Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Clues To Beating Hearing Loss

Date:
March 11, 2009
Source:
University of Leeds
Summary:
Researchers have made a significant step forward in understanding the causes of some forms of deafness.

Researchers at the University of Leeds have made a significant step forward in understanding the causes of some forms of deafness.

The Leeds team has discovered that the myosin 7 motor protein - found in the tiny hairs of the inner ear that pick up sound - moves and works in a different way from many other myosins.

Dr Michelle Peckham from the University of Leeds’ Faculty of Biological Sciences says: “We’re really excited by this discovery as it could lead to new insights into certain forms of deafness. Mutations in this protein have been linked to hearing loss, particularly of the type connected to Usher syndrome, which is a form of degenerative deaf-blindness.”

There are around 40 myosin motor proteins in the human body, the most familiar of which is the type of myosin found in skeletal and heart muscle. But all cells have many different kinds of myosin.

Dr Peckham says: “What’s exciting about our findings is that we have found that, unlike muscle myosins, which have two heads, myosin 7 only has one. What’s more, for the first time we’ve found how this myosin can be switched on and switched off. When switched off, the tip of its tail curls round and contacts the head, and switched on this contact is broken and the myosin stretches out. This knowledge should help inform any further studies into how a mutation can create problems in hearing.”

Follow-up studies could include a more detailed analysis of the role of myosin 7 in Usher syndrome, an inherited genetic condition, which affects hearing, sight and balance. It can vary in its severity; in some cases a child may be born deaf and their sight may deteriorate during childhood, whilst in others the syndrome can go undetected into the teens when hearing and sight usually begins to deteriorate.

There is no cure for Usher syndrome and sufferers are usually offered assistance in managing their disabilities.

Dr Peckham says: “Our studies on how normal myosin 7 works pave the way for understanding how a defective myosin 7 protein in Usher patients results in deafness.”

Dr Peckham worked with colleagues Professor Peter Knight and Dr Tom Baboolal from the Faculty of Biological Sciences. This is a collaborative study with Prof Jim Seller’s group at The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in the USA and has been funded by the BBSRC.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leeds. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yang et al. A FERM domain autoregulates Drosophila myosin 7a activity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2009; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0808682106

Cite This Page:

University of Leeds. "Clues To Beating Hearing Loss." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090304092012.htm>.
University of Leeds. (2009, March 11). Clues To Beating Hearing Loss. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090304092012.htm
University of Leeds. "Clues To Beating Hearing Loss." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090304092012.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Uganda on Alert for Ebola but No Confirmed Cases

Uganda on Alert for Ebola but No Confirmed Cases

AFP (July 31, 2014) Uganda's health minister said on Thursday that there are no confirmed cases of Ebola in the country, but that it remained on alert for cases of the deadly virus. Uganda has suffered Ebola outbreaks in the past, most recently in 2012. Duration: 00:59 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins