February 3, 2011

Stereocilia are tiny structures that provide us each with the amazing ability to hear sounds. Next time you are at your favorite band’s concert, be nice to your stereocilia and stand far away from the speakers.

Stereocilia are long actin-based structures that are responsible for receiving auditory signals in our inner ears and translating them into electrical signals that our brain will understand. The actin motor myosin XVa and its cargo protein whirlin are important in stereocilia elongation, and a recent paper identifies an additional member of this complex. Eps8 is an actin-regulatory protein that interacts with myosin XVa and whirlin, and serves as a key regulator of stereocilia length. Images above show stereocilia in normal mice and mice deficient in Eps8, myosin XVa, or whirlin (top to bottom).

ResearchBlogging.orgCopyright ©2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Manor, U., Disanza, A., Grati, M., Andrade, L., Lin, H., Di Fiore, P., Scita, G., & Kachar, B. (2011). Regulation of Stereocilia Length by Myosin XVa and Whirlin Depends on the Actin-Regulatory Protein Eps8 Current Biology, 21 (2), 167-172 DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.12.046

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