Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Identifying a mystery channel crucial for hearing

Date:
October 24, 2013
Source:
Rockefeller University Press
Summary:
Our ability to hear relies on hair cells, sensory receptors that mechanically amplify low-level sound that enters the inner ear through a transduction channel. A new study could help lead to a definitive identification of this mystery channel.

A study in The Journal of General Physiology provides new evidence about the molecular makeup of the hair cell transduction channel, which plays a critical role in our ability to hear (magnified region of a hair cell shown here).
Credit: Kim et al., 2013

Our ability to hear relies on hair cells, sensory receptors that mechanically amplify low-level sound that enters the inner ear through a transduction channel. Although the transduction channel was characterized more than 30 years ago, researchers have been unable to identify its molecular components. A new study in The Journal of General Physiology could help lead to a definitive identification of this mystery channel.

Related Articles


Recent studies have suggested that members of the TMC family of membrane proteins are strong candidates as the components of the hair cell's transduction channel. Now, a team led by scientists from the University of Wisconsin Medical School provides evidence that the TMCs instead couple the transduction channel to tip links -- the mechanical elements that provide directional sensitivity to hair cells -- and are not the channel itself. This suggests that the transduction channel may be a membrane protein distinct from TMCs that only functions properly once other key molecules are expressed.

Whether or not TMCs turn out to be the transduction channel, the new results affirm that they play a central role in hair cell mechanotransduction. The work adds to evolving research aimed at understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that affect hearing.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. P. G. Barr-Gillespie, T. Nicolson. Who needs tip links? Backwards transduction by hair cells. The Journal of General Physiology, 2013; DOI: 10.1085/jgp.201311111

Cite This Page:

Rockefeller University Press. "Identifying a mystery channel crucial for hearing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131024141252.htm>.
Rockefeller University Press. (2013, October 24). Identifying a mystery channel crucial for hearing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131024141252.htm
Rockefeller University Press. "Identifying a mystery channel crucial for hearing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131024141252.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
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