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Research Further Defines Proteins Necessary for Hearing and Balance

October 3, 1997




NIDCD-supported research is further defining proteins essential for normal auditory and vestibular development and function. Research reported in the June 16, 1997, issue of the Journal of Cell Biology unveils the locations of three subtypes of the protein myosin in the inner ears of amphibia and mammals.

These three proteins are felt to be the most important proteins for function of the inner ear sensory cells called hair cells. Of particular interest is the myosin VIIa protein (see image) which, when mutated, has been implicated in a form of autosomal recessive deafness (DFNB2) as well as in Usher syndrome type 1B, an autosomal recessive form of deafness that includes balance and visual problems. In addition to myosin 7a, the locations of myosin 1b and myosin 6 were defined.

Last Updated Date: 
October 3, 1997