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Development. 2014 Jan;141(2):399-409. doi: 10.1242/dev.094995.

Aberrant cochlear hair cell attachments caused by Nectin-3 deficiency result in hair bundle abnormalities.

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  • 1Division of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe 650-0017, Japan.


The organ of Corti consists of sensory hair cells (HCs) interdigitated with nonsensory supporting cells (SCs) to form a checkerboard-like cellular pattern. HCs are equipped with hair bundles on their apical surfaces. We previously reported that cell-adhesive nectins regulate the checkerboard-like cellular patterning of HCs and SCs in the mouse auditory epithelium. Nectin-1 and -3 are differentially expressed in normal HCs and SCs, respectively, and in Nectin-3-deficient mice a number of HCs are aberrantly attached to each other. We show here that these aberrantly attached HCs in Nectin-3-deficient mice, but not unattached ones, show disturbances of the orientation and morphology of the hair bundles and the positioning of the kinocilium, with additional abnormal localisation of cadherin-catenin complexes and the apical-basal polarity proteins Pals1 and Par-3. These results indicate that, owing to the loss of Nectin-3, hair cells contact each other inappropriately and form abnormal junctions, ultimately resulting in abnormal hair bundle orientation and morphology.


Cell adhesion; Mouse; Nectin; Polarity

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