gene therapy, the utilization of viral vectors in the clinical setup is hindered by the possibility of tumorigenesis and unexpected adverse effects from virus integration in human DNA. Therefore, non-viral delivery systems are developed as an alternative to harness gene therapy. These non-viral vectors include cationic liposomes and other non-liposomal polymers along with the use of biolistic materials and electroporation (Table 6) [287301].

Non-viral vectors used in gene therapy for genetic hearing loss studies

Cationic liposomes are phospholipid vesicles that fuses to the cellular membrane due to their cationic charge, thereby releasing the DNA to the cytoplasm [302]. Cationic liposomes can be easily prepared in large amounts, non-infectious and has a large gene capacity. Meanwhile, synthetic and naturally occurring polycationic polymers attract negatively charged phosphates of the DNA [303]. These include polyethylenimine, dextran, chitosan, PLGA and among others. Cationic polymers are also easy to prepare and non-immunogenic. However, both types have low transfection yields and may still provoke an acute immune response.

Another mode of gene transfection makes use of DNA-coated gold microparticles and bombarded into a targeted cellular surface by a pressure pulse of compressed helium gas [304]. These are not immunogenic and results in a very good in vivo activity. Electroporation is also used to create transient pores in the lipid membrane, allowing the transfection of plasmid DNA, using electric field pulses [305]. However, these methods may cause significant tissue damage during the procedure and need surgery for targeted internal organs. Gene transfer is also limited to the targeted area only.

Gene therapy strategies

Gene replacement using cDNA

Gene replacement is basically delivering a functional cDNA with the correct coding sequence to supplement a nonfunctional mutant gene of interest in specific cell types [306]. The ideal application of gene replacement is in genetic disorders caused by mutations leading to loss in phenotype, such as recessive diseases. However, effectivity of this gene therapy is limited by the duration in which gene is delivered during development of target organs. If the mutation begins during prenatal development, gene replacement may not be able to recover normal physiology after significant malformations. In addition, an extended expression of the exogenous sequence must be maintained if the mutated gene is expressed into adulthood. Dominant deafness mutations are less likely to be recovered with gene replacement strategies but other approaches can still be utilized.

Gene silencing using RNA interference

Dominant hearing loss mutations in heterozygous animals can be “silenced” or negatively regulated by suppressing the mutant allele while allowing expression of the wild-type allele to overcome the consequences of the mutation. Gene silencing can be achieved at the transcriptional level by preventing the mRNA from being transcribed. At the post-transcriptional level, gene silencing occurs with use of RNA interference (RNAi) to prevent mRNA translation [307]. The central role in RNAi is played by two types of short complementary small RNA—microRNA (miRNA) or small interfering RNA (siRNA). In an acoustic overexposure study in mouse, siRNA was found to be able to silence the expression of AMP-activated protein kinase which causes HC loss and cochlear synaptopathy [308]. The main advantage of this method its sequence specificity which makes it very suitable for silencing dominant mutations without affecting wild-type sequences or off target sequences [309].

Gene editing using CRISPR/Cas9 system

Another gene therapy approach that recently gained much attention to edit genome sequences is the use of the CRISPE/Cas9 system. This approach is derived from prokaryotic immune systems for resistance to phages and plasmids [310]. It is the most recent and advanced programmable nuclease adapted for genome engineering which allows for the precise direct manipulation of genome sequences in the inner ear [311]. Engineered nuclease-based enzymes are used to find a target genome sequence and to introduce single- or double-strand DNA, which stimulate innate DNA repairing machinery.

CRISPR/Cas is considered as the most pervasive and easy-to-use system with multiple applications. Cas9 require the presence of a protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) immediately following the DNA target sequence which enables the system to be very specific but at the same time limits its clinical application [312]. To date, much effort has been directed toward the design of CRIPSR nucleases with altered PAM specificities and diminished off target activities allowing even more applications [313].

Clinical Application and Conclusions

Gene therapy is making a comeback after safety concerns during the late 1990s and early 2000s hampered research. Gene therapy for genetic hearing loss is also getting one step closer into being a clinical treatment after several clinical trials have been approved but yet to bear results. Although gene therapy is a promising treatment option, its application is currently limited by the risk of side effects and is still under study to ensure that it will be safe and effective. In the meantime, there are 2,597 clinical trials undertaken in 38 countries that have been either completed, are in progress, or approved involving gene therapy [314]. As we wait for preliminary results to ongoing clinical trials for gene therapy for hearing loss, there are already several syndromic hearing loss genes mentioned above wherein gene therapy trials have begun for their corresponding syndromes. These include the autosomal recessive gene MYO7A causing deaf-blindness in Usher syndrome [315]. Furthermore, lessons from different approaches in gene therapy in other systems can greatly influence the advancement in design and implementation of gene therapy for genetic hearing loss. Additional advances are expected in the coming years as the field of inner gene therapy moves toward the collective goal of developing novel and effective treatments for patients with genetic hearing loss.


This study was supported by the Ministry of Science, Information and Communications technology (ICT) and Future Planning grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF2016R1D1A1B03932624), and supported by Leading Foreign Research Institute Recruitment Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) (NRF-2018K1A4 A3A02060572).


Authors’ contribution: Conceptualization: MYL

Funding Acquisition: MYL

Writing – original draft: NTC

Writing – review and editing: NTC, MYL

Conflict of interest

No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.


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Article information Continued

Fig. 1

Inheritance pattern of identified genes for genetic hearing loss. Drawn with data adapted from Hereditary Hearing Loss Homepage [6].

Table 1

Autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss genes and loci according to Hereditary Hearing Loss Homepage [6]

Locus (OMIM) Location Gene (OMIM) Key references (PubMed)
DFNB1A 13q12 GJB2 [7, 8]
DFNB1B 13q12 GJB6 [9]
DFNB2 11q13.5 MYO7A [1012]
DFNB3 17p11.2 MYO15A [13, 14]
DFNB4 7q31 SLC26A4 [15, 16]
DFNB5 (see note 1) 14q12 Unknown [17]
DFNB6 3p14 p21 TMIE [18, 19]
DFNB7/11 9q13 q21 TMC1 [2022]
DFNB8/10 21q22 TMPRSS3 [2325]
DFNB9 (see note 2) 2p22-p23 OTOF [26, 27]
DFNB10 See DFNB8 - -
DFNB11 See DFNB7 - -
DFNB12 10q21 q22 CDH23 [28, 29]
DFNB13 7q34 36 Unknown [30]
DFNB14 7q31 Unknown [31]
DFNB15/72/95 3q21 q25,19p13 GIPC3 [3234]
DFNB16 15q21 q22 STRC [35]
DFNB17 7q31 Unknown [36]
DFNB18 11p14 15.1 USH1C [3739]
DFNB18B 11p15.1 OTOG [40]
DFNB19 18p11 Unknown [41]
DFNB20 11q25-qter Unknown [42]
DFNB21 11q TECTA [43]
DFNB22 16p12.2 OTOA [44]
DFNB23 10p11.2 q21 PCDH15 [45]
DFNB24 11q23 RDX [46]
DFNB25 4p13 GRXCR1 [47]
DFNB26 (see note 3) 4q31 Unknown [48]
DFNB27 2q23 q31 Unknown [49]
DFNB28 22q13 TRIOBP [50, 51]
DFNB29 21q22 CLDN14 [52]
DFNB30 10p11.1 MYO3A [53]
DFNB31 9q32 q34 WHRN [54, 55]
DFNB32/105 1p13.3 22.1 CDC14A [56, 57]
DFNB33 9q34.3 Unknown [58]
DFNB35 14q24.1 24.3 ESRRB [59, 60]
DFNB36 1p36.3 ESPN [61]
DFNB37 6q13 MYO6 [62]
DFNB38 6q26 q27 Unknown [63]
DFNB39 7q21.1 HGF [64]
DFNB40 22q Unknown [65]
DFNB42 3q13.31 q22.3 ILDR1 [66, 67]
DFNB44 7p14.1 q11.22 ADCY1 [68, 69]
DFNB45 1q43 q44 Unknown [70]
DFNB46 18p11.32 p11.31 Unknown [71]
DFNB47 2p25.1 p24.3 Unknown [72]
DFNB48 15q23 q25.1 CIB2 [73]
DFNB49 5q12.3 q14.1. MARVELD2/BDP1 [7476]
DFNB51 11p13 p12 Unknown [77]
DFNB53 6p21.3 COL11A2 [78]
DFNB55 4q12 q13.2 Unknown [79]
DFNB59 2q31.1 q31.3 PJVK [80]
DFNB60 5q23.2 q31.1 SLC22A4 [81]
DFNB61 7q22.1 SLC26A5 [82]
DFNB62 12p13.2 p11.23 Unknown [83]
DFNB63 11q13.2 q13.4 LRTOMT/COMT2 [84, 85]
DFNB65 20q13.2 q13.32 Unknown [86]
DFNB66 6p21.2 22.3 DCDC2 [87]
DFNB66/67 6p21.31 LHFPL5 [8890]
DFNB68 19p13.2 S1PR2 [91, 92]
DFNB71 8p2221.3 Unknown [93]
DFNB72 See DFNB15 - -
DFNB73 1p32.3 BSND [94]
DFNB74 12q14.2 q15 MSRB3 [95, 96]
DFNB76 19q13.12 SYNE4 [97]
DFNB77 18q12q 21 LOXHD1 [98]
DFNB79 9q34.3 TPRN [99]
DFNB80 2p16.1 p21 Unknown [100]
DFNB81 19p Unknown [34]
DFNB82 1p13.1 (see note 4) [101]
DFNB83 See DFNA47 - -
DFNB84 12q21.2 PTPRQ/OTOGL [102, 103]
DFNB85 17p12 q11.2 Unknown [101]
DFNB86 16p13.3 TBC1D24 [104, 105]
DFNB88 2p12 p11.2 ELMOD3 [106]
DFNB89 16q21 q23.2 KARS [107]
DFNB90 7p22.1 p15.3 Unknown [108]
DFNB91 6p25 SERPINB6 [109]
DFNB93 11q12.311 q13.2 CABP2 [110]
DFNB94 - NARS2 [111]
DFNB95 See DFNB15 - -
DFNB96 1p36.31 p36.13 Unknown [112]
DFNB97 7q31.2q31.31 MET [113]
DFNB98 21q22.3-qter TSPEAR [114]
DFNB99 17q12 TMEM132E [115]
DFNB100 5q13.2 q23.2 PPIP5K2 [116]
DFNB101 5q32 GRXCR2 [117]
DFNB102 12p12.3 EPS8 [118]
DFNB103 6p21.1 CLIC5 [119]
DFNB104 6p22.3 FAM65B [120]
DFNB105 See DFNB32 - [57]
DFNB106 11p15.5 EPS8L2 [121]
DFNB108 1p31.3 ROR1 [122]

Note 1: DFNB5 was reported originally as DFNB4.

Note 2: DFNB9 was reported originally as DFNB6.

Note 3: DFNB26 is suppressed by dominant modifier DFNM1.

Note 4: The gene at the DFNB82 locus was initially reported as GPSM2 [123], but this gene was later determined to cause Chudley-McCullough syndrome [124, 125].

Table 2

Autosomal dominant non-syndromic hearing loss genes and loci according to Hereditary Hearing Loss Homepage [6]

Locus (OMIM) Location Gene (OMIM) Key references (PubMed)
DFNA1 5q31 DIAPH1 [126, 127]
DFNA2A 1p34 KCNQ4 [129, 130]
DFNA2B 1p35.1 GJB3 [132]
DFNA2C - IFNLR1 [134]
DFNA3A 13q11 q12 GJB2 [8, 135, 136]
DFNA3B 13q12 GJB6 [138]
DFNA4A 19q13 MYH14 [139, 140]
DFNA4B 19q13.32 CEACAM16 [142]
DFNA5 7p15 GSDME [144, 145]
DFNA6 4p16.3 WFS1 [148151]
DFNA7 1q21-q23 LMX1A [152, 153]
DFNA8 See DFNA12 - -
DFNA9 14q12 q13 COCH [157, 158]
DFNA10 6q22 q23 EYA4 [160, 161]
DFNA11 11q12.3 q21 MYO7A [164, 165]
DFNA12 11q2224 TECTA -
DFNA13 6p21 COL11A2 [169, 170]
DFNA14 See DFNA6 - -
DFNA15 5q31 POU4F3 [172]
DFNA16 2q24 Unknown [174]
DFNA17 22q MYH9 [176, 177]
DFNA18 3q22 Unknown [179]
DFNA19 10(pericentr.) Unknown [181]
DFNA20 17q25 ACTG1 [183185]
DFNA21 6p21 Unknown [187]
DFNA22 6q13 MYO6 [189]
DFNA23 14q21 q22 SIX1 [191, 192]
DFNA24 4q Unknown [194]
DFNA25 12q21 24 SLC17A8 [196, 197]
DFNA26 See DFNA20 - -
DFNA27 4q12 REST [199, 200]
DFNA28 8q22 GRHL2 [202]
DFNA30 15q25 26 Unknown [204]
DFNA31 6p21.3 Unknown [206]
DFNA32 11p15 Unknown [128]
DFNA33 13q34-qter Unknown [131]
DFNA34 1q44 NLRP3 [133]
DFNA36 9q13 q21 TMC1 [22]
DFNA37 1p21 COL11A1 [137]
DFNA38 See DFNA6 - -
DFNA39 (see note 1) 4q21.3 DSPP [141]
DFNA40 16p12.2 CRYM [143]
DFNA41 12q24-qter P2RX2 [146, 147]
DFNA42 5q31.1 q32 Unknown [141]
DFNA43 2p12 Unknown [154]
DFNA44 3q28 29 CCDC50 [155, 156]
DFNA47 9p21 22 Unknown [159]
DFNA48 12q13 q14 MYO1A [162, 163]
DFNA49 1q21 q23 Unknown [166]
DFNA50 7q32.2 MIRN96 [167, 168]
DFNA51 9q21 TJP2 [171]
DFNA52 4q28 Unknown [141]
DFNA53 14q11.2 q12 Unknown [173]
DFNA54 5q31 Unknown [175]
DFNA56 9q31.3 q34.3 TNC [178]
DFNA57 19p13.2 Unknown [180]
DFNA58 2p12 p21 Unknown [182]
DFNA59 11p14.2 q12.3 Unknown [186]
DFNA60 2q21.3 q24.1 Unknown [188]
DFNA64 12q24.31 q24.32 SMAC/DIABLO [190]
DFNA65 16p13.3 TBC1D24 [193]
DFNA66 6q15 21 CD164 [195]
DFNA67 20q13.33 OSBPL2 [175]
DFNA68 15q25.2 HOMER2 [198]
DFNA69 12q21.32 q23.1 KITLG [201]
DFNA70 3q21.3 MCM2 [203]
DFNA73 12q21.31 PTPRQ [205]

Note 1: Mutations in DSPP dentinogenesis imperfect associated with hearing impairment in some families.

Note 2: MYO1A has been called in to question as the causative gene for DFNA48 [207].

Table 3

Other non-syndromic hearing loss genes and loci according to Hereditary Hearing Loss Homepage

Locus (OMIM) Location Gene (OMIM) Key references (PubMed)
 DFNX1a Xq22 PRPS1 [208]
 DFNX2 Xq21.1 POU3F4 [209]
 DFNX3 Xp21.2 Unknown [210, 211]
 DFNX4 Xp22 SMPX [212]
 DFNX5 Xq26.1 AIFM1 [213]
 DFNX6 Xp22.3 COL4A6 [214]

 DFNY1 Y Unknown [215]

 DFNM1 1q24 Unknown [48]
 DFNM2 8q23 Unknown [216]

AUNA-Auditory Neuropathy [217, 218]
 AUNA1 13q14-21 DIAPH3

Previous nomenclature designated X-linked loci as DFN but this has been changed to DFNX.

Table 4

Syndromic hearing loss genes according to Hereditary Hearing Loss Homepage [6]

Gene (OMIM) Location Inheritance Key references (PubMed)
Alport syndrome
COL4A3 2q36.3 Autosomal recessive [221]
COL4A4 2q36.3 Autosomal recessive [221]
COL4A5 Xq22.3 X-linked recessive [222]

Branchio-Oto-Renal syndrome
EYA1 8q13.3 Autosomal dominant [223]
SIX5 19q13.32 Autosomal dominant [224]
SIX1 14q23.1 Autosomal dominant [225]

CHARGE syndrome
SEMA3E 7q21.11 Autosomal dominant [226]
CHD7 8q12.2 Autosomal dominant [227]

Jervell & Lange-Nielsen syndrome
KNCQ1 11p15.5-15.4 Autosomal recessive [228]
KCNE1 21q22.12 Autosomal recessive [229, 230]

Norrie disease
NDP Xp11.3 X-linked recessive [231, 232]

Pendred syndrome
SLC26A4 7q22.3 Autosomal recessive [233]
FOXI1 5q35.1 Autosomal recessive [234]
KCNJ10 1q23.2 Autosomal recessive [235]

Perrault syndrome
HSD17B4 5q23.1 Autosomal recessive [236]
HARS2 5q31.3 Autosomal recessive [236]
CLPP 19p13.3 Autosomal recessive [237]
LARS2 3p21.31 Autosomal recessive [238]
TWNK 10q24.21 Autosomal recessive [239]
ERAL1 17q11.2 Autosomal recessive [240]

Stickler syndrome
COL2A1 12q13.11 Autosomal dominant [241]
COL11A1 1p21 Autosomal dominant [242]
COL11A2 6p21.32 Autosomal recessive/dominant [243]
COL9A1 6q13 Autosomal recessive [244]
COL9A2 1p34.2 Autosomal recessive [245]

Treacher Collins syndrome
TCOF1 5q32-q33.1 Autosomal dominant [246]
POLR1D 13q12.2 Autosomal dominant [247]
POLR1C 6p21.1 Autosomal recessive [247]

Usher syndrome
MYO7A 11q13.5 Autosomal recessive [248]
USH1C 11p15.1 Autosomal recessive [249]
CDH23 10q22.1 Autosomal recessive [250]
PCDH15 10q21.1 Autosomal recessive [251]
SANS/USH1G 17q25.1 Autosomal recessive [252]
 See Note A 15q25.1 Autosomal recessive [253]
USH2A 1q41 Autosomal recessive [254]
ADGRV1/VLGR1/GPR98 5q14.3 Autosomal recessive [255]
WHRN 9q32 Autosomal recessive [256]
CLRN1 3q25.1 Autosomal recessive [257]

Waardenburg syndrome
PAX3 2q36.1 Autosomal dominant [258]
MITF 3p13 Autosomal dominant [259]
SNAI2 8q11 Autosomal recessive [260]
SOX10 22q13.1 Autosomal dominant [261]
PAX3 2q36.1 Autosomal dominant or recessive [262]
EDNRB 13q22.3 Autosomal dominant or recessive [263]
EDN3 20q13.32 Autosomal dominant or recessive [264]
SOX10 22q13.1 Autosomal dominant [265]

Table 5

Viral vectors used in gene therapy for genetic hearing loss studies

Viral vector Example Load Animal Route of administration Reference
Adenovirus Ad5-CMV-Atoh1-GFP Atoh1 Guinea pig Cochleostomy (scala media) [274]
Ad5-CMV-Math1.11D Math1 Guinea pig Cochleostomy (scala media) [275]
Ad28-CMV-GFP + Ad28-GFAP-Atoh1 Atoh1 Mouse Round window (scala tympani) [278]

Adeno-associated virus AAV-mVGLUT3 VGLUT3 Mouse Round window (scala tympani) [271]
AAV8-CMV-whirlin-GFP WHRN Mouse Round window (scala tympani) [272]
AAV2/Anc80L65.CMV.trunc-harm USH1C Mouse Round window (scala tympani) [276]
BAAV-β-actin-GFP β-actin Rat Cochleostomy (scala media) [279]

Herpes simplex virus pHSV-blc-2 BCL2 Rats Organ of Corti explants [280]
pHSV-BDNF-LacZ BDNF Rat Spiral ganglia explant [273]

Lentivirus Lenti-HOX-GFP GFP Mouse Round window (scala tympani) [277]

Table 6

Non-viral vectors used in gene therapy for genetic hearing loss studies

Non-viral vector Example Load Animal Route of administration Reference
Cationic liposomes Liposomes β-gal plasmid Guinea pig RWM after cochleostomy [287]
Liposomes eGFP plasmid Mouse Gelfoam on RWM [288290]
Lipofectamine 2000 Math1 Rat OC-derived cell line [291]

Cationic non-liposomal polymers Polybrene Integrin antisense oligonucleotide Rats OC-derived cell line [292]
Dendritic polymers (HPNP) eGFP plasmid Rat Sponge on RWM/cochlear explants [293]
Polyethylenimine (PEI) eGFP plasmid Guinea pig Scala tympani injection [294]
PLGA nanoparticles Fluorescent dye (Rhodamine) Guinea pig Gelfoam on RWM [295]

Biolistic Gold particles using Gene gun MyoXVa Mouse OC explants [296, 297]

Electroporation Electroporation Math1 Rat OC explants [298, 299]
Electroporation Math1 Mouse In utero [300, 301]

RWM, round window membrane; eGFP, enhanced green fluorescent protein; OC, organ of Corti; PLGA, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid).