Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists probe the role of motor protein in hearing loss

Date:
March 6, 2011
Source:
American Institute of Physics
Summary:
From grinding heavy metal to soothing ocean waves, the sounds we hear are all perceptible thanks to the vibrations felt by tiny molecular motors in the hair cells of the inner ear. Researchers have now identified the mechanism by which a single amino acid change can disrupt the normal functioning of one of the critical components of that physiology -- a molecular motor protein called myo1c, which resides in the cochlea of the inner ear.

From grinding heavy metal to soothing ocean waves, the sounds we hear are all perceptible thanks to the vibrations felt by tiny molecular motors in the hair cells of the inner ear. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have now identified the mechanism by which a single amino acid change can disrupt the normal functioning of one of the critical components of that physiology -- a molecular motor protein called myo1c, which resides in the cochlea of the inner ear.

The mutation (called R156W), was first identified in an individual suffering from cochlear hearing loss, and it affects the way the myo1c protein interacts with proteins known as actin filaments, another crucial component of the sensory apparatus of the inner ear. This interaction is essential for normal hearing, and scientists have already traced other causes of hearing loss to previously known mutations that interrupt it.

Now Michael Greenberg and his colleagues at UPenn have examined the biochemical and mechanical properties of the mutant myosin protein. Comparing constructs of the normal, "wild-type" protein to the R156W mutant, they examined the two proteins' kinetics and motility and discovered the mutant has a reduced sensitivity to mechanical loads and a lower duty ratio, meaning it spends less time attached to actin filaments.

Though the cochlear cell myo1c defects are associated with hearing loss, how this mutation causes the disease is still a mystery. The exact molecular role of myo1c is hazy, although it has been linked to several important cellular processes including hearing and insulin stimulated glucose uptake within cells. Understanding the defects caused by the R156 mutation could help to solve the puzzle.

"R156 is a highly conserved residue throughout the myosin superfamily. The fact that mutation of this residue affects the myosin duty ratio and strain sensitivity may very well be applicable in other myosins as well. In the long term, we hope to gain greater insight into the mechanism of myosin strain sensitivity and its role in mechanotransduction," says Greenberg.

The group's research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

American Institute of Physics. "Scientists probe the role of motor protein in hearing loss." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110306141617.htm>.
American Institute of Physics. (2011, March 6). Scientists probe the role of motor protein in hearing loss. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110306141617.htm
American Institute of Physics. "Scientists probe the role of motor protein in hearing loss." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110306141617.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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