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Polymorphisms in the FAS gene are associated with susceptibility to noise-induced hearing loss


This study investigated the relationship between genetic polymorphisms in the FAS gene and noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) risk among Chinese workers exposed to occupational noise, and the molecular mechanism of NIHL caused by noise. In this case-control study, 692 NIHL workers and 650 controls were selected for genotyping of four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the FAS gene. Logistic regression was used to calculate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of the association of these genetic polymorphisms and NIHL. At the same time, a noise-exposed rat model was constructed to further clarify the effect of noise exposure on fas gene expression and the pathogenic mechanism of NIHL. Two polymorphisms, rs1468063 and rs2862833, were associated with NIHL in the case-control study. Individuals with the rs1468063-TT or rs2862833-AA genotypes had decreased NIHL risk (p < 0.01, p = 0.02, respectively). Compared with the control group, the hearing threshold of the case group of rats increased, while serum MDA, urine 8-OHdG, and fas gene expression increased, but let-7e expression decreased. Genetic polymorphisms in the FAS gene are related to the risk of NIHL in the Chinese population. Noise can cause a large amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the cochlea tissue and blood, which lead to oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation, and DNA damage, further activating the FAS gene, and ultimately leading to hearing loss.

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The authors are extremely grateful to the Key Laboratory of Environmental Medicine Engineering of Ministry of Education, School of Public Health, Southeast University, for providing needed facilities, support, and encouragements during the construction of this manuscript.


This work is financially supported by Funding: National Natural Science Foundation of China (81573120, 81872645), Jiangsu Provincial Youth Medical Talent program (QNRC2016536), Six Talent Peaks Project in Jiangsu Province (WSW-017), Postgraduate Research & Practice Innovation Program of Jiangsu Province (KYCX19_0122), and Key Project of Medical Research of Jiangsu Commission of Health (K2019026).

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Shouxiang Xu and Boshen Wang were contributed equally to this article. Baoli Zhu and Juan Zhang are responsible for the supervision, conceptualizing, and drafting the original draft. Shouxiang Xu is responsible for conceptualizing, writing, and drafting the original draft. Boshen Wang is responsible for writing the methodology and data analysis. Yuepu Pu and Lei Han are responsible for review and editing.

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Correspondence to Baoli Zhu or Juan Zhang.

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Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

In abiding with the ethical requirements, the study conformed to the Declaration of Helsinki, and was nominated to be exempted from institutional ethical review by the Research Ethics Board of Jiangsu Provincial CDC. Official permission was taken from each respondent for this study and informed consent was obtained from all participants.

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Consent given by all contributing authors.

Data availability

The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Responsible Editor: Mohamed M. Abdel-Daim

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Xu, S., Wang, B., Han, L. et al. Polymorphisms in the FAS gene are associated with susceptibility to noise-induced hearing loss. Environ Sci Pollut Res 28, 21754–21765 (2021).

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  • NIHL
  • FAS;
  • Single nucleotide polymorphism;
  • Noise exposure;
  • Oxidative stress