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Reviewed February 2016

What is the official name of the TECTA gene?

The official name of this gene is “tectorin alpha.”

TECTA is the gene's official symbol. The TECTA gene is also known by other names, listed below.

Read more about gene names and symbols on the About page.

What is the normal function of the TECTA gene?

The TECTA gene provides instructions for making a protein called alpha-tectorin. This protein is found in the tectorial membrane, which is part of a snail-shaped structure called the cochlea in the inner ear. The cochlea converts sound waves into nerve impulses, which are then transmitted to the brain. This process is critical for normal hearing.

Alpha-tectorin is large protein with multiple regions (called domains) through which it interacts with other proteins. These interactions are critical for the normal formation of the tectorial membrane.

How are changes in the TECTA gene related to health conditions?

nonsyndromic hearing loss - caused by mutations in the TECTA gene

Researchers have identified at least 40 TECTA gene mutations that can cause nonsyndromic hearing loss, which is loss of hearing that is not associated with other signs and symptoms. Mutations in this gene can cause two forms of nonsyndromic hearing loss: DFNA8/12 and DFNB21.

DFNA8/12 is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means one mutated copy of the TECTA gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the condition. This form of hearing loss can be present before a child learns to speak (prelingual) or begin after a child learns to speak (postlingual). In some cases the hearing loss is stable, while in others it becomes more severe over time.

The TECTA gene mutations that cause DFNA8/12 change single protein building blocks (amino acids) in alpha-tectorin. The characteristics of the hearing loss depend on the domain in which the mutation occurs. Mutations in one domain tend to affect the ability to hear mid-frequency sounds, while mutations in another generally affect the ability to hear high-frequency sounds. All of these mutations alter the structure of the tectorial membrane and disrupt the conversion of sound to nerve impulses. However, it is unclear why changes in different areas of the alpha-tectorin protein lead to different hearing loss characteristics.

DFNB21 is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern, which means both copies of the TECTA gene are mutated in each cell. This form of hearing loss is usually severe to profound and is prelingual.

The TECTA gene mutations that cause DFNB21 mutations create a premature stop signal in the instructions for making the alpha-tectorin protein. These mutations lead to the production of a nonfunctional version of alpha-tectorin or prevent cells from making any of this protein. A total loss of alpha-tectorin function alters the structure of the tectorial membrane in such a way that sound cannot be converted to nerve impulses.

Where is the TECTA gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: 11q22-q24

Molecular Location on chromosome 11: base pairs 121,102,666 to 121,190,806

(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (NCBIThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.)

The TECTA gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 11 between positions 22 and 24.

The TECTA gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 11 between positions 22 and 24.

More precisely, the TECTA gene is located from base pair 121,102,666 to base pair 121,190,806 on chromosome 11.

See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.

Where can I find additional information about TECTA?

You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about TECTA helpful.

You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for genetics professionals and researchers.

What other names do people use for the TECTA gene or gene products?

  • DFNA8
  • DFNA12
  • DFNB21

Where can I find general information about genes?

The Handbook provides basic information about genetics in clear language.

These links provide additional genetics resources that may be useful.

What glossary definitions help with understanding TECTA?

acids ; autosomal ; autosomal dominant ; autosomal recessive ; cell ; cochlea ; domain ; gene ; inherited ; mutation ; postlingual ; prelingual ; protein ; recessive ; tectorial membrane

You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

References (10 links)


The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.

Reviewed: February 2016
Published: February 8, 2016