Usher syndrome type Ib is a recessive autosomal disorder manifested by congenital deafness, vestibular dysfunction, and progressive retinal degeneration. Mutations in the human myosin VIIa gene (MYO7A) have been reported to cause Usher type Ib. Here we report the genomic organization of MYO7A. An STS content map was determined to discover the YAC clones that would cover the critical region for Usher syndrome type Ib. Three of the YACs (802A5, 966D6, and 965F10) were subcloned into cosmids and used to assemble a preliminary cosmid contig of the critical region. Part of the gene encoding human myosin VIIa was found in the preliminary cosmid contig. A cosmid, P1, PAC, and long PCR contig that contained the entire MYO7A gene was assembled. Primers were designed from the composite cDNA sequence and used to detect intron-exon junctions by directly sequencing cosmid, P1, PAC, and genomic PCR DNA. Alternatively spliced products were transcribed from the MYO7A gene: the largest transcript (7.4 kb) contains 49 exons. The MYO7A gene is relatively large, spanning approximately 120 kb of genomic DNA on chromosome 11q13.
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