Editors' ChoiceMECHANOSENSATION

Hair-Trigger Responses

Science's STKE  08 Jul 2003:
Vol. 2003, Issue 190, pp. tw260-TW260
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2003.190.tw260

Underlying the sense of hearing and balance are hair cells that transduce the mechanical deflection of their hair bundles into electrical signals through mechanosensitive ion channels, which open and trigger an inward transduction current. Sidi et al. have identified a transient receptor potential cation channel called NompC in zebrafish sensory hair cells as a core component of this mechanosensory machinery. Mutants lacking functional NompC no longer responded to acoustic stimuli. Invertebrate orthologs of NompC were previously implicated in hearing, but a vertebrate mechanosensor has remained elusive.

S. Sidi, R. W. Friedrich, T. Nicolson, NompC TRP channel required for vertebrate sensory hair cell mechanotransduction. Science 301, 96-99 (2003). [Abstract] [Full Text]