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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2002 Feb;3(2):104-11.

Prestin, a new type of motor protein.

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Auditory Physiology Laboratory, (The Hugh Knowles Center), Department of Neurobiology, The Institute for Neuroscience, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA.


Prestin, a transmembrane protein found in the outer hair cells of the cochlea, represents a new type of molecular motor, which is likely to be of great interest to molecular cell biologists. In contrast to enzymatic-activity-based motors, prestin is a direct voltage-to-force converter, which uses cytoplasmic anions as extrinsic voltage sensors and can operate at microsecond rates. As prestin mediates changes in outer hair cell length in response to membrane potential variations, it might be responsible for sound amplification in the mammalian hearing organ.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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