Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Better understanding of inherited hearing loss

Date:
October 16, 2013
Source:
Université de Montréal
Summary:
A team of researchers made an important discovery that could better explain some inherited forms of hearing loss in humans. Scientists identified a group of proteins crucial for shaping the cellular organ responsible for detecting sounds.

Aerial surface view of two neighbouring hair cells in the inner ear. On the surface of these developing mouse cells, large stereocilia can be noticed forming a V-shaped brush pointing upwards. The visualization technique used to capture this image is scanning electron microscopy, which allows us to see the morphology of the cell surface at high resolution.
Credit: © IRCM

A team of researchers led by Dr. Michel Cayouette made an important discovery, published online yesterday by the scientific journal Developmental Cell, that could better explain some inherited forms of hearing loss in humans. Dr. Michel Cayouette is a professor at the IRCM and Université de Montréal, The Montréal scientists identified a group of proteins crucial for shaping the cellular organ responsible for detecting sounds.

Related Articles


For a human to hear, sound-induced vibrations in the inner ear must first be transformed into electrical impulses before they can be relayed to the brain. This transformation is performed by "hair cells" (or sensory cells) located in the inner ear. On the surface of these cells, microscopic hair-like protrusions known as stereocilia act as specialized sensors to detect vibrations.

"During embryonic development, these stereocilia develop into a characteristic V-shaped brush," says Dr. Cayouette, Director of the Cellular Neurobiology research unit at the IRCM. "In addition, all cells orient their brush with the V pointing in the same direction. This polarized organization is critical for sensory function, but remains poorly understood."

"We studied a group of proteins known to control cell division in the organism and discovered a new role they play in the auditory system," explains Dr. Basile Tarchini, postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Cayouette's laboratory and first author of the study. "We showed that these proteins occupy a specific region at the cell surface to define the exact placement of stereocilia and enable the creation of the V-shaped brush."

"Furthermore, we discovered that one of the proteins is also required for coordinating the orientation of the brushes among neighbouring cells, thereby ensuring that the V formed by each brush points in the same direction," adds Dr. Tarchini. "Our results strongly suggest, for the first time, that this group of proteins could be the link between two important molecular mechanisms: the system responsible for the placement of stereocilia into a V-shaped brush at the cell surface, and the system that orients this V-shaped structure in the surrounding tissue."

"Recent studies show that mutations in one of the proteins we studied are associated with inherited forms of hearing loss in humans," concludes Dr. Cayouette. "By defining a function for this class of proteins in hair cells, our work helps explain the mechanisms that could cause these conditions."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Université de Montréal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Basile Tarchini, Christine Jolicoeur, Michel Cayouette. A Molecular Blueprint at the Apical Surface Establishes Planar Asymmetry in Cochlear Hair Cells. Developmental Cell, 2013; 27 (1): 88 DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2013.09.011

Cite This Page:

Université de Montréal. "Better understanding of inherited hearing loss." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131016122034.htm>.
Université de Montréal. (2013, October 16). Better understanding of inherited hearing loss. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131016122034.htm
Université de Montréal. "Better understanding of inherited hearing loss." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131016122034.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
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