The circling (cir/cir) mouse is a murine model for human nonsyndromic deafness DFNB6. Transmembrane inner ear (tmie) is the causative gene and its mutation through deletion of a 40-kilobase genomic region including tmie leads to deafness. The function of Tmie is unknown. To better understand the function of Tmie, we focused on the spatiotemporal expression of tmie in the rat cochlea by using a Tmie-specific antibody. Results showed that tmie expression was prominent in early postnatal rat cochleas in the stereocilia bundles of hair cells. The Tmie signal spread from the stereocilia to the hair cell body region and on to organ of Corti cells. No Tmie signal was observed in cell nuclei; Tmie was localized to the cytoplasm. Because Tmie is predicted to have 1 or 2 transmembrane domains, we postulate that it is localized to membrane-based organelles or the plasma membrane. Our results imply that Tmie exists in the cytoplasm and may have a key role in the maturation and structure of stereocilia bundles in developing hair cells. After hair cell maturation, Tmie is thought to be involved in the maintenance of organ of Corti cells.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|State||Published - Aug 1 2010|