Homozygosity mapping and linkage analysis in a Turkish family with autosomal recessive prelingual sensorineural hearing loss revealed a 15-cM critical region at 17q25.1-25.3 flanked by the polymorphic markers D17S1807 and D17S1806. The maximum two-point lod score was 4.07 at theta=0.0 for the marker D17S801. The linkage interval contains the Usher syndrome 1G gene (USH1G) that is mutated in patients with Usher syndrome (USH) type 1g and encodes the SANS protein. Mutation analysis of USH1G led to the identification of a homozygous missense mutation D458V at the -3 position of the PDZ binding motif of SANS. This mutation was also present homozygously in one out of 64 additional families from Turkey with autosomal recessive nonsyndromic hearing loss and heterozygously in one out of 498 control chromosomes. By molecular modeling, we provide evidence that this mutation impairs the interaction of SANS with harmonin. Ophthalmologic examination and vestibular evaluation of patients from both families revealed mild retinitis pigmentosa and normal vestibular function. These results suggest that these patients suffer from atypical USH.