News

Featured article in Neuron: TMC1 Forms the Pore of Mechanosensory Transduction Channels in Vertebrate Inner Ear Hair Cells

August 23, 2018
Preview by Peter G. Barr-Gillespie

Honing In on TMC as the Hair Cell's Transduction Channel

The identity of the inner ear's transduction channel has bedeviled auditory neuroscientists for decades. In this issue of Neuron, Pan et. al. (2018) report the most convincing evidence to date implicating the transmembrane channel-like (TMC) proteins as forming the pore of the transduction channel.

Authors: Bifeng Pan...

Read more about Featured article in Neuron: TMC1 Forms the Pore of Mechanosensory Transduction Channels in Vertebrate Inner Ear Hair Cells

Transgenic Tmc2 expression preserves inner ear hair cells and vestibular function in mice lacking Tmc1

August 14, 2018
Recent work has demonstrated that transmembrane channel-like 1 protein (TMC1) is an essential component of the sensory transduction complex in hair cells of the inner ear. A closely related homolog, TMC2, is expressed transiently in the neonatal mouse cochlea and can enable sensory transduction in Tmc1-null mice during the first postnatal week. Both TMC1 and TMC2 are expressed at adult stages in mouse vestibular hair cells. The extent to which TMC1 and TMC2 can substitute for each other is unknown. Several biophysical differences between TMC1 and TMC2 suggest these proteins perform... Read more about Transgenic Tmc2 expression preserves inner ear hair cells and vestibular function in mice lacking Tmc1

Call for Proposals: Bertarelli Collaborative Awards for Sensory Disorders

August 13, 2018

Submit by September 1, 2018, 5:00 p.m. EST

The Bertarelli Program in Translational Neuroscience and Neuroengineering is now accepting applications for Bertarelli Collaborative Awards for Sensory Disorders. The program, funded by the Bertarelli Foundation, will bridge the gap between basic and translational neuroscience through research oriented towards translational opportunities and through creation of stronger ties among scientists, engineers and...

Read more about Call for Proposals: Bertarelli Collaborative Awards for Sensory Disorders

Article featuring Taralyn Tan, Bertarelli-funded Curriculum Fellow

August 9, 2018

On a wintry Thursday morning, Taralyn Tan, PhD ’16, woke before the crack of dawn to prepare for a packed day...she headed over to the Warren Alpert Building on the HMS campus, where she sat in on the Discipline of Neuroscience class, a new foundational class in the School’s graduate Program in Neuroscience (PiN). For three hours, she watched and listened, gauging how the curriculum changes she’d helped implement were working with students and faculty....

Read more about Article featuring Taralyn Tan, Bertarelli-funded Curriculum Fellow

Sensory Neuron Diversity in the Inner Ear Is Shaped by Activity

August 2, 2018
In the auditory system, type I spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) convey complex acoustic information from inner hair cells (IHCs) to the brainstem. Although SGNs exhibit variation in physiological and anatomical properties, it is unclear which features are endogenous and which reflect input from synaptic partners. Using single-cell RNA sequencing, we derived a molecular classification of mouse type I SGNs comprising three subtypes that express unique combinations of Ca2+ binding proteins, ion channel...
Read more about Sensory Neuron Diversity in the Inner Ear Is Shaped by Activity

Structure of mouse protocadherin 15 of the stereocilia tip link in complex with LHFPL5

August 2, 2018

Hearing and balance involve the transduction of mechanical stimuli into electrical signals by deflection of bundles of stereocilia linked together by protocadherin 15 (PCDH15) and cadherin 23 'tip links'. PCDH15 transduces tip link tension into opening of a mechano-electrical transduction (MET) ion channel. PCDH15 also interacts with LHFPL5, a candidate subunit of the MET channel. Here we illuminate the PCDH15-LHFPL5 structure, showing how the complex is composed of PCDH15 and LHFPL5 subunit pairs related by a 2-fold axis. The extracellular cadherin domains define a mobile tether coupled...

Read more about Structure of mouse protocadherin 15 of the stereocilia tip link in complex with LHFPL5