Length regulation of mechanosensitive stereocilia depends on very slow actin dynamics and filament-severing proteins

Praveena Narayanan, Paul Chatterton, Akihiro Ikeda, Sakae Ikeda, David P. Corey, James M. Ervasti, Benjamin J. Perrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations

Abstract

Auditory sensory hair cells depend on stereocilia with precisely regulated lengths to detect sound. Since stereocilia are primarily composed of crosslinked, parallel actin filaments, regulated actin dynamics are essential for controlling stereocilia length. Here we assessed stereocilia actin turnover by monitoring incorporation of inducibly expressed β-actin-GFP in adult mouse hair cells in vivo and by directly measuring β-actin-GFP turnover in explants. Stereocilia actin incorporation is remarkably slow and restricted to filament barbed ends in a small tip compartment, with minimal accumulation in the rest of the actin core. Shorter rows of stereocilia, which have mechanically gated ion channels, show more variable actin turnover than the tallest stereocilia, which lack channels. Finally, the proteins ADF and AIP1, which both mediate actin filament severing, contribute to stereocilia length maintenance. Altogether, the data support a model whereby stereocilia actin cores are largely static, with dynamic regulation at the tips to maintain a critical length.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6855
JournalNature communications
Volume6
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 21 2015

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