An autosomal recessive nonsyndromic deafness locus, DFNB10, was previously localized to a 12-cM region near the telomere of chromosome 21 (21q22.3). This locus was discovered in a large, consanguineous Palestinian family. We have identified and ordered a total of 50 polymorphic microsatellite markers in 21q22.3, comprising 16 published and 34 new markers, precisely mapped and ordered on BAC/cosmid contigs. Using these microsatellite markers, the locus for DFNB10 has been refined to an area of less than 1 Mb between markers 1016E7.CA60 and 1151C12.GT45. Six previously published cDNAs were mapped to this critical region, and their genomic structures were determined to facilitate mutation analysis in DFNB10. All six genes in this region (in order from centromere to telomere: White/ABCG1, TFF3, TFF2, TFF1, PDE9A, and NDUVF3) have been screened and eliminated as candidates for DFNB10. The new microsatellite markers and single nucleotide polymorphisms identified in this study should enable the refined mapping of other genetic diseases that map to 21q22.3. In addition, the critical region for DFNB10 has been reduced to a size amenable to an intensive positional cloning effort. (C) 2000 Academic Press.