Functional Studies of Deafness-Associated Pendrin and Prestin Variants

Satoe Takahashi, Takashi Kojima, Koichiro Wasano, Kazuaki Homma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Pendrin and prestin are evolutionary-conserved membrane proteins that are essential for normal hearing. Dysfunction of these proteins results in hearing loss in humans, and numerous deafness-associated pendrin and prestin variants have been identified in patients. However, the pathogenic impacts of many of these variants are ambiguous. Here, we report results from our ongoing efforts to experimentally characterize pendrin and prestin variants using in vitro functional assays. With previously established fluorometric anion transport assays, we determined that many of the pendrin variants identified on transmembrane (TM) 10, which contains the essential anion binding site, and on the neighboring TM9 within the core domain resulted in impaired anion transport activity. We also determined the range of functional impairment in three deafness-associated prestin variants by measuring nonlinear capacitance (NLC), a proxy for motor function. Using the results from our functional analyses, we also evaluated the performance of AlphaMissense (AM), a computational tool for predicting the pathogenicity of missense variants. AM prediction scores correlated well with our experimental results; however, some variants were misclassified, underscoring the necessity of experimentally assessing the effects of variants. Together, our experimental efforts provide invaluable information regarding the pathogenicity of deafness-associated pendrin and prestin variants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2759
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • DFNB4
  • DFNB61
  • hereditary hearing loss
  • nonlinear capacitance
  • pendred syndrome
  • pendrin
  • prestin
  • SLC26A4
  • SLC26A5

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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