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J Neurosci. 2003 Oct 8;23(27):9208-19.

A receptor-like inositol lipid phosphatase is required for the maturation of developing cochlear hair bundles.

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  • 1School of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9QG, United Kingdom.


A screen for protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) expressed in the chick inner ear yielded a high proportion of clones encoding an avian ortholog of protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor Q (Ptprq), a receptor-like PTP. Ptprq was first identified as a transcript upregulated in rat kidney in response to glomerular nephritis and has recently been shown to be active against inositol phospholipids. An antibody to the intracellular domain of Ptprq, anti-Ptprq, stains hair bundles in mice and chicks. In the chick ear, the distribution of Ptprq is almost identical to that of the 275 kDa hair-cell antigen (HCA), a component of hair-bundle shaft connectors recognized by a monoclonal antibody (mAb) that stains inner-ear hair bundles and kidney glomeruli. Furthermore, anti-Ptprq immunoblots a 275 kDa polypeptide immunoprecipitated by the anti-HCA mAb from the avian inner ear, indicating that the HCA and Ptprq are likely to be the same molecule. In two transgenic mouse strains with different mutations in Ptprq, anti-Ptprq immunoreactivity cannot be detected in the ear. Shaft connectors are absent from mutant vestibular hair bundles, but the stereocilia forming the hair bundle are not splayed, indicating that shaft connectors are not necessary to hold the stereocilia together; however, the mice show rapid postnatal deterioration in cochlear hair-bundle structure, associated with smaller than normal transducer currents with otherwise normal adaptation properties, a progressive loss of basal-coil cochlear hair cells, and deafness. These results reveal that Ptprq is required for formation of the shaft connectors of the hair bundle, the normal maturation of cochlear hair bundles, and the long-term survival of high-frequency auditory hair cells.

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