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Mech Dev. 2005 May;122(5):625-34. Epub 2005 Jan 8.

Eya1 acts upstream of Tbx1, Neurogenin 1, NeuroD and the neurotrophins BDNF and NT-3 during inner ear development.

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Gonda Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, House Ear Institute, 2100 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90057, USA.


Cell fate specification during inner ear development is dependent upon regional gene expression within the otic vesicle. One of the earliest cell fate determination steps in this system is the specification of neural precursors, and regulators of this process include the Atonal-related basic helix-loop-helix genes, Ngn1 and NeuroD and the T-box gene, Tbx1. In this study we demonstrate that Eya1 signaling is critical to the normal expression patterns of Tbx1, Ngn1, and NeuroD in the developing mouse otocyst. We discuss a potential mechanism for the absence of neural precursors in the Eya1-/- inner ears and the primary and secondary mechanisms for the loss of cochleovestibular ganglion cells in the Eya1bor/bor hypomorphic mutant.

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