Several different mutations in the KCNQ4 K+ channel gene are responsible for autosomal dominant nonsyndromic hearing impairment (DFNA2). Here we describe two additional families originating from Europe and Japan with a KCNQ4 missense mutation (W276S) that was previously found in one European family. We compared the disease-associated haplotype of the three W276S-bearing families using closely linked microsatellite markers and intragenic single nucleotide polymorphisms. Differences between the haplotypes were found, excluding a single founder mutation for the families. Therefore, the W276S mutation has occurred three times independently, and most likely represents a hot spot for mutation in the KCNQ4 gene. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.