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Keywords:

  • branchio-otic syndrome 1;
  • BOS1;
  • BOS2;
  • BOS3 branchio-oto-renal syndrome;
  • BOR syndrome;
  • EYA1;
  • hearing loss;
  • syndromic hearing loss;
  • SIX1

Abstract

Branchio-oto-renal syndrome, a phenotype consisting of hearing loss, auricular malformations, branchial arch remnants, and renal anomalies is now recognized as one of the more common forms of autosomal dominant syndromic hearing impairment. Three loci known to be associated with the BOR phenotype have been identified and two genes that act in a regulatory network have been cloned, EYA1 and SIX1. EYA1 and SIX1 are homologous to genes involved in Drosophila eye development, eyes absent gene (eya), and sine oculis(so), respectively. EYA1, a transcriptional co-activator has a conserved, 271-amino acid, C-terminal known as the Eya Domain (ED). SIX1 has two highly conserved domains; a homeodomain (HD) and a specific Six-domain (SD) whose products function as transcription factors with specific DNA-binding activity that are crucial for protein–protein interaction. To determine the molecular basis for the organ defects that occur in BOR syndrome, many studies have focused on the effects of mutations to EYA and effects of mutations of the EYA-SIX regulatory system. However, over 60% of BOR syndrome patients do not have known mutations in EYA1 and relatively little is known about mutations to SIX1. Further evaluation of SIX1 and its related target genes may provide a better understanding of the pathophysiology of BOR syndrome and offer greater clues to the disease mechanisms. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.