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Otogelin, otogelin-like, and stereocilin form links connecting outer hair cell stereocilia to each other and the tectorial membrane

Abstract : The function of outer hair cells (OHCs), the mechanical actuators of the cochlea, involves the anchoring of their tallest stereocilia in the tectorial membrane (TM), an acellular structure overlying the sensory epithelium. Otogelin and otogelin-like are TM proteins related to secreted epithelial mucins. Defects in either cause the DFNB18B and DFNB84B genetic forms of deafness, respectively, both characterized by congenital mild-to-moderate hearing impairment. We show here that mutant mice lacking otogelin or otogelin-like have a marked OHC dysfunction, with almost no acoustic distortion products despite the persistence of some mechanoelectrical transduction. In both mutants, these cells lack the horizontal top connectors, which are fibrous links joining adjacent stereocilia, and the TM-attachment crowns coupling the tallest stereocilia to the TM. These defects are consistent with the previously unrecognized presence of otogelin and otogelin-like in the OHC hair bundle. The defective hair bundle cohesiveness and the absence of stereociliary imprints in the TM observed in these mice have also been observed in mutant mice lacking stereocilin, a model of the DFNB16 genetic form of deafness, also characterized by congenital mild-to-moderate hearing impairment. We show that the localizations of stereocilin, otogelin, and otogelin-like in the hair bundle are interdependent, indicating that these proteins interact to form the horizontal top connectors and the TM-attachment crowns. We therefore suggest that these 2 OHC-specific structures have shared mechanical properties mediating reaction forces to sound-induced shearing motion and contributing to the coordinated displacement of stereocilia.
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Submitted on : Monday, June 8, 2020 - 11:21:26 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - 10:36:03 AM

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Paul Avan, Sébastien Le Gal, Vincent Michel, Typhaine Dupont, Jean-Pierre Hardelin, et al.. Otogelin, otogelin-like, and stereocilin form links connecting outer hair cell stereocilia to each other and the tectorial membrane. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America , National Academy of Sciences, 2019, 116 (51), pp.25948-25957. ⟨10.1073/pnas.1902781116⟩. ⟨pasteur-02860028⟩

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