Microscopy Pinpoints Key Proteins for Hearing and Balance Researchers may have identified the exact locations of two proteins crucial to hearing and balance. Using advanced microscopy techniques, a team at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) found in mice the cellular pinpoints of TMC1 and TMC2. These are thought to contribute to the processing ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   December 01, 2015
Microscopy Pinpoints Key Proteins for Hearing and Balance
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Hearing & Speech Perception / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   December 01, 2015
Microscopy Pinpoints Key Proteins for Hearing and Balance
The ASHA Leader, December 2015, Vol. 20, 18. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.20122015.18
The ASHA Leader, December 2015, Vol. 20, 18. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.20122015.18
Researchers may have identified the exact locations of two proteins crucial to hearing and balance.
Using advanced microscopy techniques, a team at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) found in mice the cellular pinpoints of TMC1 and TMC2. These are thought to contribute to the processing of sound and balance signals in the inner ear. The study, published in Cell Reports, was co-led by Bechara Kachar, chief of the NIDCD Laboratory of Cell Structure and Dynamics, and Andrew J. Griffith, NIDCD scientific director.
The researchers observed the two proteins within mechanoelectrical transduction (MET) channels that likely lie at the tops of sterocilia (hair cells’ sensory cells). To find the TMC1 and TMC2, the researchers tagged the mice’s hair cells with fluorescent proteins; they used a technique called confocal microscopy to observe their location in 3-D.
Scientists know more about the way MET channels function than how they’re structured, but the new study provides evidence that TMC1 and TMC2 are likely part of the structure. This knowledge could allow for new insights into hearing and balance disorders.
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December 2015
Volume 20, Issue 12