Steve D. M. Brown

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Genetic deafness is common, affecting about 1 in 2,000 births. Many of these show primary abnormalities of the sensory neuroepithelia of the inner ear, as do several hearing-impaired mouse mutants, suggesting that genes involved in sensory transduction could be affected. Here we report the identification of one such gene, the mouse shaker-1 (sh1) gene.(More)
For an understanding of the aberrant biology seen in mouse mutations and identification of more subtle phenotype variation, there is a need for a full clinical and pathological characterization of the animals. Although there has been some use of sophisticated techniques, the majority of behavioral and functional analyses in mice have been qualitative rather(More)
Two types of Usher syndrome, a blindness-deafness disorder, result from mutations in the myosin VIIa gene. As for most other unconventional myosins, little is known about the function or functions of myosin VIIa. Here, we studied the photoreceptor cells of mice with mutant myosin VIIa by electron immunomicroscopy and microscopic autoradiography. We found(More)
Mutations in Myo7a cause hereditary deafness in mice and humans. We describe the effects of two mutations, Myo7a(6J) and Myo7a(4626SB), on mechano-electrical transduction in cochlear hair cells. Both mutations result in two major functional abnormalities that would interfere with sound transduction. The hair bundles need to be displaced beyond their(More)
Higher-order chromatin has been implicated in epigenetic gene control and in the functional organization of chromosomes. We have recently discovered mouse (Suv39h1) and human (SUV39H1) histone H3 lysine 9-selective methyltransferases (Suv39h HMTases) and shown that they modulate chromatin dynamics in somatic cells. We describe here the isolation,(More)
Genetic hearing impairment affects around 1 in every 2,000 births. The bulk (approximately 70%) of genetic deafness is non-syndromic, in which hearing impairment is not associated with any other abnormalities. Over 25 loci involved in non-syndromic deafness have been mapped and mutations in connexin 26 have been identified as a cause of non-sydromic(More)
As the human genome project approaches completion, the challenge for mammalian geneticists is to develop approaches for the systematic determination of mammalian gene function. Mouse mutagenesis will be a key element of studies of gene function. Phenotype-driven approaches using the chemical mutagen ethylnitrosourea (ENU) represent a potentially efficient(More)
The mouse shaker-1 locus, Myo7a, encodes myosin VIIA and mutations in the orthologous gene in humans cause Usher syndrome type 1B or non-syndromic deafness. Myo7a is expressed very early in sensory hair cell development in the inner ear. We describe the effects of three mutations on cochlear hair cell development and function. In the Myo7a816SB and Myo7a6J(More)
Usher syndrome is recognized as the most frequent cause of hereditary deaf-blindness. Usher syndrome type I (USH1), the most severe form of the disease, is characterized by profound congenital sensorineural deafness, constant vestibular dysfunction, and retinitis pigmentosa of prepubertal onset. This form is genetically heterogeneous and five loci (USH1A-E)(More)
Mouse genetics has made crucial contributions to the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of hearing. With the help of a plethora of mouse mutants, many of the key genes that are involved in the development and functioning of the auditory system have been elucidated. Mouse mutants continue to shed light on the genetic and physiological bases of human(More)