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Roche's Sequence Capture Technology Used to Identify SMPX Mutations Underlying Human Hereditary Hearing Loss

MADISON, Wisconsin, January 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Hereditary hearing loss is the most common sensory disorder in humans. A German research team led by Ingo Kurth from the Institute of Human Genetics at the University Hospital Jena, Germany, used a number of different methods, including Roche's NimbleGen Custom Sequence Capture 385K array to identify the gene mutated in the disease locus of the X-chromosome of a Spanish family with hereditary hearing loss (1).

Targeted enrichment was performed by the German Service Provider ATLAS Biolabs GmbH. In particular, the DNA of two affected males was subjected to target enrichment. Subsequent sequencing analysis at the Cologne Center for Genomics (CCG) resulted in the identification of a total of 3858 and 3443 X-chromosomal variants for each of these two individuals. Furthermore, a nonsense mutation in the small muscle protein, X-linked (SMPX) of the affected individuals had been detected. Nonsense mutations are significant, because they are point mutations in a sequence of DNA that cause a premature stop codon, or a nonsense codon in the transcribed mRNA, resulting in a truncated, incomplete, and usually nonfunctional protein. Based on their findings, the authors propose that long-term maintenance of mechanically stressed inner ear cells critically depends on SMPX function.

The NimbleGen Sequence Capture technology is a sophisticated process for the parallel enrichment of selected genomic regions from complex human genomic DNA. Sequence Capture allows enrichment of target regions in a single experiment, replacing the need to perform numerous PCR reactions. The efficiencies of parallel enrichment are an ideal complement for cost-effective, high throughput next-generation sequencing.

  1. Huebner et al., American Journal of Human Genetics, Vol. 88: 621-627, May 13, 2011

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world's largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche's personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2010, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide and invested over 9 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 47.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information:

For life science research only.  Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

NIMBLEGEN and SEQCAP are trademarks of Roche.

Other brands or product names are trademarks of their respective holders.

Roche Diagnostics
Dr. Burkhard Ziebolz
Tel.: +49-(0)8856-604830

Roche NimbleGen
Kary Staples
Tel.: +1-608-218-7623

SOURCE Roche Diagnostics
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